Princess Zahra Aga Khan
Princess Zahra Aga Khan

Princess Zahra Aga Khan, the eldest child of His Highness the Aga Khan, is the Head of the Social Welfare Department (SWD) located within the Secretariat of the Aga Khan in France. She has policy and management responsibility for the health, education and planning and building Services Companies of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). She also plays a key role in policy and strategy matters relating to the other social development institutions of the Network.

Princess Zahra was born on the 18th of September 1970. She attended Le Rosey School in Switzerland and holds a BA (Honours) degree in Development Studies from Harvard University. In the course of her studies, Princess Zahra toured the Aga Khan Development Network projects in health, education and rural support, and economic development in Asia and Africa. She also completed a four-month programme at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, USA, to enhance her understanding of health promotion, and the delivery of advanced medical care services.

Princess Zahra has worked at the Secretariat of His Highness at Aiglemont, in Gouvieux, France since graduating from Harvard in 1994.

Princess Zahra is a member of the Board of Trustees of Aga Khan University. She also works with institutions supported by the Ismaili Muslim community in the areas of social welfare, women's activities and youth programmes.

She chairs the International Social Development and Sports Foundation (ISDSF). The ISDSF provides seed money to drive initiatives at the local level and which fall outside the institutional framework. Its activities include the promotion of healthy lifestyles in urban areas in India and Pakistan, as well as projects that focus on the needs of the youth and the elderly.

In the course of her work, Princess Zahra has visited AKDN and Ismaili Community programmes and projects in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Canada, France, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Pakistan, Portugal, Senegal, Singapore, Syria, Tanzania (including Zanzibar) and the United States, as part of periodic reviews of institutions whose activities fall within the mandate of her responsibilities.​