Appendix A: Members of the Chancellor's Commission​

Dr Lisa Anderson (Commission Co-chair)
Special Lecturer and Dean Emerita, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
Trustee of the Aga Khan University

Lisa Anderson most recently served as President of the American University in Cairo for five years. Prior to her appointment as President, she was the University's Provost. Dr Anderson is Dean Emerita of the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, where she led from 1997-2007. She held the James T. Shotwell Chair in International Relations in the Political Science Department. Before Columbia, she taught at Harvard University in the Government and Social Studies departments.

A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and Columbia University, where she earned her PhD in Political Science, Dr Anderson received honorary doctorates from Monmouth University in 2002 and the American University of Paris in 2015. Dr Anderson was appointed to the AKU Board in 2016.

Dr David Naylor (Commission Co-chair)
Professor of Medicine and President Emeritus, University of Toronto

David Naylor is a Canadian physician, medical researcher, academic leader, and former AKU Trustee. He joined the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto in 1988, after completing his MD (Toronto), DPhil (Oxford), and specialty training in internal medicine (Western). Dr Naylor was the founder and first CEO (1992-98) of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. He was appointed Dean of Medicine of the University of Toronto in 1999, and in 2003 chaired the National Advisory Committee on SARS and Public Health following the outbreak of SARS-CoV-1 in Canada. He served as President, University of Toronto from 2005-2013.

He chaired the Government of Canada's Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation (2014-15), and its Expert Panel to Review Federal Support of Fundamental Science (2016-17). Most recently, he co-chaired Canada's COVID-19 Immunity Task Force and served on multiple federal panels advising on Canada's response to COVID-19.

Dr Naylor was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2006 and inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2016. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and an international member of the US National Academy of Medicine. 

Princess Zahra Aga Khan
Member, Board of Directors, Aga Khan Development Network
Trustee of the Aga Khan University

Princess Zahra Aga Khan was educated at Le Rosey School in Switzerland and at Harvard University, where she received her undergraduate degree in Development Studies. She also completed an internship at Massachusetts General Hospital and a course in finance and management at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne.

Princess Zahra has been actively involved in the governance of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) for over two decades, with close oversight of the Network's health and education portfolios. She serves as a Trustee of the Aga Khan University and the University of Central Asia, and sits on the boards of many AKDN agencies, including the Aga Khan Foundation, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, and the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat. She is also a Member of the Board of the Global Centre for Pluralism which was set up in a partnership between His Highness the Aga Khan and the Government of Canada.

Dr Ali S. Asani
Murray A. Albertson Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard University

Ali Asani is the Murray A. Albertson Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures at Harvard University. Dr Asani has served as the Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and Director of the Prince Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program.

A specialist on Ismaili and Sufi traditions in South Asia, he teaches a variety of courses on Islam; has written numerous articles and several books; and has been engaged in promoting literacy about Islam and Muslim cultures in various forums. Dr Asani serves on the advisory board of Harvard's Religious Literacy and Pluralism Projects. He was a member of the Harvard Presidential Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging and chaired the Harvard College working group on Symbols and Spaces of Engagement.  Appointed to the Board of Governors of the Institute for Ismaili Studies (IIS) in 2020, Dr Asani has taught for many years on various IIS programmes including the Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities and has served on its Academic Steering Committee. He received his undergraduate and doctoral education at Harvard University.

Dr Phillip L. Clay
Former Chancellor and Professor Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Trustee of the Aga Khan University

A faculty member in Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1975, Phillip L. Clay has held academic leadership positions for nearly two decades, including assistant director of the Joint Center for Urban Studies of MIT and Harvard University (1980-1984), and Chancellor (2001-2011). As Chancellor, he had oversight responsibility for undergraduate and graduate education, student life and services, research policy, strategic planning, campus development, international initiatives, and the management of MIT's large-scale institutional partnerships.

Dr Clay is an authority on urban housing policy and community-based organizational development in the United States, and his research has contributed to a range of public and private initiatives influencing US housing and urban policy. He is a founding member of the National Housing Trust, focused on housing preservation in urban areas, and has served as the Founding Director and Vice Chair of the MasterCard Foundation Board, vice-president of the Board of The Community Builders, and Trustee of his alma mater, the University of North California at Chapel Hill. Dr Clay was appointed to the AKU Board in 2012.

Mr Naguib Kheraj
Chairman, Rothesay Limited | Chairman, Petershill Partners Plc
Trustee of the Aga Khan University

Naguib Kheraj is a banker by background. He began his career at Salomon Brothers in 1986 and went on to hold a number of senior positions at leading international financial institutions. Over the course of 12 years at Barclays, Mr Kheraj served as Group Finance Director and Vice-Chairman and in various business leadership positions. He was Chief Executive Officer of JP Morgan Cazenove, a London-based investment banking business and also served as Deputy Chairman of Standard Chartered. Mr Kheraj is currently the Chairman of Rothesay Limited, a specialist pensions insurer and Chairman of Petershill Partners Plc, an asset management company.  He is also a member of the Finance Committee of the University of Cambridge and an independent board member of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

Mr Kheraj spends a substantial proportion of his time as a Senior Advisor to the Aga Khan Development Network and serves on the Boards of various entities within the AKDN including Chairing its Endowment Committee. Mr Kheraj is a former Non-Executive Director of National Health Service England and has served as a Senior Advisor to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs Service and to the Financial Services Authority in the UK. He has also served as a member of the Board of the UK-US Fulbright Commission, the Princes Trust Development Board, the Investment Committee of the Wellcome Trust, and the Finance Committee of Oxford University Press.  

Mr Kheraj was educated at Dulwich College, London, and Cambridge University where he graduated with a degree in Economics. Mr Kheraj was appointed to the AKU Board in 2008. 

Professor Mahmood Mamdani
Herbert Lehman Professor of Government, Anthropology / MESAAS, Columbia University

Mahmood Mamdani is the Herbert Lehman Professor of Government and Professor of Anthropology, Political Science and of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS) at Columbia University. He received his PhD from Harvard University in 1974 and specializes in the study of colonial and post-colonial violence, and the politics of knowledge production. His works explore the intersection between politics and culture, a comparative study of colonialism since 1452, the history of civil war and genocide in Africa, the Cold War and the War on Terror, the history and theory of human rights, and the politics of knowledge production. Professor Mamdani was the Director of the Makerere Institute of Social Research in Kampala (2010-2022) where he inaugurated a multi-disciplinary doctorate in Social Studies. Prior to joining the Columbia faculty, Prof. Mamdani was a professor at the University of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania (1973–1979), Makerere University in Uganda (1980–1993), and the University of Cape Town (1996–1999) and Chancellor of Kampala International University (2018-2023).

Some of Prof. Mamdani's books include his most recent Neither Settler nor Native: The Making and Unmaking of Permanent Minorities (2020), which was among the four finalists for the British Academy award which “recognises work that searches for truth and reason in difficult places and shines a light on connections and divisions that shape cultural identity worldwide." He has received numerous awards and recognitions, most recent of which being listed in 2021 by Prospect Magazine (UK) as 4th among “top 50 thinkers globally". 

Dr Nergis Mavalvala
Curtis and Kathleen Marble Professor of Astrophysics and Dean, School of Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Pakistani-American astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala is a longtime member of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) scientific team whose leaders received the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics. To continually improve the sensitivity in the LIGO detectors, Dr Mavalvala conducts pioneering experiments on generation and application of squeezed states of light, and on laser cooling and trapping of macroscopic objects to enable observation of quantum phenomena in human-scale systems. Dr Mavalvala has received numerous awards, including a Sloan Foundation Fellowship, a MacArthur Fellowship “genius" grant, the Gruber Prize in Cosmology, and the Carnegie Corporation's Great Immigrant Award. Mavalvala is an outspoken voice for equality and women's access to education. In 2014, she was honored as the LGBTQ Scientist of the Year by the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals.

Dr Mavalvala earned her bachelor's degrees in physics and astronomy from Wellesley College and her doctorate in physics from MIT. She is a fellow of the American Physical Society and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Prior to joining the physics faculty at MIT in 2002, Dr Mavalvala was a postdoctoral scholar and research scientist at the California Institute of Technology. In 2020, Dr Mavalvala was named the Dean of the MIT School of Science. 

Dr Afaf Meleis
Dean Emerita, the School of Nursing and Professor of Nursing and Sociology, University of Pennsylvania | Professor Emerita, University of California, San Francisco
Trustee of the Aga Khan University

For more than five decades, Afaf Meleis, PhD, DrPS (hon), FAAN, has demonstrated a passion for pushing the boundaries of nursing science, cultivating diverse healthcare leaders, and improving women's health. As Dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, she fostered a community dedicated to making an impact on global healthcare; launched multidisciplinary and global partnerships to advance nursing science, education, and practice; promoted research and innovation to address emerging healthcare challenges; As an elected member of National Academics (NAM and AAN) she co-authored policy reports to advance interprofessional education, equity, diversity, inclusivity, and global health. Previously, she was a professor at the University of California Los Angeles and the University of California San Francisco. Her scholarship has focused on global health, women's health, and on the theoretical development of the nursing discipline through more than 175 articles; seven books; and numerous monographs and proceedings.

Dr Meleis' honors and awards include honorary doctorates and professorships around the world. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Alexandria, earned an MS in nursing, an MA in sociology and a PhD in medical and social psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr Meleis was appointed to the AKU Board in 2015.

Mr Carlos Moedas
Presidente da Câmara Municipal, Lisboa, Portugal

Carlos Moedas is currently the Mayor of Lisbon, Portugal (elected 2021). He is a member of the Advisory Board of the UNESCO Futures of Education Initiative; a Board Member of the Jacques Delors Institute; and a Trustee of the Friends of Europe. His career spans the private, public, and civil society sectors, including the establishment of his own management investment company in 2008; election to the Portuguese Parliament, 2011; appointment to Cabinet as Under-secretary of State; and service as European Commissioner for Research, Science, and Innovation (2014-2019).  

He has co-authored a series of publications in the field of science and innovation. Mayor Moedas is the youngest member elected to the Portuguese Academy of Engineering and was named an honorary fellow of the African Academy of Sciences. His awards include an Honorary Doctorate in Laws by the University of Cork; an Honorary Doctorate in Management from École Supérieure de Commerce de Paris; and the Gold Medal of the Portuguese Order of Engineering.

Mayor Moedas completed his undergraduate studies in engineering at the Instituto Superior Técnico (Lisbon); and attained an MBA from the Harvard Business School. 

Dr Jamil Salmi
Global Tertiary Education Advisor | Research Fellow, Center for Higher Education, Boston College | Emeritus Professor of Higher Education Policy, Diego Portales University (Chile)

Jamil Salmi provides policy advice and consulting services on tertiary education development and transformation to governments, universities, professional associations, multilateral development banks and bilateral cooperation agencies. Until 2012, Dr Salmi was the World Bank's tertiary education coordinator, leading that institution's research and strategy in that field. He wrote the first World Bank policy paper on higher education reform in 1994 and was principal author of the Bank's 2002 Tertiary Education Strategy. Recent published works include: The Challenge of Establishing World-Class Universities (2009); The Road to Academic Excellence: The Making of World-Class Research Universities (2011 with P. Altbach); and Tertiary Education and the Sustainable Development Goals (2017).

Dr Salmi is a member of the International Quality Assurance Advisory Group, Emeritus Advisor on the President's Council at Olin College of Engineering, and chair of the Board of the Chilean EdTech start-up u-planner. He served on the Steering Committee for the landmark study on AKU's economic impact in Pakistan (2018). Prior to joining the World Bank in 1986, Dr Salmi was a professor of education economics at the National Institute of Education Planning in Rabat, Morocco. Dr Salmi is a graduate of the French Grande École ESSEC. He holds a master's degree in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh and a PhD in Development Studies from the University of Sussex); and completed an Executive Development program at Harvard Business School.

Dr Julia Sperling-Magro
Medical Doctor, Neuroscientist, and Partner, McKinsey & Co. (Germany)

Dr Sperling-Magro holds a Doctorate in Cognitive Neuroscience from the Max-Planck-Institute for Brain Research, and an MD from Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University in Frankfurt. She has completed research fellowships and electives at Harvard Medical School, Queen Square (London), and the World Health Organization. For her studies and research, she was awarded by the German Merit Foundation.

Appointed to the AKU Commission in her private capacity, Julia Sperling-Magro is a tenured partner at McKinsey & Company serving as a global expert in McKinsey's Organization and Healthcare Practice. Previously, she was a founding member and led McKinsey's Healthcare Systems & Services Practice in the Middle East and oversaw its work on women in leadership in Saudi Arabia for over a decade, for which she received a Saudi Aramco Partnership Award. In 2017, Dr Sperling-Magro took over the Chefsache initiative, which aims to help women reach and thrive in leadership positions in Germany. She has also been the global partner lead for McKinsey's global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts, the global knowledge leader on McKinsey's The Science of Change work, and as the Global People Leader for McKinsey's organisational practice, set up the first global Partner University for McKinsey. 

Professor Mary Stiasny, OBE
Pro Vice Chancellor (International, Teaching and Learning) and Chief Executive, University of London Worldwide, University of London

Mary Stiasny provides strategic direction and leadership for the delivery of the University of London's 100+ online, blended, and flexible programmes globally, as well the development of new programmes. Professor Stiasny has responsibility for over 50,000 students studying in 190 countries worldwide, as well as the 1.4 million learners enrolled on the University of London's Massive Open Online Courses. From her early teaching career in London, Professor Stiasny went on to become a teacher trainer, firstly at Goldsmiths College where she became Deputy Head of the Department of Education Studies, and then at Oxford Brookes as Deputy Head of the School of Education, and later Head of the School of Education and Training at the University of Greenwich. In 2003 she joined the British Council as Director of Education, Science and Society, where she led teams working on the Internationalisation of education and the Prime Minister's Initiative, and with schools, FE Colleges, and HEIs globally.

Professor Stiasny joined the UCL Institute of Education in 2007 as Pro- Director with responsibility for Learning and Teaching and International and then moved to the University of London in 2013. Professor Stiasny has been involved in the Going Global Conference, including as co-editor, with Dr Tim Gore, of the annual Going Global book series (2012-2017). Formerly a Trustee of the Council for Education in the Commonwealth, Professor Stiasny served as a Commonwealth Scholarships Commissioner for six years. In 2018, she was appointed a Visiting Fellow of Goldsmiths, University of London. She is also a Fellow of the College of Teachers. In 2013, she was awarded an OBE for her services to higher education.

Dr Anita Zaidi
President, Gender Equality, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation | Adjunct Professor, Aga Khan University | AKU alumna (MBBS 1988)

As president of the Gender Equality division, Anita Zaidi oversees the Gates Foundation's efforts to achieve gender equality by integrating gender across the foundation's global work. Anita joined the foundation in 2014 as director of the foundation's Enteric and Diarrheal Diseases team and Vaccine Development and Surveillance team until November 2022. In those roles, Anita championed innovative work on behalf of low-income women and children and worked closely with the foundation's Maternal, Newborn & Child Health Discovery & Tools team.

Previously, Dr Zaidi served as the chair of the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health at AKU in Karachi, Pakistan, where she maintains a professional affiliation. Dr Zaidi earned a medical degree, specializing in pediatric infectious diseases, at AKU and completed further training at Duke University, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and the Harvard School of Public Health. She has published more than 200 research papers on vaccine-preventable diseases and newborn infections in resource-limited settings.

In 2013, she became the first recipient of the Caplow Children's Prize for her pioneering work in bringing health services and care to mothers and children in poverty-stricken communities in Karachi. In 2021, she was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Medicine for global leadership in pediatric infectious disease research and capacity development for improving newborn and child survival in LMICs.

Dr Carrie LaPorte (Commission Secretary)
Secretary to the Chancellor's Commission, Aga Khan University | Advisor, Aga Khan Foundation Canada

For over two decades, Carrie LaPorte has served the Aga Khan Development Network in diverse professional capacities, across research, program management, institutional development, and communications functions. This includes as Editor-in-Chief, Aga Khan Foundation Canada; a senior program manager on consultations and planning for the Global Centre for Pluralism, the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat in Ottawa, Canada, and AKU graduate professional schools in East Africa; and as manager of Canadian project funding for the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme in Pakistan. Immediately prior to her appointment as AKU Commission Secretary, she was the Senior Advisor for Policy and Strategic Communications with the World University Service of Canada (2019-2020).

Born and educated in the United States, Dr LaPorte holds a Ph.D. in the History of Art from the University of Pennsylvania, where her research focused on architecture, historic preservation, and museology in nineteenth-century South Asia.​