Zahra Somani

Chief Advancement Officer

Zahra Somani is the Chief Advancement Officer for the Aga Khan University. A member of the University Leadership Team, she leads a global division devoted to nurturing relationships and financial sustainability with the University’s community of alumni, donors, and partners. Reporting to the President, she works closely with relevant committees of the Board of Trustees, University leadership, Deans, Directors, and senior volunteers.

Zahra has a background that spans both business and non-profit leadership. She has served as President of the Aga Khan Council for Edmonton for the past 8 years and previously led fundraising nationally for the Aga Council for Canada as the Member for Resource Mobilization. She is the past Chair of the Edmonton Community Foundation, an organization that stewards over $700 million of endowments that support charitable causes. She brings extensive governance and fundraising experience, having chaired the board of the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation and Norquest College's capital campaign. She also served on the University of Alberta's Board of Governors.

Zahra has been an entrepreneur for over 20 years.  She is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and the University of Alberta Business Advisory Council. She also holds an ICD.D designation, the highest designation granted by the Institute of Corporate Directors. In 2022, she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal in recognition of her service to Canadians.