Mr Firoz Rasul has served as President of the Aga Khan University since May 1, 2006. The Aga Khan University or AKU is a private, autonomous, not for profit, international standard, needs-blind university in the developing world. Today, the University has more than 2,500 students across campuses in six countries on three continents. As part of its health sciences program, the AKU operates 7 teaching hospitals and 300 outreach medical centres in South Asia and East Africa, which collectively treated over two million people in 2016. Yet its growth over the last 10 years will pale beside that to come in the decade ahead, as AKU transforms itself into a comprehensive university offering liberal arts and graduate professional degrees that prepare students from the developing world to lead their societies towards a better future.
Prior to his engagement with AKU, President Rasul was involved in building several business enterprises and the development of social and community institutions. He served as Chief Executive Officer and then Chairman of Ballard Power Systems, a world leader in fuel cell technology from December 1988 until May 2004. Before that he was Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Mobile Data International (MDI) in Vancouver from 1981 until its takeover by its largest competitor, Motorola, in 1988. In both cases, at Ballard and MDI, Mr. Rasul led the development of startup ventures into world leading technology companies with deep and sound intellectual property positions, and through strategic partnerships and innovative financing.
Mr Rasul has served as a member of the University of British Columbia's Board of Governors and as a Director on the Board of Science World, British Columbia. Between 2000 and 2006, he was President of the Aga Khan Council for Canada, where he led the development of several large-scale projects for the Aga Khan Development Network, including The Global Centre of Pluralism in Ottawa and the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto.
As a business leader, Mr Rasul has shared his knowledge and experience as a member of the Board of TELUS Corporation and the Royal Bank Capital Corporation. He was named the 2001 National Transportation Person of the Year by the Government of Canada, and Wilfred Laurier University's School of Business and Economics recognised him with its Outstanding Business Leader award.
Mr Rasul received a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom and an MBA from McGill University in Montreal. Mr Rasul was conferred with the Degree of Doctors of Laws, honoris causa, by Simon Fraser University in 2001 and an honorary Doctorate of Science in 2017 by the University of Alberta.