Vice Provosts


Vice Provost & University Registrar

​​The Vice Provost and University Registrar has responsibilities across the five countries served by AKU for academic quality assurance and administration, including policy development, programme planning and approval, accreditation and regulatory compliance with various government and regulatory agencies, academic space utilisation, the academic secretariat and ensuring that AKU’s standards for admission, enrolment and academic progression and graduation are safeguarded.  In addition, Mr Ariano is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Registrar’s Offices in Pakistan, East Africa and the UK, including the integrity of student records, the maintenance of the student information database and course repository, enrolment management, the issuing of transcripts and the University’s convocation ceremonies.

Lou is the founding Registrar at AKU and has served the University since April 2008. Mr Ariano, a Canadian national, holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada and has over 37 years of experience and expertise working within university structures and governance. His last appointment prior to joining AKU was as Registrar at the McMaster University. He also served at York University and Brock University in a similar capacity and at Osgoode Hall Law School as Assistant Dean (Student Services).

In addition to serving on the executive committee of the Association of Registrars of the Universities and Colleges of Canada (ARUCC), Mr Ariano has served the Registrars' Association as a member of the National Transcript Guide Task Force; the ARUCC/HRSDC Task Force on Registered Education Savings Plans; and the Canada Revenue Agency advisory committee on Transit Passes Programs at post-secondary institutions.  He has represented McMaster University on the Council of Ontario Universities' (COU) Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act Task Force and the COU Working Group on "Increasing Access to Credentials Recognition for Internationally Education Professionals".  Mr Ariano has presented papers on fake degrees and phony transcripts to regional national ​​and international university administrator and registrar conferences.

Tel: +92 21 3486 4440 


​​Vice Provost, East Africa​​​ 

Dr Alex Awiti was born in Kisumu, Kenya, and holds a PhD in Ecosystems Ecology from the University of Nairobi. Dr Awiti’s commitment to, and knowledge of, the region is unparalleled and he has been central to the development and initiation of the East African Institute. With infectious, enthusiastic conviction, Dr Awiti champions policy analysis and development as integral to East Africa.

Prior to joining AKU, Dr Awiti was a postdoctoral fellow with the Earth Institute at Columbia University, New York. For two years, he worked under the mentorship of Jeffery D Sachs, a world-renowned professor of economics, and the World Food Prize Laureate, Pedro A Sanchez. He has also served as Adjunct Assistant Professor, Columbia School of International and Public Affairs.

Dr Awiti's research career began over 20 years ago at the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF) in Nairobi, where he was instrumental in establishing the Spatial Decision Support Lab, which provides research and technical support to ICRAF’s programmes in East and South Africa. With prestigious international funding, Dr Awiti and colleagues also pioneered the application of spectroscopy for the diagnostic surveillance of soil health. 

Dr Awiti has authored a number of scholarly articles and technical reports relating to soil fertility, deforestation, spectroscopy, biodiversity and resilience, poverty and rural development, climate change and education. Dr. Awiti was the founding Africa Editor for Environmental Development: The Transdisciplinary Journal of the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE). 

As one of a very few resilience experts in Africa, Dr. Awiti has served on the Board of the Resilience Alliance, an international, interdisciplinary research organization that explores the dynamics of social and ecological systems. Dr Awiti currently serves as a Board member for Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC). He is also an adjunct professor at the University of the Fraser Valley in British Columbia and adjunct lecturer at Griffith University in South East Queensland, Australia. 

Dr Awiti writes a widely-read weekly column for The Star, a Kenyan daily newspaper. You can find his​ writings on his blog and Twitter feed.

Tel: +254 20 366 1200​​


Vice Provost and Dean Faculty of Arts and Sciences​

Professor Anjum Halai’s appointment as Vice Provost (Asia and UK) became effective in November 2018. Working with deans, directors and other academic leaders, she is responsible to develop and operationalize strategies to achieve the academic plans and programmes within her geographic domain.  Her office serves as a catalyst, facilitating collaboration among the academic entities and interdisciplinary cross-campus initiatives.  She promotes collaborations with the Aga Khan Development Network agencies and other university partners to achieve institutional goals.  

As I​nterim Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences since September 2018, Professor Halai is leading the development of academic programmes, financial plans and space plans for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Pakistan. ​

Professor Halai chairs the University Research Council that provides strategic oversight in research governance and drives the development of policies and procedures to undertake research with ethics and integrity. Professor Halai is an international education expert with a wide experience of leading large international research projects including: the EdQual project with Bristol University UK;the ESRC/UNICEF sponsored ‘Education and Social Cohesion in Pakistan’ with Sussex University UK; and the Canadian SSHRC sponsored project in mathematics education with University of Alberta Canada (SSHRC Award 890-210-0027). With Oxford University UK, she is currently leading in Tanzania the prestigious ESRC/DFID funded ‘Assessment for Learning in Africa’ (Grant Ref: ES/N010515/1). 

She studied applied and pure mathematics in her undergraduate programme. She received her MEd from the Aga Khan University Institute for Educational Development, Pakistan and D.Phil (doctorate) in Education from Oxford University,​ UK. 

​​Dr Halai joined the Aga ​Khan University Institute for Educational Development, Pakistan in June 1998. She has served in positions of senior leadership at the Institute for Educational Development, East Africa in Tanzania (Sep 2009 - Oct 2016) and subsequently as Associate Vice Provost, Research and Graduate Studies.

Tel: +92 21 3493 2306​​