Firoz Rasul - Pakistan
Aga Khan University
Firoz Rasul is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Aga Khan University (AKU). He has held this position since 2006. Under his leadership, the University has experienced tremendous growth; improved the lives of millions of people in countries where AKU operates as a leading source of education, research, and health care; helped to increase the quality of the services provided by other universities and hospitals as a role model that spreads international standards and best practices; and assisted the governments in serving the people of Pakistan, East Africa and Afghanistan in particular.
During President Rasul’s tenure, many graduates of the University are now influential researchers, teachers, school leaders, clinicians, entrepreneurs, advocates, and policymakers. A rigorous study of AKU’s impact in Pakistan was completed in 2017 by U.S.-based Centennial Group International. The study confirms that AKU has made a remarkable contribution to Pakistan under President Rasul’s guidance. Led by former senior World Bank officials, the study reported that AKU is “a national innovator and a powerhouse for quality” and “a nationwide role model for high-quality tertiary education and medical care.” It found that AKU has an annual economic impact in Pakistan of US$ 1 billion, and directly and indirectly supports 42,000 jobs annually. During President Rasul’s tenure, AKU has forged partnerships with a number of universities including the University of Alberta, University of Calgary, University of Washington, Fred Hutch Cancer Research Institute, University of California San Francisco and in Portugal with Universidade Católica Portuguesa and Universidade Nova de Lisboa. These partnerships are helping to build research and other forms of capacity within the higher education and health sectors.
AKU’s accomplishments and impact in a wide range of fields testify to the founder, His Highness the Aga Khan’s commitment to improving quality of life for the people where the University operates and to achieving the ambitious vision for the University.
Prior to joining AKU, Mr Rasul served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Ballard Power Systems in Canada, a world leader in fuel cell technology, from 1988 to 2003. Between 2000 and 2006, he was President of the Aga Khan Council for Canada, where he led the development of the Global Centre of Pluralism in Ottawa and the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, initiatives of the Aga Khan Development Network with significant education and research agendas. He has also 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.
Mr Rasul holds a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from the University of Hertfordshire in the UK and a Master of Business Administration from McGill University, Canada. He received the degree Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, from Simon Fraser University, Canada in 2001, and an honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Alberta, Canada in 2017.