Chancellor Presides at Inaugural Meeting of UCA Trustees

Date: 08 November 2017
Other languages: Русский язык |

The inaugural meeting of the University of Central Asia’s (UCA) Board of Trustees was held on 6 November 2017 in Gouvieux, France. His Highness the Aga Khan, Chancellor of UCA, welcomed the Founding Trustees and urged them “to make research one of the highest priorities of the University. Only through the creation of new knowledge will we be able to address the multiple challenges that affect the quality of life of mountain societies. Over time, it is high quality and relevant research which will earn UCA a place among the renowned universities of the world.” He added that the stewardship of UCA was now in the hands of the Board of Trustees. Among the items discussed at the meeting were current programmes and future initiatives of the University.


Inaugural Session of UCA’s Board of Trustees (6 November 2017). Front Row (L to R): Mrs. Elvira Sarieva, Prince Rahim Aga Khan, His Highness the Aga Khan, Princess Zahra Aga Khan, Dr. Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, Senator Byrganym Aitimova. Back Row (L to R): Mr. Naguib Kheraj, Dr. Hans Hurni, Dr. Shenggen Fan, Dr. Sharofat Mamadambarova.

A day earlier (5 November), the Trustees received an orientation and briefing on AKDN and UCA. Presentations highlighted the vision and mission of UCA, the international Treaty and Charter executed by the Founders in 2000, current academic programmes and those in the planning phases, matters relating to the design and construction of the campuses, and the recruitment of students, and senior faculty and staff.

The Trustees bring a wealth of expertise and experience, and include prominent individuals with distinguished backgrounds in academia, government, development, and civil society. UCA’s first Board of Trustees include:

  1. Princess Zahra Aga Khan
  2. Prince Rahim Aga Khan
  3. Dr. Shamsh Kassim-Lakha (Pakistan): Chairman of the Board of Trustees; and AKDN Diplomatic Representative to the Kyrgyz Republic
  4. Senator Byrganym Aitimova (Kazakhstan): Member of the Senate of Kazakhstan; former Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the UN; and former Minister of Education and Science
  5. Dr. Shenggen Fan (China): Director General, International Food Policy Research Institute, a UN agency located in Washington DC
  6. Dr. Hans Hurni (Switzerland): Director and Founding President of the Board of the Center for Development and Environment, University of Bern; and Professor Emeritus
  7. Mr. Naguib Kheraj (UK): Deputy Chairman, Standard Chartered; Senior Advisor, AKDN; and Trustee, Aga Khan University
  8. Dr. Sharofat Mamadambarova (Tajikistan): Professor of English Language; Head of the Aga Khan Humanities Programme, UCA
  9. Mrs. Elvira Sarieva (Kyrgyzstan): Deputy Head of the Kyrgyz Presidential Apparatus; former Vice Prime Minister for Social Affairs; and former Minister of Education and Science
  10. An appointee of the Government of Tajikistan to UCA’s Board of Trustees is expected shortly.

Commenting on the first meeting of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Shamsh Kassim-Lakha said “UCA is fortunate to have the wisdom of such distinguished Trustees to guide its next phase of development. The Board represents a remarkable pool of knowledge and experience from Central Asia and beyond, and I am honored and privileged to serve as its Chairman. The Trustees have made an excellent beginning by taking a deep interest in the current academic programmes, and committing themselves to the mission established by the Founders of UCA.”