Prince Amyn spent his early childhood in East Africa and Cairo during the Second World War and then attended Le Rosey School in Switzerland at war’s end. He received his BA with Honours, magna cum laude, in 1960 from Harvard University. Thereafter, he continued his studies at Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, from which he received his MA (1963) in comparative literature. After Harvard, Prince Amyn worked in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations until he joined his brother in 1968.
Prince Amyn is a Director on most of the boards of the institutions of the Aga Khan Development Network, the Aga Khan Foundation, the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance (AKAM) and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC).
AKFED initiates and supports economic development activities in Africa and Asia, ranging from hotel and leisure initiatives, to banks and other financial institutions, industrial projects, as well as media and aviation companies. He was also deeply involved in the establishment and development of Tourism Promotion Services (TPS) which currently operates the Serena Group of Lodges, Resorts and Hotels, comprising 34 properties in nine countries of Asia and Africa.
AKTC coordinates the Aga Khan Development Network’s cultural activities, which largely focus on architecture and the built environment in societies in which Muslims have a significant presence. Prince Amyn has for many years entertained active relations with various museums, cultural institutions and programmes, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Musée du Louvre in Paris, the Foundation for the Development of Chantilly. He used to sit on the Acquisitions Committee of the Louvre and is still on the Council of the Friends of the Louvre. He is Chairman of the Friends of the Domaine de Chantilly. He has been consistently involved in the work of institutions designed to save heritage and, in particular, has been active in turning heritage buildings into inns and hotels after restoring them. He has been a Trustee of the World Monuments Fund since 1997 and is on their International Advisory Committee, and he was, for many years, a Director of the Silk Road Project launched by Yo-Yo Ma. Prince Amyn has always been deeply interested in music too: he studied at the New England Conservatory in parallel with Harvard and has been a juror on various musical prizes such as the Premio Venezia, the Vendôme prize and the Concours de Genève.
More recently, Prince Amyn has been actively involved since its inception with the new Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Canada (which opened in September 2014) and with the formation of its collections. He collects himself and has been a frequent lender to leading museums, both French and foreign. He was a juror for the 10th International Architecture Exhibition award at the Venice Biennale in 2006.