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  • Brown University, an independent, coeducational Ivy League institution and the seventh-oldest college in the United States, is celebrating its 250th anniversary in 2014.
    AKDN / Aly Z. Ramji
Aga Khan to deliver Ogden Lecture at Brown University

Providence, Rhode Island, USA, 6 March 2014 — His Highness the Aga Khan will visit Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, on 10 March 2014 to deliver the 88th Stephen A. Ogden ’60 Memorial Lecture on International Affairs at the invitation of Brown University President Dr. Christina Paxson.

Established in 1965, the Ogden Lectureship has presented the University and its neighboring communities with authoritative and timely addresses about international affairs with the goal of advancing international peace and understanding. Past distinguished speakers include King Hussein of Jordan, former President Mikhail Gorbachev, economist Paul Volcker, journalist Nicholas Kristof, senior diplomats and observers of the international scene.

The lecture, which will be a part of Brown University’s 250th anniversary celebrations, will be streamed live on Brown University’s webcast page.

His Highness the Aga Khan is founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and 49th hereditary Imam of the Shia Ismaili Muslims. He has been deeply engaged with international development for close to 60 years. He has received numerous honorary degrees and awards in recognition of his work including, in the United States, the University of California San Francisco Medal and the ULI J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development. Also in the US, His Highness has been conferred with honorary Doctor of Law degrees from Harvard University (2008) and Brown University (1996).

In recognition of his lifelong commitment to humanitarianism, pluralism and tolerance, the Aga Khan was recently invited by Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper to address a joint session of the Canadian Parliament on February 27, 2014. In his address, he identified the voices of Civil Society as key to transforming countries of crisis into countries of opportunity: “An active Civil Society can open the door for an enormous variety of energies and talents from a broad spectrum of organizations and individuals. It means opening the way for diversity. It means welcoming plurality.”

The Aga Khan’s leadership in international development is demonstrated through the work of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), a group of private, international, non-denominational agencies working to improve living conditions and opportunities for people in 30 countries. It employs approximately 80,000 people, the majority of whom are based in developing countries, and has an annual budget for non-profit development activities of approximately US$ 600 million. The AKDN enjoys close partnerships with public and private institutions, including amongst others, governments, international organizations, companies, foundations, and universities.

Through the Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A., AKDN collaborates with US agencies like the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). A range of U.S. foundations also support AKDN'swork,  including Ford, C.S. Mott, Hewlett, Rockefeller, Whole Planet, Coca-Cola and a number of corporate donors.

The Aga Khan, the AKDN and the Ismaili community have had long-standing ties to the United States. Among these ties are Agreements of Cooperation with the States of Texas, California and Illinois, which establish a framework for collaboration on issues related to the quality of life and better cross-cultural understanding. The AKDN also collaborates with a number of universities in the United States, including Harvard University and MIT (on the on-line architectural archive and the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture), the University of California (on health) and the University of Texas (on education).

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For more information, please contact:

Geraldine Sicola
Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A.
Tel. (202) 293-2537 ext 106 (office)

Semin Abdulla
Senior Communications Officer
Aga Khan Development Network

Shaheen Kassim-Lakha
Aga Khan Council for USA
Tel. (213) 447-3398