National Committee

Aziz Valliani, Chairman

Mr. Aziz Valliani has served as Chairman of Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A.’s National Committee since 2006. He is currently Founder, Chairman and CEO of enTrust & Title, parent company of ZorroSign. Mr. Valliani is author of 27 patents and a pioneer of E-Signature and Document Forensics (4n6) technology. He is an entrepreneur who brings years of experience in senior positions at a number of different companies, including President and CEO of Ammar Enterprises, Crossvue, Inc., and @POS.com, Inc. He was Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Wyse Technology, and prior to that worked at ACER America and Intel Corp. He has also served extensively within the Ismaili community, including as Vice President of the National Council and Chairman of Aga Khan Education Board U.S.A. Mr. Valliani received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the Pratt Institute in New York.

Mohammad Ashraf Ramji, Vice Chairman

Mr. Mohammad Ashraf Ramji is an attorney in Houston with over 26 years’ experience. He is the principal in several residential and commercial real estate development projects. Mr. Ramji has served in several non-profit organizations including the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, and the Houston Community College and a member on the Arts and Culture Advisory Board to the Mayor of Houston. He has extensive volunteer service within the Ismaili community. Previously, he was a Chair and Member of National Council Arbitration Board U.S.A. and a Chair of Southwest Regional Council Arbitration Board. He served on the Social Welfare Board and as Honorary Secretary of the Local Council for Southwestern U.S. and on the Tariqah Board for Midwestern U.S. He is a certified mediation trainer for the International Conciliation and Arbitration Board. Mr. Ramji received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master’s of Science degree from Iowa State University, a JD from South Texas College of Law, and a Master’s of Law from the University of Houston.

Barkat Fazal, Member

Dr. Barkat Fazal, in his role as the President of the Ismaili National Council USA, serves as a member on the Aga Khan Foundation USA’s National Committee. Dr. Fazal has a long, distinguished history of institutional leadership within the Ismaili community, serving as Vice President of the Ismaili Council for USA, Vice Chairman of FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance USA and President of the Ismaili Council for Northeastern U.S.A. He was a member of the Advisory Committee of Chautauqua Institution’s Abrahamic Program, which endeavors to teach and build relationships among Jews, Christians and Muslims. As a medical doctor specializing in infectious diseases, Dr. Fazal has over 20 years of experience working with HIV, AIDS, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases. In early 2012, Dr. Fazal relocated to Houston and joined a private practice group in Infectious Diseases, working with several area hospitals. Prior to that, Dr. Fazal was an attending physician and Chairman of Infection Control Committee at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center and an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He received his medical degree from Kakatiya University in India, and completed his Internal Medicine Residency at Wilson Memorial Hospital in upstate New York. He has a Master’s degree in Public Health and Tropical Medicine from Tulane University in New Orleans. Dr. Fazal is actively involved in recording research and promoting publications and has authored several articles in medical journals on topics related to infectious diseases.

Zamila Karimi, Member

Ms. Zamila Karimi, an architect, artist and an educator, is a Principal of Connexion Studio. The studio engages both gallery installations and public space assemblages to provoke action and reaction from the collective public. This search is augmented by theoretical interrogations through academic teaching, conference presentations and panel discussions. An avid volunteer, Ms. Karimi contributes her creativity and talent in a variety of ways through community engagement and civic activism. Institutionally she has initiated innovative programs like Camp Mosaic, Village-in action, Illuminations to provide a forum for youth development and opportunities for inter-generational exchange. She is a Visiting Professor at Kennesaw State University’s College of Architecture and Construction Management. Ms. Karimi holds Master of Architecture in Cultural Mediations and Technology from McGill University; Terminal Master of Fine Arts in Digital Media and Interior Design from University of Georgia; and a Professional Bachelor of Architecture from Southern California Institute of Architecture.

Sultana Mangalji, Member

Ms. Sultana Mangalji joins the National Committee after many years of voluntary service in senior positions within and outside of the Ismaili community. Ms. Mangalji has served with the Tariqah and Religious Education Board, Aga Khan Education Board and Aga Khan University. In addition, she has served as a Board Member on the Read Commission, UNICEF, Teach for America, and the Houston Symphony. Ms. Mangalji holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of British Columbia and an Executive Master’s of Business Administration from Rice University.

Eboo Patel, Member

Dr. Eboo Patel was named by US News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009. Eboo Patel is the founder and Executive Director of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a Chicago-based institution building the global interfaith youth movement. He is a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Author of the award-winning book Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation, Eboo is also a regular contributor to the Washington Post, National Public Radio and CNN. He holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship.

Alnoor Shivji, Member

Mr. Alnoor Shivji has 30 years’ experience in starting, investing and managing high-tech/biotech companies. Presently, he is a co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Azure Biosystems, a life science platform company and a General Partner at Global Asset Capital, a Palo Alto-based venture capital firm. He was a co-founder of WaferGen Biosystems, a life science diagnostics and tools company and served as its CEO and President from 2003-2011, and as Chairman of the Board from 2002-2014. His other positions include Investment Director at VPSA, Inc. in Paris, France, focusing on telecommunication and networking, semiconductors, and enterprise software; co-founder, President and CEO of Cyras Systems until it was acquired by CIENA; and co-founder of Fiberlane Communications, which changed the face of the networking communications industry when it split into Cerent (acquired by Cisco) and Siara Systems (acquired by Redback Networks). Mr. Shivji co-founded OSIware, a communications software company that was sold to Infonet, a value-added service provider now part of British Telecom. He has been advising and investing in Silicon Valley startups like Involver/Oracle, Lara Networks/Cypress Semiconductor, Lightlogic/Intel, Canesta/Microsoft, and Appshop/Oracle for several years. Mr. Shivji holds a B.S. degree from the University of British Columbia.

Jehan Velji, Member

Ms. Jehan Velji brings extensive experience in non-profit and foundation strategy, organization design, and performance assessment. Currently, a Portfolio Manager with the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, Ms. Velji is based in the San Francisco Bay area and works with youth-serving non-profits engaged in evidence-building and growth. Ms. Velji was previously a partner at the Bridgespan Group and has held positions at Mercer Management Consulting and Catholic Relief Services. Ms. Velji has served on the Board of Directors of FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance, the disaster response wing of the Aga Khan Development Network. She holds a Bachelor’s in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University, a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a Master’s of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

 

The National Committee is governed by the Board of Directors.

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