Aleem Walji

Senior Associate (Non-resident), Project on Prosperity and Development

From 2015 to 2020, Aleem Walji was chief executive officer of the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) in the United States. AKF, alongside its sister agencies in the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), implements innovative, community-driven solutions to development challenges. AKDN agencies employ more than 80,000 people in 35 countries around the world. Previously, Aleem was director of World Bank Labs and chief innovation advisor within the leadership, learning, and innovation vice presidency at the World Bank Group. He oversaw a portfolio of programs related to open data, big data/analytics for development, and transparency and accountability in the delivery of public services. Aleem also led initiatives focused on innovations in finance to serve base of the pyramid clients and youth engagement and peacebuilding programs with a focus on the Muslim world. Prior to joining the World Bank, Aleem served as head of global development initiatives at, with a focus on Eastern Africa. He led efforts related to increasing transparency and accountability in government and supporting the growth of small- and medium-size enterprises in Africa. Aleem was also the first CEO of AKF in Syria. He is a graduate of Emory University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He completed his bachelor's degree in Near Eastern studies and anthropology and his master's degree in international development and regional planning. Aleem has served on the board of directors of Interaction, the Global Partnership for Social Accountability at the World Bank, and the advisory board to the United States Agency for International Development administrator. He recently completed a program on digital transformation at MIT related to artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing, blockchain, internet of things, and cybersecurity.