Every society develops and depends on some set of leaders—but the great question is how those leaders are developed and chosen. For much of human history, leaders were born into their roles, or they fought their way in—or they bought their way in. Elites were normally based on physical power, or accumulated wealth, or inherited claims to authority.

But social progress can be greatest when aristocracies of class give way to aristocracies of talent—or to use an even better term—to meritocracies.

The well-led society of the future, in my view, will be a meritocracy—where leadership roles are based on personal and intellectual excellence.

—Speech by His Highness the Aga Khan at the Foundation Stone-Laying Ceremony of The Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad, India, 22nd September 2006

Chair of AKES,T

Waheeda Samji became Chair of AKES,T in December 2005.

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