Fairouz Nishanova is a cultural development specialist with a lifelong love of performing arts, music and dance that embraces the many styles and traditions of the lands where she has lived, worked, and traveled. Born in Sri Lanka to Uzbek parents, she grew up in Amman, Jordan and studied economics, history and international relations. Graduate of Moscow State University and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Ms Nishanova began her career at the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and continued at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. Ms Nishanova joined the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in 2000, and has served as Director of the Aga Khan Music Initiative at the Geneva-based Trust for Culture since 2005. The Aga Khan Music Initiative is an inter-regional music and arts education program with worldwide performance, outreach, mentoring, and artistic production activities. The Initiative designs and implements a country-specific set of activities into which it invests and works to promote revitalization of cultural heritage both as a source of livelihood for musicians and as a means to strengthen pluralism in nations where it is challenged by social, political, and economic constraints.

Besides running AKMI, Ms. Nishanova is closely involved in AKDN’s inter-agency activities on social and cultural development.