Carleton College President Resigns To Work For Muslim Leader
NORTHFIELD, Minn. (AP) _ Carleton College President Robert H. Edwards says he will resign to head the department of health and education in the secretariat of the Aga Khan, spiritual leader of 20 million Ismaili Muslims throughout the world.
″It ties together the two major strands of my life - a great love of education and a great sense of the excitement in the thrust toward modernity in the developing world,″ Edwards said in a statement released early Wednesday.
Edwards, 50, who worked for the Ford Foundation in developing nations during the 1960s and 1970s, has been Carleton’s president for nine years.
He said he will join the secretariat at Aiglemont in Gouvieux near Paris, France, sometime this fall as a member of the management board reporting to the Aga Khan.
The Ismailis, whose roots are in the Shiite branch of Islam, live in more than 25 countries around the globe.
In his new position, Edwards will help coordinate an extensive network of hospitals and medical centers, educational institutions and economic development activities, primarily in Asia and East Africa, according to a statement released by the college.
Education systems supported by the Aga Khan include some 300 institutions and 50,000 students ranging from primary to university levels, while the Aga Khan Health Services include 171 facilities such as diagnostic clinics, maternity homes, dispensaries and hospitals in Pakistan, India, Syria, Kenya, Tanzania and Bangledesh, according to the statement.
Carleton’s Board of Trustees will within a few weeks name an interim president who will serve beginning July 1. A committee also will be named to search for a new president, the statement said.