Prince Karim Aga Khan IV received the fifth Vincent Scully Prize in recognition of his decades of work to re-energize design in the Islamic world and to preserve historic sites. The Vincent Scully prize, named for a professor of architecture at Yale University, was established in 1999 to recognize exemplary practice, scholarship or criticism in architecture, historic preservation and urban design.
The Aga Khan is the 49th hereditary Imam, a spiritual leader of 20 million Ismaili Muslims in Asia and Africa, who traces his lineage directly from the Prophet Muhammad. The primary vehicle for his efforts is the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, established in 1988. He has supported numerous conservation and urban revitalization projects in culturally significant sites of the Islamic world, and the Aga Khan program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has educated a generation of architects, teachers, planners and researchers, most from the Islamic world, since 1979. Furthermore, the Aga Khan award for Architecture, given every three years, is credited with generating a rebirth of Islamic architecture in skyscraper age.