Kingsley Aikins was born and raised in Dublin and educated at The High School, Dublin and Trinity College, Dublin, from which he graduated with an honors degree in economics. He has a post-graduate diploma in international marketing and has studied and worked extensively in France and Spain. For five years he was the Sydney, Australia based representative of the Irish Trade Board and the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) of Ireland. He then ran his own marketing consultancy company. He was also a founding director of the Australian Ireland Fund and for two years served as executive director responsible for the growth of the fund in Australia and for setting up the Ireland Fund of New Zealand.
In January of 1993, Aikins moved to Boston to take over as executive director of the American Ireland Fund. The fund was set up in 1976 and since then the Worldwide Ireland Funds have raised over $300 million for projects of peace, culture, community development, and education throughout the island of Ireland. In June 1995 he was appointed chief executive of the Worldwide Ireland Funds, now active in 11 countries including Ireland. In June 2000, Aikins became president and CEO of the American Ireland Fund and the Ireland Funds. He was also responsible for the successful five-year Hope and History Campaign to raise $100 million. He is a member of the Institutes of Marketing, Export and Linguistics.
Aikins lives in Dublin with his wife, Claire McDonough, and their three children, Grattan, Darcy, and Devin.