Indian American attorney Sheila Murthy honoured

Indian-American attorney Sheela Murthy has been recognised as one of the world’s top international corporate immigration lawyers in the 2013 edition of Corporate Immigration, a prestigious directory of leading advocates in her field.

The directory is published by Law Business Research, London-based strategic research partner of the American Bar Association’s Section of International Law, and the official research partner of the International Bar Association.

Murthy serves on boards for a number of organisations, including the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Eastern Region in Philadelphia, Stevenson University, The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) DC and as the vice chairwoman for the Maryland State Chamber of Commerce.

She previously was chairwoman of the United Way Worldwide’s Leadership Council of India. Also on the Board of the United Way of Central Maryland, she was recognised her as the 2009 Philanthropist of the Year.

Murthy helps lead the MurthyNayak Foundation, a nonprofit nongovernmental organisation that seeks to help with women’s basic needs and protection from abuse, children’s education, support programs that assist immigrants, and causes that help to educate and advocate for immigrants in the US.

Source: The Economic Times

3 Indian Americans Named Finalists in 3M Scientist Challenge

Three Indian American youths are among the ten budding student scientists from across the country who will begin a unique summer mentorship program with a 3M scientist as finalists in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, one of the nation’s premier science competitions for students in grades 5-8.

In January, Discovery Education and 3M challenged students across the country to create a video that described a new innovation or solution that could solve or impact an everyday problem related to how we live, work or play.

These students displayed top scientific ingenuity and inventive thinking and will now move forward into the next round to develop their idea from a concept into an actual prototype, with support from their 3M mentors.

The Indian American youths are 14-year-old Anish Chaluvadi, of Simpsonville, S.C., who attends Langston Charter Middle School as an eighth grader; Srijay Kasturi, of Reston, Va., who is a 12-year-old homeschooled student at the seventh grade level; and Aishani Sil, of Plano, Texas, who is a 12-year-old Rice Middle School student in the seventh grade.

At the end of the summer, students will travel to the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn., to present their final solutions to a panel of judges. The winning young scientist will win $25,000, a trip from Discovery Student Adventures, and the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.”

Chaluvadi enjoys playing music, but also finds time for Lego Robotics in his free time, having won the Science Innovation Award at the World Lego Robotics Tournament in Florida in 2012. He eventually wants to become a biomedical engineer because he enjoys overcoming challenges and excels at math and science.

Kasturi enjoys working on web programming, writing code and building hardware. He is also interested in filmmaking and often uses FanFiction to help him learn how to tell a story to others.

The Texas State Merit winner of Discovery Young Scientist Challenge 2012, Sil wants to be a scientist in the future. However, she is artistic in her free time, having won several art competitions.

Source: IndiaWest

USINPAC raises a toast for Latha Ramchandran, Jagdip, Ash Shah, Gaurav Khandelwal and Dhiren Sethia on being recognized by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston (IACCGH) for their contributions towards enhancing and empowering business and education between India and the US


Five Indian Americans have been recognised by an industry body here for their contributions towards enhancing and empowering business and education between India and the US.

The Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston (IACCGH) annual awards were presented last week at its 14th edition under the theme ‘Empowering Energy & Education – Onwards & Upwards‘.

The ceremony, attended by around 650 guests, included Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Congressmen Al Green and Pete Olson, Harris county sheriff Adrian Garcia, Mayor of Houston Anise Parker among others.

The ‘Educator of the Year‘ award was presented to Latha Ramchandran, dean and professor of finance at C T Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston.

Latha is an expert in international and corporate finance, energy education, corporate governance and leadership.

IACCGH founding member Jagdip Ahluwalia, who currently serves as its executive director, received a special award for his “outstanding contributions to the chamber” since its inception in 1999.

Jagdip has been a force behind promoting Indian business success in the U.S. while providing business partners with access to opportunities in India.

Ash Shah, who owns a major plastic films and packaging product distribution company, with units in various countries, was awarded ‘International Business Person of the Year’.

Business Person of the Year‘ award was presented to Dhiren Sethia, managing partner and co-founder of a management and technology consulting firm focused on Fortune 500 companies.

Gaurav Khandelwal, founder and chief executive officer of ‘Chai1′, which is among 25 fastest growing companies in Houston every year since inception, was awarded ‘Young Business Entrepreneur of the Year’.

The chief guest P Harish, Consul General of India, Houston and the keynote speaker Robert E Beauchamp, chairman and CEO of BMC Software, highlighted the IACCGH contribution in connecting India and America.

Beauchamp described how the chamber convinced him that India was the best location for their expansion for talent, adding that the BMC India office has now become a hub for innovation.

Highlighting the education and energy theme, IACCGH president Pankaj Dhume said Indo-US cooperation in both these sectors would boost job growth and major alliances between universities in Houston and India.

Source: The Economic Times

USINPAC congratulates Indian American Alka Sagar who has been named federal magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

Alka Sagar, most recently assistant U.S. Attorney for the Central District in Los Angeles, Calif., has been named federal magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California by a panel of district judges.

According to the South Asian Bar Association of Southern California, she becomes the first South Asian woman to serve as a federal judge in the Central District and the first South Asian woman federal judge west of the Mississippi.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to continue to pursue my career in public service and to serve the people in the Central District of California as a magistrate judge,” Sagar told India-West in an e-mail. “I hope to see many future appointments of South Asian jurists on the bench both on the state and federal level.”

(Judge Cathy Bissoon, who is of Hispanic and Indian American descent, was appointed by a board of judges in Pennsylvania as a magistrate judge and sworn in Aug. 1, 2008, thus becoming the first woman of South Asian descent to sit on a federal bench in the U.S. In 2010, she was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania by President Barack Obama and confirmed to the post by the U.S. Senate Oct. 17, 2011. See sidebar.)

This appointment is exciting,” said Puneet V. Kakkar, president of SABA-SC. Sagar “has been a leader and a mentor for South Asian attorneys for more than two decades. She has embraced public service her entire life, and the bench and people of the Central District will be enriched with her appointment.”

Sagar has been an assistant U.S. attorney for 26 years and served as deputy chief of the major frauds and major crimes sections.

I have been fortunate to have worked on a wide variety of cases as an assistant U.S. attorney — including a myriad of complex fraud prosecutions, securities fraud, criminal tax, as well as money laundering, computer counterfeiting and sound piracy,” she told India-West. “I also prosecuted the largest cash robbery in U.S. history — the $18.9 million robbery of Dunbar armored.”

Sagar has received the Attorney General’s “Director’s Award for Superior Performance” and was named by the Los Angeles Business Journal one of the top 50 trial lawyers in Los Angeles.

She is active with Project Lead, a program where prosecutors teach inner city school children about the legal system. Sagar has also served on the board of directors of SABA-SC, most recently as SABA-SC’s judicial appointments co-chair.

I also served as a judge pro tem for the Los Angeles Superior Court and volunteered with public counsel to assist families with adoptions. I found my community service to be very rewarding and it has confirmed my dedication to a career in public service,” she told India-West.

Sagar joins Magistrate Judge Jay C. Gandhi, former SABA-SC president, on the bench.

Gandhi, in a SABA-SC press release, said Sagar “as a decorated” federal prosecutor “exemplifies the best of America and the court is privileged to have her ample talents at hand. She has not only one of the sharpest legal minds, but the rare gift of impeccable judgment. She has also exhibited a steadfast commitment to public service.”

Born in Uganda, Sagar said her parents were also born in Uganda and Kenya. “My grandparents were from North India. They came to East Africa in the early 1900s to help build the railroad for the British colonies.

“My family moved to Bangalore for a short time when I was four years old and thereafter immigrated to Canada when I was five. I grew up in Montreal and Vancouver, graduating from high school in Montreal. My family then moved to Los Angeles where I attended UCLA, graduating with a degree in anthropology and continuing on to UCLA law school.”

Source: IndiaWest