USINPAC congratulates Indian American academician Rakesh Khurana on his appointment as dean of the prestigious Harvard College

Indian-origin academician Rakesh Khurana has been appointed dean of the prestigious Harvard College and will take over his new role in July.

Mr Khurana is the Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development at Harvard Business School (HBS), professor of sociology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) and co-master of Cabot House at Harvard.

FAS Dean Michael Smith announced the appointment in an email to the FAS community and praised Mr Khurana as a scholar and teacher with deep experience working with undergraduates and a strong commitment to the College.

Mr Khurana succeeds Evelynn Hammonds, professor of African and African American Studies, who stepped down last June after completing her five-year term. He will assume the role on July 1.

Harvard President Drew Faust said Mr Khurana is a faculty leader who embodies the interconnectedness of Harvard.

“His experiences as a graduate student, an award-winning teacher at HBS, and the master of an undergraduate House give him a unique perspective on the University and his deep respect for the liberal-arts model and the residential education will serve him well as he guides Harvard College,” Faust said.

In announcing the appointment, Smith said Mr Khurana is a distinguished scholar of organizational behaviour and leadership, an award-winning teacher, and a dynamic House master who has also engaged deeply with undergraduate issues on important committees.

“He brings to the deanship an intimate understanding of the Harvard College experience, a profound commitment to the values of a liberal-arts education, and a warm and compassionate personality that accompanies his belief in the importance of community and an inclusive approach to decision-making,” Smith said.

Mr Khurana, who earned his Ph.D. through a joint programme between HBS and Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1998, said he is “honoured” to be appointed as Dean and to “create a transformative educational experience” for the students.

“I am convinced that, working together, we will have a significant and positive impact on the College,” he said.

Harvard Business School’s India-born Dean Nitin Nohria also welcomed Mr Khurana’s appointment saying that his selection is a testament to his skill and vision as a teacher and scholar.

“I think the appointment is wonderful news, and I am looking forward to working with Rakesh to identify and strengthen efforts across the College and HBS that will benefit us all,” Nohria said.

Mr Khurana earned his bachelors from Cornell University and began graduate studies at Harvard in 1993, earning his Ph.D. in 1998.

He was appointed to the HBS faculty in 2000 and became co-master of Cabot in 2010. He taught at Massachusetts Institute of Technology between 1998 and 2000.

Prior to graduate school, he worked as a founding member of Cambridge Technology Partners.

Mr Khurana’s research uses a sociological perspective to focus on the processes by which elites and leaders are selected and developed. He has written extensively about the CEO labour market and business education.

He has been recognised for his commitment to pedagogy, twice earning excellence in teaching awards in 2008 and 2012.

Mr Khurana has co-authored “Handbook for Leadership Theory and Practice” (2010) and “The Handbook for Teaching Leadership” (2012), seminal texts on leadership theory and pedagogical practice.

As a member of the Harvard community, Mr Khurana led or served on a number of policy-making panels, including the Committee on Academic Integrity, Campus Culture, and the Alcohol and Other Drug Services Campus-Community Collaborative.

In 2011-2012, he co-chaired the Committee on Harvard College Alcohol Policy. Most recently, he served on the task force charged by Faust with recommending policies related to the privacy of electronic communications conducted at Harvard.

Last July, Smith announced the creation of an advisory committee consisting of faculty from all FAS academic divisions for selection of the Harvard College Dean.


During the fall semester, the committee solicited input from undergraduates, FAS faculty, and College administrators, holding meetings with House masters, resident deans, College staff, the Undergraduate Council, freshmen, upperclassmen, and faculty members.

The advisory committee developed a short list of candidates, whom they interviewed, and shared their feedback with Smith.

“Khurana came to us with a reputation for exceptional leadership skills, and he certainly handled the interview expertly. He listened carefully, was responsive, and spoke from the heart,” said Professors Louis Menand, Professor of English.

“He was passionate about the College, about the academic side of the student experience, about the importance of liberal education generally,” he said

Mr Khurana joins the growing club of Indian- origin academicians heading prestigious universities in the US.

In 2010, Mr Nohria became the first Indian-origin head of the top ranking Harvard business school. In the same year University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business had named Stanford University professor Sunil Kumar as its Dean.

Noted Indian-American academician Dipak Jain took over as Dean of INSEAD in March 2011.

Before this, Mr Jain was Dean at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management from 2001-2009.

IIT-Delhi alumnus Soumitra Dutta was named Dean of the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University in 2012.

Mr Khurana was named to the deanship after a grueling selection process which started last July when Smith had announced the creation of an advisory committee consisting of faculty from all FAS academic divisions.

During the fall semester, the committee solicited input from undergraduates, FAS faculty, and College administrators, holding meetings with House masters, resident deans, College staff, the Undergraduate Council, students and faculty members.

The committee developed a short list of candidates, whom they interviewed, and shared their feedback with Smith.

Committee member Matthew Nock said Mr Khurana stood out among the “absolutely amazing pool” of candidates under consideration to serve as the next dean of Harvard College.

Nock added that Mr Khurana exemplified all of the “qualities that students, faculty, and staff said are so important in the next dean.”

Source: NDTV

USINPAC celebrates the election of Indian American Sanjay Mehrotra as 2013 CEO of the Year by the Entrepreneurs’ Foundation of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Sanjay Mehrotra, the Indian-American Chief Executive Officer of SanDisk, leading maker of flash memory devices, has been named the 2013 CEO of the Year by the Entrepreneurs’ Foundation of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF).

“The 2013 Powered by EF” CEO of the Year was given to Mehrotra as “a chief executive officer who demonstrates superior commitment to their corporate citizenship programme,” according to the organisation’s website.

“Mehrotra has always demonstrated a strong commitment to SanDisk’s corporate philanthropy programmes,” the citation said.

Sanjay Mehrotra

“In addition to his unwavering support as the executive champion for the programmes, Sanjay rallied his fellow CEOs to participate in Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Corporate Cup Challenge, raising an additional $620,000 in corporate support, and increasing corporate participation by 30 percent,” it said.

“On a corporate level, in the past year, Sanjay co-founded US2020 and committed 20 percent of the US SanDisk workforce to participate in the national STEM engagement programme.”

“With his leadership, SanDisk launched its 25th Anniversary Celebration through Service, a year-long volunteerism campaign; in which Sanjay set the goal of 100 percent employee participation, and over $1.65 million raised in volunteer and cash matching funds.

“Lastly, Sanjay supported the creation of the SanDisk Scholars Fund, which will support underrepresented populations pursuing a STEM-related education.”

Accepting the honour at an event in East Palo Alto, California, Mehrotra said: “Getting involved in our local communities through charitable contributions and employee volunteerism is a cornerstone of SanDisk’s culture.

“I am so encouraged by the level of employee volunteerism and philanthropic support, especially this year, during SanDisk’s 25th Anniversary; and I look forward to increasing SanDisk’s philanthropic support in the coming years.”

Four other companies were also recognised at the event this week. Microsoft was given the “Community Champions Award,” Hewlett-Packard and the Taproot Foundation were joint recipients of the “Impact Award,” Levi Strauss & Co. won the “Global Citizen Award,” and StubHub was recognized as the organization’s “Company of the Year.”

Source: Manorama Online

USINPAC congratulates Indian American Shamina Singh on her nomination as the member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service

US President Barack Obama has nominated Indian-American businesswoman Shamina Singh to a key administration post.

Singh has been nominated as the member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Obama made the announcement yesterday along with several other key posts including Matthew H Tueller, who has been nominated as the US Ambassador to Yemen.

“I am honoured that these talented individuals have decided to join this Administration and serve our country. I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come,” Obama said.


A founding board member for Indian American Leadership Incubator (IALI), Singh currently is executive director of the MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth, a position she has held since December 2013.

Singh is also the Global Director of Government Social Programs in MasterCard’s Public Private Partnerships group, a position she has held since February 2013. From 2011 to 2013, she was Senior Advisor to MSLGROUP.

Previously, she served as Vice President of Government and Public Affairs at Nike, Inc. From 2010 to 2011.

Prior to that, Singh served as COO for Global Community Development at Citigroup, Inc. From 2005 to 2010.

From 2004 to 2005, she was a Deputy Director for America Votes while in 2003, she served as a Senior Advisor to US House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and in 2002 was the Deputy Campaign Manager for the Ron Kirk for US Senate campaign.

Singh was Executive Director for the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders from 1999 to 2001.

She was Congressional Liaison for the Office of Congressional Affairs at the Department of Labor from 1998 to 1999, Senior Legislative Advocate for the Service Employees International Union from 1995 to 1998, and Campaign Associate for the Ann Richards for Governor Committee from 1993 to 1994.

She is a Young Global Leader with the World Economic Forum and a Henry Crown Fellow with the Aspen Institute. She received her Bachelor of Science from Old Dominion University and a Master of Public

Administration from the Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

Source: ZeeNews

USINPAC congratulates Indian American Ramanathan Raju on his appointment as New York City’s Commissioner of Health and Hospitals Corporation

The Indian American CEO of Chicago’s Cook County Health and Hospital System has been appointed by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio as the head of the city’s health network, the country’s largest public hospital system.

Ramanathan Raju, a native of Madras, will be New York City’s Commissioner of Health and Hospitals Corporation, a network that has a dozen hospitals, a health plan and more than $7.3 billion in revenue. The respected physician re-joins HHC after two years at the helm of Chicago’s public hospital system,

In his new role, Raju will work to raise standards of care at HHC hospitals, deepen the agency’s approach to providing primary and preventative care at the neighborhood level and implement progressive, community-based reforms. Raju’s appointment must be ratified by the HHC board.


“We sought out progressive, proven leaders who are committed to serving diverse communities across this city. And in Raju, we found them,” de Blasio said in a statement.

Raju’s new posting brings him back to an organization where he had previously served as chief medical officer, corporate COO and executive vice president.

“I am excited to return to the Health and Hospitals Corporation. Under my leadership, the HHC will continue its mission of ensuring New Yorkers have access to quality health care options—from major hospitals to neighborhood clinics—no matter where they live,” Raju, who has more than 30 years of experience in public and not-for-profit hospital systems, said.

Raju began his medical career at Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, where he was promoted to the positions of director of surgery, director of medical education, and senior vice president. He went on to serve as the COO and chief medical officer at Coney Island Hospital.

As CEO of Cook County Health and Hospitals System, the third largest health system in the U.S., Raju is credited with improving CCHHS’s quality of care, increasing revenues, and cutting costs by leveraging federal resources, restructuring the system’s operation and utilizing technology to make the health care system more accessible to patients.

Raju received his medical degree from Madras Medical College and was a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in the United Kingdom.

Raju is not the only Indian American serving in the new mayor’s cabinet, reports PTI.

Rahul Merchant is New York City’s first Citywide Chief Information and Innovation Officer and the seventh Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications.

Merchant is responsible for the city’s IT infrastructure, as well as oversight of the implementation of key technology initiatives.

Meenakshi Srinivasan is the Chair of the Board of Standards and Appeals, which is a part of the city’s system for regulation of land use, development and construction.

“Dr. Raju is an outstanding choice,” said Greater New York Hospital Association president Kenneth Raske. “His vast experience, deep commitment to caring for vulnerable communities, and keen understanding of New York’s health care delivery system make him the ideal person to build on Alan Aviles’ remarkable accomplishments and guide HHC through the many challenges that lay ahead.”

As Health and Hospitals Corp.’s former chief operating officer, Raju helped implement a four-year cost cutting plan to deal with a $1.2 billion budget deficit. Those skills again will be tested. The Health and Hospitals Corp. faces deep cuts in Medicaid and Medicare.

Source: IndiaWest

USINPAC cheers for Indian American Neel Kashkari on his run for California governor

Neel Kashkari, a former US Treasury official and architect of the US bank bailout during the 2008 financial crisis, says he is running for governor of California with a pledge to create jobs and improve public schools. ”Today, the gift of a good education and the opportunity it creates are out of reach for millions of struggling Californians…That’s why I’m running for governor: To create jobs and give kids a quality education. Jobs and education. That’s it. That’s my platform,” he said. He entered the race on Tuesday as a Republican newcomer who faces long odds against incumbent governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat.


Kashkari, an Indian-American, made the announcement in a speech at California State University, Sacramento. He cited California’s public schools and economy as his motivation for running, declaring that status quo is unacceptable. The 40-year-old first generation Ohio native has no political experience and has never before sought public office. He faces a formidable challenge in trying to unseat Brown, who is widely expected to run for another term and has $17 million in his campaign account. Right now, Kashkari’s only Republican challenger is California assembly memmber, Tim Donnelly, a tea party favourite and staunch social conservative.

Kashkari’s campaign team includes political consultants who advised Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and John McCain and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Kashkari’s parents emigrated from India 50 years ago. The son of middle-class parents, Kashkari is a multimillionaire now and lives in Laguna Beach in Orange County. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering at the University of Illinois and moved to California in 1998 to work as a design engineer at TRW in Redondo Beach. He later earned his master’s of business administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and returned to California to help Silicon Valley entrepreneurs raise capital to grow their companies and create jobs. He was appointed to the Department of Treasury in 2006 by then Republican President George W. Bush. ”When the financial crisis erupted, he worked to bring together lawmakers from both parties to write and pass landmark legislation to prevent widespread economic collapse,” his website claims. Last year, Kashkari quit his job as an investment banking executive and began travelling across the state and mulling his run for governor, meeting with potential donors, community organizations and regular Californians, according to Mercury News.

Source: Hindustan Times