The moment that the Indian American community was waiting for with bated breath has finally arrived. On the eve of July 4, the US Independence Day, two Indian-origin Americans are declared ‘Great Immigrants’ of 2020 for their leadership in the nation’s fight against the COVID19 pandemic. This year the Pride of America Award goes to 38 naturalized US citizens who are named Great Immigrants of the Year 2020. Instituted in 2006 and sponsored by Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Pride of America Award recognizes their contributions to the socio-economic growth and the scientific progress of the USA.
Harvard economist Raj Chetty and Siddhartha Mukherjee, a celebrated oncologist cum Pulitzer Prize winner will be recognized as Great Immigrants through a public service announcement in the New York Times on July 4. They will be inducted into the elite club of 600 outstanding immigrants in the US the moment the American flag will be unfurled tomorrow under the open sky.
Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, California University’s Professor Bharati Mukherjee, PBS Newshour’s senior journalist Hari Sreenivasan, Adobe Chief Shantanu Narayen, former US surgeon general Vivek Murthy, and Vikram Malhotra, Chairman of the Americas at McKinsey were previously recognized as Great Immigrants in the United States.
In May 2020, Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee was roped in as a member of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s anti-COVID19 task force. Since then, he has been serving on a 15-member Blue Ribbon Commission that is committed to improving tele-health for and facilitating broadband access to the affected during the current global health crisis.
An eminent member of Columbia University’s faculty, Indian American Siddhartha Mukherjee is an associate professor of medicine and a practicing physician at Presbyterian Hospital in New York. His “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” earned him the Pulitzer Prize in non-fiction. One of the 100 most influential books written in English since 1923, Siddhartha Mukherjee’s book was adapted into a documentary, “Cancer: The Emperor of All.”
Born in New Delhi, Dr. Mukherjee is a trained hematologist, a Rhodes Scholar, a Doctor of Medicine from Harvard Medical School, and a Padma Shree awardee. He is named one of the Great Immigrants of 2020 for leveraging his communication skills to educate common people about COVID19 through his columns and essays in New York Times and other publications.
One of the world’s most celebrated economists, Dr. Nadarajan ‘Raj’ Chetty helped in launching “a real-time data tracker to measure the economic impact of the COVID19 pandemic” and assisted policymakers in implementing new public measures for protection against the Coronavirus infection. He is a distinguished alma mater of Stanford University, Harvard University, and the University of California.
Born in New Delhi, Raj Chetty is one of the youngest tenured professors in the history of Harvard University. A MacArthur Genius fellow, Raj Chetty is at the helm of Opportunity Insights, a research lab focused on identifying the existing barriers to the nation’s socio-economic mobility and creating sustainable solutions to overcome them. A distinguished member of the National Academy of Sciences, he was conferred upon the Young Labor Economist Award by the Institute for the Study of Labor. India honored him with a Padma Shri in 2015.
He is keen on reviving the American Dream for the next-gen immigrants. “For us and many immigrants, that’s what America’s all about. If you work hard, you can move up, you can do whatever you want. The sky’s the limit,” he told the Harvard Gazette in an interview once. Dr. Raj Chetty’s research on unemployment insurance, affordable housing and tax policy is instrumental in helping the government design effective policies.
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