WASHINGTON — Indian American investor and philanthropist Frank Islam hopes that a $2 million management school set up by him at his alma mater, Aligarh Muslim University, will become an incubator for leaders in India.
"From this complex will come the leaders who will make India and the world a better place," said Islam, who dedicated The Frank and Debbie Islam Management Complex at AMU in February.
“I also expect that the complex will be a place for sharing of information and imparting and development of knowledge," he told IANS.
The school expects to be a space where faculty and students can collaborate on innovative projects, as well as an educational empowerment zone, he said.
Asked how he saw India-U.S. relations growing under President Donald Trump, Islam said former President Barack Obama saw the U.S. and India as “indispensable partners.”
But “Trump's more isolationist emphasis on America first and economic nationalism suggests that he is not putting building relations with foreign countries — India included — at or near the top of his agenda,” he said.
However, Islam firmly believes that Trump administration “will broaden and strengthen and deepen our engagement with India as U.S.-India relationship had bipartisan support.”
Islam currently heads the FI Investment Group, a private investment holding company. He founded the QSS Group, an IT firm, in 1994 and built it from one employee to more than 2,000 employees and revenues of approximately $300 million before its sale in 2007.
In related news, Ahmedabad-based journalist Smitha Rajan has been chosen for a fellowship in the U.S. funded by a foundation started by Islam and his wife Debbie Driesman.
The Frank Islam and Debbie Driesman Foundation, whose mission is to promote education, art and culture and peace and conflict-resolution, has joined hands with the Alfred Friendly Press Partners, a leader in transforming journalists from information hungry societies, for the fellowship.
As the first FIDDF Fellow Rajan, chief correspondent of the Daily News and Analysis in Ahmedabad, will work in a major newsroom in Washington, DC for five months.
The stint in Washington will come after a five-week training program at the Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, Missouri.