Two Indian executives, Sanjay Podder and Sanjay Sridhar, are among the 22 leaders in government, business and civil society named as 2017 Middle East and South Asia Fellows by Eisenhower Fellowships June 22.
The Fellows, who hail from 11 countries across the two regions, will embark on a six-week fellowship in the U.S. this fall, from Oct. 1 through Nov. 11, engaging in a transformative exchange of knowledge and ideas with the leading minds in their fields, the organization said in a news release.
With many countries in the Middle East and South Asia facing dramatic political, social and economic challenges, these Fellows are leaders in the innovation and social entrepreneurship vital to promoting sustainable development in their nations, it added.
The MESA Fellows group includes thought leaders in conflict resolution, health, education, women’s empowerment, communications, engineering, climate change, food manufacturing and public services.
“These outstanding leaders are committed to upholding Dwight Eisenhower’s vision of a more peaceful, prosperous and just world,” said retired Gen. Colin L. Powell, chairman of Eisenhower Fellowships, in a statement. “They will join a global network of like-minded leaders working to bring positive change to their countries and their region.”
Podder leads research and development for social good and software engineering at Accenture Labs in Mumbai.
A graduate of the Advanced Management program at UPenn’s Wharton School as well as the Executive Education program at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, he is passionate about using data science to accelerate social transformation in areas such as gender inequality, malnutrition and the exclusion of people with disabilities, according to his EF bio page.
As a mentor for social entrepreneurs and tech startups, Podder has been instrumental in building an open innovation ecosystem for joint R&D with leading academics and institutions in India and abroad, it said.
Podder intends to connect with people using technology to address social problems during his fellowship. Additionally, he will explore how data and analytics are utilized effectively and ethically to help social innovators scale their impact.
Podder’s objective is to develop Accenture Labs as a leading platform for “technology for good” in India, enabling innovators to leverage the power of a connected world and improve lives, his bio said.
Sridhar is an architect, planner and urban governance professional working to address the effects of climate change by helping megacities in South and West Asia to collaborate and exchange ideas about how to reduce the sources of greenhouse gas emissions, according to his bio page.
Working across three continents over the last 20 years, Sridhar engages political decision-makers and helps drive meaningful, sustained action on climate change, it said.
Previously, he worked for the World Resources Institute, where he led the urban development program for India.
On his fellowship, Sridhar will meet with leaders in climate change mitigation about how to make the political case for sustainable cities in the developing world. Additionally, he hopes to identify best practices in key areas of transportation, water and solid waste and set up peer-to-peer partnerships between cities in the U.S. and South and West Asia.
The fellowship organization brings together innovative leaders from across geographies and sectors, visionaries who tackle big challenges to better the world around them, it said.
Since its inception in 1953, roughly 2,500 leaders have benefited from the fellowship.