Minhaj Chowdhury

Minhaj Chowdhury, the founder and CEO of water and sanitation company Drinkwell, was named among six Gerson Lehrman Group Social Impact Fellows in 2016. (glgsocialimpact.com photo)

Minhaj Chowdhury, of West Bengal, India, was named among six Gerson Lehrman Group Social Impact Fellows.

GLG announced the six Fellows Oct. 24, which include social innovators from New York, San Francisco (two), Nigeria and Los Angeles.

The six Fellows — pared down from 500 applicants — were chosen based on an analysis of the missions and models of the applicant organizations, and how well GLG's resources could help them improve efficacy and achieve impact at key moments in their growth, GLG said in a statement.

The Fellowship gives the winners and their organizations access to a platform for expertise, professional learning and mentorship, to help tackle issues such as water sanitation, veteran support in the U.S. and vocational education, GLG said.

Chowdhury, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Drinkwell in India, is tackling the issue of water and sanitation.

Drinkwell is a social enterprise eradicating the water crisis in India and Bangladesh, impacting more than 48 million people.

Drinkwell's technology recovers 40 percent more water, requires 16 times less electricity and reduces waste by six orders of magnitude, compared to the current best practice in water filtration, according to his bio on the GLG website.

As a Fulbright Fellow in Bangladesh, Chowdhury researched willingness to pay for water with BRAC, the largest nongovernment organization in the world.

His work has been recognized by the U.S. State Department, the Indian Department of Science and Technology, and the Bangladesh Health Secretary, GLG said in his bio.

Chowdhury is an Echoing Green Fellow and was named one of Forbes’ “30 under 30” promising social entrepreneurs. He holds a bachelor’s in public health from Johns Hopkins University.

"In the three years since we launched the Social Impact Fellowship, we've come to understand the unique learning needs of social innovators and how we can meet them," said GLG chief executive officer Alexander Saint-Amand. "As we strengthen our partnership with our Fellows, they continue to help us achieve GLG's mission to transform the way top professionals share expertise and learn."

The 2016 class joins GLG's community of innovators, investors, business leaders, entrepreneurs, corporations and professional services firms. Fellows and their teams will have unlimited access to GLG's 500,000 council members as they work to solve their toughest organizational challenges and create meaningful social impact.

GLG launched its Social Impact Fellowship in 2014 to extend the benefits of GLG's learning model to social sector leaders who could best take advantage of it.

In its first two years, GLG members worked with Fellows taking on critical social challenges, including empowerment of women and girls in Africa, economic mobility for low-income families across the U.S. and sustainable home design.

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