AIF In the News

Javed Akhtar, Neera Tanden among honorees at AIF DC gala on November 6

The American Bazaar

Prominent writer and lyricist Javed Akthar, Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden and Teresa Carlson, vice president of worldwide public sector at Amazon, will be honored at the American Indian Foundation annual Washington, DC, gala on November 6, 2015.

Indian Ambassador to the United States Arun K. Singh will be the chief guest at the event, which will be held at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland.

“Each of the honoree is highly accomplished and has contributed to the larger US-India relations in the fields of culture, policymaking and business,” said Venky Raghavendra, Senior Director of Philanthropy & Development at AIF, referring to Akthar, Tanden and Carlson.

Akthar, 70, has been a giant in the Indian cultural scene for several decades, since he started his script-writing career in the early 1970s.

Bedford, Massachusetts, -born Tanden has worked for President Bill Clinton and a number of presidential campaigns, including Hillary Clinton’s 2008 and President Obama’s 2012 campaigns.

Carlson, who was named Washingtonian Magazine’s “100 Most Powerful Women” a few years ago, is responsible for Amazon’s operations, strategy, sales and business development.

The gala will also recognize Maryland Del. Kumar Barve and India Abroad Editor Aziz Haniffa.

Barve, the first Indian American elected to serve in a state legislature in US history, has been in the Maryland House of Delegates since 1990. Currently, he is running for Congress from Maryland’s 8th congressional district.

Born in Sri Lanka, veteran journalist Haniffa has covered US-India relations and the Indian American community for India Abroad for several decades.

“As in previous years, the DC Gala will again bring a very diverse group of generous people dedicated to strengthening the various initiatives of AIF in India,” Raghavendra told the American Bazaar.

The gala chairs and co-chairs include Alpa and Haresh Bhungalia, Geoff Stewart, Tara and Victor Menezes, Adarsh and Ranvir Trehan, Bina and Sudhakar Shenoy,. Vidya and Sanjay Govil, Apra and Rajesh Rajpal, Sunita and Pradman Kaul, Neena and Suresh Shenoy, and  Padmini and Swami Nathan.

“It is wonderful to see the very vibrant atmosphere for India-focused philanthropy that has been created in the Washington DC area thanks to various efforts and groups,” Raghavendra said.

He added that AIF is “proud of its sustained efforts on the ground enabled by a highly dedicated and skilled team that fans across the country and ensures impact, efficiency and transparency working with highly credible partners.”

Actor Omi Vaidya will be the master of ceremonies.

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