More than 200 guests attended the annual Washington, D.C. gala organized by the American India Foundation to raise money for fellowships. High profile guests including representatives from the diplomatic corps, business leaders and scholars, attended the gala held at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, Nov. 10. The event raised approximately $303,000 to support AIF’s William J. Clinton Fellowship for Service in India.
During the event, AIF honored Pradman Kaul, president and CEO of Hughes Network Systems, for his leadership in technology, public service, and philanthropy.
The evening featured remarks from India’s Ambassador to the U.S. Navtej Sarna, AIF Clinton Fellow alumni Avan Antia (Post-Baccalaureate Research Fellow at National Institutes of Health) and Vikas Raj (Managing Director at Accion Venture Lab). Nishant Pandey, CEO of AIF, gave concluding remarks thanking gala Co-Chairs Mahinder and Sharad Tak, and Ranvir and Adarsh Trehan, as well as the AIF Young Professionals D.C.- chapter, who were instrumental in organizing the event.
The event also highlighted the generous donation from the Rural India Supporting Trust to the AIF Fellowship Program. Paul Glick, director at the Rural India Supporting Trust, was present at the occasion.
The AIF Clinton Fellowship is a volunteer service program matching young professionals from the U.S. and India with development organizations and social enterprises across India. Fellows support organizations at a crucial moment of scalability through collaboration, capacity building and skill sharing. According to the AIF, the “Clinton Fellowship is creating lasting ties between the U.S. and India by strengthening the development sector and equipping the next generation of leaders to advance positive social change,” a press release from the organization said.
Founded in 2001 at the initiative of former President Bill Clinton following a suggestion from Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee, AIF says it has impacted the lives of 3.1 million of India’s poor and aims to reach 5 million by 2018-2019. According to a press release, the organization’s mission is to ‘disrupt poverty,’ catalyze social and economic change in India, and build a lasting bridge between the United States and India, by engaging in high-impact interventions in numerous areas, with a particular emphasis on empowering girls and women. It works closely with local communities, non-governmental organizations, and governments to achieve these goals.