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Indian origins politicians, bureaucrat and corporate leader are everywhere – from United Kingdom to USA to Canada. These individuals whose roots trace back to India hold some of the top positions in governments, financial organizations and tech companies. Here is our top pick.
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Indian-origin global health expert Anil Soni has been named the first Chief Executive Officer of The WHO Foundation, which works alongside the World Health Organisation to address the most pressing health challenges across the world. Soni, who takes on the position on January 1, is to "work to invest in innovative, evidence-based initiatives that support WHO in promoting well-being for all," the Foundation said in a statement.
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US elections: Joe Biden appointed Indian-American Medha Raj his digital chief of staff A key role in his election campaigns which are entirely going virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the US. Raj will work across all facets of the digital department to streamline and coordinate how to maximize the impact of its digital outputs ahead of elections. A graduate in international politics from Georgetown University, she has earned her MBA from Stanford University.
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Indian-origin Conservative Party leader Rishi Sunak was appointed UK's new Finance Minister with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a cabinet reshuffle following Brexit., this year. He became part of the Indian-looking Cabinet in Britain's history. Sunak studied politics and economics in Lincoln College, Oxford, and later gained an MBA from Stanford University as a Fulbright Scholar. An analyst with Goldman Sachs before joining politics in 2014, Sunak’s grandparents were from Punjab and migrated to the UK from east Africa. Sunak is also the son-in-law of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy.
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Gita Gopinath joined IMF as its first female Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund, becoming the first woman to occupy the top post at the global lender. The John Zwaanstra professor of International Studies and Economics at Harvard University, Gopinath, a US citizen, succeeded Maurice Obstfeld .Born into a Keralite family, she completed her masters from Delhi school of Economics and further earned her PHD from Princeton University in America. Christine Lagarde called her "one of the world's outstanding economists with impeccable academic credentials, a proven track record of intellectual leadership and extensive international experience"
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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made his ally, the prominent Brexit backer Priti Patel Britain's home secretary, in charge of policing and domestic security. It was a spectacular return to the front-line for Patel. Her role as home secretary has made history as the senior-most Indian-origin cabinet minister to be appointed by Johnson in July last year. Patel was born in London to a Ugandan-Indian family. She was educated at Keele University and the University of Essex.
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In the African island nation Mauritius, politics has historically been dominated by Indo-Mauritian politicians. The current Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth hails from a Hindu-Yadav family. The country has a large Indian-origin population, and nearly 52 per cent of its citizens practice Hinduism. He then went on to study Law at University of Buckingham. Before becoming PM in 2017, he held several major portfolios such as finance and vice prime ministership.
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Portugal, owing to its sub-continental colonies, has a substantial India connection. It’s incumbent Prime Minister Antonio Costa, former popular mayor of Lisbon is the latest in the large Indian diaspora across the globe to reach top political positions. Costa graduated from the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon in the 1980s. He is the son of writer Orlando da Costa, who hailed from a Goan Portuguese family in India. His father spent most of his youth in Goa, then under Portuguese rule.
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Harijit Singh Sajjan is a part of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s big four ministries. He is the Canadian Minister of National Defence. He is a former detective from Vancouver and was a Lieutenant-colonel in the Canadian military. Sajjan, who is in his mid-forties, was born in Punjab in India and moved to Canada with his family when he was five-years-old. As the new Defence Minister, Sajjan works with Trudeau on reshaping Canada’s combat mission.
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In a pivotal moment for American IT giant IBM, Indian-origin technology executive Arvind Krishna was elected as the chief executive officer, at the company’s Armonk, New York headquarters. He has a track record of bold transformations and proven business results. His IBM colleagues describe him as an authentic, values-driven leader. Krishna will focus on artificial intelligence and hybrid cloud as key technologies for the future. Born in Uttarakhand, in India, he has BE in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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Sanjay Mehrotra is both the CEO and the President of Micron Technology, a major manufacturer of semiconductor devices, meaning that while it might not be particularly well-known to most consumers, it is nonetheless very important for a wide range of industries. He was one of the co-founders of SanDisk, which is one of the biggest manufacturers of flash memory devices that can be found on the market. Mehrotra studied at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani,in India. But never completed the program at BITS Pilani. Instead, he transferred over to the University of California, Berkeley. At Berkeley, Mehrotra studied electrical engineering. He is one of the six Indian-American corporate leaders, Trump has roped in to his Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups formed to revive the American economy ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.
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CEO of both Google and Alphabet Sundar Pichai needs no introduction. Originally from Tamil Nadu, India, Sundar Pichai is one the Indian American corporate leader who President Donald Trump will seek advise on how to restart US economy that has been crippled by the coronavirus pandemic.
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