NEW YORK – Indian American Dr. Navdeep Kang and Indian Preethi Herman were named as Obama Fellows by the Obama Foundation, in its inaugural list on April 16.
Kang and Herman were two out of the 20 Fellows who were named, from 11 countries and were chosen out of around 20,000 applicants from 191 countries.
“These Obama Foundation Fellows are powerful examples of the many pathways we can take to improve our communities,” the foundation wrote in its release.
“These civic leaders bring a variety of disciplines and skill sets to their work – including community organizing, healthcare, technology, and the arts – and they apply those talents to a range of missions, from empowering parents and teachers to improve our schools, to ensuring deaf children have equal access to literacy tools, to bringing trauma-informed care to the criminal justice system and refugee camps, to working with partners across the healthcare system to treat addiction collaboratively,” the foundation said in a statement.
Kang is from Cincinnati, Ohio and serves as the Mercy Health director of operations for behavioral health services who has built a collaborative and community-based approach to the opioid crisis.
According to a Mercy Health news release, Kang will join a two-year, non-residential program to create transformational change on the opioid epidemic.
“I am honored and humbled to be a part of the very first Obama Foundation Fellows class and look forward to joining a diverse class of community-minded civic innovators. When the next generation asks, ‘What did you do when the biggest drug epidemic hit this country?’ We want to be able say – and I think we will be able to say now – that we did something that no one had ever seen before,” Kang said in a statement.
Herman is from New Delhi, India and serves as the global executive director of the Change.org Foundation, she has been equipping a new movement of female leaders to engage their communities in addressing India’s toughest problems.
She has also established Change.org as a people’s platform in India and grew it from about 200,000 users to a 10 million.
“So so excited to share that I will be joining the inaugural Obama Fellowship class, a inspiring group of civic innovators from around the world. #ObamaFellows http://obama.org/fellowship,” Herman tweeted.
The Obama Foundation Fellowship will offer hands-on training, leadership development, and a powerful network for Fellows to amplify the impact of their work and inspire a wave of civic innovation.
Each Fellow will develop and pursue a personalized plan with the foundation, to leverage the Fellowship and Obama Foundation resources to take their work to the next level and put their plans into action, for which the Obama Foundation will provide them with mentors, coaches and additional resources.
Over the next two years, Fellows will participate in four multi-day gatherings to collaborate with one another, connect with potential partners, and break down silos to advance their work and their first gathering will be held in Chicago in May.