Prestigious philanthropy recognizes two Indian-Americans, one Pakistani-American as ‘Great Immigrants’

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Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy, former Surgeon General of the United States

New York, N.Y. – In recognition of the contributions of immigrants to this country, the Carnegie Corporation of New York paid tribute to 38 individuals, two of them Indian-Americans and one a Pakistani-American, who were honored on the Fourth of July. They were recognized as “Great Immigrants” and a full page public service announcement was run in The New York Times on the Fourth of July, listing the names of all 38, a tradition since 2006.

They included Vivek H. Murthy, the 19th U.S. Surgeon General, originally from England; and Shantanu Narayen, chairman, president, and CEO of Adobe Systems Incorporated, who came from India. The Pakistani-American recognized was Nergis Mavalvala, professor of astrophysics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a 2010 MacArthur Fellow.

Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy served as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States from December 2014 to April 2017.  As ‘America’s Doctor’, Murthy created several initiatives to tackle urgent public health issues including addiction, the opioid crisis, e-cigarette use among youth, and fitness. Dr. Murthy received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard and his M.D. and M.B.A. degrees from Yale. He completed his internal medicine residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and later joined Harvard Medical School as faculty in internal medicine.

Prior to becoming the Surgeon General, Murthy co-founded several health service organizations including, VISIONS, a peer-to-peer HIV/AIDS education program in India and the United States; Swasthya Project, a community health partnership that trained women to become health care providers and educators; .TrialNetworks, a software technology company aimed at improving research collaboration in clinical trials and powering research studies; Doctors for America, a nonprofit with more than 18,000 physician and medical student members from all 50 states with a vision to create a high quality, affordable health care system for all. A practicing physician, Dr. Murthy taught as well as conducted basic science research on vaccines and health care services.

Shantanu Narayen, chairman, president and CEO of Adobe Systems Incorporated (Photo: website)

Originally from Hyderabad, India, Narayen has an undergraduate degree in electronics engineering, a master’s degree in computer science, and an MBA from University of California, Berkeley. He is a board member of Pfizer and U.S.-India Business Council, and was named one of the world’s best CEOs by Barron’s magazine in 2016 and 2017.

Narayen’s core belief, that preserving the status quo is not a winning strategy, drove him and his team to transform Adobe, moving its software franchise from the desktop to the cloud. “He is passionate about building and empowering teams to drive product innovation and scale Adobe’s business globally, while advancing the company as a respected global brand and corporate citizen,” according to his biography on the company website.

Nergis Mavalvala, professor of astrophysics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a 2010 MacArthur Fellow. (Photo: MIT)

Professor Nergis Mavalvala received a B.A. from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. from MIT. She was a postdoctoral fellow and research scientist at the California Institute of Technology before joining the Physics faculty at MIT in 2002. She was appointed Associate Department Head of Physics in February 2015. In 2017, Mavalvala was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. At MIT, she is the Marble Professor of Astrophysics. Her research focuses on the detection of gravitational waves and quantum measurement science. She is a long-time member of the scientific team that announced in 2016 the first direct detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO). She  has also conducted pioneering experiments on generation and application of squeezed states of light, and on laser cooling and trapping of macroscopic objects to enable observation of quantum phenomena in human-scale systems.

“Our annual tribute to Great Immigrants demonstrates the richness of talent, skills, and achievements that immigrants from around the world bring to every sphere of American society,” Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York, is quoted saying in a press release. “This campaign reminds us of the debt the United States owes to generations of immigrants who become citizens and contribute to the progress of this country. Today, we celebrate and thank them,” Gregorian added.