Seven Indian-Americans Among 2020 Soros Fellows

Shyam Akula Soros Fellow 2020 (Photo:

The 2020 Class of Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows recently announced its selection of  “30 outstanding immigrants and children of immigrants” from all over the country and world who are pursuing graduate school here in the United States. Seven of them are Indian-Americans.

Sanath Devalapurkar, Soros Fellow 2020 (Photo:

Selected from 2,211 applicants, each of the recipients “was chosen for their potential to make significant contributions to the United States” and will receive up to $90,000 in funding over two years, an April 14, 2020, press release from the organization, said.

This was the first selection cycle that the Fellowship was open to all immigrants, regardless of their immigration status, who have graduated from both high school and college in the U.S. The Fellowship has been open to DACA recipients since 2014.

Meena Jagadeesan, Soros Fellow 2020 (Photo:

The Indian-Americans selected include:

  • Shyam Akula:Fellowship awarded to support work towards an MD/PhD in Medicine and Neuroscience at Harvard University
  • Sanath Devalapurkar:Fellowship awarded to support work towards a PhD in Mathematics at Harvard University
  • Akhil Iyer: Fellowship awarded to support work towards an MBA/MPP in Business and Public Policy at Harvard University
  • Meena Jagadeesan:Fellowship awarded to support work towards a PhD in Computer Science at University of California, Berkeley
  • Abijith Krishnan:Fellowship awarded to support work towards a PhD in Physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Pooja Reddy:Fellowship awarded to support work towards a PhD in Materials Science & Engineering at Stanford University
  • Riana Shah: Fellowship awarded to support work towards an MPA/MBA in Public Administration and Business at Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Akhil Iyer, Soros Fellow 2020 (Photo:
Riana Shah, Soros Fellow 2020 (Photo

Earlier Indian-Americans who received the same Fellowship include former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah, Sejal Hathi, Sachin Jain, Amit Bouri, Chitra Akileswaran, Vivek Ramaswamy, Jasmeet Ahuja, Chitra Aiyar, Meera Deo, Snehal Desai, Rollie Lal, Samir Mayekar, Gautam Mukunda, Sunita Puri, Dave Chokshi, Anika Singh Lemar, Previn Warren, and many more.

Pooja Reddy, Soros Fellow 2020 (Photo

The 2020 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows are all the children of immigrants, green card holders, and naturalized citizens, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients, or visa holders who graduated from both high school and college in the United States.

Abijit Krishnan, Soros Fellow 2020 (Photo

“The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship liberated me from the traditional path I was expected to follow,” a 2009 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow Shantanu Gaur, is quoted saying. Gaur is the cofounder and CEO at Allurion Technologies. “Unburdened from debt and energized by peers who were taking the road less traveled, I have been able to thrive,” Gaur added.

Founded by Hungarian immigrants, Daisy M. Soros and her late husband Paul Soros (1926-2013), The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans program honors continuing generations of immigrant contributions to the United States.

To read the full bios of the 2020 Fellows, visit




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