PepsiCo chief executive officer Indra Nooyi and journalist and author Fareed Zakaria are among six Indian-Americans named recipients of this year’s Ellis Island Medal of Honor. A total of 88 honorees were announced March 21. Joining Nooyi and Zakaria are Harman International Industries Chairman and CEO Dinesh Paliwal, cardiologist and a Professor of Cardiology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City Dr. Annapoorna S. Kini, Yashvant Patel, Mohan H. Patel, and Pakistani American Dr. Adil Haider.
The National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations – NECO is the sponsor of the Ellis Island Medals of Honor that are presented each year on historic Ellis Island to a select group of individuals whose accomplishments in their field and inspired service to our nation are cause for celebration.
Nooyi was named president and CEO on October 1, 2006 and assumed the role of chairman on May 2, 2007. Prior to becoming CEO, Nooyi served as president and chief financial officer beginning in 2001, when she was also named to PepsiCo’s Board of Directors. Between February 2000 and April 2001, Nooyi was senior vice president and chief financial officer of PepsiCo. She also served as PepsiCo’s senior vice president, Corporate Strategy and Development from 1996 until 2000, and as PepsiCo’s senior vice president, Strategic Planning from 1994 until 1996. Before joining PepsiCo in 1994, Nooyi spent four years as senior vice president of Strategy and Strategic Marketing for Asea Brown Boveri, a Zurich-based industrials company.
Zakaria is host of CNN’s flagship foreign affairs show, a Washington Post columnist, a contributing editor for The Atlantic and a New York Times bestselling author. Since 2008, Zakaria has hosted “Fareed Zakaria GPS”, which airs Sundays worldwide on CNN. From 2010 to 2014, Zakaria served as editor-at-large for TIME. Before that, he spent ten years overseeing all of Newsweek’s editions abroad. While his columns have received many awards, including a 2010 National Magazine Award, his October 2001 Newsweek cover story, “Why They Hate Us,” remains the most decorated. Before joining Newsweek, from 1992 to 2000, he served as managing editor of Foreign Affairs, a post he was appointed to at only 28 years old. The Post-American World (2008) was heralded in the New York Times Book Review as “a relentlessly intelligent book,” and The Economist called it “a powerful guide” to facing global challenges. Like The Post-American World, The Future of Freedom (2003) was a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into over 25 languages. His most recent book, In Defense of a Liberal Education, has been praised in the New York Times as “an accessible, necessary defense of an idea under siege.”
Paliwal has worked and lived in six countries on four continents, including the United States, China, Switzerland, Singapore, Australia, and India. Prior to joining HARMAN, he spent 22 years with ABB Ltd. where he last held the dual role of president, with responsibility for the company’s global P&L, and chairman and chief executive officer of ABB North America. Moving to Beijing in 1994, Paliwal established ABB’s operations in China and North Asia. He currently serves on the boards of directors of Bristol-Myers Squibb and Raytheon Company He is a member of the CEO Business Roundtable, the U.S.-India CEO Forum and serves on the board of the U.S. India Business Council (USIBC). Paliwal earned a master’s in engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee. He also earned both a master’s in applied science and engineering and MBA from Miami University of Ohio.
Dr. Kini performs over 1,000 minimally invasive coronary interventions annually (the highest number by a female interventionalist in the United States) with extremely low complication rate, less than 0.5 percent. She is well known for performing the complex coronary interventions in advanced heart disease patients with utmost safety and excellent long-term results. Dr. Kini also specializes in the non-coronary interventions of mitral and aortic balloon valvuloplasty, and alcohol septal ablation for obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. As director of the The Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at The Mount Sinai Hospital she is responsible for day-to-day smooth functioning of a very high volume Cardiac Cath Lab which performs more than 15,000 total procedures including 5,200 interventions. Dr. Kini also serves as the director of Interventional Cardiology Fellowship Program involving six-to-seven fellows from the United States and overseas. She is recipient of the Young Investigator Award of American Association of Cardiology of Indian Origin (AAICO) in 1999.