Two Indian-Americans among 2020 Ellis Island Medals of Honor recipients

Chandrika Tandon (Courtesy: Facebook)

Two Indian-Americans, Ram Shriram\and Chandrika Tandon, are among the 2020 recipients of the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

The Ellis Island Medals of Honor recognize naturalized and native-born individuals who embody qualities of patriotism, unity and altruism and display their commitment to these ideals through their actions, according to the organization’s website. Those selected each year for the last 35 years are credited with using their knowledge, compassion, talents, generosity, and indomitable courage, to support their country and their fellow citizens, according to EIMH.

“Our recipients are the leaders taking our nation powerfully into the 21st century. They are the innovators and visionaries who are defining their generation and shaping our future.  They also respect the value of their ethnic heritage and appreciate the importance of America’s immigrant history.

Madras-born Ram Shriram, an Indian-American billionaire businessman, is considered a “technology industry insider” for more than 30 years, working with small and large companies.

In 2008 and 2009 Shriram was ranked number three on the Forbes list of top tech dealmakers, and in 2007, number six on top ten kingmakers in tech by Business 2.0 magazine.

Ram Shriram, founder of Sherpalo (Photo:

Immediately prior to founding Sherpalo, Shriram served as an officer of working for Jeff Bezos, founder & CEO. He joined in August, 1998, when Amazon acquired Junglee, an online comparison shopping firm of which Shriram was president. While at Amazon, he helped grow the customer base during its early high growth phase in 1998/1999. Before Junglee and Amazon, Shriram was a member of the Netscape executive team, joining them in 1994, before they shipped products or posted revenue. He drove the many partnerships and channels that Netscape employed to get massive distribution for its browser and server products during those now legendary early days of the Internet, according to his bio.

Shriram is a founding board member of Google Inc. (now Alphabet) and [[24]]( He also serves on the boards of and Yubico. Ram is a board member on the Stanford Health Care Board of Trustees, as well as a member of the council on Foreign Relations. He was recently Vice Chair of the Stanford Board of Trustees. He is also an early supporter of and, as well as a Charter Member of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs).

Businesswoman Chandrika Tandon, a Grammy nominated artist and humanitarian, from New York, is founder and chairman of Tandon Capital Associates.

A composer and vocalist, Tandon was born in India and is trained by masters in Hindustani, Carnatic, and Western traditions. She has performed at the Lincoln Center, the Smithsonian, as well as in famous venues worldwide.

According to her LinkedIn profile, Tandon is also chair of the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, apart from being on the boards of several arts and business foundations and academic institutions.

She has received several awards including the Gallatin Medal, NYU’s highest honor for outstanding contributions   to society; the Walter Nichols Medal for leadership and integrity; and the Polytechnic Medal, recognizing her involvement in science and engineering. In recognition of her efforts on behalf of higher education, she was inducted as a Sterling Fellow at Yale and into the Harold Acton Society of New York University. She was named an Inaugural Distinguished Alumnus of both the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad and Madras Christian College – her two alma maters.

She is the founder of Soul Chants Music, chairman of the Krishnamurthy Tandon Foundation, served as a partner at McKinsey & Company, and as financial controller of Citibank India.





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