Zeena Johar, Founder & CEO of Sugha Vazhvu Healthcare, and Rahul Pandita, journalist and author, have been named 2015 Yale World Fellows. With the addition of Pandita and Johar, the global Yale World Fellows network now includes 17 Indian Fellows, more than any other country since the program was established in 2002.
The Yale World Fellows program is Yale University’s signature global leadership development initiative and a core element of Yale’s ongoing commitment to internationalization. Each year, the University invites a group of exemplary mid-career professionals from a wide range of fields and countries for an intensive four-month period of academic enrichment and leadership training.
Johar and Pandita are among 16 World Fellows selected in 2015 from a pool of about 4000 applicants. The 2015 group also includes a Cuban performance artist, Ukrainian political activist, Indonesian democracy expert and more. This year's cohort brings the total number of Yale World Fellows since the program's inception in 2002 to 273 Fellows, representing 85 countries.
“I am delighted to welcome this incredible group of activists, artists, policy makers and key global players to Yale,” said incoming Yale World Fellows Director Emma Sky. “The Fellowship was designed to provide people like these - working tirelessly toward large scale change - a valuable opportunity to take a step back from the intensity of their work, to learn from and exchange with the University community, and to develop strong relationships with like-minded peers.”
Johar is Founder & CEO of SughaVazhvu Healthcare (SVHC) and IKP Centre for Technologies in Public Health (ICTPH) - organizations working to create a primary-care delivery network through rural clinics. The clinics rely on affordable healthcare technologies and highly trained Indian medical practitioners to provide basic healthcare services for hard-to-reach rural populations of India. SVHC’s innovative care delivery model has enabled over 70,000 patient visits through its network of nine clinics in Rural Tamil Nadu.
"I was pleasantly surprised when I heard about my selection into Yale's impressively competitive program - the Yale World Fellowship,” said Johar. “Bringing together a handful of fellows from across the globe after a rigorously intense and engaging selection process rendered our diversity in perspective and experience as the key strength of the program. I am really looking forward to a spending a semester at Yale, immersed with learning that will bring together structured classrooms to open spaces for unstructured peer-learning. I see the Yale World Fellowship catalyzing my personal and professional growth, by helping us align our mission to a global perspective."
Pandita was previously the Opinion and Special Stories editor of The Hindu, one of India’s leading English-language newspapers, and has reported extensively from various theaters of war including Iraq and Sri Lanka. In India, Rahul is mostly known for his reportage on Maoist insurgency in central and eastern India, and on the turmoil in Kashmir in northern India. He is the author of three bestselling books: “Our Moon Has Blood Clots: A Memoir of a Lost Home in Kashmir”, “Hello, Bastar: The Untold Story of India’s Maoist Movement” and “The Absent State: Insurgency as an Excuse for Misgovernance” [co-authored].
"I am delighted, honoured and humbled to be chosen as one of this year's Yale World Fellows,” said Pandita. “I am really looking forward to working with some of the finest brains in the world. I am hoping that what I'll learn at Yale will enable me to evolve a deeper understanding of the issues I tackle through my journalistic work."
The mission of the Yale World Fellows program is to cultivate and empower a community of globally engaged leaders committed to positive change through cross-disciplinary dialogue and action. It has at its core three main goals: to provide advanced training to emerging leaders from diverse disciplines and countries, to expand and deepen international understanding, and to link this network of world leaders to each other and to Yale.
“I’ve interacted with World Fellows regularly over the years and know the kind of creativity, energy, vision and experience they infuse into the University experience,” said Sky. “They are wonderful sources of inspiration and mentors for our undergraduate and graduate students.”
From August to December, the 2015 World Fellows will participate in specially designed seminars in leadership, management, and global affairs taught by leading Yale faculty; audit any of the 3,000 courses offered at the University; engage in discussion and debate with a wide range of distinguished guest speakers; receive individualized professional development training; and deliver public talks on their work, their countries, and the issues about which they are passionate.
Visit www.yale.edu/worldfellows for a list of the 2015 World Fellows and for more information on the World Fellows program.
Zeena Johar bio: http://worldfellows.yale.edu/zeena-johar
Rahul Pandita bio: http://worldfellows.yale.edu/rahul-pandita
Fifteen previous Yale World Fellows hailed from India:
Nandita Das, Award-winning Actress and Director
Parmesh Shahani, Head of the Godrej India Culture Lab
Abhik Sen, Managing Editor, The Economist Group
Prodyut Bora, National Executive Member, Bharatiya Janata Party
Unmesh Brahme, India Country Director, Room to Read
Subhashini Chandran, CEO, Woodbriar Group
Ayush Chauhan, Managing Director, Quicksand
Celine D’Cruz, Coordinator, Slum Dwellers International
Paromita Goswami, Founder, Elgar Pratishthan and Shramik Elgar
Monika Halan, Editor, Mint Money
Sonali Kochhar, Clinical Research and Drug Development Specialist, PATH
Nachiket Mor, Director, Board of IKP Center for Technologies
Chetna Gala Sinha, Chair, Mann Deshi Mahila Group
Amit Wanchoo, Managing Director, Eaton Laboratories
Ruchi Yadav, Senior Program Officer, The Hunger Project