WASHINGTON, March 11 2005
Ten South Asian Americans, most of them of Indian
origin, are among 108 regional finalists for the 2005-06
White House Fellows Programme - one of the US' most
prestigious programmes for leadership and public service.
The regional finalists are selected from approximately
1,000 applicants nationwide, and represent a broad
cross-section of professions including business, education,
healthcare, finance, law, local and state government,
and non-profit. Five branches of the military are
also represented among the regional finalists.
The list was announced late last month.
The South Asian finalists in this year's list include:
*Abdul Shukoor Ahmed, chief executive officer, V-Empower,
Inc., Bowie, MD;
*Kavita Bali, graduate student, London School of
Economics, Lompoc, CA;
*Ravin Gandhi, president and founder, Glenborn Partners,
L.P., Waukegan, IL;
*Anjali Jain, clinical editor, BMJ Publishing Group,
*Vivek Mohta, visiting scientist, Massachusetts Institute
of Technology, Northville, MI;
*Thomas A. Neyarapally, associate attorney, Frommer,
Lawrence & Haug LLP, Mystic, CT;
*Koushik Shiek Pal, graduate student, Harvard University,
*Anand Kamlesh Parekh, physician, Johns Hopkins Hospital,
*Kavita Krishnakant Patel, physician, Robert Wood
Johnson Clinical Scholar, San Antonio, TX;
*Ramesh Subramani, physician and associate professor,
Northwestern University Memorial Hospital, Chicago,
In the final cut, only 11 to 19 fellows go one to
receive the award that was founded in 1964 by President
Lyndon B. Johnson.
Selection as a White House fellow is highly competitive
and based on a record of remarkable professional achievement
early in one's career, evidence of leadership skills,
a strong commitment to public service, and the knowledge
and skills necessary to contribute successfully at
the highest levels of the federal government, according
to the White House.
Some famous people who have got this fellowship include
former secretary of state Colin Powell, secretary
of labour Elaine Chao, former CNN president Tom Johnson,
American Red Cross president Marsha Evans, United
Nations Foundation president and former US senator
Timothy Wirth and US Senator Samuel Brownback.
The nearly 600 alumni of the programme have gone
on to become leaders in many fields.
The initial 1,000 or so applicants are screened down
to a smaller number who then get interviewed by eight
to 10 regional panels, which are composed of prominent
local citizens. The regional panels select approximately
30 candidates to proceed as national finalists.
All national finalists are required to undergo comprehensive
background investigations to ensure that they qualify
for the security clearance necessary for their fellowship
Every year, the President's Commission on White House
Fellowships, which is composed of around 30 outstanding
citizens who represent a broad range of backgrounds,
interests, and professions, selects a class of White
Members of the commission are appointed by the president;
some have served through several administrations and
some are former fellows.
During selection weekend, the President's Commission
on White House Fellowships interviews finalists at
a location near Washington, DC. After spending selection
weekend interviewing, interacting with, and observing
the national finalists, the commission recommends
those individuals it finds most qualified for the
fellowship to the president for appointment as White
Applicants all have to be US citizens, should not
be federal employees unless they are career military
personnel, they should have completed their undergraduate
education and be working in their chosen professions.
The winners get first-hand experience working at
the highest levels of the federal government and also
participate in an education programme consisting of
roundtable discussions with renowned leaders from
the private and public sectors, as well as trips to
study US policy in action both domestically and internationally.(IANS)