Great institutions are shaped by great foresight and stunning leadership. On both fronts, one can say that Dr Renu Khator, the president of the University of Houston (UH), has scored an outstanding A+. So impactful has been her leadership of the UH that she has been chosen to chair the American Council on Education in 2015, an institution that comprises presidents of American colleges and universities. On January 9, 2014, President of India, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, conferred on her the prestigious Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award for her contribution in the field of education, and for enhancing India's prestige abroad. Earlier, a committee headed by the Indian Vice President, Dr Mohammad Hamid Ansari and including among others ICCR President, Dr Karan Singh, former Indian ambassador to the USA, Mr Ronen Sen, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, Mr Vayalar Ravi, had scrutinized dozens of applications of eminent candidates from across the world. In all 12 individuals received the award (see main PBD story), and also Shri Ramakrishna Mission from Fiji.
In the last five to six years that she has been with UH, Dr Khator, like a true leader, has raised the bar in terms of extracting the maximum out of her faculty and staff. The result: UH has joined the ranks of Tier I universities in the USA. She's also galvanized the community and private organizations in the Houston area to such an extent that today the UH raises over USD 100 million funding each year from the private sector.
We have chosen to put her on the cover, and have carried out an interview with her. The full text of her interview can be followed on our website, www.indiaempire.com
There is a report on the first Global Indian Business Conference that was held on January 10, 2014 in New Delhi which was organized by Invest India, FICCI, and India Empire (Knowledge Partner). For a first-time event, there were some big names from Government, industry and the Global Indian community that spoke at the well-attended sessions at Federation House. The feedback one received on the event was quite heartening. The second GIBC will take place on January 5, 2014 in New Delhi. We have a report on the first event.
You will find several other stories in the issue that should be of interest.