Two from India among 2014 Yale World Fellows

yale world fellowsNew Delhi Nandita Das, award-winning actress and director, and Parmesh Shahani, head of the Godrej India Culture Lab, have been named 2014 Yale World Fellows. With the addition of Das and Shahani, the global Yale World Fellows network now includes 15 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.

Das and Shahani are among 16 World Fellows selected in 2014 from a pool of about 4000 applicants. The 2014 group also includes an Italian robotics engineer and artist, a Pakistani environmental lawyer, a Syrian peace activist and a 2012 candidate for President of Iceland. This year’s cohort brings the total number of Yale World Fellows since the program’s inception in 2002 to 257 Fellows, representing 83 countries.

“It is a privilege to welcome these impressive leaders to campus,” said Yale President Peter Salovey. “Each year, World Fellows enrich the educational experience of Yale students through their participation in classes, presentations on campus, and individual mentoring. With their experiences on the ground, they also provide valuable context and practical perspectives that inform the scholarly pursuits of Yale faculty seeking to address today’s most pressing global challenges. This innovative program continues to represent the very best of Yale’s efforts to educate and inspire future leaders.”

Nandita Das is an award-winning Indian film actress and director who has leveraged her international profile to campaign on social issues including child mortality, gender and race issues and violence against women. She was the first Indian to be inducted into the International Women’s Forum Hall of Fame for her contributions to the arts and in 2013, she supported the Dark is Beautiful campaign, an effort draw attention to the unjust effects of skin color bias in India.

Parmesh Shahani heads the Godrej India Culture Lab, an experimental ideas space in Mumbai at the intersection of academia, business and creative industries. He is also Editor-at-Large for Verve Magazine, India and the author of Gay Bombay: Globalization, Love and (Be)Longing in Contemporary India.

“Like prior cohorts, the 2014 Yale World Fellows are dynamic, high impact practitioners committed to effecting positive change. Das and Shahani fit that mold perfectly and will bring immense talent and vision to the group,” said Yale World Fellows Director Michael Cappello, professor of pediatrics at the Yale School of Medicine. “Through the Fellowship, Yale will provide these global leaders the valuable opportunity to take a step back from the intensity of their work and to develop a strategic vision for their personal and professional trajectories and continued impact on the world.”

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.

From August to December, the 2014 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 for a complete list of the 2014 World Fellows and for more information on the World Fellows Program.

Thirteen previous Yale World Fellows hailed from India:

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