Educating India: Indian Americans Named Co-chairs of Association of American Universities Task Force
- The newly formed group will focus on strengthening partnerships between universities in the United States and India.
Neeli Bendapudi, the 19th president of Penn State, and Sunil Kumar, provost of Johns Hopkins University, and incoming president of Tufts, are among two of three co-chairs of a new Association of American Universities (AAU) task force focused on strengthening partnerships between universities in the United States and India.
The two Indian Americans are joined by Robert J. Jones, chancellor of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The task force will make recommendations on strengthening academic and research partnerships among institutions of higher education in both nations, with a goal of expanding research partnerships that amplify the positive global impact of scholarship undertaken by American and Indian universities.
“It is an honor to be selected to help fortify the vital relationship between American and Indian universities,” Bendapudi said. “I myself came to the United States from India to earn my doctorate from an American university, and have experienced firsthand what a transformative impact these kinds of partnerships can have. By building stronger bridges between our nations and our institutions of higher education, with a focus on leveraging the enormous potential of research across international lines, we can further empower our faculty and researchers while maximizing the influence of our scholarship for the global good.”
The AAU task force was first announced in conjunction with the launch of the U.S.-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology, which was jointly announced by the administrations of U.S. President Joe Biden and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi in May 2022.
The AAU task force’s work directly aligns with the priorities of both nations, with the U.S.-India initiative identifying partnerships between academic institutions as a critical component of the wider strategic partnership between the two countries.