Pulitzer prize-winning author and physician Siddhartha Mukherjee and SUNY Buffalo president Satish K. Tripathi are among New York Governor Chris Cuomo’s 15-member Blue-Ribbon Commission on “reimagining New York.” The aim of the commission is to jumpstart the state’s economy, while focusing on improving telehealth and broadband access using new and innovative technologies.
The commission will be chaired by Eric Schmidt, former CEO and executive chairman of Google and founder of Schmidt Futures. Other members include Richard Parsons, chair of Rockefeller Foundation; Darren Walker, president, Ford Foundation; Martha Pollack, president, Cornell University; and Ginny Rommety, chair, IBM.
Mukherjee is a hematologist and oncologist and is an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. His Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer,” tells the story of cancer from its first description in an ancient Egyptian scroll to the gleaming laboratories of modern research institutions. A three-part documentary series based on the book, directed by Barak Goodman and executive produced by Ken Burns, debuted on PBS stations on March 30.
Mukherjee was born in New Delhi and holds a BS in biology from Stanford University, a D.Phil in immunology from Oxford University (where he was a Rhodes Scholar), and an MD from Harvard Medical School. He completed his internal medicine residency and an oncology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, artist Sarah Sze, and their two daughters.
Tripathi was appointed the 15th president of the University at Buffalo on April 18, 2011, becoming the first international-born president in the university’s history.
A graduate of the Banaras Hindu University in India, Tripathi holds a doctorate in computer science from the University of Toronto as well as three master’s degrees —one in computer science from the University of Toronto and two in statistics from the University of Alberta and Banaras Hindu University.
According to his profile on the UB website, Tripathi began his career in 1978 at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland. He worked there for 19 years and served in various capacities including as chair from 1988-95. While on sabbatical at the University of Maryland, he also held visiting professorships at the University of Paris-Sud in France and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany. From 1997-2004, Tripathi served as dean of the Bourns College of Engineering at the University of California-Riverside. He joined University at Buffalo in 2004, serving as UB’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs until his appointment as president in 2011.