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Four Indian American Young Leaders and Changemakers Among 151 Schwarzman Scholars

Four Indian American Young Leaders and Changemakers Among 151 Schwarzman Scholars

  • They are drawn from 33 countries including India, Pakistan and Nepal.

Four Indian Americans are among 151 young leaders and changemakers selected as Schwarzman Scholars, for graduate fellowships located at Schwarzman College on the campus of Tsinghua University in Beijing. This year’s cohort was chosen from 33 countries including India, Pakistan and Nepal. Applicants were selected for their understanding of the timely importance of fostering peaceful and prosperous relations with China.

Indian Americans in the Schwarzman Scholars Class of 2023 include Maya Guzdar, Neel Reddy, Kevan Shah and Sreya Vangara. 

Maya Guzdar is a senior at Stanford University majoring in International Relations and minoring in Human Rights. She has helped found Unlock Aid, an initiative to reform the U.S. international development space. She is a co-founder of non-profit Piedmont for Oakland Schools (POPS), an organization that advances educational equity within her community. As a Schwarzman Scholar, Maya plans to explore the intersection of American domestic politics in shaping U.S. security policy toward China.

Neel Reddy is a Mechanical Engineering graduate and McDermott Scholar from the University of Texas at Dallas. While a Schwarzman Scholar, he is excited to learn about China’s booming alt-protein space, given his passion for popularizing sustainable foods globally. Since college, he has worked at Bain & Company consulting for international food brands and interned with Vow, an Australian alt-protein company, to commercialize their first cell-based meat product. Outside of work, Reddy makes YouTube content to help young, ambitious people around the world authentically think through their career and life choices.

Kevan Shah is a Charles A. Dana Scholar, studying Public Health at Muhlenberg College. He is the founder and executive director of End Overdose Together, a statewide nonprofit that recruits, trains, and mobilizes students to lead workshops on overdose prevention. Shah has helped shape policies and programs to combat the overdose crisis.

Sreya Vangara studied electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and computer science at MIT. Her research elevates underprivileged communities through global clean water collaborations with Madagascar and the Navajo Nation, as well as low-cost nuclear reactor designs forged with Princeton University. She also supports sustainable innovation through grassroots educational initiatives and has taught STEM in Kazakhstan, Mexico, and Hong Kong. As a disabled student, she advocates for collegiate disability rights as a co-director of the national non-profit Synapse and spearheads accessibility policy on MIT’s campus. In Beijing, Vanguard will develop small-scale nuclear fusion devices with inexpensive materials for rural communities.

Mayuri Singh

Joining them is Mayuri Singh, a senior at Montana State University, dual majoring in Chemical and Biological Engineering with a minor in Biomedical Engineering. India born and raised Singh has been a research assistant for four years, working on developing cost-effective rapid disease diagnostic techniques. Currently, as the student director of diversity & inclusion in the Student Government, she is passionate about medical and racial equity, and access in underrepresented communities. Her scientific pursuits married her passion for inclusion and equity and she was awarded Forward Montana’s 25 Under 25 Award in August 2021 for her work in Montana.

Four young leaders and changemakers from India — Shivakshi Bhattacharya, Parsa Mufti, Ragini Rao Munjuluri and Manthan Shah — are among the 151 scholars.

Parsa Mufti 

Shivakshi Bhattacharya is a rights activist and an educator who graduated from O.P Jindal Global University with a Bachelors’s in Law. At age 19, she founded a global youth non-profit organization that advocated for equity of education by combatting child sexual abuse and strengthening sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) that is today known as The Laali Project. Her vision is to build young changemakers from marginalized communities globally in the movement of SRHR. She is an advisor to multiple non-profits and has been much recognized as a changemaker notably by KidsRights, Netherlands.

Parsa Mufti is a lawyer and political strategist with experience working in the field of human rights law. She works at the Samruddha Bharat Foundation in New Delhi, which works closely on normative and political issues with various political parties, as well as India’s foremost experts, activists. She also curates the Tryst, an independent media platform that strives to shape public discourse and supports numerous Members of Parliament.

Ragini Rao Munjuluri

Ragini Rao Munjuluri is a graduate of Public Policy and International Studies from FLAME University, India. She served as Student Council President at university, was a Dean’s Roll honoree, and completed multiple internships, including roles at People’s Archive of Rural India and Indian Council of Social Science Research-funded research. As a Legislative Assistants to Members of Parliament Fellow, she studied state responses to COVID-19 and matters before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology. Currently working with the President’s office at the Center for Policy Research, she pursues state capacity and social policy questions in South Asia, helping bridge gaps between policy research and practitioners.

Manthan Shah

Manthan Shah is a Dean’s List senior and a Global Citizenship Award recipient at S P Jain School of Global Management. He is one of the youngest authors to be commissioned by Penguin Random House to write his first book, ‘Unstoppable.” He hosts and produces the Planet Impact podcast that shares the stories of young changemakers. In college, he is the founder and two-time president of the TAMID chapter. He was twice a former U-18 table tennis national champion.

See Also

The list includes two women from Pakistan – Amina Ahmad and Dr. Nishwa Azeem. 

Amina Ahmad

Amina Ahmad is a senior at Princeton University majoring in Public and International Affairs. On campus, she serves as a Residential College Adviser and a fellow for Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding. She also is the winner of the van de Velde Award for outstanding research. She spent the past summer interning at the Danish Institute for Human Rights. After her year in Beijing, she plans to return to the U.S. to work as a business analyst at McKinsey & Company.

Dr. Nishwa Azeem graduated from Fatima Jinnah Medical University in 2019. She has been working in global and international health and is deeply interested in working for health systems of low-middle-income countries through appropriate cultural community-centered global health governance. She was elected as the director of Public Health for the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). Her community projects and innovative designs on health have won international awards. 

Anusha Maharjan

In the 2023 class is Anusha Maharjan of Nepal, who will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences from Purbanchal University. She served as vice-president for youth-led NGO ‘We’ for Change, where her work involved educating young females about civic and political rights and enhancing their leadership. She is a radio presenter and a creator of podcast 1:1 ReWind, where she invites youths to be informed about emerging conflicts, civic political movements, and human rights violations. She is a Fulbright undergraduate alumnus and 2021 Princess Diana Award recipient. As a Schwarzman Scholar, she aspires to study the role of women in strengthening governments.

Trishna Nagrani

Also included is Panama-based Trishna Nagrani, who is currently improving digital connectivity across emerging markets at The International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group) and connecting startups with investors at Kaiku, an AI-powered platform she co-founded. Previously, she worked in investment banking at Lazard, researched gender diversity in venture capital, led the first student-run startup incubator in the U.K., and volunteered at the Red Cross. She graduated with a degree in Economics from the University of Warwick. Aspiring to be a global connector of capital with startups promoting sustainable development through inclusive AI, she aims to explore China’s leadership in AI and development at Schwarzman Scholars.

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