Two Indian-American along with 38 others honored ‘2020 Great Immigrants’


COVID-19 has changed the way of life we know in many ways and has altered the projected future in a sudden manner.

While on one side it has broken many lives, on another side it has challenged many to come up with new ways to manage the crisis and take it as an opportunity to make a change.

In order to acknowledge those who have made invaluable contributions during this health crisis, a prestigious American Foundation has honored 38 immigrants, including eminent 2 Indian Americans.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee, and Professor of Economics at Harvard University Raj Chetty have been named by the Carnegie Corporation of New York as ”2020 Great Immigrants” honorees, the Corporation said in a statement on Wednesday.

Mukherjee is a noted biologist, oncologist and the author of several acclaimed books, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning ”The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer”.

Since 2009, he has served on the faculty of Columbia University, where he is an associate professor of medicine and a practicing physician at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. In 2014, Mr. Mukherjee was awarded the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest civilian honors.

The Carnegie Corporation said that during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Mukherjee has used his “gifts as a science communicator” to educate the public about the virus through essays, in media interviews, at public forums, as well as through his social media accounts.

In May, he was selected by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve on a 15-member Blue-Ribbon Commission focusing on improving telehealth and broadband access in response to the COVID-19 health crisis.

The other honoree, Raj Chetty, is one of the youngest professors to be granted tenure in Harvard’s history.

In addition to his position as the William A. Ackman Professor of Economics at Harvard University, Chetty directs Opportunity Insights, a research lab that aims to identify barriers to economic and social mobility and develop scalable policy solutions to overcome them, the Corporation said.

He helped launch a resource to monitor the real-time economic impact of COVID-19 on people, businesses and communities across the United States. This tool enables policymakers to make evidence-based decisions that balance vital public health priorities with the economic needs of their communities, it said.

Every July 4, when America celebrates its Independence Day, the Carnegie Corporation honors the legacy of its founder Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish immigrant who rose from poverty to become a leading industrialist, by recognizing an eminent group of immigrants who have made notable contributions to the progress of the American society.

In 2020, the corporation honors 38 naturalized citizens “who have enriched and strengthened our nation and our democracy through their contributions and actions,” it said.

As a land of the immigrants, America has been enriched by great minds from across the world or hundreds of years, by giving them an opportunity to express and excel.

“Great immigrants have come from different backgrounds and have pursued different worthwhile goals. But collectively, they have shared a desire to become citizens and have made our democratic society stronger. For all of their efforts, we salute them,” president of Carnegie Corporation of New York Vartan Gregorian said.

Overall, the ”2020 Great Immigrants” represent 35 countries of origin and a wide range of contributions to American life, from human rights and computer science to art, business, education, health care, journalism, music, politics, religion, research, and sports.

The 2020 honorees, who join more than 600 outstanding immigrants honored by the Corporation since 2006, are recognized with a full-page public service announcement in the New York Times and a social media tribute on the Fourth of July.