Jhumpa Lahiri, a British-born author of Indian descent, won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for her collection of short stories entitled Interpreter of Maladies. Ms. Lahiri's books and stories explore the lives of Indians and Indian-Americans both in this country and in Bengal. Her third book, Unaccustomed Earth, is set for release this coming April.
Many of America's most famous companies are around today because the early founders of the company found an individual willing to take a chance on investing in the company and helping it move from a start up venture to a grown up company. The venture capital investors who provide this money often are taking tremendous risks since many of the ventures ultimately fail. And that is why banks and more conservative financial institutions are often not willing to take a chance.
One of the most successful venture capitalists is Pakistan-born Ghulab Khan who came to this country as a foreign student at Stanford where he got a masters in engineering and then went on to receive an MBA at Harvard. Among the more successful startups his firm supported - Google, Apple, Youtube, eBay and Yahoo. Pretty good choices! That would largely explain why Mr. Khan is one of our country's wealthiest individuals.
This is CEO week here at Immigrant of the Day :-).
Actually, thanks go to reader USC who provided the tip that Citigroup has tapped Indian immigrant Vikram Pandit to take over the company and steer it through the troubled waters of the subprime lending crisis. Pandit, a native of Nagpur, India, came to the US to study electrical engineering at Columbia and eventually went on to get a Ph.D. in finance from the same university. Prior to joining Citi, he served as the head of institutional investing at Morgan Stanley. Foreign students staying on and eventually rising through the ranks of America's top companies to take senior leadership positions has become a hot and encouraging trend. It's showing that we're attracting the brightest and most capable from around the world and these folks are also helping to influence the global outlook of the companies as American firms compete in international markets. Perhaps our consular officers should pay heed to this trend and think about the fact that the young graduate student denied a student visa today may be a CEO in twenty years. Congrats, Mr. Pandit.
There's a great story in the Washington Post about which many of you have emailed me (and Paskal has linked in the comments).
Congratulations to the members of the Indian-born Shah family who are physicians making a world of difference to the folks in a medically under served community in Maryland along with other members of their family. There are stories like this all over America which don't get reported and the community of foreign physicians working in small towns, impoverished urban areas and many other locations in desperate need of doctors are true American heroes.
I counted 13 physicians in this family who have all moved to rural St. Mary's County, Maryland. Plus, they've recruited physician friends from India to join them as well. Said an elderly doctor struggling to recruit physicians to work in the community:
"It was just like miracle workers walked in," said Richard Martin, 92, who was then head of the hospital. "I told them, 'You are the answer to my prayers.' "
Well, since I made a Dr. Evil reference in the comments (here's to Roy, our resident punching bag, who did me the favor of finding the great clip in this post), why not make the brilliant Canadian comedic actor Mike Myers our immigrant of the day? Whether it's Wayne, Shrek, Linda Richman, Austin Powers, Dr. Evil, Fat Bastard, or the Cat in the Hat, Myers' characters are now cultural icons. I was happy to see there are new Austin Powers and Shrek movies on the way.
Roy, with all those out of work and underworked American comics out there, I'm sure you're fuming that we're allowing in cheap foreign comedians
Greg Siskind is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Mr. Siskind is a member of AILA, a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and a member of the ABA, where he serves on the LPM Publishing Board as Marketing Vice Chairman. He is the author of several books, including the J Visa Guidebook and The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet. Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.