Indian woman Preethi Herman, 19 others on shortlist for Obama Foundation's coveted fellowship

Last Updated: Tue, Apr 17, 2018 10:27 hrs
Preethi Herman

New Delhi: As the the first edition of the Obama Foundation Fellowship announced its selection of fellows on Monday, Indian national Preethi Herman, Global Executive Director of global social change technology platform, was surprised to find her name on the list of 20 civic leaders chosen by former US President Barack Obama's foundation. is an open platform (with over 80 lakh registered users) where anyone can start a campaign/petition on any issue. So far, the website has managed to help petitioners achieve success in their campaigns such as ‘Government regulates sale of acid to protect women from attacks’, ‘Karnataka government issues guidelines to make schools safer for children’, ‘TRAI pledges to protect net neutrality’ to ‘Passport rules eased for children of single parents’.

Selected from a pool of over 20,000 people from 191 countries, the 20 names include individuals from the US, the UK, Philippines, Hungary, South Africa.

Preethi Herman and the other fellows "will collaborate, exchange and inspire a wave of civic innovation," the foundation said. She was earlier named as one of the 25 women transforming India as part of the #WomenTransform initiative by the Niti Aayog, and the United Nations.

An Indian-origin man form the US, Navdeep Kang, is also one of the 20 people selected for the Obama fellowship.

The foundation said Herman is equipping a new movement of female leaders to engage their communities in addressing India's toughest problems.

"I'll be working with a group of civic innovators from around the world to inspire people to get involved in their communities. I can't wait to get started," Herman tweeted.

When Barack Obama visited India in December last year, he said his trip was part of his single-biggest post-Presidency mission: to help form the next generation of leadership, not only in the US but across the world.

Obama addressed close to 300 young leaders from across the country at a town hall. "The single most important thing I want to focus on is the next generation of leadership. That's the central goal of the foundation," he had said.

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