WRITTEN BY: PARINITA GUPTA
(April 29, 2023) Economist by training, anthropologist by heart, and entrepreneur by mindset. Meet New York-based CEO of the American India Foundation, Nishant Pandey, who is known to be providing strategic leadership to its operations globally. Nishant began his career as a banker but soon realized that the development sector was his calling. In 2001, he founded American India Foundation (AIF) and continues to provide strategic leadership to AIF’s operations spanning the US and India.
AIF is a non-profit working to uplift the lives of India’s underprivileged, with a special focus on women, children, and youth through interventions in education, health, and livelihood domains. In the last two decades, AIF has impacted the lives of 12.9 million poor Indians in 35 states and union territories. “The Clintons played an instrumental role in creating AIF. It has now grown into a much larger organization. Our aim is to build a lasting partnership between the US and India, and a partnership only gets stronger when there is a people-to-people connection,” said Nishant in an interview.
Recently, at its Bay Area Gala, the American India Foundation (AIF) achieved a milestone by raising US $2.2 million, the highest amount ever raised for its humanitarian cause. The fundraiser was specifically aimed at enhancing the quality of life of underprivileged women, children, and youth in India. AIF is now gearing up to organize its 17th Annual New England Gala in Boston, with the goal of raising funds for its various humanitarian programs in India. It is worth noting that in 2022, AIF raised an impressive sum of US$2.1 million during its Bay Area Gala.
“I have always found galas as a great way to bring the community in the US together, celebrate their achievements, and find meaningful and impactful ways for it to engage with the communities in India. After all, bridge-building is a key mandate of AIF,” said the Global Indian.
During India’s second wave of Covid-19, Nishant and his team at AIF took action and offered assistance, successfully raising $25 million to aid the country. “We were set up 20 years back after the aftermath of the Gujarat earthquake. Our mission is to serve underprivileged women, children, and youth in India. We are humbled by the outpouring of support we got. The American public, corporates, and high-level individuals have contributed,” Nishant said in an interview.