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Entrepreneur and Philanthropist Vinod Gupta Establishes GW Fellowship Program at the U.S. Department of State in Memory of His Son

Fellowship in Honor of Former George Washington University Law and Business School Student Will Provide Students with In-Depth Exposure to Public-Private Partnership Building
June 18, 2013

MEDIA CONTACTS: Michelle Sherrard
202-994-1423; mcs1@gwu.edu
Dustin Carnevale
202-994-3674; dcarnevale@gwu.edu

WASHINGTON — In memory of Benjamin Kane Gupta and his diligent work at the U.S. Department of State, the George Washington University School of Business and U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Global Partnership Initiative today announced the creation of a new elite national internship program for M.B.A. graduate students named the Benjamin Kane Gupta Fellows Program.

“Ben Gupta was an extraordinary individual and a tremendous asset to the U.S. Department of State,” said Thomas Debass, deputy special representative for global partnerships. “We are deeply honored that the Gupta Family has launched this fellowship which will provide the nation’s leading students with an opportunity to learn the art of partnership building.”

The Gupta family has made the fellows program possible through a generous gift. Ben Gupta was enrolled in the joint law and M.B.A. degree program and was a member of the Class of 2012. Ben Gupta held a prestigious internship in the Secretary's Office of Global Partnership Initiative as part of his GW M.B.A. program experience.  The university awarded him a law and an M.B.A. degree posthumously last month.

“My son Ben absolutely loved his years at GW Law and GW Business School, along with his work at Department of State.  He considered both places as his home and felt lucky to be part of both families,” said Vinod Gupta. “Ben is also survived by his mother Bonnie, and two brothers, Alex and Jess who are indebted to George Washington University and Department of State for their generosity towards honoring Ben’s memory with the creation of this program.”

The unique program will offer fellows with the opportunity to learn how to build public-private partnership to enhance and strengthen U.S. foreign policy and development efforts. The fellows will work with the Department of State on its partnership programs either in the Secretary’s Office of the Global Partnership Initiative or in a regional bureau.

The Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships is the entry point for collaboration between the U.S. Department of State, the public and private sectors and civil society. Since 2009, the office has worked with more than 1,100 partners and leveraged more than $650 million in public and private resources to promote economic growth and opportunity; to invest in the well-being of people from all walks of life; and to make democracy serve every citizen more effective and justly.

The fellows will facilitate collaboration between public and private sector actors through research and program development. While the fellowship will be located within the Department of State, it will be housed and administered within the George Washington University School of Business.

M.B.A. graduate students from any accredited university may apply for this elite program. Fellowship finalists will be chosen through a selection committee that includes representatives from the U.S. Department of State, the George Washington University School of Business and a member of the Gupta family. The top two to four candidates will be selected and offered a six-month internship with the Office of the Global Partnership Initiative.

"The George Washington University is honored to join the U.S. Department of State and the Gupta family in creating this extremely fitting recognition of Ben's commitment to public service," said GW President Steven Knapp. 

The George Washington University School of Business is a leader in the world of business education and the U.S. Department of State Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships provides a unique avenue for graduate students to apply skills learned in the classroom to the meaningful work of international public-private partnerships creation and management.

“Ben embodied our values at George Washington with his commitment to public service and passion for international engagement,” said GW School of Business Dean Doug Guthrie. “Our location at the center of the nation’s capital makes us a key stakeholder in economic decision-making for the global economy; GWSB stands at the intersection of policy, politics and business.” 

-GW-