Two Indian-American women have been selected for the prestigious White House Fellow programme that offers first hand experience of working at the highest levels of the US federal government. The White House Fellows Program was created in 1964 by President Lyndon B Johnson to give promising American leaders “first hand, high-level experience with the workings of the Federal government and to increase their sense of participation in national affairs”.
Selection as a White House Fellow is highly competitive and based on a record of professional achievement, evidence of leadership potential and a proven commitment to public service. Each Fellow must possess the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute meaningfully at senior levels of the Federal government.
Astrophysicist Anjali Tripathi from California and physician Tina R Shah from Chicago are among the 16 White House Fellows appointed from across the nation for the year 2016-17, officials said. Shah is a Pulmonary and Critical Care physician-scientist focused on transforming healthcare delivery for patients with chronic diseases.
She recently completed her clinical fellowship at the University of Chicago (UC), where she redesigned the care cycle for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), dramatically reducing hospital readmissions. As the recipient of the inaugural UC Innovations Grant, Shah also led an inter-professional research team to evaluate this value-based care delivery programme.
Shah was a trustee for the Chicago Medical Society and has held leadership positions in other medical societies to advocate for her patients and for a sustainable medical workforce. She received a BS and an MD from the Pennsylvania State University/Jefferson Medical College accelerated six- year medical program and MPH from Harvard.
Tripathi, an astrophysicist recently at Harvard University, focuses on the formation and evolution of planets. She has pioneered the characterisation of planet forming environments and developed the first 3D simulations of planets evaporating due to extreme atmospheric heating.
Tripathi has also been involved in modelling the Milky Way and the search for dark matter. Previously, she has conducted particle physics, seismology and engineering research at Fermilab, Caltech, MIT, and NASA JPL, as part of the mission operations team for the Mars Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. Her commitment to improving her community has been recognised by Harvard, MIT, and the American Red Cross.
Tripathi will receive her Ph D In Astronomy from Harvard, where she earned an AM in Astronomy as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. She received M.Phil in Astronomy from Cambridge University as a Marshall Scholar and SB in Physics, with a minor in Applied International Studies, from MIT.