Infosys Founder Narayana Murthy given Thomas Jefferson Medal in Global Innovation

Entrepreneur and founder of Infosys N.R. Narayana Murthy has been chosen by The University of Virginia and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello to receive 2017 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals in Architecture, Law, Citizen Leadership and Global Innovation, who included Murthy – the recipient of the Global Innovation medal – founded Infosys in 1981 and grew the Bangalore-based global software consulting company into an IT powerhouse through the design and implementation of its global delivery model for outsourcing services, the foundation said in a news release.

At Infosys, which was listed on NASDAQ in 1999, Murthy served as the chief executive officer from 1981 until 2002, as chair and chief mentor from 1981 to 2011, and as chair emeritus from August 2011 to May 2013.

“In the early ’80s, as a computer engineer, Murthy seized what he saw as great potential in software services and built a company and ultimately an industry that has pioneered major changes in India’s business culture – creating jobs, raising business standards and launching a foundation to help the underprivileged,” said Scott C. Beardsley, dean of the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, in a statement. “His innovations and leadership in the creation of a global software and services industry have created true value for humanity.”

In addition to Infosys, the entrepreneur serves on several boards, including at the Ford Foundation, United Nations Foundation and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., as well as a member of the University of Tokyo’s Global Advisory Board.

Previously he served as a member of the HSBC board and the Unilever board, as well as the boards of Cornell University, Wharton School, Rhodes Trust and the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. He has also chaired the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad.

Among his accolades, Murthy was considered one of the “12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time” by Fortune magazine in 2012, among the most admired global business leaders by the Economist in 2005, one of the 25 best global business leaders by CNBC in 2014, and among the Financial Times’ list of business pioneers in technology in 2015. He was also the first Indian winner of Ernst and Young’s World Entrepreneur of the Year award, among many other honors.

Other medal recipients included Loretta Lynch, the first African American female attorney general in U.S. history; Alice Waters, founder of the Edible Schoolyard Project; and Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, founders and directors of Grafton Architects.

The awards, which are presented jointly by the university, which Jefferson founded in Charlottesville in 1819, and by the foundation, the independent, nonprofit organization that owns and operates his Monticello home, will be presented April 13, which is Jefferson’s birthday and also known locally as Founder’s Day.

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