Carnegie Corporation of New York released its annual list of Great Immigrants, honoring 38 naturalized citizens, including two Indian Americans, who have enriched and strengthened the nation and democracy through their contributions and actions.
Each Fourth of July since 2006, the philanthropic foundation has invited Americans to celebrate these exemplary individuals by participating in its online tribute, “Great Immigrants, Great Americans,” the corporation said in a news release.
This year, the corporation is highlighting the work of millions of immigrants who are playing an essential role in the global health crisis as COVID-19 responders.
Among the group were Raj Chetty, professor of economics at Harvard University; and Siddhartha Mukherjee, author and physician.
A third of the honorees are helping the recovery by serving as nurses and doctors, as well as scientists who are striving to find effective treatments and a vaccine, the release said.
The corporation also honored clergy and community leaders who are providing food and vital services to those in need.
Overall, the 2020 Great Immigrants represent 35 countries of origin and a wide range of contributions to American life, from human rights and computer science to art, business, education, health care, journalism, music, politics, religion, research and sports, it said.
Among the COVID-19 responders:
Chetty launched a real-time data tracker to measure the economic impact of the pandemic and assisted decision-makers as they implemented new public policies.
Mukherjee, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, used his communication skills to educate the public and build awareness about COVID-19 through forums and his widely read essays.
Born in New Delhi, India, Chetty came to the United States at the age of 9 with his sister, his mother, a pediatrics professor who almost wasn’t given the opportunity to attend college, and his father, an economics professor who grew up in a family of modest means.
For Chetty, the American dream unfolded like the ideal: he earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University at 23, joining the faculties at U.C. Berkeley and then Stanford University before going on to become one of the youngest professors to be granted tenure in Harvard’s history. His groundbreaking research has earned him numerous honors.
The big data research that has made Chetty one of the world’s best-known economists has laid bare the gap between that idealistic American dream and — for many — the disheartening reality.
In addition to his position as the William A. Ackman Professor of Economics at Harvard University, Chetty directs Opportunity Insights, a research lab that aims to identify barriers to economic and social mobility and develop scalable policy solutions to overcome them, it added.
Most recently, Chetty helped launch a resource to monitor the real-time economic impact of COVID-19 on people, businesses, and communities across the United States.
Mukherjee is a noted biologist, oncologist, and the author of several acclaimed books, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer (2010).
Since 2009, he has served on the faculty of Columbia University, where he is associate professor of medicine and a practicing physician at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, it added.
Mukherjee and his team at Columbia research the biology of normal and malignant blood development, focusing on diseases such as leukemia.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mukherjee has used his gifts as a science communicator to educate the public about the virus through essays, in media interviews, at public forums, and via his social media accounts, Carnegie said.
Mukherjee has stressed the importance of following guidelines to social distance, to wear masks, and to self-isolate when necessary.
In May, Mukherjee was selected by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve on the 15-member blue-ribbon commission focusing on improving telehealth and broadband access in response to the public health crisis, the bio said.