Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute to Honor Infosys Co-Founder Nandan Nilekani with Leadership Award

Nandan Nilekani, Infosys Technologies Ltd. co-founder and chairman of India’s Unique Identification Database Authority, will accept the “Legend in Leadership Award” of the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute at a ceremony to be held in New Delhi on November 6, 2009. Nilekani is the first Indian to receive this prestigious award.

The award will be presented to Nilekani by Yale University President Richard C. Levin at the Yale CEO Leadership Summit of The Chief Executive Leadership Institute. The summit will convene one hundred world-renowned business leaders in New Delhi on November 5 and 6 to discuss the theme of “Navigating the Global Oceans of Opportunity for Indian Business.”

Nilekani, who co-founded Infosys in 1981 and served as CEO from 2002 to 2007, holds the rank of cabinet minister as the first chairman of the Indian government’s newly created Unique Identification Database Authority. The universal ID card is expected to help ensure that most of the billions of dollars India and other organizations spend on aid reach the people for whom it was intended. Today, Indians use a wide variety of documents to prove their identities, such as state-issued driver’s licenses, ration cards used for food purchases at government-run stores and a tax identification card that is akin to the American Social Security card. In 2009, Time magazine placed Nilekani on the Time 100 list of the “World’s Most Influential People.” He is the inspiration for New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s book The World Is Flat. Nilekani’s own book, Imagining India, dissected a range of political, economic and social issues confronting the country. In 2006, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, one of the highest civilian honors awarded by the Government of India.

The “Legend in Leadership Award” was created 20 years ago to honor current and former CEOs who serve as living legends to inspire chief executives across industries, sectors, and nations. Past winners of the award include: Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase; Robert Iger of The Walt Disney Company; Stephen Schwarzman of The Blackstone Group; Roger Enrico of PepsiCo; John Pepper of Proctor & Gamble; Don Keough of The Coca-Cola Co.; McKinsey founder Marvin Bower; Jim Kelly of UPS; Vanguard founder Jack Bogle; Ivan Seidenberg of Verizon; Richard Teerlink of Harley-Davidson; Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson; financier Wilbur Ross; and Lou Gerstner of IBM.

The internationally-renowned Yale CEO Leadership Summit is an invitation-only event that is held each June and December in New York City by The Chief Executive Leadership Institute, part of the Yale School of Management. The Institute is the world’s first school for incumbent CEOs. The New Delhi summit, The Chief Executive Leadership Institute’s 60th program and its first in India, is organized in association with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). Supporters of the event include: Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, the NASDAQ OMX Educational Foundation, PepsiCo, UPS, HSBC India, Modi Enterprises, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC), GAIL (India) Ltd, and the Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL). The U.S.-India Business Council is a strategic partner for the event.

The Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute was founded in 1989 to provide original research on top leadership and lively, current educational forums through peer-driven learning for accomplished leaders across a range of sectors. More information about CELI can be obtained from http://www.ceoleadership.org.

Among the conference participants in New Delhi will be: The Honorable Kapil Sibal, Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Government of India; Deloitte Global Managing Partner Jerry Leamon; Reliance Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani; S.K. Roongta, Chairman, Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL); R.S. Sharma, Chairman and Managing Director, Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC); K.K. Modi, Chairman, Modi Enterprises; B.C. Tripathi, Chairman and Managing Director, GAIL (India) Ltd.; Rana Kapoor, Founder & CEO of YES Bank; Ajit Gulabchand, Chairman, Hindustan Construction Company; Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, Government of India; Rajan Mittal, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Bharti Enterprises; Sanjeev Chadha, Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo India; Yale University President Richard C. Levin; Rajendra Pachauri, Director-General, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Director, Yale Climate and Energy Institute; Sharon Oster, Dean of the Yale School of Management; and the CEOs of Asian business operations for such firms as: GE; ExxonMobil; Walt Disney; Dow; 3M; Cisco; Aegon; R.R. Donnelly; Blackstone Group; Lazard; and KKR, as well as many world-renowned management scholars.

While most of this invitation-only event is off-the-record, the press is welcomed to the closing award presentation to Nandan Nilekani at 6:30 p.m. at the Taj Palace Hotel and the reception/dinner that follows.  Advance registration is requested.

For an interview with Professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, or to register to visit the “Legend in Leadership Award” presentation to Nandan Nilekani, please see contact information below:

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Media Contact

Tabitha Wilde: tabitha.wilde@yale.edu, 203-432-6010