Template:Infobox Celebrity Dr. Abraham M. George is the founder of The George Foundation (TGF), a non-profit organization based in Bangalore, India, that is dedicated to the welfare of economically and socially disadvantaged people. His foundation has initiated several projects in poverty alleviation, education, health, empowerment of women, press freedom, and other major endeavors. Part of the mission goal of TGF is the promotion of democratic institutions and values; this has led to the creation of the Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media, Bangalore, where he serves as the dean. His work in the field of environmental health was instrumental for the removal of lead from gasoline throughout India in April 2000 and the creation of the National Referral Centre for Lead Poisoning in India. He has also been recognized as one of the leading social entrepreneurs.
Childhood in India Edit
George was born and brought up in the seaside town of Trivandrum in the coastal state of Kerala, at the southwestern tip of India. He is the second son of Mathew and Aleyamma George, one of four children.
At fourteen George was admitted to the highly selective and prestigious National Defence Academy in Khadakwasla. He subsequently went on to graduate as a Second-Lieutenant in a medium artillery regiment of the Indian Army. George's first posting in 1966 was to the North-East Frontier that borders China, following the Chinese invasion of 1962.
The assignment at Sela ended abruptly after only ten months, when George was injured in a dynamite explosion. Upon his return from convalescence, he was assigned to the Indo-Pak border where he served for nearly two more years and rose to the rank of Captain.Template:Fact George has spoken of his time in the army as formative experience: "There is, I suppose, some stage in each one’s life that has a greater impact on his future than all others. For me, it was these army experiences that helped shape much of my outlook on life."
In the third year of George's service, he suffered a hearing disability that would plague him for the rest of his life. At the time, doctors in India were not trained to tackle his medical condition; it required specialized surgery. By this point, his mother was already in the United States, teaching physics and working for NASA as a research scientist. His mother's position afforded him the opportunity to come to America; where he could have his surgery done and start a new life. After considerable effort, he managed to persuade the Indian Army command to give him a medical discharge, and left for the U.S..Template:Fact
A New Life in America Edit
George joined his mother in Alabama, during the heyday of the segregationist governor, George Wallace. He found the transition to be overwhelming, later writing of it: "I felt I had gone to another world, not simply another country".
Soon after arriving in America, George began to attend New York University's Stern School of Business as a graduate student. While there he became an American citizen. He specialized in developmental economics and finance. He attempted to join the World Bank but was not offered a position. Soon after completing his doctoral work he decided to enter the teaching profession. Later, Chemical Bank, now part of JP Morgan Chase Bank, offered George a job as an officer in the bank which he accepted.Template:Fact
George had worked for Chemical Bank for two years when he decided to start his own company, Multinational Computer Models, Inc (MCM), which would offer computerized systems to large multinational corporations to enable them to deal with their international financial risks. MCM formed a joint venture with Credit Suisse First Boston where George served as the Chief Consultant and Managing Director of its new operations. George sold MCM to SunGard Data Systems 1998.Template:Fact
The George Foundation Edit
Main article The George Foundation
It was in January 1995 that George went back to India for the first time after a long absence. He returned with the goal of making his contribution to reducing the injustices and inequalities he had observed and learned about from the media and many published works.
A good friend of George's, Angeline Nair, organized a meeting with several prominent individuals of Bangalore society. This meeting was the birth of The George Foundation, a non-profit charitable trust that would work towards the goals of addressing some of the most persistent problems in Indian society, especially with regard to the poor.Template:Fact
George's impact through the George Foundation has attracted acclaim from prominent people. Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman of the New York Times said in his book, The World is Flat, "We must have more Abraham Georges — everywhere — by the thousands."
George was a pioneer in the international finance arena, authoring several books on the topic:
- International Finance Handbook (2 volumes), John Wiley & Sons (ISBN 0471098612)
- Foreign exchange Management and the Multinational Corporation, Holt, Reinhart and Winston (ISBN 0030466415)
- Protecting Shareholder Value: International Financial Risk Management, Prentice Hall (ISBN 0786304391)
Since becoming a full-time philanthropist, George has written several articles and has published two books:
- India Untouched: The Forgotten Face of Rural Poverty, Writer's Collective (ISBN 818866118X) - A describition of Dr. George's initial 10 years of social work in rural India.
- Lead Poisoning Prevention and Treatment: Implementing a National Program in Developing Countries
George has also published over three dozen articles in international finance and on issues of global poverty.
- NYU Stern School of Business’ Stewart Satter Social Entrepreneurship Award, USA
- Spirit of India Award, America India Foundation, USA
- Hind Ratna Award, Non-Resident Indian Association, Delhi
- Millennium Awards, Indian American Kerala Cultural and Civic Center, USA
References and footnotes Edit
- The George Foundation
- India Untouched: The Forgotten Face of Rural Poverty
- leadpoison.net - National Referral Centre for Lead Poisoning in India
- Indian Institute of Journalism New Media
- Net Impact and WIVP welcome Dr. Abraham George to Wharton
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