Gaurav Kumar to Lead the Andrew J. Young Foundation
ATLANTA – Gaurav Kumar has been named to lead the Andrew J. Foundation as the non-profit organization’s new President.
Ambassador Andrew Young, who remains Chairman of the Foundation, is working from home during the coronavirus pandemic and made the announcement in a letter to longtime supporters.
“Gaurav is a problem solver,” Ambassador Young said. “He’s the right man for this important job.”
Kumar, 39, has become a trusted “right hand man” while working closely with Ambassador Young for the last seven years. In his previous role as Director of Social Innovations, he spearheaded a number of the Foundation’s most important projects.
“It is a blessing simply to work with Ambassador Young, but indeed an honor to have him ask that I become president of the Foundation that bears his name,” Kumar said. “I’m excited to be a part of this journey.”
Ambassador Young noted that Kumar is an experienced operations manager with over 20 years of experience in project development and strategic planning and execution. In 2018, the Atlanta Business Chronicle recognized him as one of “40 under 40” young business leaders who “make significant career achievements and have demonstrated social responsibility.”
Born and raised in Patna, Bihar in India, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from IRIMEE, Jamalpur, and a Master’s in Economics, Kumar was employed as a business executive in the railway industry. After moving to the U.S., he studied at Georgia State University, where he obtained a Master of Science in Mathematical Risk Management and also was a supplemental calculus instructor.
His work in profit, non-profit and government sectors have taken him to a dozen countries on four continents in a variety of technical and leadership roles that have given him multi-cultural work experience.
The Andrew J. Young Foundation’s major projects have become even more relevant – and critical – because of the coronavirus pandemic and its potential effect on the global economy and world hunger.
“We have come a long way from where we started in terms of research and development,” Kumar said. “It is now time to bring those ideas to fruition and create new jobs, empower communities, and seek prosperity for all.”
Kumar already has spearheaded several of the projects closest to Ambassador Young’s heart:
- Fighting malnutrition with a high-protein product derived naturally from the abundant plant commonly called Duckweed;
- Increasing the use of aquaponics, particularly in parts of the world where traditional farming is difficult or impractical – including, thus far, parts of Africa, Europe, the Caribbean Islands, and Europe;
- Developing and coordinating of the massive “Mississippi River Project,” which is bringing together dozens of cities along America’s greatest river and its in an effort to repair crumbling infrastructure, prevent annual flooding, and provide tens if not hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the process; and
- Advancing the construction of a mobile harbor off the coast of Savannah, Georgia, through public-private agreements with international partners from the Netherlands, Belgium, and South Korea.
“During these troubling times, we reconfirm our commitment to heed the Gospel’s mandate to ‘feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and heal the sick’ – and we have been doing that successfully around the globe,” Ambassador Young said. “We will continue, even while adapting to new challenges and maintaining safe working conditions.”
Kumar added, “At present, we are observing ‘shelter in place’ and thank God we have internet!”
His wife, Ekta is a fashion designer and a senior at SCAD in Atlanta. They are the parents of two daughters.
In his new role as President, Kumar will work closely with the Foundation’s staff and volunteers. “This is a group unequaled in dedication, commitment, and determination to make a difference in the lives of those who need us most,” Kumar said. “With the help of our generous supporters, we will continue to realize Ambassador Young’s vision.”