The family of deceased George Washington University student Benjamin Kane Gupta has given the university a generous gift to support the creation of the Benjamin Kane Gupta Fellows Program, a joint program of the School of Business and the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Global Partnership Initiative.
The fellowship, for M.B.A. students, will teach students how to build public-private partnerships to enhance and strengthen U.S. foreign policy and development efforts.
Mr. Gupta was enrolled in the joint law and M.B.A. degree program and was a member of the class of 2012. He held an internship in the secretary's Office of Global Partnership Initiative as part of his M.B.A. program. The university awarded him J.D. and M.B.A. degrees posthumously in May.
"The George Washington University is honored to join the U.S. Department of State and the Gupta family in creating this extremely fitting recognition of Ben's commitment to public service," said George Washington President Steven Knapp.
Thomas Debass, deputy special representative for global partnerships at the U.S. Department of State, called Mr. Gupta “an extraordinary individual and a tremendous asset to the U.S. Department of State.”
“We are deeply honored that the Gupta family has launched this fellowship, which will provide the nation’s leading students with an opportunity to learn the art of partnership building,” he said.
Gupta fellows will work with the Department of State on its partnership programs, either in the secretary’s office of the Global Partnership Initiative or in a regional bureau.
“My son Ben absolutely loved his years at GW Law and GW Business School, along with his work at the Department of State. He considered both places as his home and felt lucky to be part of both families,” said Vinod Gupta. “Ben is also survived by his mother, Bonnie, and two brothers, Alex and Jess, who are indebted to George Washington University and Department of State for their generosity toward honoring Ben’s memory with the creation of this program.”
The Office of Global Partnerships is the entry point for collaboration between the U.S. Department of State, the public and private sectors and civil society. Since 2009, the office has worked with more than 1,100 partners and leveraged more than $650 million in public and private resources to promote economic growth and opportunity, to invest in the well-being of people from all walks of life and to make democracy serve every citizen more effective and justly.
Fellows will facilitate collaboration between public and private sector actors through research and program development. While the fellowship will be located within the Department of State, it will be housed and administered within the School of Business.
“Ben embodied our values at George Washington with his commitment to public service and passion for international engagement,” said School of Business Dean Doug Guthrie. “Our location at the center of the nation’s capital makes us a key stakeholder in economic decision-making for the global economy. GWSB stands at the intersection of policy, politics and business.”
M.B.A. graduate students from any accredited university may apply for the program. Fellowship finalists will be chosen through a selection committee that includes representatives from the U.S. Department of State, the School of Business and a member of the Gupta family. The top two to four candidates will be selected and offered a six-month internship with the Office of the Global Partnership Initiative.