Khator, who was born in the Uttar Pradesh province of India and earned a bachelor's degree at Kanpur University, is among eminent people of Indian origin in diverse fields around the world who will serve on the 25-member council.
"I am deeply honored to join such a prestigious group of world leaders whom I will serve with on the council," Khator said. "This represents yet another opportunity to position the University of Houston as a global resource for expertise and to increase the university's visibility on an international scale."
In addition to being chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the council also will include India's External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vyalar Ravi and other senior designated officials from the government.
The GAC, which will meet twice a year, is based on the idea that the "highly skilled overseas Indian community represents a vast untapped resource that can be harnessed as an input in national development processes in the country."
The council will:
- Serve as a platform for the prime minister to draw upon the "experience, knowledge and wisdom of the best Indian minds wherever they may be based"
- Develop an inclusive agenda for two-way engagement between India and overseas Indians
- Consider ways and means for accessing the skills and knowledge of the Indian diaspora for meeting India's development goals and facilitating investments by overseas Indians into India
- Channel the substantial overseas Indian philanthropic efforts in India into priority areas of development such as poverty alleviation, education and health care.
Khator, who began her tenure at the University of Houston in January 2008, has a long history of community engagement, serving on numerous boards and advisory councils. A noted scholar in global environmental policy, Khator and her husband, Suresh Khator, in January 2007 were awarded the prestigious Hind Rattan (Jewel of India), given to nonresident Indians for making outstanding contributions in their field. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services included her among its 2006 Outstanding Americans by Choice awardees. The award recognizes achievements of naturalized citizens.
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas' premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 36,000 students.