ASU Thunderbird School of Global Management Rolls Out Mumbai Global Initiative to Educate 100 Million Learners by 2030

New Delhi: The Thunderbird School of Global Management (Thunderbird) at Arizona State University, home of the world’s No. 1 ranked Master’s in Management and ranked No.1 for innovation in the U.S., rolled out in Mumbai today its transformative new global initiative to educate and empower 100 million learners by 2030. Launched in Phoenix on January 20, 2022, the Global Initiative will be rolled out across continents beginning with today’s event in Mumbai. The announcement coincides with the opening of Thunderbird’s Center of Excellence in Mumbai, part of a global network of offices expanding the school’s engagement and impact worldwide.

Thanks to a historic $25 million donation from the Francis and Dionne Najafi Global Initiative, Thunderbird will offer an online Global Management and Entrepreneurship Certificate, consisting of five world-class courses in 40 different languages. The certificate will be covered by full scholarships and thus will be made available at no cost to learners due to the philanthropic support undergirding the initiative.

“My ancestors come from Porbandar, the home of Gandhi. My grandfather only completed 6th standard but went on to be a successful entrepreneur. My grandmother didn’t get to go to school at all. My father came to India for technical school, but my mother never got to college. I was blessed because of their sacrifices with a world-class education that transformed my life including allowing me to do graduate research in 22 states across India. I want millions in India to have access to that world-class education, at no cost, in multiple Indian languages to transform their lives,” said Thunderbird Director General and Dean, Dr. Sanjeev Khagram. “In order to reach scale, we are building long-term collaborations with great partners committed to educational access in India, such as Leap Scholar, Samta Foundation, OrangeSlates, KK Modi University, among many others and especially with our amazing Thunderbird alumni across India,” added Dean Khagram.

Vaibhav Singh, Co-founder of LeapScholar shared, “LeapScholar is committed to enabling and empowering students by democratizing access to global education and careers. We are ready to partner with Thunderbird School of Global Management, ASU, which is ranked #1 for Global Management, in implementing the 100 Million Learners initiative in India which will further boost the vision of bringing the best global opportunities to aspiring students.”

Educating 100 million learners by 2030 will require a strategic, phased approach. In year one, the Global Initiative aims to reach learners in India, Colombia, Iran, Kenya, Mexico, Indonesia, Egypt, Senegal, Brazil, and Vietnam in ten languages. By year two, the program will be expanded across Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America to at least 25 languages. By year four or earlier, the Global Initiative will have expanded to Europe and Central Asia and 40 total languages—thus available for learners worldwide. Eventually, the initiative will be available for all learners around the world, reaching our goal of 100 million learners.

About F. Francis and Dionne Najafi

F. Francis Najafi is the American Dream come to life. He came to America from Iran to get an education and earned four degrees from three universities. In 1982 he founded Pivotal Group, a real estate opportunity fund with uncanny market timing and wisdom. Later he broadened Pivotal Group’s mandate by successfully investing in private equity and growth venture opportunities. As his success grew, so did his philanthropy: Mr. Najafi has given millions of his own money to an incredibly wide range of causes, headlined by his recent $25 million donations to Arizona State University.


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