SPEAKER

Ajay Raju

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Ajay Raju is the founder of the Philadelphia-based Pamela + Ajay Raju Foundation. Through the interplay of strategically selected philanthropic initiatives, the Raju Foundation employs an interdisciplinary approach to the greater development of Philadelphia and the surrounding region. Among the Raju Foundation’s principal enterprises is the Germination Project, a non-profit, catalytic incubator for Philadelphia’s next generation of business, political and civic leaders, drawn from the best and brightest of Philadelphia’s high school students. The Germination Project’s mission and curriculum, developed in partnership with some of the region’s leading educational and public service institutions, focus on a decades-long investment in the future leadership of our city. Under the aegis of the IntXchange, the Raju Foundation promotes Philadelphia’s robust and growing creative community while attracting leading artists and patrons from around the world. These efforts have opened new cultural and commercial trade routes, putting Philadelphia on the map as a truly cosmopolitan city and as a viable destination for global investment. The Raju Foundation is the founding publisher and patron of The Philadelphia Citizen, a non-profit, non­partisan media organization whose dual mission is to provide deeply reported journalism that emphasizes solutions to move our region forward, and to actively reignite citizenship in and around Philadelphia by shining a light on the next generation of leadership—all while giving Philadelphians the interactive tools they need to become more involved, engaged citizens. In the spirit of global engagement, the Raju Foundation has endowed the Ajay Raju Millennial Membership of the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia. Students and professionals who join the World Affairs Council through the Raju Millennial Membership are granted the opportunity to engage with impact-makers from around the world, to find common cause with like-minded young professionals, and to develop a model for global citizenship that begins right here in Philadelphia.

Ajay is the Chairman and CEO of Dilworth Paxson, one of the leading law firms in the United States. His legal practice has a strong emphasis on structured finance and real estate capital markets transactions. Ajay also has a top reputation in a broad spectrum of other transactional areas, including mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, joint ventures, and cross-border strategic alliances. Recognized as one of the foremost authorities on issues arising from India’s emergence as a global power, Ajay is regularly called upon by leading multinational corporations to provide counsel on navigating the Indian market, and to act as a liaison and negotiator within India’s complex regulatory regime. Ajay was recently named by Lex Witness, a leading Indian journal of legal and corporate affairs, as one of India’s Top 50 power players shaping the country’s modern legal and business landscapes.

Ajay was appointed by Mayor Michael Nutter, in 2011, to the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Works, the region’s premier workforce development agency and the City’s fiscal agent for state and federal employment and training funds. Ajay also serves as chairman of The Center PAC, a federal and state non-partisan political action committee that supports policies and candidates who champion entrepreneurship, economic growth, and sustainable prosperity throughout the region. A sought-after thought leader, he appears as a regular on Inside Story, a Sunday-morning news and roundtable debate show which airs on ABC’s WPVI station serving the Greater Philadelphia market. Ajay also serves as a member of the Board of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Southeastern Pennsylvania’s leading business advocacy organization; as a member of the Board for Comcast/NBCUniversal’s Joint Diversity Council; as a Board member of the World Affairs Council, the region’s preeminent leadership and educational forum on international affairs; as a member of the Corporate Executive Board for the Philadelphia Museum of Art; as a member of the Chairman’s Council for the Philadelphia Zoo; as a member of the Cultural Cabinet of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance; as Pennsylvania State Chair of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys; as a member of the Archbishop’s Cabinet for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia; as Chairman of the Friends of The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, head church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia; as a founding Board member of I-LEAD, a Philadelphia community-based college degree program; as a member of the Drexel University Leadership Council; and as an Executive Board member of Live Arts & Philly Fringe.

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