Ms Arnaaz Ameer, a recent graduate of the Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) has been selected for the Schwarzman Scholars program, one of the world’s most prestigious, competitive graduate fellowships, with an acceptance rate of 5%.
The 147 Scholars comprising the cohort of 2020 were selected through a rigorous application process designed to evaluate academic ability, as well as leadership potential and strength of character. The selection process relied on readers from different regions and backgrounds who provided insights to identify the highest level of leadership and academic excellence across the world. Out of the 2,800 applications received, more than 400 semi-finalists were invited to interview in either Beijing, Bangkok, London or New York, and went before panels of distinguished figures comprised of CEOs, former heads of state, university presidents, non-profit executives, journalists and other leaders from around the world.
The Class of 2020 is comprised of 40% of students originating from the United States, 20% from China, and 40% from the rest of the world. This year, the cohort has expanded the diversity of the Schwarzman Scholars network to include a total of 119 universities and 38 countries (up from 94 universities and 29 countries for the Class of 2019).
The cohort was handpicked by a rigorous process of screening applications by a distinguished group of interviewers, including Lionel Barber, Editor of the Financial Times; Brian Mulroney, Former Prime Minister of Canada; Elizabeth Kiss, Warden of The Rhodes Trust; General (Ret.) David Petraeus, Member & Chairman of KKR Global Institute; Shelly Lazarus, Chairman Emeritus of Ogilvy & Mather; David Simon, Lord Simon of Highbury, Former CEO of BP; Cathy Engelbert, CEO of Deloitte; Yi-Shyan Lee, Member of the Singapore Parliament; Lisa Borders, Former President of the WNBA; Jacob Weisberg, Former Editor-in-Chief of Slate Group; and many others.
The extraordinary individuals chosen as Schwarzman Scholars for the batch of 2020, are poised to become future leaders who will help address some of the most pressing global challenges of the 21st century. “Our newest class includes a diverse group of future leaders from around the world. They join a global network of Scholars who have committed themselves to be a force for change, regardless of where their professional or personal passions take them. My hope is that a year in Beijing will inspire and challenge these students in ways they haven’t even imagined. I look forward to seeing how this new class will leave its mark,” said Stephen A. Schwarzman, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Blackstone, and Chairman of Schwarzman Scholars.
All Scholars will study and reside at Schwarzman College, named by Architectural Digest as one of the 9 Best New University Buildings in the World. The LEED Gold, state-of-the-art building at Tsinghua University was designed by Robert A.M. Stern Associates to encourage cross-cultural connections and intellectual exchange. The program is scheduled to commence in August 2019.
Ms Arnaaz Ameer is the first lawyer, and one of the first Indian women to be chosen as a Schwarzman Scholar, since the inception of the program. Having graduated with a Bachelors in Social Work, L.L.B. (Honours) from the Gujarat National Law University, she is the first student from any National Law University in India to be awarded this prestigious scholarship. A lawyer enrolled with the Bar Council of Delhi, she is currently working under Dr Narendra Jadhav, Member of Parliament, as part of the Legislative Assistant to Member of Parliament (LAMP) Fellowship. Arnaaz will complete the LAMP Fellowship in the month of February 2019, subsequent to which she shall join the Schwarzman Scholars program (one-year Master’s degree in Global Affairs at Tsinghua University) in Beijing in the month of August 2019.
About Schwarzman Scholars:
Schwarzman Scholars was inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship and is designed to prepare future global leaders to meet the geopolitical challenges of the 21st century. The vision of Schwarzman Scholars is to bring together the world’s best young minds to explore and understand the economic, political and cultural factors that have contributed to China’s increasing importance as a global power, and to make them more effective as links between China and the rest of the world. Blackstone Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder, Stephen A. Schwarzman, has personally contributed over $100 million to the program and is leading a fundraising campaign to raise an additional $500 million from others to endow the program in perpetuity. Schwarzman Scholars has already raised $578 million towards this $600 million goal. The endowment will support up to 200 Scholars annually from the U.S., China and around the world in earning a one-year Master’s degree in Global Affairs at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Scholars chosen for this highly selective program have demonstrated exemplary leadership qualities and the potential to bridge and understand cultural and political differences. They live in Beijing for a year of study and cultural immersion, attending lectures, travelling, and developing a better understanding of China.