Penn receives gift to support the study of global justice and human rights at Perry World House

The gift, from alumni Hemal N. Mirani and Paritosh V. Thakore, will establish the Thakore Family Global Justice and Human Rights Visiting Fellowship and the Thakore Family Global Justice and Human Rights Program.

Audience at Perry World House listening to two speakers seated on stage.
Former President of Liberia and Nobel Peace Prize winner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf speaks at Perry World House in September 2021 on issues including preparing for future pandemics, women’s rights, and advancing democracy. (Image: Amy Guo)

The University of Pennsylvania today announced a gift to Perry World House from alumni Hemal N. Mirani and Paritosh V. Thakore to establish the Thakore Family Global Justice and Human Rights Visiting Fellowship and the Thakore Family Global Justice and Human Rights Program.

The first part of the Thakore family’s gift will support the annual residency at Perry World House of a policymaker or activist with expertise on global justice and human rights to be known as the Thakore Family Global Justice and Human Rights Visiting Fellow. During their time on campus, the Visiting Fellow will be actively involved in Perry World House’s student engagement initiatives; collaborate with faculty on research; present guest lectures; take part in conversations across the University; advance Perry World House’s scholarly initiatives; and pursue their own ongoing work on global justice and human rights.

The second part of the gift will support annual programming to be known as the Thakore Family Program in Global Justice and Human Rights. Starting in Fall 2022, over the next five years, the program will support an annual workshop; an annual keynote address; engagements with policymakers, practitioners, and activists; and reports designed to have impact. The program will also enable students to engage with the themes of global justice and human rights through existing Perry World House initiatives, such as the undergraduate World House Student Fellows Program. “The Thakores’ gift will advance work that is essential to understanding our current global environment,” said Michael Horowitz, Director and Richard Perry Professor at Perry World House. “There is no part of the world that remains unscathed by human rights abuses and social justice inequities—some of which make headlines and some of which remain hidden. At Perry World House, we build on Penn’s strengths in teaching, interdisciplinary scholarship, and policy-relevant research to provide unique opportunities for our community members to cultivate broad world views, hone critical thinking, and develop the practical leadership skills required to address seemingly intractable issues.”

The Thakores’ gift is particularly well-timed. Fall 2022 marks the tenth anniversary celebration of Penn Global, created to lead, coordinate, and support Penn's global endeavors. Penn Global seeks to ensure that students engage meaningfully with the world through courses, internships, and research projects; as well as through their majors and professional specializations. It continues to expand resources and support for faculty, enabling them to generate knowledge fundamental to outstanding achievement within and across disciplines.

“Perry World House is at the heart of Penn Global,” said Ezekiel Emanuel, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives and Diane v.S. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor. “As the hub for global activities on campus, it has quickly built a reputation for bringing together students and faculty from across campus, along with distinguished visitors, to confront the toughest problems the world is facing. The Thakores’ gift to support visiting scholars and ongoing programming is a testament to Penn’s growing reputation in world affairs and Perry World House’s ability to get the right people in the room to do really hard and necessary work. I am grateful for the confidence in Penn signaled by this important and timely gift.”

Hemal Mirani earned a master’s degree in international studies with a Japanese language concentration from the Lauder Institute and an MBA in finance from The Wharton School in 1997. She currently serves as a managing director of a global private markets investment specialist where she has overall responsibility for the firm’s activities in the Asia-Pacific region. Paritosh Thakore, a 1986 graduate of Wharton, worked in private equity and as a portfolio manager investing in public equity markets in Asia.