Most Influential

University of Houston prez Renu Khator put up there with Pepsi CEO, Padma Lakshmi & governor

University of Houston prez Renu Khator put up there with Pepsi CEO, Padma Lakshmi & governor

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Renu Khator, president of the University of Houston Courtesy of University of Houston

The University of Houston System Board of Regents selected Renu Khator to fill the dual position of University of Houston president and University of Houston System chancellor in November 2007 — and it clearly made the right decision. 

Over just four years in office, Khator has helped to grow enrollment and firm the university's position as a Tier One-worthy institution, all while facing budgetary challenges. On top of that, she is serving as a role model to women in general, and Indian women in particular. 

SiliconIndia.com — a news source for, by and about Indians from around the world — has named Khator one of the Five Most Influential Indian Women in the U.S.:

Renu Khator is the Chancellor and President of University of Houston, who holds the prestige of being the first foreign-born President of the University. She is also the first Indian-origin woman heading a prominent research university in U.S.


Renu is an active member for numerous boards and organizations such as [the Moffitt] Cancer Hospital Board of Directors, the Hillsborough Education Foundation Board and the National Advisory Council on Environmental Policy and Management. She is also the author of many books and articles on issues related to global public administration and environmental policies.


Born in Uttar Pradesh, Renu received bachelors degree from the University of Kanpur, from Purdue University she completed MA in political science. She has also received doctorates in public administration and political science. Renu began her career at University of South Florida, where she was in charge of various positions."

Other Indian women who made the list are Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo; South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley; Shefali Duggal, who was recently named one of the "Most Powerful and Influential Women of California" by the National Diversity Council; and Padma Lakshmi, former wife of author Salman Rushdie and former lover of Houston's Adam Dell. Lakshmi is most well known as the host of Bravo TV's Top Chef

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