Indian American Indra Nooyi inducted into Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

Smithsonian National Gallery

Jon Friedman’s portrait of Nooyi drawn to look like a photograph.

Former PepsiCo chief Indra Nooyi has been inducted into the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. The Indian American business executive has been added to the prestigious list for her accomplishments and a positive impact on America’s shared history. The gallery includes about 23,000 portraits in its permanent collection.

The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery details the American history by telling the story through people who have made significant contributions in the country.

Through various forms of visual and performing arts, the Gallery houses portraits of presidents, lawmakers, activists, visionaries, actors and change makers who with their lives made a difference in America, as we know today.

Nooyi herself was present at the induction ceremony in New York on Sunday. Talking to reporters, Nooyi said: “To be an immigrant, a South Asian immigrant of color, a woman to be included in the Portrait Gallery, it really says that we are a country where people look for the people who make a positive impact and celebrate them.”

READ MORE: Indra Nooyi praised as a pioneer, mentor (August 7, 2018)

“It doesn’t matter what your background, color, creed, ethnicity is. As long as you’ve made a positive impact to the country, we are going to celebrate you – actually memorialize – which I thought was even more spectacular.”

“I feel very grateful to be making a home here in this country because this portrait gallery is an accolade which I’ve never dreamed of. And it’s heartwarming to see this,” Nooyi said.

Artist Jon Friedman has drawn Nooyi’s portrait to look like a photograph. Nooyi was involved during the process and saw it in various stages of completion.

ALSO READ: Indian American Indra Nooyi steps down as PepsiCo CEO after 12 years (August 6, 2018)

Every year, the gallery adds 150 to 200 new people in its collection. Along with Nooyi, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was also included in the gallery on Sunday. The gallery board comes up with prospective names each year and a great deal of deliberation and thought goes into who makes it to the final list.

Born in Chennai, India, Nooyi was formerly PepsiCo’s CEO. A position she stepped down from late last year after 24 long years in the company. Nooyi was the CEO of PepsiCo for 12 years during which she is credited with turning the company into one of the most revered food and beverage company.


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Indra Nooyi becomes Yale’s biggest alumni donor (January 13, 2016)

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