Indian American Philanthropist Inspires Atlas Corps Fellows: Beginnings, Being, and Becoming


Washington, DC (May 25, 2017) – Excerpts from the Atlas Corps Class 24 Welcome Event keynote address by Frank Islam. You can view additional media coverage at the Business Standard and on this Facebook Live video.

Thank you for that kind introduction.Thank you for your warm welcome. I would like to take this opportunity to thanks Scott Beale for his leadership and for inviting me to address you today. I have been invited to be with you Atlas Fellows today to share some thoughts regarding my journey and your journey.  And, I will do so.

Exhibition Planning!

Eights months in and I’m nearing completion of all my major projects at my host organisation. What’s the reward for good hard work? You guessed it. More work! I’m a workaholic so this is basically Christmas for me. My latest venture has a creative spin on it too. I get to work and I get to be creative too, how awesome its this!

Devex Global Development Career Forum: Why and How

ditch the cityDevex Global Development Career Forum was held in Washington, DC on March 24, 2017. Those of us who had over 7 years of experience related to International Development and were quick enough to register (the spots filled quickly) headed to a secret central location at 1 p.m. The exact venue was announced to the confirmed participants few days in advance.

Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center was buzzing. This was definitely THE international development career fair of the year! Overwrought crowds of seasoned experts flew from exhibitors hall on the left to the one on the right of the central hall where the registration took place. And there I was, in the middle of the traffic and full of questions. What should I tell at the stands? Where shall I begin?



People would rather listen to music than taking few minutes to read a piece like this in my country. In the same sense, though travelling is generally seen as a part of experience, where I come from, travelling abroad is a sign of achievement and breakthrough.

The moment one travels out of Nigeria, most people send congratulatory messages; although only few genuinely care about reasons behind his/her travel. People start sending best wishes laced with a reminder to bring back some gifts. Most times, the parents of such a person are elevated in the society while the wife and child(ren), if married, or his suitor is treated like royalty. The relative standard of living is expected to change within few months of exiting the country, or else, he is labeled a complete failure!

Join Young Professionals in Foreign Policy

YPFP LogoThis is probably going to look like a semi-advertisement post, but keep on reading, fellows! There is something special for you in the end.

As you might now, I am serving at Young Professional in Foreign Policy in Washington, DC. YPFP’s mission is to foster the next generation of foreign policy leaders by providing young professionals with the knowledge, skills, exposure, and relationships to tackle critical global challenges over the course of their careers.


Sometimes when you are living abroad, you miss your friends, family, your favorite places (in my case, not only in Peru). You can feel that you are alone, even when you are surrounded from a lot of people. Managing your feelings is always difficult, you have to find your way to recuperate it from this emotional rollercoaster because nobody can teach you how to recover of this kind of sorrow.

Networking in DC: Healthy Alternatives

2-networking-artworkNow, how about re-thinking conventional happy hour networking? Below are few more ideas to entertain while you are planning your next professional socializing.

There is a very effective and efficient way to tap into a network of professionals: it is through a mentorship. Mentor is essentially a professionally senior person who will guide you and introduce you to the width of his/her network of craftily selected professionals. Not only you will get a leg in the door, but also have a head start by the pure power of association. Having said that, you need be ready to prove you are a worthy recommendee and a valuable extension to a mentor’s network.

Networking in DC: Target, Plan and Conquer


Networking is The buzz word here in Washington, DC. It is this kind of a magic combination of sounds that makes every Washingtonian, young or old, gather in stomach, remember a well-rehearsed elevator speech and ensure the business card is within a 3-second reach. Or at least this is what I gathered from our cultural adaptation session of immersion training.

Ever since that training, the idea of conventional happy hour networking seemed somewhat unsettling to me. I have discussed the phenomenon of networking with loads of people from my fellow fellows to seasoned top managers. Here are some random ideas of how to make the networking effective and less stressful (they just happen to be counter-conventional happy-hour networking. The author never claimed to be un-biased):


As global warming aggravates, the catastrophic climate change continues to sway experts of its predictability. Green forests are turning into deserts whereas water bodies are disappearing with the passing of time.  The reality of bad weather patterns is more eminent today than hitherto ever known. Politicians and Diplomats continue to talk tough with incommensurate demonstrated commitment to cause a sustainable change to the status qua. The vulnerable homeless people are the worst affected group of persons by the snares of bad climates. Civil wars and political unrests in the Middle East, Africa and other places of the globe have displaced and exiled countless people into appalling refugee camps and many others into complete homelessness and hopelessness. Though regular, the world wakes to the surprise visitations of natural disasters like the Hurricanes, Tsunami, Earthquakes and Tornadoes which destroy life and properties and disappear with the habitats and abodes of the many homeless persons living in the streets and other unworthy circumstances. Homelessness is a global quagmire that needs a global holistic approach to solve nonetheless unevenly spread across countries.

The Biting Cold


The way we summer people from relatively warmer regions of the world feel during a -17 degrees Celcius of cold, is definitely like someone from a colder region of the world feeling during 113 degrees of Fahrenheit of summers in my hometown. Yes, it can go higher than that and we go through it every year. No wonder why it’s hard for us to survive 1.4 degrees of Fahrenheit; very very hard.