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Hatfield fellow to address 21st century leadership in lecture

Natarajan “Chandra” Chandrasekaran, Cornell’s 37th Robert S. Hatfield Fellow in Economic Education, will have a conversation with President Martha E. Pollack on “Leadership in the 21st Century: Tata Heritage and Future,” Oct. 16 at 4:45 p.m. in Mentors Lecture Hall, G01 Gates Hall.

Natarajan Chandrasekaran

Chandrasekaran is chairman of the board of Tata Sons, the holding company and promoter of more than 100 Tata operating companies with annual aggregate revenues of more than $100 billion. He joined the Tata Sons board in 2016 and was appointed chairman a year later.

He will tell the story of the 150-year-old Tata group and its commitment to corporate social responsibility. He also will discuss the development of its subsidiary Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) into a global information technology provider, and speak more broadly about building organizations for the future, addressing climate and sustainability issues, and navigating evolving geopolitical issues.

Chandrasekaran chairs the boards of several Tata Sons companies, including Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Power, Tata Global Beverages Limited, Indian Hotels Co. Ltd. and TCS. He served as chief executive officer of TCS from 2009-17 and as an executive of the company for 30 years.

Chandrasekaran was appointed a director on the board of India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India, in 2016, and as a member of the International Advisory Council of Singapore’s Economic Development Board in 2018. 

Chandrasekaran is an avid photographer and distance runner; during his leadership at TCS, the company took on the sponsorship of the TCS New York City Marathon.

The Continental Group Foundation established the Robert S. Hatfield Fund for Economic Education at Cornell in 1980 to honor Robert Hatfield ’37, the then-retiring chairman, president and chief executive officer of the Continental Group Inc. The fund supports the Hatfield Fellows Program, which serves as a major platform for the exchange of ideas between the academic and corporate communities.

A moderated Q&A will follow the lecture, which is free and open to the public.

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Abby Butler