Dr. Piyush C. Agrawal
Dr. Piyush C. Agrawal
The Congressional Record of the US Government describes that “it is indeed a distinct honor to pay tribute to one of America’s unsung heroes, Dr. Piyush Agrawal. The celebration of his retirement from public education — will certainly leave a great void in our public school system.” It continues “he truly epitomized the preeminence of a caring public servant who genuinely exuded the virtues of a gentleman and a scholar.”
Professional: Dr. Agrawal represents a rare combination of a professional expert in education, a successful business entrepreneur, a well-respected community service activist and a philanthropist.
Strengthened by six University degrees, Piyush served the field of education for more than 40 years from being a classroom teacher to a Superintendent of Schools to a United Nations Expert.
He has served as a consultant/advisor to numerous organizations including United Nations Development Program (UNDP), UNESCO, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the New American Schools Development Corporation (NASDC) – an organization created to support President Bush (41st) education initiative. Piyush has been on several Task Forces and Panels like the National & State Selection Panels for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching; Middle States accreditation body for Colleges & Schools; Maryland Public Television; National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics; National Summit on Mathematics Assessment; and the Florida Speaker’s Task Force on Mathematics, Science & Computer Education. Dr. Agrawal has about two dozen publications to his credit and has received several honors and awards.
Dr. Agrawal’s leadership qualities and organizational skills were recognized not only in the workplace but also by various professional, civic and social organizations. He has been President of several professional entities, such as the Florida Council of Teachers of Mathematics (1990-92), the Florida Association of Mathematics Supervisors (1986-87), the UNESCO Staff Association, Liberia (1971-76) and has served on several Boards of Directors. In 1990, he founded the Florida Leadership Alliance for Improving Mathematics Education.
Community Service: On September 9, 2003, Dr. Agrawal had a singular privilege of having a face to face meeting with President George W. Bush and made two requests to him: One was to include Hindus in his speeches when he talked about the US population and mentioned only Jews, Christians & Muslims (and not Hindus) and Second that The White House celebrates Christmas, Hanukah, Eid & Kwanza and does not celebrate Diwali. Diwali should also be celebrated at The White House. The President included Hindus in his speech within 15 minutes of this meeting and Diwali was celebrated within six weeks. Since then Diwali is being celebrated every year at The White House.
Before this event, Diwali was almost unknown (officially) in the Western world. After the Diwali at The White House, it is being celebrated at the Official level in many countries such as England, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
In 2006, Piyush spearheaded a major initiative, in cooperation with other community leaders, to make US-India Nuclear Treaty a reality. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recognized his tireless efforts by thanking him through a personal letter.
On October 02, 2012, Piyush in cooperation with other local community leaders installed a Mahatma Gandhi statue in a nearby town that was unveiled by India’s Former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. This is the only Statue in the USA that stands on its own land.
Dr. Agrawal organized a People-to-People Conference on September 15, 2000 at the US State Department during the visit of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpai. The theme was “The New Framework of Indo-US Relationship in the Third Millennium” The US Secretary of Commerce Norman Mineta was one of the main Speakers.
Piyush has been very active with the American Association for Civic Responsibility (AACR) – an organization created to cultivate civic responsibility among the Indian Diaspora for the benefit of India and their country of residence.
In 1994 Piyush was appointed to the U.S. 2000 Census Advisory Committee on the Asian and Pacific Islander Populations for a three-year term and due to his good work was reappointed successively for additional two three-year terms. During the nine-year period, he served as its Chairman for unprecedented five one-year terms. It resulted in changing the US Census Form by placing (Asian) Indian category on a priority place ensuring a proper count and got the Census Bureau to produce materials in various Indian languages including Hindi, Gujarati, Urdu & Bengali to assist the people who might have had difficulty in English
In 2004, Governor Bush of Florida appointed Piyush to the Board of Directors of Florida Fund for Minority Teachers (FFMT) for a three-year term. He has been reappointed to the FFMT Board by successive Governors Charlie Crist and Rick Scott for three-year term each. This initiative provides scholarships to increase the number of teachers from minority communities including (Asian) Indians.
Same year (2004), he was also appointed by the State of Florida to serve on the Racial & Ethnic Health Disparity Advisory Committee; he served as its Chairman for six consecutive years. This program develops appropriate recommendations to address health-related issues to decrease health disparities among various sections of the community and to facilitate policy development and budgetary appropriations.
Piyush is very active in civic and social non-profit organizations. He has been elected twice as the National President of the Association of Indians in America (AIA) – the oldest (Asian) Indian organization in the USA (EST. 1967). He has served as Chairman of Asian American Federation of Florida (AAFF), Asian American Foundation (AAF), Asian American Alliance (AAA), and the Asian American Community Forum (AACF).
AAFF was established in 1984 to build coalition among more than 30 nationalities from East Asia to South Asia to West Asia to push the common agenda that included issues such as Immigration, Discrimination, and Glass Ceiling etc.
Under his leadership, AAFF raised and distributed about US$80,000 for Asian Tsunami Relief Fund that benefitted India also.
Under his Chairmanship, the AAF published The International Asian American Newspaper to highlight the events of the Asian American Community to mainstream America.
Currently, Piyush serves as the Senior Vice President of Global Organization of People of Indian Origin: GOPIO International (an advocacy group) serving the worldwide Indian Diaspora of about 30 million people.
Piyush has very successfully spearheaded efforts to unite the Indian Community in USA by creating informal coalitions among the various national organizations such as the Association of Indians in America (AIA), the National Federation of Indian Associations (NFIA), the Indian American Forum for Political Education (IAFPE), the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), and the American Association of Physicians of India Origin (AAPI). Building bridges and develop coalitions is Piyush’s strength.
Dr. Agrawal has hosted several Parliamentary Delegations from India including the ones headed by Speaker Meira Kumar, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, Speaker Manohar Joshi, Speaker Balram Jhakkar, and Shri Kailash Joshi, former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh
A Sample of awards & Recognitions :
- October 8, 2004 declared as ”Dr. Piyush C. Agrawal Day in the 23rd Congressional District.”
- “Outstanding Contribution to the Indian American Community” by FIA of Florida, Oct 31, 2004.
- “Outstanding Professional and Community Service—“ Miami-Dade County, Oct 8, 2004
- “Outstanding Leadership, Dedication and Service for the Benefit of Mathematics Education”
- “Outstanding contribution to the work of the American Mathematics Competitions.” July 1992
- “Outstanding Service Award for His Leadership, Guidance and Support—“ FAMS Oct. 1989
7.”Outstanding Contribution to Census 2000 and to early 2010 planning –“ US Census Bureau.
- “Excellence in Education Award” by the University at Albany, NY May 2009
- “Outstanding Service to the Community” Award by the American Association for Civic Responsibility, 2009
- “Global Partnership Award” by United Nations Association, Broward, USA 2017
- “Lifetime Achievement Award” by Marquis Who’s Who 2018
Business: In 2000, he bought APS Technologies, Inc. and in 2007, he started another business enterprise: Allied Joint venture, LLC. He has successfully transformed these businesses from small size companies to multimillion dollar enterprises.
Most recently (2011), Piyush has established US India Business Forum of Florida to promote business between India & USA.
Philanthropy: In 2005, he made a major financial commitment to his village in Agra, India where he was born to build a College for Girls in the rural area in the name of his parents: Babu Ramchandra Chameli Kiran Agrasen Kanya Mahavidyalaya. This college prepares young ladies for their B.A., B.Sc. (Biology) and B.Sc. (Mathematics) degrees.