For Anirudh Srivathsan (MPP’24), community matters. Whether it be a local dance chapter in Singapore, a hockey team in London or the student body at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, he takes pride in being an active member of any group he joins.
“I throw myself into campus life and activities,” said Anirudh, recipient of this year’s Whittington Scholarship, a prestigious award given to a McCourt student who excels academically and displays a strong commitment to serving their community.
“It feels nice to be recognized for my involvement in the community and for how I have worked to make it more inclusive,” he said.
Anirudh holds multiple leadership positions at McCourt, and his accomplishments are numerous. As director of social programs with the McCourt Student Association, he plans and executes most student-facing social events. Under his leadership of the South Asian Policy Research Initiative (SAPRI), Anirudh and his team have helped triple the student organization’s outreach and engagement activities this year. He has also taken on the role of “big brother in many ways,” looking after a cohort of 48 undergraduates in the CALL program as a residential fellow at Georgetown’s Capitol Campus residence.
Coming of age “outside of the Singaporean bubble”
Just two years ago, Anirudh had never lived in the United States. He grew up nearly 10,000 miles away in Singapore, “only a short 23-hour flight from Washington, DC,” he joked.
At the age of 13, he received a letter from his government — an official notice of mandatory military service.
“It’s a reality all young boys grew up in,” he said. “I knew that would be my path after I graduated from high school. Ultimately, I served in the infantry regiment.”
After two years of service in the Singapore Armed Forces, Anirudh moved to London to study international relations.
“My time at the University of London was the first time I had stepped outside of the Singaporean bubble,” he said. “I began to look at society differently and knew I wanted to pursue a career through which I could effect change.”
Anirudh, who later interned on the United Nations Anti-Racism team, became passionate about promoting inclusivity and combatting discrimination.
“I grew up as a minority in a society where representation and inclusion were limited. Over the last year, I have focused a lot of time and effort into building a stronger sense of connection among the McCourt student body,” said Anirudh.
Looking toward the future, Anirudh hopes to pursue a career in social policy with a focus on racial equity or combatting class disparities.
“I’m not keen to work full-time behind a desk,” he said. “I want a community-based role through which I can interact with the people in the field.”
Regardless of where his future takes him, Anirudh is intent on continuing his efforts to foster community and uplift the voices of those often unheard.