Asia Society Texas Honors Former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi With 2022 Huffington Award
Award Highlights Nooyi's Contributions to Redefining Leadership, Corporate Commitment to Society, Community Support
HOUSTON, November 3, 2022 — Asia Society Texas presented its annual Roy M. Huffington Award to Indra Nooyi at the River Oaks Country Club of Houston on October 13. Mikki Hebl, Rashmi Kumar, Janet Matsushita, and Hong Ogle served as honorary co-chairs for the event.
Nooyi was honored for her legacy of redefining what it means to be an exceptional leader. As the first South Asian woman and immigrant to run a Fortune 50 company and as one of the foremost strategic thinkers of our time, Nooyi transformed the corporate world with a unique vision, a vigorous pursuit of excellence, and a deep sense of purpose. As PepsiCo’s chief architect of Performance with Purpose, she advanced the company's mission to deliver sustained growth by expanding PepsiCo’s line of nutritious products, limiting its environmental footprint, and empowering its associates and people in the communities it serves. As CEO, she made a commitment to promoting work-family balance and advancing women in the 21st century, which was reflected in her new memoir My Life in Full: Work, Family, and Our Future.
Following dinner, Nooyi spoke in conversation with Laura Arnold, co-founder and co-chair of Arnold Ventures, a national philanthropy focused on maximizing opportunity and minimizing injustice through public policy change. The discussion focused on the role of organizations in contributing to social change and family welfare, and in promoting career advancement for women.
Nooyi shared with the audience of 300 guests her thoughts on prioritizing support for young girls and young families, promoting childcare, advocating for women, fostering policies promoting greater diversity, and committing to reducing inequality in the workplace. She highlighted the need to change mindsets regarding women in leadership, and to acknowledge the importance of evaluating their performances thoughtfully and without bias. She went further into the collective efforts necessary to create an inclusive society and workplace, which could involve new organizational policies like flexible work hours or remote work, diversity training, and intentionally promoting diversity in recruitment and promotion.
As Nooyi shared her experience and anecdotes, it was clear that her remarkable accomplishments and delivery of impeccable results were driven by her commitment to compassionate leadership and resilience. For many, particularly younger generations, she became a role model due to her passion, hard work, and efforts to foster socially responsible organizations.
Bonny Le, a student from the University of Houston, reflected, “Having the opportunity to attend the Huffington Award Dinner was truly an empowering experience. It is amazing to see someone like me, a first-generation Asian woman, impacting society.”
In presenting the Huffington Award to Nooyi, event chairs Rashmi Kumar and Hong Ogle recognized her inspiring trajectory.
Students from Rice University, Texas Southern University, the University of Houston, and the University of Houston Downtown were in attendance. Luminaries in the audience included Sushila and Durga Agrawal, Muffet Blake and Bob Murray, China and Roberto* Contreras, Molly and James Crownover, Lily and Charles Foster*, Kathy and Glen Gondo*, Kathy and Marty Goossen*, Marie and Vijay Goradia, Mikki Hebl and David Harvey*, Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen*, Shazma and Arshad Matin*, Gordon Quan*, Selma and Mustafa Tameez*, Shiang Ling and George Yang*, as well as representatives from the consular corps.
* Designates an Asia Society Texas board member
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About the Huffington Award
The Roy M. Huffington Award for Contributions to International Understanding is named after its first recipient, Roy M. Huffington, Texas oilman, philanthropist, and co-founder of Asia Society Texas. Celebrating outstanding contributions to international diplomacy and cultural, social, or economic understanding, the award is the highest honor given by Asia Society Texas. Past award recipients include President George H. W. Bush, former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, and Princess Zahra Aga Khan.
About Asia Society Texas Center
Asia Society Texas is an educational and arts institution that believes in the strength and beauty of diverse perspectives and people. As a member of the global network of 14The Asia Society locations, we are passionate about advancing cultural exchange, inspiring empathy, and fostering a better understanding of our interconnected world. Spanning the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, our programming is rooted in the educational and cultural development of our community—trusting in the power of art, dialogue, and ideas to combat bias and build a more inclusive society.