Indian elected as member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

India born Kamaljit Singh Bawa, a distinguished professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, has been elected a member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Bawa, founder and president of Bangalore based Ashoka Trust for Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), will join the academy Oct 6 with some of the worlds’ most influential artists, scientists, scholars, authors and leaders.

Besides sustainability expert Bawa others elected to the Academy in public affairs and journalism category are: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, Jr, veteran diplomat R. Nicholas Burns, television journalist Judy Woodruff; and Boston Globe editor Martin Baron.

“Election to the Academy is both an honour for extraordinary accomplishment and a call to serve,” said Academy President Leslie C. Berlowitz.

“We look forward to drawing on the knowledge and expertise of these distinguished men and women to advance solutions to the pressing policy challenges of the day.”

The announcement of Bawa’s election came as he was receiving the Gunnerus Sustainability Award the world’s first major award for sustainability, awarded by the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters, for the impact his research has had on the sustainability of global biodiversity.