Raj Gupta

Raj Gupta

Co-Chair of Board of Advisors, Johns Hopkins Gupta-Klinsky India Institute

Raj Gupta was born in a small village in Uttar Pradesh, India. As a 22-year-old in  Spring 1968, he came to the United States with only $8 in his pocket to do graduate  studies in Operations Research/Computer Science at Cornell. He built a 39-year  career at the global Fortune 500 specialty materials company Rohm and Haas, where  he retired as Chairman and CEO in April 2009.  

Over his career, he has served as a director at 15 public companies across a wide  range of industries, including Hewlett Packard, DuPont, Arconic/Howmet,  Delphi/Aptiv, Airgas, Tyco, and Avantor. He also held long-term Board Chair positions  at Delphi/Aptiv (7 years) and Avantor (12 years), both Fortune 500 companies. In  addition, he has served on the boards of six private companies, including Vanguard  Group, IRI, StrozFriedberg, and Aceto. Raj received a BTech(Hons) in Mechanical  Engineering from IITBombay in 1967, followed by an MS in Operations  Research/Computer Science from Cornell in 1969 and an MBA in Finance in 1971  from Drexel University. 

After retiring from Rohm and Haas Company, Raj and his wife Kamla established  their family’s Ujala Foundation (which means “light” in Hindi), focusing on education  and healthcare, equally directed to India and the U.S. Since its inception, the Ujala  Foundation has contributed towards an endowed professorship at Hopkins, initial  funding for the Drexel University Gupta Governance Institute, fellowships at Drexel’s  Business School and Cornell University’s School of Biomedical Engineering, and  other causes, including Raj’s alma mater IITBombay, and several civic and cultural  organizations in India, such as Pratham and AIF, and the United States, such as the  Philadelphia Zoo, Philadelphia Art Museum, and the Franklin Institute. To date, the  Johns Hopkins Gupta-Klinsky India Institute represents the Ujala Foundation’s single  largest commitment. 

Raj and Kamla split their time between suburban Philadelphia, PA, and Bonita  Springs, FL. They are parents to two daughters and grandparents to three boys. Raj  documented his personal and professional journey in a book titled Eight Dollars and a  Dream: My American Journey, written in collaboration with Syd Havely and published  in 2016.