News & Awards

Kishan Bhatt ’17 MPA ’21 Named Finalist in Global Student Essay Competition

Mar 16, 2018
Sarah M. Binder

An essay by Kishan Bhatt ’17 MPA ’21 has been selected as one of the top 100 global submissions for the 30th edition of the St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award.

As a result of this honor, Bhatt will attend the 48th St. Gallen Symposium in St. Gallen, Switzerland, in early May, where the top five essay-writers (to be selected in April) will present their ideas on stage. The theme of this year’s event is “Beyond the End of Work.”

The symposium is organized by the International Students Committee at the University of St. Gallen, which selects 200 “Leaders of Tomorrow” (including the top 100 student essay-writers) to attend the event each year. The event aims to create a debate between the decision-makers of today (top-level executives from business, politics and society) and those of tomorrow.

“New technologies offer us tremendous opportunities and challenges. At the symposium, I look forward to engaging with the other attendees as we brainstorm ways to ensure artificial intelligence (AI) tools are used to promote broad and inclusive growth,” Bhatt said.

In his essay, “Public Service in an A.I.-Driven World,” Bhatt presented a vision for what will be required of public service in a world shaped by artificial intelligence, including how technological literacy and a commitment to fairness are critical for government leaders of the future. He also analyzed situations in public health that are already seeing glimpses of transformations from AI — big data in health care and automated in silico pharmacological simulations in drug discovery and development.

Student essays were received from nearly 1,300 contestants, representing 350 universities and more than 100 nationalities — making this year’s edition the most competitive to date.

Bhatt is a graduate scholar in the Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative, based within Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He was awarded the Myron T. Herrick Prize in 2017 — the highest thesis honor for an undergraduate at the Woodrow Wilson School — for his thesis, “Safeguarding American Patients: A National Regression Analysis and State-Focused Case Study of Health Insurance Coverage and Medical Bankruptcy.”