Google’s Sundar Pichai to co-chair council to help Ukranian, Afghan refugees settle in US

Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, announced on Tuesday that he will co-chair a new council with more than 30 other CEOs to assist Ukrainian and Afghan immigrants in settling in the United States.

The move, according to Pichai, expands on Google’s long-standing support for immigrants, Dreamers, and refugees, and will help people gain access to technology, jobs, and other resources.

The Welcome.US CEO Council, according to its website, is a group of business executives devoted to supporting measures to mobilize private sector resources to assist those seeking asylum in the United States.

The Welcome.US CEO Council, co-chaired by Accenture Chair and CEO Julie Sweet and Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, features members from many of America’s largest and most iconic companies according to the website.

Tim Cook of Apple, Shantanu Narayen of Adobe, Brian Moynihan of Bank of America, Brad Smith of Microsoft, and Albert Bourla of Pfizer are among the other CEOs collaborating in the program.

This comes during one of the century’s worst refugee crises, with more than 4.5 million Ukrainians fleeing for safety across Europe, a figure that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees anticipates to rise as the fighting continues.

More than 100,000 Ukrainians will be permitted to seek asylum in the United States, following the resettlement of more than 75,000 Afghan arrivals in American communities—seven times the number of refugees accepted in the United States in 2020.

Pichai was born in Madurai, India, and received his metallurgical engineering degree from IIT Kharagpur. After relocating to the United States, he earned an M.S. in materials science and engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, where he was named a Siebel Scholar and a Palmer Scholar, respectively.

Pichai’s first job was as a materials engineer. Pichai joined Google in 2004 after a brief spell with management consulting company McKinsey & Co., where he supervised the product management and innovation activities for a suite of Google’s client software products, including Google Chrome and Chrome OS, as well as being in charge of Google Drive.

On August 10, 2015, Pichai was named the next CEO of Google, following CEO Larry Page’s appointment of him as Product Chief. He began his new role on October 24, 2015, following the establishment of Alphabet Inc., the new holding company for the Google firm family. In 2017, he was elected to the Alphabet Board of Directors.

In 2016 and 2020, Pichai was named to Time’s annual list of the 100 most important people.