Ellis Island Medal of Honor Given for Exemplary Service by Minorities

Smita Shah of Chicago, IL, currently serves as president and CEO of the engineering and construction management firm. Throughout her life, Smita Shah has demonstrated a strong commitment to public service, having served as an intern in the White House and as chair of the Delhi-Chicago Sister City committee. In 2007, Ms. Shah was presented with the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in recognition of her efforts to support cultural connections between the U.S. and India.

Sponsored by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO), the Ellis Island Medal of Honor is awarded to influential American citizens who have made notable contributions to American society and distinguished themselves as leaders within their own ethnic group. The Medal of Honor is intended to honor the diversity of individuals who have enriched America’s cultural heritage. Past recipients of the award include six U.S. Presidents, various Nobel Prize winners, and other well-known leaders in the areas of art, education, government, and sports. The most recent Ellis Island Medal of Honor was awarded in 2013 to David Merage, the creator of Hot Pockets snack foods, in recognition of his nonprofit foundations community development and education work in Israel and the United States.

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