Lilianna Bagnoli ’15 Earns Clinton Fellowship in India

January 07, 2016

Lilianna Bagnoli ’15 is one of 35 young professionals from India and the United States to receive the American India Foundation William J. Clinton Fellowship for Service in 2015.

The fellowship matches participants with leading nongovernmental organizations and social enterprises in India for 10 months to accelerate impact and create effective projects that promote civil society, development, and social justice. To help build a lasting bridge between the United States and India, the Clinton Fellowship has expanded to incorporate young professional Indians to work side by side with fellows from the United States.

Bagnoli works in New Delhi with Social Cops, a social enterprise that collects and analyzes data to highlight critical issues in India such as healthcare, education, and infrastructure. She then collaborates with other NGOs and representatives from government to organize and execute development initiatives to address issues highlighted by the data collected.

Bagnoli's enthusiasm for the role of research to inform social initiatives in the developing world stems from the international immersion experiences she had in Ghana and India while a student at Grinnell. In the summer of 2013 she interned with Challenging Heights in Winneba, Ghana. The anti-child trafficking organization received a $100,000 Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize in 2011.

She devoted much of 2014 to pursuing academic coursework and Hindi language instruction in India. She also interned with the Akanksha Foundation, conducting a policy review of the school's educational methodology.

Bagnoli received a Wilson Grant from Grinnell College for an internship with Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd. in Mumbai, where she served on the corporate social responsibility team.

After returning to Grinnell College, Bagnoli furthered her interests in corporate social responsibility and the informal economy through independent studies. She used Geographic Information Systems to visually illustrate her analysis of informal labor activity, presenting her research at the Central States Anthropology Society Conference and the spring 2015 Grinnell College Student Research Symposium.

A native of Berea, Kentucky, Bagnoli graduated in 2015 from Grinnell College, where she received honors in International Development Studies. She also founded Students for Equality in Education and served as senior gift class chair and philanthropy chair of the Student Alumni Council.

After completing the Clinton Fellowship, Bagnoli hopes to work in South Asia and continue to use data to inform development efforts, especially those related to the informal economy and economic development.

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