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Heidrick & Struggles President and CEO Krishnan Rajagopalan Receives the Asian American Business Development Center’s Pinnacle Award

Krishnan Rajagopalan, Heidrick & Struggles President and CEO received the 2021 Pinnacle Award – the highest honor presented by the Asian American Business Development Center (AABDC) – on September 15, 2021. He was recognized among the most prominent Asian American leaders in business and as a leader in his industry, joining a prestigious list of past Pinnacle recipients.

A press release issued by AABDC is below:


20th Anniversary of Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business Award


NEW YORK, July 02, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For two decades, the Asian American Business Development Center (AABDC) has honored over 850 Asian Americans corporate executives and entrepreneurs, representing scores of industries nationwide, through its annual Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business flagship award program.

With last year’s black tie event cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 resumption of the highly anticipated awards will kick off with a day-long conference at the Asia Society in New York City, followed by the Dinner Gala at Cipriani Wall Street on September 15, 2021. Anne Chow, CEO of AT&T Business, will deliver a keynote address at the Gala Dinner.

“Not only are we back in business with our Outstanding 50 award, but our 20th anniversary will feature two Pinnacle Award winners who exemplify excellence and achievement from C-Suite level Asian Americans,” said John Wang, President and Founder of AABDC.

The highest honors of the night will be awarded to Anne Chow, CEO of AT&T Business, and Krishnan Rajagapolan, CEO of Heidrick & Struggles. Each year, the Outstanding 50 award committee identifies and selects outstanding leaders who have built a successful business or who have distinguished themselves in their community. Of those, the committee also identifies a top Pinnacle Award recipient who has reached the acme of his/her professional career and is widely acknowledged as a leader in their industry.

Anne Chow has set a precedent for the 2021 Pinnacle Award honorees by becoming the first to receive this award after also being selected as an Outstanding 50 award winner in 2009.

“The past two years have been devastating, and the Asian American community has experienced the extra burden of being unfairly targeted during the pandemic,” Mr. Wang said. “We embrace the opportunity provided by this year’s Outstanding 50 award to celebrate and reaffirm the valuable contributions of our Asian American executives, small business owners and corporate leaders to our country.”

As a special commemoration of the 20th anniversary, AABDC is hosting a one-day conference that leads into the Dinner Gala on September 15, 2021.

The conference, at the Asia Society, will include an opening keynote address by Angela Hwang, Group President of Pfizer Biopharmaceuticals Group. There will be three panel discussions composed of prior Outstanding 50 honorees as well as distinguished leaders from other minority enterprises.

Panels will explore strategies to increase Asian American representation in corporate leadership; how minority group allyship as the “New Majority” can promote social justice and economic equity; how to develop the new generation of Asian American leaders, and the importance of civic engagement by the Asian American community.

Follow Asian American Business Development Center on Facebook and LinkedIn for more information and updates about the conference and dinner event.

The Outstanding 50 dinner, at Cipriani Wall Street, will offer a glittering close to the day, starting from 6 p.m. The prominent event typically draws over 600 leading business, political and civic leaders to pay tribute to the outstanding entrepreneurs and corporate executives in the Asian American business community from across the United States

Click HERE to view Outstanding 50 Award Gala Highlight

For information about attending the conference and dinner event, please contact AABDC Program Associate Honglin He at 212-966-0100 or

Asian American Business Development Center (AABDC):
The Asian American Business Development Center, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization established in 1994. It assists Asian American businesses in strengthening their capacity to compete in the mainstream market, to expand business opportunities and to promote recognition of Asian American businesses' contributions to the general economy.

Outstanding 50 Awards:

Anne H. Chow
Chief Executive Officer, AT&T Business, AT&T Communications, LLC

Anne was appointed Chief Executive Officer of AT&T Business in September 2019. She’s responsible for a $35B operating unit which serves nearly 3 million business customers around the world, providing them with communications solutions to enable and transform their businesses. She is the first woman to hold this position and first woman of color CEO in AT&T’s history.

Previously, Anne was President - National Business, where she led over 12,000 business professionals supporting 95 percent of AT&T’s business customers nationwide. Across all market segments, she oversaw customer experience, management of direct and indirect sales channels, the B2B Sales Development Program, call center support, and DIRECTV for BusinessSM.

As a founding member of AT&T University’s governing board, Anne actively supports the company’s leadership development imperative. She’s also involved in many of AT&T’s Employee Groups worldwide and serves as the executive sponsor for AT&T’s Women of Business Employee Network and the Asia Pacific Women’s Organization. Anne coaches, mentors and inspires thousands of readers through her internal blog, which has been voted “best blog” across the company for the past 9 years.

She currently serves on the Board of the Directors of Franklin Covey Co (NYSE: FC). Anne is a member of the Dallas Mavericks Advisory Council (D-MAC), the Committee of 100, the President’s Advisory Board at Georgia Tech, and the Business Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. She is the co-author of “The Leader’s Guide to Unconscious Bias: How to Reframe Bias, Cultivate Connection, and Create High-Performing Teams,” an Amazon #1 Best Selling book, published by Simon & Schuster.

Her many contributions to business and the community are widely recognized. A few of Anne’s awards and accolades include the Gold Stevie Award as Female Executive of the Year - Business Services, and Future 50: North Texas Innovators and Disruptors You Need To Know and Woman of the Year in Technology by the National Diversity Council. Most recently, Anne was named to Fortune’s 2020 Most Powerful Women in Business list and D CEO’s 2021 Dallas 500, which features the region’s most influential leaders.

Anne holds a Master of Business Administration with distinction from The Johnson School at Cornell University and a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Engineering degree in Electrical Engineering from Cornell. She is also a graduate of the Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School of Music. She lives in the Dallas/Fort Worth area with her husband, two daughters, and their rescued Australian Shepherd.

Krishnan Rajagopalan
President & CEO, Heidrick & Struggles

Krishnan Rajagopalan is President and CEO of Heidrick & Struggles, a global leadership advisory firm providing executive search, leadership assessment and development, organization and team effectiveness, and culture shaping services. He serves on the Board of Directors of Heidrick & Struggles and leads the firm’s global Management Committee.

Krishnan has over 18 years of experience in executive search, having led C-suite and Board level searches for global corporations across all industries, including private equity. He advises clients regularly on digital transformation, leadership, succession planning, governance, culture, and diversity and inclusion. Prior to assuming his current responsibilities, Krishnan led Heidrick & Struggles’ global Executive Search division and, before that, he led the firm’s Global Technology & Services practice. He has been recognized as one of the “100 Most Influential Executive Recruiters in the World'' by Bloomberg Businessweek.

Krishnan is a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion and gender parity, both for the firm’s employees and for its clients. Recently, Heidrick & Struggles pledged that on an annual basis at least half of the Board candidates that are presented to clients in total over the course of the year will be diverse. The firm also partners with organizations like the Paradigm for Parity® coalition and the 30% Club’s Future Female Directors program to help close the corporate leadership gender gap and promote gender parity across all levels of organizations.

Before joining Heidrick & Struggles, Krishnan served as a Vice President and Partner with a global management consulting firm, where he focused on strategy, operations, and transformation across a wide range of industries.

*For more information and updates, follow Outstanding 50 Awards on Facebook and LinkedIn

CONTACT: Pauline Barfield
Tel: 917-620-1311