P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans


Samir Mayekar, 2011

Deputy Mayor for Neighborhood and Economic Development, City of Chicago

Samir Mayekar is the child of immigrants from India

Fellowship awarded to support work towards an MBA in Business at Northwestern University

SAMIR MAYEKAR is the neighborhood and economic development deputy mayor of Chicago. He is also the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of NanoGraph Corporation (formerly SiNode Systems), a venture-backed company developing advanced materials for the lithium-ion battery industry. He most recently worked with the business development team at Boeing Defense Systems in Arlington, Virginia and as an investment banker at Credit Suisse in Chicago.  He previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government's development finance institution. At OPIC, Samir helped coordinate agency efforts in advancing priorities of the Obama administration, such as providing over $1 billion in financing for energy projects in emerging markets. He joined OPIC after serving as the National Security Director of the Presidential Personnel Office at the White House, where he oversaw presidential appointments at the Pentagon, State Department, Department of Homeland Security, and Central Intelligence Agency. Prior to his time at the White House, Samir served as a Budget Manager for Obama for America, where he managed over $800 million for the campaign's Chief Financial Officer.  He previously served as a management consultant in Chicago with Marakon Associates focusing on clients in the industrials sector. Samir holds a B.A. from Northwestern University (summa cum laude) and an M.B.A. with distinction from the Kellogg School of Management, where he was a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow. He is a guest lecturer on energy and entrepreneurship at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Chicago.


  • MBA Business | Northwestern University 2013
  • BA Political Science | Northwestern University 2006
Work History
  • City of Chicago, Deputy Mayor for Neighborhood and Economic Development | May 2019 - PRESENT
  • NanoGraf Corporation, Cofounder & CEO
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