As the New York Times explained, Damian is “the most powerful federal law enforcement official in Manhattan and, significantly, the first Black person to lead the storied 232-year-old office.” Rich Tao (2014 Fellow), a managing director at Blue Pool Capital, interviewed Damian about both his personal journey as a New American and his professional journey to one of the highest ranking legal positions in the country.
While the Fall Conference had previously been in New York City prior to the pandemic, this was the first year that the FallConference was held in the borough that is practically synonymous with immigration and cultural diversity, Queens. The Fall Conference included many exciting tours of the city for small groups of Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows to both explore the city and spend time together. Tours and visits options included, a pizza tour, a culinary tour of Corona, Queens, a jazz show at Dizzy’s Club, a visit to the Noguchi Museum & Socrates Sculpture Park, a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a tour of the Tenement Museum and the Lower East Side, a trip to the Museum of The City of New York and Central Park, a New American walking tour of Jackson Heights, and a Bushwick Collective Street Art tour.
One of the standout moments at the 2022 Fall Conference was the cocktail reception hosted by Mrs. Daisy Soros herself, dedicated to welcoming the first-year Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows, the esteemed Class of 2022. This special event served as an opportunity to bring the new cohort together and allowed Mrs. Soros to extend a personal and heartfelt welcome to the newest Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows, emphasizing their significance as immigrants and celebrating their remarkable achievements. Adding to the evening's magic was an awe-inspiring performance by Audrey Chen, a talented 2022 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow, who mesmerized attendees with her captivating cello abilities. Board members Jeffrey Soros, Peter Soros, Ann Kirschner, Noel Lateef, Peter Georgescu, Allison Binns, and Eric Chung highlighted the unwavering support and involvement of the Soros family and the Board of Directors in fostering a lifelong community that empowers and uplifts immigrant scholars.
A momentous highlight of the 2022 Fall Conference was the Broadway play "KPOP," which marked the remarkable debut of 2011 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow Jason Kim on the prestigious Broadway stage. As a recipient of the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, Jason Kim's achievement stood as a testament to the incredible talent and accomplishments of not only Jason, but immigrants who strive to tell new stories and extend the boundaries of culture. "KPOP" captivated the audience with its vibrant performances and compelling storytelling but also showcased Jason's exceptional talent as a playwright. This milestone accomplishment further solidified the impact of the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship program in supporting outstanding individuals like Jason and providing them with the platform to share their extraordinary gifts with the world.
Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow Damian Williams speaks to Rich Tao as part of the keynote conversation at the Fall Conference.
Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows Patricia Mcgregor and Allison Binns and Communications Director Nikka Landau prepare for Saturday morning conversations with the Fellows.
Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships Director Craig Harwood introduces a family heirloom, a candlestick, at the 2022 Fall Conference.
2022 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow Alaleh Azhir introduces herself an object that represents her immigrant experience at the 2022 Fall Conference.
2021 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow Sita Chandrasekaran introduces herself at the 2022 Fall Conference.
On Friday afternoon, the Fellows heard from a panel of past Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows focused on the environment and sustainability, "The Impact of the Environment on the Human Experience," which was moderated by Allison Binns (2003 Fellow and Board of Director) and included Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows Andrei Cherny (2000), Camila Bustos (2019), and Jamaji C. Nwanaji-Enwerem (2018).
2022 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow Tania Fabo asks a question to the Friday afternoon alumni panelists
Three 2022 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows, Wenjie Gong, Arturo Macías Franco, and Christeebella Akpala smile for the camera in the lobby of the hotel before Mrs. Soros's cocktail reception at the 2022 Fall Conference.
2022 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow Edward Friedman sits next to Daisy Soros at the Friday night cocktail reception held for the new Fellows by Mrs. Soros.
Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships Board member Peter Georgescu talking with two 2022 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows at the Friday night cocktail reception for new Fellows.
Daisy Soros in conversation with two 2022 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows at the Friday night cocktail reception that she hosts. Daisy Soros's grandson, Tommy Soros, is seated next to her.
The Soros Foundation fellows attend a jazz concert staring singer Denise Thimes at Jazz at Lincoln Centerb s Dizzyb s Club located at Columbus Circle in Manhattan. Thursday 10/20/2022 New York, NY.
The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows visit the Tenement Museum and walk around the Lower East Side of Manhattan as part of a Saturday afternoon tour of New York City.
The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows explored Queens, New York on a food tour on the first night of the 2022 Fall Conference.
The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows visit the Tenement Museum and walk around the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
Director Craig Harwood stands with a group of Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows outside of Economy Candy on the Lower East Side of Manhattan as part of the Fall Conference Saturday afternoon tours. Dr. Harwood is a supporter of Lower East Side small businesses and annually takes Fellows to visit with some of the local shops.
Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows look at Emanuel Leutze's painting "Washington Crossing the Delaware" at the MET.
Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows take in Kara Walker's 2017 work, "The Crossing" at the MET as part of the 2022 Fall Conference.
Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows and Communications Director Nikka Landau at the Temple of Dendur at the MET.
The main purpose of the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships' FallConference is to build community. Every year, the individual classes gather for "What's Not On Your Resume" (the first year conversation) and "What's On Your Mind?" (the second year conversation). The class conversations were faciliated by Allison Binns (2003 Fellow and Board of Director), Patricia McGregor (2007 Fellow), and Patricia Nguyen (2014 Fellow). These are the cornerstone conversations of the FallConference and allow each class year to get to know one another on a much deeper level.
On Friday afternoon, the Fellows heard from a panel of past Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows focused on the environment and sustainability, "The Impact of the Environment on the Human Experience," which was moderated by Allison Binns (2003 Fellow and Board of Director) and included Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows Andrei Cherny (2000), Camila Bustos (2019), and Jamaji C. Nwanaji-Enwerem (2018). Climate change and environmental issues impact every area of life and raise questions for every field. One of the critical characteristics of the PD Soros alumni community is that while it contains immense academic and professional diversity, everyone shares a commitment to thinking in big creative and original ways to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues.
PDSFA Chair Eric Chung (2016 Fellow) joined the Fall Conferencewith PDSFA board members Shirag Shemmassian (2010), Lorenzo Sewanan (2017 Fellow), and Eva Luo (2012) who helped introduce the new Fellows to the alumni community. The PDSFA co-hosted a Friday night party for alumni in New York City, which featured a performance by the Brazilian band, Forró Forever.
The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships group, which included 80 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows, stayed at the Collective Paper Factory hotel, which had ample space for gathering as a community and for impromptu conversations that allowed Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows to get to know one another.
After the pandemic, the power of in-person events has only grown and that was evident throughout the Fall Conference. ∎