Indra Nooyi ’80, the former chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, was honoured at the 2019 American Portrait Gala at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., on November 17, as her portrait was added to the gallery’s collection.
Nooyi was one of six recipients of the Portrait of a Nation Prize, which recognizes “significant contributions to the nation’s shared history, development, and culture”; Alberto Ibargüen, president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, presented her with the award. Her portrait, painted by Jon R. Friedman, will hang in the gallery’s Recent Acquisitions exhibition through August 2020.
The other honourees were scientist Frances Arnold; Amazon founder Jeffrey Bezos; the members of the band Earth, Wind & Fire; Hamilton composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Anna Wintour, editor in chief of Vogue.
Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Yale SOM’s senior associate dean for leadership studies and the Lester Crown Professor in the Practice of Management, was among those in attendance.
“It is hard to imagine Indra Nooyi could bring much more prestige to Yale SOM but she’s done it again,” Sonnenfeld said later. “She spoke with inspiring eloquence on her life journey—coming to the U.S. and her mission to have transcendent impact on the quality of how we work, eat, and live.”
Sonnenfeld noted that Nooyi recognized the central place of Yale SOM in her story. “While saluting her fellow honourees, she especially celebrated her wonderful proud, loving personal family, guests like Hillary Clinton, and her extended Yale SOM family!”
Nooyi’s portrait shows her sitting in front of a red background; on a shelf behind her are keepsakes of her life and career: family photos, a copy of a report on Performance with Purpose, her signature initiative at PepsiCo , and a Yale SOM cap.
The painting was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery and acquired with support from Blair and Cheryl Effron, the Jane and Alan Batkin Foundation, the Yale School of Management, the Koch Ellis Fund, the Robert and Carol Wolf Foundation; and PepsiCo Inc.