Our Team

Akhil Gupta, MBA

Founder and Director

Mr. Akhil Gupta  is the founder and director of Universal Enlightenment Forum. He has been at Harvard University since 2015 as a Senior fellow/Guest. Akhil received his inspiration to undertake the mission of UEF while spending two years at Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative. The intellectual resources of Harvard catalyzed a few insights that changed his life and inspired him to share this wisdom with a wider audience.

Prior to Harvard, he was the Chairman of Blackstone India till Dec 2014 He joined The Blackstone Group as Senior Managing Director in 2005 and started its operations in India.

Mr. Gupta received his MBA from the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University in 1981 and a B.Tech degree in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. 

Mr. Gupta  currently serves on the Advisory Council of the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, on the Dean’s Leadership Council at Harvard Divinity School, and on the Advisory board of Harvard University’s Human Flourishing Project.

Mr. Gupta is one of the founding members of Asia Society (India Chapter) and a Partner in The Acumen Fund.

Allen Simon, MTS

Research and Writing Associate

Having graduated with an MTS degree in Religion and Literature from Harvard Divinity School in Spring of 2018, Allen is still living in the Boston area as he continues to work on UEF projects. Most notably, he has been working with Mr. Gupta on a book which will explore common threads across the world's major religious traditions. Allen also holds a B.A. in Religion from Rice University (2016).

Donald E Frederick, PhD

Associate Advisor

Donald advises UEF on topics such as flourishing, religion, and technology. Donald is generally interested in concepts of flourishing, technology, and how to harness the latter to promote the former.

In addition to advising UEF, Donald is an Associate of Harvard’s Human Flourishing Program and does tech consulting and builds start-ups. Donald received his PhD in psychology from the University of Chicago where he also received masters in computer science as well as divinity. His undergraduate degrees are in history and comparative religion.

Christophe Porot

Research and Writing Associate

Christophe Porot did his undergraduate studies at St. Olaf College and has pursued his postgraduate studies at the University of Oxford and Harvard University. He is a Deans Fellow recipient at Harvard and worked as a Managing Editor, along with Dr. Charles Taliaferro, for a series on Philosophy of Religion in the Wiley-Blackwell journal Religious Studies Review.

He has edited for the the Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy, the Ashgate Companion to Theism, and has multiple publications including in: “Mr. Robot and Philosophy”(Open Court), “The Limits of Naturalism” (European Journal for Philosophy of Religion), and “Ten Years after Donald Davidson” (RIA University Press). In college Christophe won a state championship in debate. He is currently a consultant for the Universal Enlightenment Forum.

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