Jewish Family & Career Services

MOSAIC Award Recipient – Neeli Bendapudi


Jewish Family & Career Services is proud to honor our MOSAIC Award recipients. These five individuals who call Louisville home have made significant contributions in their professions and our community. To date, JFCS has recognized almost 70 refugees, immigrants and first-generation Americans who make our community richer and stronger for their work. We are excited to have Neeli Bendapudi, Di Tran, Berta Weyenberg, Kaveh Zamanian and Bapion Ziba join the ranks of these remarkable individuals.

This is Neeli Bendapudi’s story.

Neeli Bendapudi was born in Visakhapatnam, India and came to the United States in 1986 to pursue her doctorate in Marketing at the University of Kansas. After earning her PhD, she went on to teach at Texas A&M University and The Ohio State University before returning to the University of Kansas in 2011 as the School of Business dean and Professor of Business. While there, she was promoted to Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor.

With impressive academic credentials and noteworthy business and healthcare sector experiences, Neeli moved to Louisville in 2018 to take on the role of President at the University of Louisville. She is the University’s first permanent female President and person of color to hold the position.

As a well-regarded academic researcher and professor, her work has been published in the Harvard Business Review, Journal of Marketing and featured in multiple national media outlets including the New York Times. She has been recognized with both university-level and national honors and awards for her teaching and for her dedication to community.

She has sat on publicly held and non-profit boards and is a former Leadership Foundation Fellow of the International Women’s Forum, selected as one of 27 women representing 18 countries for this prestigious honor.

In her career, she has fought for equity and inclusion and in her time at UofL, has transformed the University’s culture, infusing a renewed passion in the city and community. Neeli continues to call on the university community and the Louisville community at large to celebrate diversity and foster equity in order to achieve inclusion.

Like Neeli, JFCS respects the undeniable humanity of each person. This sentiment is one of our guiding values, called Kavod. Every day our staff serve clients and their families with Kavod because we believe that to truly serve all in Greater Louisville, we must first understand their strength and their story.

Learn more about our other MOSAIC Award Winners and about the services and values JFCS provides to expand possibilities for each person and every family in Greater Louisville.