Atul Singh

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Atul Singh
Atul Capitol Hill.jpg
Born (1973-03-15) 15 March 1973 (age 43)
Goa, India
Residence San Francisco, United States
Occupation Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Fair Observer

Atul Singh is an Indian-born former lawyer, university lecturer, and the founder, CEO and editor-in-chief of Fair Observer, a US-based nonprofit media organization that aims to inform and educate global citizens of today and tomorrow, by providing context, analysis and multiple perspectives on world news, politics, economics, business and culture.[1]

Fair Observer's Managing Editor and Chief Operating Officer is Abul-Hasanat Siddique, a British author and journalist who wrote The Arab Uprisings: An Introduction and is currently working on his forthcoming book, The Youth of the Middle East (2016), examining the key challenges facing the MENA region through the lens of the youth. The Deputy Managing Editor and Culture Editor is London-based journalist Anna Pivovarchuk, having previously worked at the BBC and the United Nations.[2]

Before launching Fair Observer, Singh worked in finance and law, notably as a corporate lawyer in London for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, advising Goldman Sachs.[3] The idea of creating a global news analysis company solidified while attending the New York Global Media Summit in 2010.[4]

On 10 September 2012, Singh spoke as a panellist at the United Nations' "Future of Newspapers" debate, also featuring the Romanian Ambassador to the UN Simona-Mirela Miculescu and Rutgers Professor Dr. Regina Marchi.[5]

Among his academic achievements, Singh earned a Masters in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University and a MBA with a triple major in Finance, Strategy and Entrepreneurship from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, he was a scholar at the Aspen Institute where he participated in a Socrates Seminar.

A lifelong debater, Singh was a semi-finalist at the John Smith Memorial Mace tournament, considered by many debaters to be an overall championship for the United Kingdom and Ireland. The White House Chronicle in February 2012 quoted him as criticising the lack of "conversation" in US debates and the need for Americans to develop a "feel for oral words."[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Singh was born in Vasco da Gama, Goa. He began public speaking at a young age when he was a teenage reform leader against the Indian government, speaking up against corruption in Indian politics, particularly as practised by the Nehru–Gandhi family<reference?>. He has recently written scathing articles criticising Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh[2] and the Nehru dynasty.[3] India's political establishment is known to dislike Singh <reference?>.

As an officer in India, Singh was in combat against ultra-fundamentalist Islamic insurgents including members of the Taliban in Kashmir and Maoist groups of Assam.[7]

Singh left India to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University as a Radhakrishnan British Chevening Scholar. Before becoming an officer, Singh had studied English Literature and History at Lucknow University in India. After Oxford, Singh studied at BPP Law School in London. He went to work as a lawyer with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, an international law firm, whose clients include Goldman Sachs and the 2012 London Olympics.Freshfields - London 2012 He subsequently moved to the US to study at the University of Pennsylvania where he completed his MBA from Wharton Business School in 2010 with a triple major in Entrepreneurship, Finance and Strategy.[8] Singh speaks English, Hindi, Urdu, Assamese, Nagamese, Bengali and some French.


Fair Observer[edit]

In 2010, Singh founded Fair Observer LLC with Wharton classmate Fabian Neuen (former COO) who was an exchange student from INSEAD, Europe's leading business school. Fair Observer gained attention as one of Forbes' "Audacious Startups By South Asian Entrepreneurs".[9] San Francisco Business Times states, "The online-only media company focuses on analysis of international issues".[10] As per India West, Singh seeks to close the gap in the conventional media system by providing non-biased information.[7]

In 2013, Fair Observer the nonprofit corporation was launched, following the closure of Fair Observer LLC. Singh combined forces with Abul-Hasanat Siddique and Anna Pivovarchuk, among others, to found the nonprofit. In October 2014, the Internal Revenue Service in the United States granted Fair Observer section 501(c)(3) status.

Fair Observer's model is built on crowdsourced[7] journalism, with over 1,700 contributors from over 70 countries, including a 68-year-old former prime minister in Ireland and a 16-year-old student in Gaza. It focuses on providing diversity and debate on global issues.

The organization's advisors include eminent figures such as John Bruton, the former Irish Prime Minister, Donald Marron, the former member of the US Council of Economic Advisers and Sanjay Sarma, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Mechanical Engineering professor, among others.

Speaker and commentator[edit]

Singh is a seasoned speaker on the global economy, foreign policy and international affairs. He has spoken on US-India relationsAtul Singh at American University - YouTube for the Kennedy Political Union Speaker Series.[11] He has spoken as an economics commentator for RT-TV about the possibility of a double dip recession where he discussed the US employment rate and the long term structural changes that are essential for the US to emerge from the recession.[12][13] He was a guest speaker for the Harvard India Conference in March 2012 about the Indian media.[14] He is a recurring speaker at MIT Entrepreneurs Club and at American University, where he has given speeches for Sally Shelton-Colby.[15] He gave a speech about "The Structural Roots of Poverty" at the Yale MacMillan Center for their Global Justice Program on 15 February 2013, where he was quoted saying, "The West is exhausted financially and intellectually, the rest of the world has too much cultural deference, so in the words of Matthew Arnold, we are caught between two worlds, the dead and the other powerless to be born." He has spoken for the Washington European Society in Washington DC on the "Global Media Landscape." He strongly believes in education and has called for a stronger education system in the many talks he has given. He gave the keynote speech for India's Republic Day, the 63rd Anniversary of India's promulgation of its constitution for Global Indian Technology Professionals Association (GITPRO).

Singh is also a contributor for the Huffington Post and columnist for Al Jazeera.[16][17]

Atul was ranked among the 11 Indians who have made their mark on the global corporate world by DNA India.[18] Dr. Kiran Bedi and Atul organized an inter-disciplinary group that has penned an 11-point agenda for police and criminal justice reforms for the Indian Prime Minister.[19] Atul Singh is emerging as a key analyst of India-United States relations. He argues that geopolitics, economics and culture are bringing USA and India together.[20]

Atul Singh has spoken[21] with Congressman Ami Bera in an event in California on the world economy. He has criticized[22] Senator Tom Cotton and his Gang of 47 for opposing the Iran nuclear deal. Atul Singh believes that with the changing balance of power the US has no option but to make peace[23] with Iran. Besides, he believes that the US committed original sin in the region by deposing Mohammad Mosaddegh, Iran's and the region's first democratically elected leader. Atul Singh has praised[24] President Barack Obama for his courage in burying the hatchet with Cuba and for the deal with Iran.

Atul Singh teaches[25] Political Economy at the University of California, Berkeley where he is rated[26] very highly by his students for his Socratic style of teaching. In a controversial TEDx talk in BITS Pilani at Vasco da Gama, he argued[27] that human beings are complex, and economics simplifies them grossly to pretend to be a science. As per Atul Singh, economics is a godless religion with assumptions that are not supported by evidence. He goes on to say that "with over 7 billion people on the planet, we face a multitude of questions and economics has to start dealing with them."

The Daily Californian has recommended Atul Singh by calling him "a stunning public speaker who is simultaneously a walking encyclopedia" and saying that "his lectures are delivered with incredible poise, awe-inspiring passion and unbelievable details." [28]


  1. ^ "About Us". Fair Observer. Archived from the original on 2014-03-28. Retrieved 16 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "Fair Observer: The Future of Media". Archived from the original on 2013-12-16. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "LinkedIn profile of Atul Singh". Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  4. ^ Yessi Bello Perez (8 November 2013). "Fair Observer: The Future of Media". The Breaker. Media School, Bournemouth University. Archived from the original on 2013-12-16. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "United Nations Academic Impact Hosts Debate on Future of Newspapers, 10 September". United Nations. Archived from the original on 2013-12-16. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "The Lost Art of Debate—and Other Wordy Topics". White House Chronicle. Retrieved 15 February 2013. [dead link]
  7. ^ a b c Hinrichs, Lasse. "Neues Online-Magazin ‘Fair Observer’. Von Prominenz kann keiner leben" (07.2011). Die Tageszeitung. Retrieved 4 August 2013 Archived 2 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Springer, Richard. "Fair Observer Aims to Plug Gaps in News Analysis". India West. Archived from the original on 2013-12-16. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  9. ^ Prashar, Bhrigu Pankaj. "Audacious Startups By South Asian Entrepreneurs". Forbes. Archived from the original on 2013-04-27. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  10. ^ Gardener, Jim. "Entrepreneur lays Economists end to end, reaches his own conclusion". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved 4 August 2013. Archived 30 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Jenni, Muns (12 June 2011). "News editor Atul Singh pushes for stronger education system". The Eagle. American University. Archived from the original on 2012-11-15. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  12. ^ "The 3 Minute Download: Jeff Manber, Cyrus Safdar and Atul Singh". Youtube. Archived from the original on 2010-08-03. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  13. ^ "Goldman: US economy to become "fairly bad" or "very bad"". RT TV. Archived from the original on 2012-04-14. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  14. ^ "Harvard India Conference – 24 & 25 March 2012". Fair Observer. Archived from the original on 2012-05-23. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  15. ^ "Atul at American University". YouTube. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  16. ^ Singh, Atul. "Chasing the great American dream". Al Jazeera. Archived from the original on 2014-01-02. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  17. ^ Singh, Atul. "Atul Singh Huffington Post Contributor". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 2013-12-20. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  18. ^ Singh, Atul. "11 Indians who have made their mark in the global corporate world". DNA India. Retrieved 26 April 2014. 
  19. ^ Singh, Atul. "An actionable agenda for police reforms". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  20. ^ Singh, Atul. "India, U.S. ties hinge on three key factors". The Sunday Guardian. Retrieved 24 January 2015. 
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