For additional information or inquiries please contact donald at


Akhil Gupta, MBA

Mr. Akhil Gupta is the founder director of Universal Enlightenment Forum. He has been at Harvard University since 2015 as a Senior fellow/Guest.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.

Before joining Blackstone, Mr. Gupta served as CEO - Corporate Development, for Reliance Industries Limited. Mr. Gupta’s efforts at Reliance were focused on developing Reliance’s E&P, Refining, and Telecom businesses from scratch. Mr. Gupta was the founding CEO of all these three businesses.

Mr. Gupta began his career at Hindustan Unilever. From 1981 to 1992 he worked in the U.S, first in consulting with Strategic Planning Associates and ICF International in Washington D.C., where he became a partner at the firm, and then as Chief Financial Officer of two integrated retailers and manufacturers of furniture in California.

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 which conferred on him the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2004

Mr. Gupta has served over a dozen company Boards, including Boards of several Blackstone portfolio companies, and Reliance group companies.

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

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


Donald E Frederick, PhD

Donald is a researcher and writer for The Universal Enlightenment Forum.

Donald is also Research Affiliate at Harvard University in the Program on Integrative Knowledge and Human Flourishing where he previously was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2016-2018).
Prior to his time at Harvard, Donald lived in San Francisco and founded and worked in the startup world, which he continues to do.
Donald received his PhD in Psychology from The University of Chicago (2014) where he focused on neuroscience and studied under the direction of Prof. Kay. His dissertation work has been published in the Journal of Neuroscience and featured in the Journal of Neurophysiology. He also holds a MS in computer science and a MA in divinity from The University of Chicago. Donald did his undergraduates studies in intellectual history receiving degrees in history and comparative religion at Miami University.


Allen Simon

Having recently graduated with an MTS degree in Religion and Literature from Harvard Divinity School, Allen is still living in the Boston area as he continues to work on UEF projects. Most notably, he will be spending the next 6-8 months working on a book which will explore similar themes and areas of commonality among the world's major religious traditions. Beyond this work with the UEF, Allen has a variety of personal creative and artistic interests and hobbies. Currently, he is writing haiku poems and making paintings with candle wax. He has shown art at multiple shows over the course of his 2 years of living in the Boston area.