School board backs Muktavaram for vacant seat

The Board of Education has appointed Vik Muktavaram to a seat vacated early this year by Paul Block.

Muktavaram, a Republican, brings a breadth of international business experience to the board, and has been a Westport resident since 2009.

Recommended for the vacancy by the Republican Town Committee, he was unanimously appointed to the seat at a special Friday meeting of the school board. He was then sworn-in by Town Clerk Patricia Strauss to immediately fill the seat. Block stepped down in January because of business obligations, and Muktavaram will fill the remainder of the term that runs to November 2019.

Muktavaram, born and raised in India, came to the United States in 1994 to pursue a master’s degree in computer science from Oklahoma State University and in 2004 he received an MBA from the Columbia University Business School. He has worked as a management consultant and an independent risk adviser.

“In terms of the candidates they brought forward, it was the highest quality pool that we’ve had so that’s great news and I want to thank them for their efforts ... We are all thrilled that Vik Muktavaram is going to be joining the board. He is both a professional and personal match for this board. His professional skill set is a great compliment to all of our skill sets,” board Chairman Michael Gordon said.

“We were very committed to bringing a team player to the board,” Gordon added. “The six of us are team players. We put the whole above the individual and we knew that Vik would be a great member of the team as well and he’s just a great guy. I’m really jealous of his hair.”

Vice Chairwoman Jeannie Smith said Muktavaram’s skills and experience are impressive. “Your global perspective on education, that’s what really won me over by the way.”

Muktavaram’s involvement in the Rotary Club of Westport Sunrise led him to serve on the board of the Bridge Academy, a public charter school in Bridgeport, since July.

“I’ve always been passionate about education, especially coming from a different country. I knew the system there, grew up with that system and then when I came here for graduate school it was a new experience,” Muktavaram said.

“My personal view is education is so beneficial to the country and then I have a vested interest in it because of the kids,” he said. Muktavaram is the father of two children in the Westport schools — one at Bedford Middle School and the other at Long Lots Elementary School.

Outside of work, Muktavaram is an avid runner, golfer and also skis with his family. He has run the Philadelphia Marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C.