Two Networking Pioneers to Receive Nation’s Highest Civilian Award

President Bush announced today that Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the Nation’s highest civil award — next Wednesday, November 9th. Kahn, a CRA Board member and member of my Government Affairs committee (I’m proud to say) and Cerf, the only two technologists on today’s list, will receive their awards for their work “design[ing] the software code that is used to transmit data over the Internet.”
“Dr. Cerf and Dr. Kahn have been at the forefront of a digital revolution that has transformed global commerce, communication, and entertainment.”
They join an amazing group of honorees for Wednesday’s event, including Muhammad Ali, Alan Greenspan, Aretha Franklin, Frank Robinson, Jack Nicklaus…wow.
Here’s the full text of the White House announcement:

Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients
President George W. Bush today announced the recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Nation’s highest civil award. Established by Executive Order 11085 in 1963, the Medal may be awarded by the President “to any person who has made an especially meritorious contribution to (1) the security or national interests of the United States, or (2) world peace, or (3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” President Bush will honor these recipients at a White House ceremony on Wednesday, November 9, 2005.
Muhammad Ali is one of the greatest athletes of all time. He was the first three-time heavyweight boxing champion of the world, successfully defended the title 19 times, and was a Gold Medalist for the United States at the 1960 Olympic Games.
Carol Burnett is one of America’s most accomplished comediennes and actresses. She debuted on Broadway in 1959 and starred for more than a decade on The Carol Burnett Show. Ms. Burnett won a special place in the hearts of people across America through her combination of creativity, humor, and compassion.
Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn designed the software code that is used to transmit data over the Internet. Dr. Cerf and Dr. Kahn have been at the forefront of a digital revolution that has transformed global commerce, communication, and entertainment.
Robert Conquest is a historian known for his groundbreaking work on Soviet history, politics, and foreign policy. More than 35 years after its publication, his landmark book, The Great Terror: Stalin’s Purge of the Thirties, remains one of the most influential studies of Soviet history and has been translated into more than 20 languages.
Aretha Franklin has brought joy to millions with her music. She has nearly two dozen number-one singles and has won numerous awards. Ms. Franklin was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Alan Greenspan has chaired the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve for the last 18 years. Mr. Greenspan has been an extraordinary leader who has made great contributions to America’s economic growth and prosperity.
Andy Griffith is an American icon of the stage, cinema, and television. He first achieved national acclaim in the 1950s for his stand-up comedy routines, and he went on to star in television shows such as The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock, as well as numerous Broadway productions and films.
Paul Harvey is one of America’s most respected radio personalities and has set a standard of excellence for broadcasters. Since his radio broadcasts first aired nationally in 1951, Mr. Harvey has won the trust of millions of radio listeners.
Sonny Montgomery was a champion for veterans during his 30 years as a Member of the House of Representatives from Mississippi. His signature achievement was the Montgomery GI Bill, which has helped make education affordable for millions of veterans.
General Richard B. Myers served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during one of the most challenging and dangerous periods in American history. General Myers was at the forefront of preparing America’s armed forces to meet the threats of the new century. His tenure was marked by the toppling of brutal dictatorships in Afghanistan and Iraq and the liberation of more than 50 million people.
Jack Nicklaus is the greatest professional golfer of all time. He won 18 majors as a professional, the first in 1962 and the last in 1986, and he won more than 70 PGA Tour events.
Frank Robinson is one of the greatest baseball players ever. Among his awards are National League Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player in both the American and National Leagues, and the American League Triple Crown in 1966. He also has been a top manager and earned Manager of the Year in the American League in 1989. He broke the color barrier for managers, becoming Major League Baseball’s first African-American manager in 1975.
Paul Rusesabagina demonstrated courage and compassion by sheltering people at the hotel he managed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. By risking his own life, he helped to save the lives of more than 1,000 fellow Rwandans. Mr. Rusesabagina’s selfless acts have inspired millions, and he represents the best of the human spirit.
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Congratulations, Bob and Vint!
Update: (November 12th) – CRA’s press release congratulating Bob and Vint appears after the jump.

Press Contact:
Peter Harsha, 202-234-2111 ext 106
November 9, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Computing Research Association congratulates Vint Cerf and Robert Kahn on receiving the Presidental Medal of Freedom, the Nation’s highest civilian award, for their role in developing the software protocols used to transmit data over the Internet.
Cerf and Kahn received the award this afternoon at the White House for their work on the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) more than 30 years ago. TCP/IP became the lingua franca of the Internet and enabled the digital revolution that has transformed global commerce, communication, and entertainment.
“The recognition of Cerf and Kahn’s work shows the critical role science and technology, and particularly information technology, play in all sectors of the national interest – from enabling better health care, to securing the homeland, to improving communications and productivity, and advancing all fields of science,” said Daniel Reed, Chair of the Computing Research Association and Director of the Renaissance Computing Institute at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“The fact that they are being rewarded for research conducted more than 30 years ago also demonstrates an important, but too-often forgotten point about Federal support for fundamental research: it’s a long-term investment, but one that yields extraordinary returns,” Reed said.
Both Cerf and Kahn have ties to the Computing Research Association. Kahn currently serves as a member of CRA’s Board of Directors and is an active member of its Government Affairs Committee. Cerf was the keynote speaker at the most recent CRA “Snowbird” conference – a biennial conference of the leaders of North America’s computing research laboratories and academic departments.
“We’re thrilled that members of the computing research community are being recognized for their extraordinary contribution to the national and, indeed, global welfare. We hope that the President’s award will help inspire others to follow in Cerf and Kahn’s footsteps,” Reed said.
CRA is an organization of 200 of the Nation’s leading industrial computing research labs and university computer science departments. For more information, visit the CRA website at:

Two Networking Pioneers to Receive Nation’s Highest Civilian Award