WASHINGTON DC, May 14 - The Institute of International Education (IIE) honored U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D. and U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy with the Stephen P. Duggan Award for International Understanding in a ceremony today at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill. Senator Frist (R-Tennessee) and Senator Leahy (D-Vermont) were recognized for their lifetimes of public service as well as their leadership in the United States Senate.
In presenting the awards, the Institute of International Education’s Chairman Thomas Johnson said, “The Institute of International Education is honored to recognize the accomplishments of two true leaders in the United States Senate by presenting them with the Duggan Awards. We commend their support for this country’s foreign aid budget as well as their support for international educational exchange. We are pleased to present this Award for their leadership in defining America’s role in the world, and for their commitment to the causes that represent the underpinning of the Institute’s mission: a deep-seated belief that the world can be made a better and safer place through international development and educational exchange programs and an understanding and appreciation of other peoples and other cultures.”
Senator Bill Frist has represented Tennessee in the United States Senate since 1994. In the Senate he has served as Deputy Whip, Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and as representative to the United Nations General Assembly. In January of this year, the Republican Caucus elected him Majority Leader.
He came to the Senate following a distinguished career in medicine, having graduated from Princeton, and with honors from the Harvard Medical School. Prior to running for the Senate, Senator Frist was on the faculty of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he founded and directed the world-renowned multi-disciplinary Vanderbilt Transplant Center. He has written extensively in the medical field and in 2001 wrote the book “When Every Moment Counts,” a layman’s guide to what to do in the event of a bio-terrorism attack.
In paying tribute to Senator Frist, IIE President Allan Goodman said, “You bring to the leadership of the Senate a special understanding of the challenges and problems that beset all people. We commend you for your particular interest in HIV/AIDS, here and in Africa. Your service at the Lui hospital in Sudan reminds us all that volunteerism and educational exchange are vital to making the world a less dangerous place.”
Senator Patrick Leahy was first elected to the United States Senate in 1974 at the age of 34. He remains the only Democrat ever elected to this body from the State of Vermont. For many years, Senator Leahy has been a leader in the international campaign against the production, export and use of antipersonnel landmines. In 1992, he wrote the first law by any government to ban the export of these weapons. He has also been instrumental in establishing the Leahy War Victims Fund to aid mine victims, funded through the foreign aid budget.
Senator Leahy’s responsibilities in the Senate are diverse. He serves as Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee where he has had a particular interest in the growing crisis in the administration of capital punishment. He is also a senior member of the Agriculture and Appropriations Committees. Within Appropriations, he has chaired and now serves as Ranking Member of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee which is charged with the responsibility for assuring that American foreign aid is commensurate with this country’s responsibilities in this ever more interconnected world.
In presenting the Duggan Award, IIE Trustee Henry Jarecki praised Senator Leahy for “championing issues as diverse as the First Amendment, medical privacy, the Internet and the environment. As Chairman and now Ranking Minority Member of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, you have been the essential voice in assuring that this country meets its commitments to development assistance through the U.S. Agency for International Development. And for us all, you have been the dominant American voice in the international campaign against the production, export and use of antipersonnel land mines.”
The Duggan Award was named after the Institute’s first president, Stephen P. Duggan, Sr., a distinguished professor of diplomatic history, who founded the Institute in 1919, together with Nobel Laureates Elihu Root and Nicholas Murray Butler. Previous recipients in government service have included: Senators Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Kay Bailey Hutchison, John Kerry, Ted Stevens and Bill Bradley; Representatives Nita Lowey, Jim Kolbe, Ralph Regula, Tom Lantos and Ben Gilman; President George H.W. Bush, Secretary of State James A. Baker, III, Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence Summers and Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan.
The Institute of International Education (IIE) is the world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. Its expertise enables institutions and individuals to build capacity in their home countries and regions. IIE designs and implements over 200 programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government and private sources. These programs include the Fulbright Student and Scholar programs and the Humphrey Fellowships, administered for the Department of State, and the Development Training II project administered for the U.S. Agency for International Development, as well as corporate training and scholarship programs. IIE also conducts policy research and provides advice and counseling on international educational opportunities abroad. The Institute of International Education has a network of 19 offices worldwide, over 600 college and university members, and more than 5,000 volunteers.