Stephen P. Duggan Award for Mutual Understanding

The Stephen P. Duggan Award for Mutual Understanding award is IIE’s highest honor. Established in 1990, it is named for IIE’s first president, a professor of diplomatic history who founded IIE with two Nobel Laureates, Elihu Root and Nicholas Murray Butler. It is awarded to distinguished world leaders in government, education, and diplomacy with a commitment to causes which advance the vision that launched IIE: a peaceful, equitable world enriched by the international exchange of ideas and greater understanding between people and cultures.

Vartan Gregorian has been a trusted advisor, keen advocate, and good friend to IIE for many years. He formerly served on IIE’s Board of Trustees and, during the apartheid years, was head of the advisory board for IIE’s South African Education Program. During his tenure at the Carnegie Corporation, the Corporation’s support has enabled IIE to provide emergency aid to Syrian and Nepalese students through the Emergency Student Fund, to safeguard endangered scholars through the Scholar Rescue Fund, and to build capacity at universities in Africa through the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program.

IIE is proud to honor Vartan Gregorian.  

Vartan Gregorian
President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York

Vartan Gregorian is the president of Carnegie Corporation of New York, established in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie to support international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy. Dr. Gregorian is internationally renowned for his global leadership on many issues, including the protection of academic freedom. He is also widely acclaimed for his intellectual excellence and “rigorous and joyful respect for humanity.” His numerous civic and academic honors include scores of honorary degrees and decoration by several governments.

Gregorian was born in Iran of Armenian parents, receiving his elementary education in Iran and secondary education in Lebanon. He holds a B.A. and Ph.D. in history and the humanities from Stanford University. He has taught European and Middle Eastern history at San Francisco State College, the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Pennsylvania. At the University of Pennsylvania, Gregorian also served as the founding dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and later became its provost.

Gregorian served as the president of the New York Public Library from 1981 to 1989. After the city’s fiscal crisis, he brought the library back to its intellectual and cultural vigor, enthusiastically convincing civic leaders and philanthropists to help rescue the library. In 1989 he returned to university life as president of Brown University, where his leadership resulted in great achievements in academic excellence, racial diversity, and fiscal stability. 

In recognition of his accomplishments, President Clinton awarded him the National Humanities Medal in 1998, and President Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civil award, in 2004. Most recently, President Obama appointed him to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships in 2009.

Gregorian is the author of The Road to Home: My Life and Times; Islam: A Mosaic, Not A Monolith; and The Emergence of Modern Afghanistan, 1880-1946. He has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Social Science Research Council, and the American Philosophical Society, among others.  

He serves on the boards of The World Trade Center Memorial Foundation and the Library of Alexandria and is a past board member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Brandeis University, J. Paul Getty Trust, the Aga Khan University, Human Rights Watch, the Museum of Modern Art, The Qatar Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.