President, Carnegie Corporation of New York; former President, Brown University; & former President, New York Public Library
Vartan Gregorian is a towering figure in American higher education and one of the foremost advocates for the nation’s intellectual life. He serves today as president of Carnegie Corporation of New York (a philanthropic foundation created in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie), having had distinguished tenures as president of the New York Public Library (1981-89) and Brown University (1989-97). Before those appointments, he was provost of the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a dean and a professor of history there and at several other universities. Gregorian was born in Iran, of Armenian parents, and got his basic schooling there and in Lebanon. He later came to the U.S., entered Stanford University in 1956, and earned a B.A. and a Ph.D. in history and the humanities. His books include 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 countless awards and honors, including the National Humanities Medal from President Bill Clinton in 1998 and the nation's highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom, from President George W. Bush in 2004. Of Gregorian the American philanthropist Walter Annenberg once said, "Quite simply, I know of no one who is more brilliant and able."
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