Vinton Cerf

Vinton Cerf

Awarded the Marconi Prize in 1998

For the technical achievements and ambassadorial leadership which have been such major factors in the creation and evolution of the Internet.

Presented by: President George Rupp of Columbia University on the occasion of the move of the Foundation to Columbia.

Vinton G. Cerf is vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google, where he is responsible for identifying new enabling technologies to support the development of the company’s advanced, Internet-based products and services.

Widely known as one of the “Fathers of the Internet,” Cerf is the co-designer with Robert Kahn of TCP/IP protocols and the basic architecture of the Internet. For their pioneering work on the Internet, they have achieved national distinction. In 1997, President Clinton presented the U.S. National Medal of Technology to Cerf and Kahn for founding and developing the Internet, and in 2005, they were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor awarded by the United States to its citizens.

From 1994-2005, Cerf served as MCI’s senior vice president of Technology Strategy and as senior vice president of Architecture and Technology. Prior to that, he was vice president of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI). From 1982-86, Cerf served as vice president of MCI Digital Information Services , where he led the engineering of MCI Mail, the first commercial e-mail service to be connected to the Internet. During his tenure from 1976- 82 with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Cerf led the development of Internet and Internet-related packet data and security technologies.

Since 2000, Cerf has chaired the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). He is honorary chairman of the IPv6 Forum, dedicated to raising awareness and speeding introduction of the new Internet protocol, and holds an appointment as distinguished visiting scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he is working on the design of an interplanetary Internet. From 1997-2001, he served as a member of the U.S. Presidential Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC). He also serves on several national, state and industry committees focused on cyber-security. A member of the Board of Directors for the Endowment for Excellence in Education, Avanex Corporation and the ClearSight Systems Corporation, Cerf is a Fellow of the IEEE, ACM, and American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Academy of Arts and Sciences International Engineering Consortium, Computer History Museum and National Academy of Engineering.

Cerf has received numerous awards and commendations in connection with his work on the Internet, including the Marconi Prize; the ACM Alan M. Turing award (with Kahn); the Charles Stark Draper award of the National Academy of Engineering; the Prince of Asturias award for science and technology; the National Medal of Science from Tunisia; the Alexander Graham Bell Award presented by the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf; the NEC Computer and Communications Prize; the Silver Medal of the International Telecommunications Union; the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal; the IEEE Koji Kobayashi Award; the ACM Software and Systems Award; the ACM SIGCOMM Award; the Computer and Communications Industries Association Industry Legend Award; the Yuri Rubinsky Web Award; the Kilby Award; the Yankee Group/Interop/Network World Lifetime Achievement Award; the George R. Stibitz Award; the Werner Wolter Award; the Andrew Saks Engineering Award; the IEEE Third Millennium Medal; the Computerworld/Smithsonian Leadership Award; the J.D. Edwards Leadership Award for Collaboration; World Institute on Disability Annual award; and the Library of Congress Bicentennial Living Legend medal.

In December, 1994, People magazine identified Cerf as one of that year’s “25 Most Intriguing People.”

In addition to his work on behalf of MCI and the Internet, Cerf has served as a production technical advisor for “Gene Roddenberry’s Earth: Final Conflict,” on which he made a special guest appearance. Cerf has also appeared on NextWave with Leonard Nimoy and on World Business Review with Alexander Haig and Caspar Weinberger.

Cerf holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Stanford University, Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from UCLA, and dozens of honorary degrees from leading institutions around the world.