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Great Immigrants—The Pride of America: July Fourth Tribute Honors 42 Distinguished Immigrants

Carnegie Corporation of New York, established by Scottish immigrant Andrew Carnegie, thanks immigrants for their contributions to America

New York, NY, June 30, 2016––As Americans prepare to celebrate the most patriotic of their holidays on July Fourth, Carnegie Corporation of New York pays tribute to the role immigrants play in strengthening our country and our democratic society.

Since 2006, each year the philanthropic foundation has recognized the contributions of naturalized citizens with its “Great Immigrants: The Pride of America” initiative. For 2016, the Corporation named 42 honorees, who represent some 30 different countries of origin, a wide range of personal immigration stories, and inspiring professional accomplishments. The honorees, who will be saluted in public service announcements appearing in print and via an online initiative, include:

  • Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google
  • Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior
  • Samantha Bee, actress and comedian
  • Marcelo Claure, President and CEO, Sprint
  • Ronald J. Daniels, President, Johns Hopkins University
  • Thuan Pham, CTO, Uber Technologies, Inc.
  • Viet X. Luong, Brigadier General, U.S. Army
  • Graham Nash, Grammy-award winning singer-song writer
  • Jaqueline H. Nguyen, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • Aziz Sancar, Nobel Prize-winning biochemist
  • Bennet Omalu, discoverer of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)

“These accomplished Americans are immigrants like our forefathers, who ufounded this nation of nations,” said Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation of New York. “They are representative of the millions of immigrants who have come to the United States for economic opportunity, education, political or religious asylum, security, or reunification with families and relatives. They, like all Americans, share a common faith in this country.”

Nearly nine million lawful permanent residents (LPRs) are currently eligible to naturalize and become U.S. citizens. In keeping with the mission of our founder, Andrew Carnegie, the Corporation is committed to the integration of immigrants with the goal of helping them become citizens who can participate fully in our democracy. Together with grantees and partner organizations, the “Great Immigrants” initiative works to raise awareness about the naturalization process and provide helpful resources that will assist LPRs, including the free online application system Citizenshipworks. Carnegie Corporation also supports the New Americans Campaign, the nation’s largest network of nonprofits focused on naturalization.

Learn about the Great Immigrants project and how to become a naturalized citizen on Facebook and on Twitter @CarnegieCorp #GreatImmigrants #GetNaturalized.

The 2016 Great Immigrants and their countries of origin:

Noubar Afeyan Entrepreneur, venture capitalist, philanthropist (Lebanon)

Selu Alofipo Artist, White House “Champion of Change” honoree (Island of Samoa)

Samantha Bee Actress, comedian (Canada)

Len Blavatnik Industrialist, philanthropist (Ukraine)

Roberta Capp Assistant Professor, University of Colorado Medical School; Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science recipient ‎(Brazil) 

Jim Carrey Actor, comedian (Canada)

Mariano Castillo Journalist; Soros Fellowship for New Americans recipient (Peru)

Marcelo Claure President and CEO, Sprint (Bolivia)

Nadia Comaneci Five-time Olympic gold medalist in gymnastics (Romania)

Ronald J. Daniels President, Johns Hopkins University (Canada)

Michaela DePrince Ballerina, Dutch National Ballet (Sierra Leone)

Jaha Dukureh Founder, Safe Hands for Girls (Gambia)

John L. Estrada U.S. Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago (Trinidad and Tobago)

Florent Groberg U.S. Army Captain, retired; Congressional Medal of Honor and Bronze Star Medal recipient (France)

Peter Blair Henry Dean, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University (Jamaica)

Farnam Jahanian ‎Provost, Carnegie Mellon University (Iran)

Sally Jewell U.S. Secretary of the Interior (England)

Jan Koum Cofounder and CEO, WhatsApp (Ukraine)

Fei-Fei Li Director, Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab and Stanford Vision Lab (China)

Viet X. Luong Brigadier General, U.S. Army (Vietnam)

Iqram Magdon-Ismail Cofounder, Venmo (Zimbabwe)

Vikram Malhotra Chairman of the Americas, McKinsey & Company (India)

Mehret Mandefro Physician, anthropologist, filmmaker (Ethiopia) 

Michael Moritz Chairman, Sequoia Capital (Wales)

Bharati Mukherjee National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author (India)

Peter A. Nadosy Managing Partner, East End Advisors (Hungary)

Graham Nash Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter

Jaqueline H. Nguyen Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit (Vietnam)

Deogratias Niyizonkiza Founder and CEO, Village Health Works (Burundi)

Bennet Omalu Forensic pathologist, discoverer of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, CTE (Nigeria)

Jorge M. Pérez Chairman and CEO, Related Group of Florida (Argentina)

Thuan Pham CTO, Uber Technologies, Inc. (Vietnam)

Sundar Pichai CEO, Google (India)

Ana Luz Porzecanski Director, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History (Bolivia)

Wolfgang Puck chef and restaurateur (Austria)

Azita Raji U.S. Ambassador to Sweden (Iran)

Shaiza Rizavi Partner, Gilder, Gagnon, Howe & Co. (Pakistan)

Isabella Rossellini Actress, model, filmmaker (Italy)

Aziz Sancar Nobel Prize-winning biochemist; President Emeritus, Aziz and Gwen Sancar Foundation (Turkey)

Piers J. Sellers Former NASA astronaut; Deputy Director, NASA Sciences and Exploration Directorate (England)

Hari Sreenivasan Anchor and Senior Correspondent, PBS NewsHour (India)

Fernando Valenzuela Major League Baseball pitcher, retired (Mexico)

About Carnegie Corporation of New York

Carnegie Corporation of New York was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation's agenda focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy.