45 Naturalized Americans Celebrated in Carnegie Corporation 4th of July Public Service Ad

“Immigrants: The Pride of America” Recognizes Americans by Choice

Forty-five Americans, who were born outside of the country and have earned their U.S. citizenship, are celebrated today as “Americans by Choice” in a full-page public service advertisement in the Fourth of July edition of the New York Times. 

See the New York Times ad and full list of 2012 honorees below. 

Each year on Independence Day, Carnegie Corporation of New York salutes the legacy of its immigrant founder Andrew Carnegie, by celebrating an ideal that he held dear: citizenship.

The Americans celebrated today emigrated to the United States from six continents and range in occupation from a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist (Philippines), university president (Afghanistan) and dancer (Ivory Coast) to NASA astronaut (Australia), prize-winning chemist (Estonia) and best-selling author (Ireland).  And they also include an Assistant Treasury Secretary (Iran), U.S. Ambassador (Lebanon), Hall of Fame baseball player (Netherlands), high-tech entrepreneur (Norway) and actor (Canada). 

“Immigrants: The Pride of America” celebrates women and men who, after deciding to become U.S. citizens, applied for, and have earned their citizenship.  These naturalized Americans, and many millions like them, have demonstrated their commitment to the United States and their loyalty to the Constitution.  In return, they have been rewarded with all the rights and privileges—as well as responsibilities—that are part of U.S. citizenship. 

Through its public service ad, Carnegie Corporation also salutes the contributions of the millions of other naturalized Americans who have made, and continue to make, our nation strong and vibrant. The foundation is supporting efforts to provide a clear pathway to citizenship for lawful permanent residents, and is committed to helping immigrants become integrated into the civic fabric of our nation.  

Carnegie Corporation’s President, Vartan Gregorian, who was born in Tabriz, Iran, of Armenian parents and is himself a naturalized American, reminds us of that our country is an extraordinary and daring idea that is still being tested and must be nurtured: “Here, in America,” he said, “we are trying to form a nation that transcends its limits and where the people transcend their differences in order to share a common purpose and common ideals.  And here, in America, we must all understand that participating in our civic life, the rich and vibrant life of our nation is not just a right but also an obligation.  And perhaps most important of all, it means being a citizen.” 

About Carnegie Corporation of New York


Carnegie Corporation of New York was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation's work 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.

Birth CountryNameOccupation 
AfghanistanMohammad Humayon QayoumiHigher education leaderPresident, San Jose State University
AlbaniaTony DovolaniDancerDancing with the Stars
AustraliaJill Ker ConwayHigher education leaderFirst woman president of Smith College
AustraliaAndrew ThomasAstronaut 
AustriaTheodore BikelActorDebuted in The African Queen
AustriaCarl DjerassiChemistCo-developer of oral contraceptive pills 
AustriaWalter KohnPhysicistNobel Laureate
BangladeshAbuhena SaifulislamImamU.S. military's first Muslim imam chaplain
CanadaRobert BirgeneauHigher education leaderChancellor, University of California, Berkley
CanadaMartin BrodeurAthlete Hockey player, New Jersey Devils
CanadaMike MeyersActor/Comedian 
CanadaHarold ShapiroHigher education leaderPresident Emeritus, Princeton University
Czech RepublicLubomir KavalekChess PlayerInternational Grandmaster 
Czech RepublicIvan LendlAthlete Grand Slam tennis champion
EnglandMartin IndykDiplomatFormer U.S. ambassador to Israel; Senior Executive Brookings Institute
EnglandAngela LansburyActress 
EnglandMeryle SecrestBiographerNational Humanities Medal winner
EnglandRichard WolffeJournalistMSNBC political analyst
EstoniaLauri VaskaChemistProfessor Emeritus, Clarkson University
GermanyMonika BauerleinJournalistCo-editor of Mother Jonesmagazine
Hong KongChui L. TsangHigher education leaderSuperintendent/President of Santa Monica College
IndiaSatish K. TripathiHigher education leaderPresident, the University at Buffalo, State University of New York
IranGoli AmeriDiplomatUnder Secretary General for Humanitarian Values and Diplomacy for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
IranCyrus Amir MokriLawyerAssistant Secretary for Financial Institutions, U.S. Treasury Department
IranHamid BilgariBankerVice Chairman, Citicorp
IranNariman FarvardinHigher education leaderPresident, Stevens Institute of Technology
IranVali NasrHigher education leaderDean, Johns Hopkins Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies
IrelandColum McCannNovelistNational Book Award Winner
IsraelMichael AradArchitectDesigner of the World Trade Center Memorial
IsraelJoseph NeubauerBusiness leaderFormer CEO of Aramark Corporation
Ivory CoastMichel KouakouDancerWinner of Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise
JamaicaSanya Richards-RossAthlete Olympic Gold Medalist
KoreaChang Rae-LeeNovelistWinner of the PEN/Hemingway Award
LebanonYoussef GhafariBusiness leaderFormer United States Ambassador to Slovenia
MexicoNora VolkowResearch psychiatrist Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse
NetherlandsBert BlylevenAthlete Hall of Fame baseball player
NigeriaVictor UkpoloHigher education leaderChancellor, Southern University at New Orleans
NorwayFred KavliPhilanthropistEstablished The Kavli Foundation 
PakistanAyesha JalalHistorian MacArthur Fellow
PakistanShirin Tahir-KheliDiplomatSenior Advisor for Women's Empowerment to the United States Secretary of State
PeruCarlos BustamanteBiomedical ScientistProfessor of molecular and cell biology, physics, and chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley
PhilippinesCheryl Diaz MeyerPhotojournalistPulitzer winner
PolandGerda Weissmann KleinAuthor, humanitarianMedal of Freedom Winner
TaiwanAlice Y. TingChemistWinner of the National Institutes of Health Director's Pioneer Award 
VenezuelaL. Rafael ReifHigher education leaderPresident, Massachusetts Institute of Technology