Great Immigrants, Great Stories: Carnegie Corporation of New York Celebrates What Immigrants Give Back to America

July 4th Public Service Ad, Website Honor Notable Immigrants

New York, NY, July 3, 2013 – Immigrants who become naturalized citizens are central to the story of America, and this July 4th, Carnegie Corporation of New York once again celebrates immigrants whose achievements have helped enrich the fabric of our nation.

This Independence Day, as it has every year since 2006, the Corporation has commissioned a full-page public service ad in The New York Times saluting immigrants who have contributed to the strength of American democracy and the vitality of our national life.

“When immigrants take the oath to become American citizens, that is both a wonderful and a powerful act,” said Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation of New York and himself a naturalized citizen. “Hence, it is fitting that on July 4th, when we commemorate the birth of our nation, we also honor both the rights and responsibilities of citizenship: not only the freedom to pursue our personal goals but also our obligation to contribute to the collective good and participate in the progress of our society.”

The 43 naturalized citizens featured in the ad include author Jamaica Kincaid and visual artist Shirin Neshat; philanthropy leader Aso Tavitian; journalists Doualy Xaykaothao and Mohamad Bazzi; scholars Shibley Telhami and Nina Khrushcheva; scientist Joanna Wysocka; jurist Sri Srinivasan, business and technology leaders Sebastian Thrun and Safra Catz, and U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono. Carnegie Corporation’s founder, steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, an immigrant from Scotland, was committed to giving back to America and mankind.

This year, Carnegie Corporation is also launching a companion website, “Great Immigrants: The Pride of America,” at, which includes this year’s honorees and those celebrated in previous years. The site also features a timeline [] highlighting Andrew Carnegie’s experiences as an immigrant.

Everyone has stories of great immigrants, and on the website, the Corporation hopes people everywhere will become inspired to add their own—sharing how they or their families came to America, with an emphasis on their accomplishments and contributions as Americans. The Corporation also hopes the discussion will continue on Twitter with the hashtag #greatimmigrants.

A list of the honorees and their country of origin is below:

Ilesanmi Adesida, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  (Nigeria)       

Ralph Alvarez, business leader (Cuba)

Kofi Appenteng, Chairman of the Africa-America Institute and the International Center for Transitional Justice  (Ghana)             

Leonardo Balada, composer (Spain)

Liz Balmaseda, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist (Cuba)

Mohamad Bazzi, international journalist (Lebanon)              

Carlos Tiburcio Bea, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit  (Spain)   

Safra Catz, Co-President and CFO of Oracle (Israel)            

John Cho, actor (South Korea)      

Sheena Easton, singer (Scotland)

Milos Forman, film director (Czech Republic)               

Osvaldo Golijov, composer, Vilcek Prize in the Arts (Argentina) 

Mazie Hirono, U.S. Senator, Hawaii (Japan)  

Jamaica Kincaid, author (Antigua)

Melikset Khachiyan, chess Grandmaster (Azerbaijan)    

Nina Khrushcheva, scholar/editor (Russia) 

Mila Kunis, actress (Ukraine)        

George Walter Landau, former U.S. Ambassador to Paraguay, Chile, and Venezuela (Austria)

Chong-Moon Lee, business leader (South Korea)             

John Albert Leguizamo, actor (Colombia)

Ranan Lurie, international political cartoonist (Israel)    

Zhou Long, Pulitzer Prize winning composer (China)

Bernard Lown, physician/inventor (Lithuania)   

Mee Moua, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice  (Laos)

Shirin Neshat, visual artist (Iran)

André Previn, composer (Germany)

Helen Reddy, singer (Australia)

Nouriel Roubini, economist (Turkey)

Bapsi Sidhwa, author (Pakistan) 

Dimitri Simes, President and CEO of the Center for the National Interest (Russia)

Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer, Metropolitan Museum of Art  (India)  

Sri Srinivasan, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit (India)

Aso Tavitian, business leader/philanthropist (Bulgaria)     

Shibley Telhami, scholar, Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland (Israel)           

Robert Tjian, President of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (China)  

Ham Tran, film director, Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Filmmaking (Vietnam)     

Laurence Henry Tribe, constitutional law scholar (Russia)    

Monique Truong, author (Vietnam)           

Sebastian Thrun, CEO of Udacity, founder of Google X (Germany)            

Padmasree Warrior, Chief Technology & Strategy Officer of Cisco Systems (India)

Joanna Wysocka, biochemist, Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science (Poland)             

Doualy Xaykaothao, NPR journalist (Laos)      

Paul Tiyambe Zeleza, Dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts at Loyola Marymount University (Malawi)

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.