July Fourth Tribute Honors 38 Distinguished Immigrants

Philanthropic foundation established by Scottish immigrant Andrew Carnegie invites Americans to join in public awareness initiative.  

Great Immigrants Holder Image

Carnegie Corporation of New York released its annual list of Great Immigrants on June 28 comprised of 38 naturalized citizens who enrich the fabric of American culture and strengthen our democracy through their lives, their work, and their example. Our philanthropic foundation, its board of trustees and staff, invite Americans to help celebrate these distinguished individuals by participating in its online tribute titled “Great Immigrants, Great Americans.

Every Fourth of July since 2006, the Corporation has sponsored the public awareness initiative to commemorate the legacy of our founder, Scottish immigrant Andrew Carnegie, who believed strongly in both immigration and citizenship. Today the Great Immigrants tribute is an archive of accomplishment featuring more than 500 exemplary naturalized U.S. citizens. For 2018, the honorees represent nearly 30 different countries of origin, a range of personal immigration experiences, and high-level leadership in numerous fields, all of them united through their experience of becoming Americans. Among the honorees:

  • Art Acevedo Chief of Police, Houston
  • Ana Mari Cauce President, University of Washington
  • Joachim Frank and Shuji Nakamura Nobel Prize winners
  • Mona Hanna-Attisha public health advocate
  • Salud Carbajal and Pramila Jayapal members of U.S. Congress
  • Dara Khosrowshahi CEO of Uber
  • Daniel Libeskind architect
  • Elliott Erwitt photographer
  • Kumail Nanjiani actor
  • Regina Spektor singer and songwriter

“Andrew Carnegie understood that immigrants come here to be a part of America, not apart from America” said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York.  “In their faith, their love of family, and their patriotism for their adopted land, these Great Immigrants have done so much — and will do so much more in the future. For this, and for all their contributions, we respect, admire, and celebrate them.”

The honorees will be recognized with a full-page public service announcement in the New York Times on the Fourth of July. For the months of June and July, the Corporation has produced public awareness materials for sharing online via Facebook and Twitter @CarnegieCorp #GreatImmigrants.

In addition, the Corporation commissioned a series of compelling photo profiles by acclaimed photojournalist Jennifer S. Altman featuring Great Immigrants past and present: police chief Acevedo, philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah, media entrepreneur and author Arianna Huffington, conservationist and public servant Sally Jewell, actor John Leguizamo, and author Gary Shteyngart.

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, Carnegie Corporation of New York is committed to the integration of LPRs with the goal of helping them become citizens who can participate fully in our democracy.

The 2018 Great Immigrants and their countries of origin:

  • Art Acevedo Chief of Police, Houston, Texas (Cuba)
  • Matee Ajavon Professional Basketball Player (Liberia)
  • Mohamad Ali CEO, Carbonite (Guyana)
  • Ruth Behar Anthropologist and Writer (Cuba)
  • Nicolas Berggruen Founder and Chairman, Berggruen Institute (France)
  • Max Boot Military Historian and Columnist (Russia)
  • Salud Carbajal U.S. Congressman, California, District 24 (Mexico)
  • Ana Mari Cauce President, University of Washington (Cuba)
  • Bernard Cherkasov Executive Director, Cradles to Crayons (Azerbaijan)
  • Kerron Clement Olympic Gold Medalist in Track and Field (Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Rocco Commisso Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Mediacom (Italy)
  • Teddy Cruz Architect and Professor of Public Culture and Urbanization, University of California, San Diego (Guatemala)
  • Du Yun Composer and Performer, Pulitzer Prize in Composition (China)
  • Elliott Erwitt Photographer (France)
  • Adriano Espaillat U.S. Congressman, New York, District 13 (Dominican Republic)
  • Joachim Frank Biophysicist, Nobel Prize in Chemistry (Germany)
  • James P. Gorman CEO, Morgan Stanley (Australia)
  • Marina Walker Guevara Journalist, Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting (Argentina)
  • Mona Hanna-Attisha Pediatrician and Public Health Advocate (England)
  • Oscar Isaac Actor and Musician (Guatemala)
  • Pramila Jayapal U.S. Congresswoman, Washington, District 7 (India)
  • Dara Khosrowshahi CEO, Uber (Iran)
  • Valentina Kozlova Former Principal Dancer, New York City Ballet (Russia)
  • Daniel Libeskind Architect (Poland)
  • Martyna Majok Playwright, Pulitzer Prize in Drama (Poland)
  • Sheila Lirio Marcelo Founder, Chairwoman, and CEO, Care.com (Philippines)
  • Imbolo Mbue Author, PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction (Cameroon)
  • Thomas Nagel Philosopher, Rolf Schock Prize in Logic and Philosophy (Serbia)
  • Shuji Nakamura Engineer, Nobel Prize in Physics (Japan)
  • Kumail Nanjiani Actor and Writer (Pakistan)
  • Yvonne Orji Actress (Nigeria)
  • Carlos R. Ponce Neuroscientist, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis (Mexico)
  • Antoni Ribas Physician and Director, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, UCLA (Spain)
  • Regina Spektor Singer and Songwriter (Russia)
  • Marcelo Suárez-Orozco Dean, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies (Argentina)
  • Eugene H. Trinh Astronaut and Biochemist (Vietnam)
  • Hans Tung Managing Partner, GGV Capital (Taiwan)
  • Carmen R. Velasquez New York State Supreme Court Justice, District 11 (Ecuador)


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 a strong democracy.