Vint Cerf is at the top of his game

Internet innovator honored with Marconi Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award

NORTH OLMSTEAD, Ohio, March 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Vinton G. Cerf is turning 80 this year and is as busy as ever. As Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist continues his tireless efforts to advance the beneficial use of the Internet, he receives the Marconi Society’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. Cerf’s work will be celebrated at the organization’s awards gala on October 27th.

Cerf is the first person in the nearly 50-year history of the Marconi Society to receive both the Marconi Prize (1998) and the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Vinton G. Cerf, recipient of the Marconi Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award

“It’s no exaggeration to say that Vint’s work has created industries on the Internet, empowered billions of people, and helped build economies,” said Eric Schmidt, former CEO and executive chairman of Alphabet, Inc Lucky for Vint, we know he really is the internet evangelist in the world.”

Cerf is best known for collaborating with Bob Kahn on the development of the Internet Protocol Suite, known as Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), the highly flexible technology that enables end-to-end data communications. TCP/IP was adopted as the US Department of Defense standard in 1982 and soon became the fundamental technology used to connect computers and networks around the world.

“I love building things that connect people,” Cerf remarked. “I prefer long-term projects where the technology has to catch up with the claim and a wide range of parties come together to achieve a result.”

Cerf has always looked for ways to communicate easily and effectively. He developed MCI Mail in 1983, bringing together companies using different technologies and opening a path to Internet commercialization. While industry players focused on proprietary networks, Cerf had a broader vision based on open standards.

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“Even as the Internet’s precursor was being developed for military use, Vint understood the power and promise of a network that could connect anyone anywhere in the world,” noted former Vice President Al Gore.

This vision fueled Cerf’s involvement with organizations that help ensure the Internet benefits everyone. He co-founded the nonprofit Internet Society (ISOC) to advocate for Internet policy and technical standards, and ran the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to coordinate the domain name system. He has led and mentored numerous organizations from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) to the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Both the Internet and Cerf itself have had a significant impact on the nonprofit sector. “The internet allows us to mobilize immediately to provide meals to communities in crisis,” said Chef José Andrés, founder of World Central Kitchen. “Vint’s compassion and generosity are training future generations of disruptors.”

At age 13, Cerf began wearing hearing aids, fueling his need for communication and connection. He was a member of Gallaudet University’s Board of Trustees for eight years and is Google’s senior sponsor of several employee resource groups to help people with disabilities. Cerf is an active supporter of gender, skill, geographic, and ethnic diversity in STEM.

“Vint is unique in his pioneering breakthroughs, mentoring of technologists and advocacy for diversity and inclusion,” said Andrea Goldsmith, dean of engineering and applied sciences at Princeton University and board member of the Marconi Society.

Cerf continues to shape the future by helping build the interplanetary internet to provide communications for the growing number of people, vehicles and devices in space. He is the founding administrator of Interspecies Internet and focuses on research into non-human communication. Technologies for digital accessibility and digital justice – especially for rural areas and indigenous tribes – are priorities.

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He’s not even close to the finish line.

“The problem with the lifetime achievement award is that everyone thinks you’re done,” Cerf said. “I’m just getting started. Being there at the beginning of something big is incredibly rewarding. Even if I’m not here when it finally happens, knowing that my contributions will outlive me gives me a vicarious sense of influencing the future.”

About the Marconi Society

Media contact:
Paula Reinman
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SOURCE Marconi Society