Vartan Gregorian

President, Carnegie Corporation of New York


Vartan Gregorian is the twelfth president of Carnegie Corporation of New York, a grantmaking foundation created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911. Prior to his current position, which he assumed in June 1997, Gregorian served for nine years as the sixteenth president of Brown University.

He was born in Tabriz, Iran, of Armenian parents, receiving his elementary education in Iran and his secondary education in Lebanon. In 1956 he entered Stanford University, where he majored in history and the humanities, graduating with honors in 1958. He was awarded a Ph.D. in history and humanities from Stanford in 1964.

Gregorian has taught European and Middle Eastern history at San Francisco State College, the University of California at Los Angeles, and the University of Texas at Austin. In 1972 he joined the University of Pennsylvania faculty and was appointed Tarzian Professor of History and professor of South Asian history. He was founding dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylavnia in 1974 and four years later became its twenty-third provost until 1981.For eight years (1981-1989), Gregorian served as a president of the New York Public Library and in 1989 he was appointed president of Brown University.

Gregorian has been decorated by the French, Italian, Austrian and Portuguese governments. In 1998, President Clinton awarded Gregorian the National Humanities Medal. In 2004, President Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civil award. In 2009, President Obama appointed him to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.

Gregorian is the author of The Road to Home: My Life and Times; Islam: A Mosaic, Not a Monolith; and The Emergence of Modern Afghanistan, 1880-1946.