Two Princeton faculty members recently received honors from the White House

Mung Chiang, a Princeton engineering professor who studies the communications networks integral to modern society, received a 2007 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Chiang, an associate professor of electrical engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, was one of 67 scientists who received the awards at a ceremony held at the White House on Dec. 19.

The annual awards are given to early career engineers and scientists whose work “shows exceptional promise for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge,” according to a statement from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The award is considered the nation’s highest honor for researchers at the beginning of their independent scientific careers.

Chiang was recognized for his research on communication networks such as those that serve as the basis of the Internet, broadband access and wireless services. The citation for his award noted his “fundamental contributions to optimization, distributed algorithm and stochastic analysis of communication networks, leadership in the networking research community and mentorship of undergraduates.”

Robert George, Princeton’s McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, received the Presidential Citizens Medal at a ceremony at the White House on Dec. 10. The medal, awarded in recognition of exemplary deeds of service to the nation, is one of the highest honors a president can confer on a civilian.

George, a distinguished constitutional scholar, is the director of Princeton’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions and a member of the U.S. President’s Council on Bioethics. Last spring he received the Heritage Foundation’s $25,000 Salvatori Prize for American Citizenship for embodying the virtues of America’s founders. He was selected in November as the U.S. member of the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology, an advisory board of the United Nations.

Two Princeton alumni, Wendy Kopp and James Billington, also were among the 24 recipients honored by President George W. Bush. More than 100 people have received the medal since it was established in 1969.

President Emeritus Harold T. Shapiro awarded 2008 Clark Kerr Medal

Princeton President Emeritus Harold T. Shapiro has received the 2008 Clark Kerr Medal for Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education. He was awarded the medal at a private event in Berkeley, Calif., Jan. 27.

The award recognizes an individual who has made an extraordinary and distinguished contribution to the advancement of higher education. It was established in 1968 by members of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate as a tribute to the leadership and legacy of Kerr, a former Berkeley chancellor and University of California president.

Past recipients of the award include former California Gov. and Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, renowned American historian and race-relations scholar John Hope Franklin, Berkeley Nobel laureate Yuan T. Lee, and past Berkeley chancellors Ira Michael Heyman and Chang-Lin Tien.

Shapiro served as president of Princeton from 1988 to 2001 and as president of the University of Michigan from 1980 to 1987. He currently is a professor in Princeton’s Department of Economics and Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

In 2003, he was selected as the first Kerr Lecturer on the Role of Higher Education in Society, a program established under the aegis of Berkeley’s Center for Studies in Higher Education. He assembled the lectures into a book, “A Larger Sense of Purpose: Higher Education and Society,” published by Princeton University Press in 2005.

Shapiro served as chair of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission under President Bill Clinton and as a member and vice chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology during the George H.W. Bush administration. He has chaired the boards of the Association of American Universities, the Consortium on Financing Higher Education and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and has served on the boards of the American Council on Education, the Educational Testing Service, the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.