Robert E. Kahn is Chairman, CEO and
President of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI),
which he founded in 1986 after a thirteen year term at the U.S.
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). CNRI was
created as a not-for-profit organization to provide leadership
and funding for research and development of the National
After receiving a B.E.E. from the City College of New York in
1960, Dr. Kahn earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton
University in 1962 and 1964 respectively. He worked on the
Technical Staff at Bell Laboratories and then became an
Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT. He took a
leave of absence from MIT to join Bolt Beranek and Newman, where
he was responsible for the system design of the Arpanet, the
first packet-switched network. In 1972 he moved to DARPA and
subsequently became Director of DARPA's Information Processing
Techniques Office (IPTO). While Director of IPTO he initiated
the United States government's billion dollar Strategic
Computing Program, the largest computer research and development
program ever undertaken by the federal government. Dr. Kahn
conceived the idea of open-architecture networking. He is a
co-inventor of the TCP/IP protocols and was responsible for
originating DARPA's Internet Program. Until recently, CNRI
provided the Secretariat for the Internet Engineering Task Force
(IETF). Dr. Kahn also coined the term National Information
Infrastructure (NII) in the mid 1980s which later became more
widely known as the Information Super Highway.
In his recent work, Dr. Kahn has been developing the concept
of a digital object architecture as a key middleware component
of the NII. This notion is providing a framework for
interoperability of heterogeneous information systems and is
being used in many applications such as the Digital Object
Identifier (DOI). He is a co-inventor of Knowbot programs,
mobile software agents in the network environment.
Dr. Kahn is a member of the National Academy of Engineering,
a Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of AAAI, a Fellow of ACM and a
Fellow of the Computer History Museum. He is a member of the
State Department's Advisory Committee on International
Communications and Information Policy, a former member of the
President's Information Technology Advisory Committee, a former
member of the Board of Regents of the National Library of
Medicine and the President's Advisory Council on the National
He is a recipient of the AFIPS Harry Goode Memorial Award,
the Marconi Award, the ACM SIGCOMM Award, the President's Award
from ACM, the IEEE Koji Kobayashi Computer and Communications
Award, the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal, the IEEE Third
Millennium Medal, the ACM Software Systems Award, the
Computerworld/Smithsonian Award, the ASIS Special Award and the
Public Service Award from the Computing Research Board. He has
twice received the Secretary of Defense Civilian Service Award.
He is a recipient of the 1997 National Medal of Technology, the
2001 Charles Stark Draper Prize from the National Academy of
Engineering, the 2002 Prince of Asturias Award, and the 2004 A.
M. Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery.
Dr. Kahn received the 2003 Digital ID World award for the
Digital Object Architecture as a significant contribution
(technology, policy or social) to the digital identity industry.
In 2005, he was awarded the Townsend Harris Medal from the
Alumni Association of the City College of New York, the
Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the C & C Prize in Tokyo,
Japan. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame
in May 2006, and awarded the Japan Prize for his work in
"Information Communication Theory and Technology" in 2008.
Dr. Kahn has received honorary degrees from Princeton
University, University of Pavia, ETH Zurich, University of
Maryland, George Mason University, the University of Central
Florida and the University of Pisa, and an honorary fellowship
from University College, London.