Stephen Grummon ’69, 2009 Distinguished Achievement Award

Stephen Grummon, since leaving the Hilltop 40 years ago, you have become a statesman of the highest stature and left an indelible mark on U.S. foreign policy. You have been recognized repeatedly for your contributions to our understanding of and policy actions in the Middle East and South Asia. Your career has spanned the momentous and historical, from the Iranian Revolution and hostage crisis in your first year, to a post-9/11 world.

View the award presentation and acceptance speech

Stephen Grummon '69
Stephen Grummon ’69 and Cornell President Les Garner.

You and your wife, Corrie Root Grummon, were married three weeks after her graduation from Cornell in 1970, and left six days later to volunteer for the Peace Corps in Iran, an experience that laid the foundation for your career. When you returned, you earned your master’s and doctoral degrees  from Johns Hopkins University.

There have been a number of stops during your career, and at each one you served your country with distinction. You served on the National Security Council, at the State Department, and in the Office of Counter Terrorism. Your work as an author of the planning document after the first Gulf War helped create U.S. policy in the Middle East for two administrations, shaping American involvement for the next decade. You were also instrumental in developing the foundational policy approach to India adopted by Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush.

As scholar-in-residence at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, you laid the groundwork for a program on the Persian Gulf that thrives today. You served as an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a Fellow at the Asia Society. More recently you directed the Office of Near East and South Asian Affairs in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the Department of State. Upon your retirement, you started a business consulting on Middle East issues.

Throughout your career you have received numerous awards recognizing your outstanding professional achievement, including three Senior Executive Service Performance awards and several Superior Honor awards from the Department of State.

Despite your travels and the scope of your work, you remained connected to Cornell. You have lectured on campus, visited classes, and taken the time to offer advice and guidance to students looking to follow in your very large footsteps.

Your fearless example and dedication to your work and to your country are inspiring. It is with great pride that the college and the Alumni Association confer upon you their highest joint honor. We hereby bestow upon you, Stephen Grummon, Class of 1969, the Distinguished Achievement Award.

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