David Lienemann ’05, 2015 Young Alumni Achievement Award
David Lienemann, in recognition of your work to preserve history as the official White House photographer to Vice President Joe Biden, the Cornell College Alumni Association has elected you as our Young Alumni Achievement Award winner for 2015.
At Cornell, you majored in economics and business but were often seen holding a camera as you documented campus life for The Cornellian and as a student worker in the Office of Marketing and Communications. You held internships in Iowa, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico, and began your career as a freelance photojournalist. From the beginning you specialized in covering presidential politics, with assignments for the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Associated Press, among others.
Your break came from covering Joe Biden during the 2007-08 Democratic primary. After Biden was named as Barack Obama’s running mate, you reached out to his communication staff asking to be his official photographer. Your persistence landed you the position in March 2009.
Since then you have traveled the world aboard Air Force 2 with the 47th vice president, capturing images that will live on in history. You’ve learned to sleep anywhere, anytime, working nearly nonstop for more than six years in travels to 47 states and 53 countries. Although you regularly interact with cabinet officials, members of Congress, and foreign dignitaries, you have said your most meaningful moments are the private ones, such as visiting wounded veterans on Christmas day at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
We are pleased to welcome you home for your 10th reunion, and grateful that you remain connected to the Hilltop as a generous donor.
David, your commitment to your profession and to Cornell exemplify the highest ideals of a liberal arts education. On behalf of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and the entire Cornell community, we are honored to recognize you with the Young Alumni Achievement Award.