CAMBRIDGE, MA—At a ceremony on Wednesday, May 29, 2019, Harvard University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) awarded the Centennial Medal to Joseph Nye, PhD ’64. Nye, University Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, is a world-renowned authority on foreign policy and power. Through decades of leadership—as associate dean for international affairs, director of the Center for International Affairs, and dean of Harvard Kennedy School—he has fundamentally shaped how Harvard educates students and world leaders.
The author of 14 academic books, Nye famously formulated and popularized the concept of “soft power,” recognizing that a country’s power resides not merely in its ability to coerce, using the hard power of its military or economic influence, but also in its ability to persuade, through the attractiveness of its cultures and ideals to the rest of the world. Nye put his scholarship into practice through years of high-level government service in the Carter and Clinton administrations. He served as chair of the National Intelligence Council, among many other leadership positions, and received Distinguished Service medals from the Department of State, the Department of Defense, and the Intelligence Community.
“For Joseph Nye’s profound thinking and vast expertise as a theorist of international relations, and for his valiant efforts to help governments and national security leaders work toward a more harmonized world,” said Emma Dench, dean of GSAS, “we are proud to award him the 2019 Centennial Medal.”
In addition to Nye, four other GSAS alumni received the Centennial Medal: Carroll Bogert, AB ’83, AM ’86, president of The Marshall Project; Lael Brainard, PhD ’89, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve; Roger Ferguson, AB ’73, JD ’79, PhD ’81, president and chief executive officer of TIAA; and Jane Lubchenco, PhD ’75; University Distinguished Professor and Marine Studies Advisor to the University President at Oregon State University.
The Centennial Medal was first awarded in June 1989 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the founding of GSAS. Each year, Harvard University through GSAS recognizes outstanding alumni whose contributions to knowledge, to their disciplines, to their colleagues, and to society have made a fundamental and lasting impact.
For more information, visit gsas.harvard.edu/news/stories/fearless-advocate.