Vint Cerf Awarded IEEE Medal of Honor
Written by Sue Gee   
Friday, 03 February 2023

Considered the highest honor in the field of Electrical Engineering, the IEEE Medal of Honor was inaugurated in 1917 and is awarded annually to a single recipient for exceptional contributions or an extraordinary career in the IEEE fields of interest. Vinton G. Cerf is this year's laureate. 

vint cerf Medal

The IEEE has announced that Vint Cerf is the recipient of the 2023 IEEE Medal of Honor. He is being recognized:

“for co-creating the Internet architecture and providing sustained leadership in its phenomenal growth in becoming society’s critical infrastructure.”

Cerf shares the title Father of the Internet with Robert Kahn for the work they did together in designing the TCP/IP protocol  in 1974. TCP manages data packets sent over the Internet, making sure they don’t get lost, are received in the proper order, and are reassembled at their destination correctly. IP manages the addressing and forwarding of data to and from its proper destinations. Together these protocols make up the Internet’s core architecture and enable computers to connect and exchange traffic.

Cerf and Kahn went on to found the non-profit Internet Society in 1999 to provide leadership in education, policy and standards related to the Internet and Cerf served as the first president of ISOC.

To quote one of the endorsers of the award:

“Cerf’s tireless commitment to the Internet’s evolution, improvement, oversight, and evangelism throughout its history has made an indelible impact on the world. It is largely due to his efforts that we even have the Internet, which has changed the way society lives."

Since 2005, Cerf has been vice president and chief Internet evangelist at Google, spreading the word about adopting the Internet in service to public good. He is responsible for identifying new technologies and enabling policies that support the development of advanced, Internet-based products and services.

Cerf and Kahn have received several awards for their work  including the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 1997;  the Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery, considered the Nobel Prize of computing in 2004; the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, the Japan Prize in 2008 and the Franklin Medal in 2018. In the UK they were among the of five Internet and Web pioneers awarded the inaugural Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering in 2013. In 2016 Cerf was admitted as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society.

The IEEE Medal of Honor is further recognition of the significance of Vint Cerf's contributions.


More Information

IEEE Medal of Honor

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Last Updated ( Friday, 10 February 2023 )