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About the event

The Golden Door Award has been an IINE tradition for more than 40 years. The honoree is a U.S. citizen of foreign birth who has made outstanding contributions to American society. It is an occasion that calls us to stand together in celebration of the achievements of new Americans who have played an integral role in our community, economy, and society.

The Award takes its name from Emma Lazarus’s words, which are inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty: “From her beacon hand glows world-wide welcome…I lift my lamp beside the golden door”.

About the honoree

A nationally known higher education thought leader, native of Lebanon, and renowned scholar of linguistics, Dr. Joseph E. Aoun is the seventh president of Northeastern University.

He has led the university’s expansion of experiential learning to 136 countries and established a network of seven campuses in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom—part of his vision for a global university system supporting lifelong learning and collaborative research. President Aoun has aligned the university’s use-inspired research enterprise with three global imperatives—health, security, and sustainability—a focus supported by eight interdisciplinary research institutes.
These and other initiatives have enabled Northeastern to attract record numbers of high-talent students from around the world, while more than tripling external funding for research.

As a scholar, Joseph Aoun has advanced the human condition by envisioning the future of our relationship with technology through learning—most notably, in his most recent book, Robot-Proof: Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence (MIT Press, 2017). As an immigrant, he has welcomed learners from all countries who are transcending borders to advance creativity and innovation. His example of the unlimited potential of the immigrant spirit is an inspiration to students, faculty, alumni, staff, and Northeastern University’s vast global network of co-op and research partners.

For his work connecting Northeastern University to people and countries around the world, the International Institute of New England proudly presents the 38th Golden Door Award to Dr. Joseph E. Aoun.