Bob Kahn is Chairman, CEO and President of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI), which he founded (1986) after a 13-year term at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). CNRI is a not-for-profit that provides leadership and funding for research and development of the National Information Infrastructure.
Bob Kahn has M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton, and a BSEE-City University. After work at Bell Laboratories he served as Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT, then moved to join Bolt Beranek and Newman, where he was responsible for the system design of the Arpanet, the first packet-switched network. At DARPA as Director of DARPA’s Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO), he launched the US government’s billion dollar Strategic Computing Program, the largest computer R&D program ever undertaken by the federal government. He conceived the idea of open-architecture networking.
With Vint Cerf, he is co-inventor of the TCP/IP protocols and responsible for originating DARPA’s Internet Program, coining the phrase “National Information Infrastructure” (NII). He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of key societies (IEEE, AAAI, ACM). He was a member of the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee, and the President’s Advisory Council on National Information Infrastructure.
He holds many awards (selected list): the Marconi Award, the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal, the IEEE Third Millennium Medal, the Computerworld/Smithsonian Award. He twice received the Secretary of Defense Civilian Service Award, and the National Medal of Technology, the 2001 Charles Stark Draper Prize (National Academy of Engineering), the Prince of Asturias Award, and the 2004 A. M. Turing Award (a.k.a. the “Computer Science Nobel”).
He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George Bush, and the C & C Prize in Tokyo. An inductee at the National Inventors Hall of Fame, he was also given the Japan Prize (with Vint Cerf). He holds the University of Pennsylvania’s Harold Pender Award plus 11 honorary degrees. In 2013, Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn were the first recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Prize for Engineering, considered the de facto “Engineering Nobel.”