Vinton Gray Cerf is an American Internet pioneer, who is recognized as one of “the fathers of the Internet”, sharing this title with TCP/IP co-inventor Bob Kahn. His contributions have been acknowledged and lauded, repeatedly, with honorary degrees and awards that include the National Medal of Technology, the Turing Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Marconi Prize and membership in the National Academy of Engineering.
In the early days, Cerf was a manager for the United States’ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) funding various groups to \ develop TCP/IP technology. When the Internet began to transition to a commercial opportunity during the late 1980s, Cerf moved to MCI where he was instrumental in the development of the first commercial email system (MCI Mail) connected to the Internet.
Cerf was instrumental in the funding and formation of ICANN from the start. He waited a year before stepping forward to join the ICANN Board, and eventually became chairman. He was elected as the president of the Association for Computing Machinery in May 2012, and in August 2013 he joined the Council on CyberSecurity’s Board of Advisors.
Cerf is active in many organizations that are working to help the Internet deliver humanitarian value to the world. He is supportive of innovative projects that are experimenting with new approaches to global problems, including the digital divide, the gender gap, and the changing nature of jobs. Cerf is also known for his sartorial style, typically appearing in a three-piece suit—a rarity in an industry known for its casual dress norms.