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Visionaries Who Helped Shape the Internet Take Their Place in the Internet Hall of Fame
[September 19, 2017]

Visionaries Who Helped Shape the Internet Take Their Place in the Internet Hall of Fame


Fourteen people from around the world who have contributed significantly to the Internet's inception, evolution and global growth have been inducted into the 2017 Internet Hall of Fame. Recognized for their groundbreaking contributions to the global Internet, this year's inductees comprise some of the world's most influential engineers, evangelists, and entrepreneurs.

The induction ceremony took place yesterday at the University of California, Los Angeles, the place from which the first message was sent over the Internet's predecessor, the ARPANET, nearly 50 years ago. Over the years, the Internet has evolved, thanks to the tireless work of individuals including this year's inductees, who believed in the potential of an open Internet. Through their collaboration, the Internet has changed the way we live and work, and today it reaches half of the world's population.

The Internet Hall of Fame was launched by the Internet Society in 2012. This year's ceremony marks the fourth inductee class to be honored. The inductees were selected by an Advisory Board of past inductees who guide the long-term planning and direction of the program.

Hailing from ten countries, the 2017 class of inductees have pushed the boundaries of technological and social innovation. They have promoted global access and reach, and increased our knowledge of how the Internet works, helping to ensure its widespread use.

"Ultimately the success of the Internet depends on the people behind it," noted Internet Society President and CEO Kathy Brown (News - Alert). "These inductees personify the pioneering spirit of the 'Innovators' and 'Global Connectors' who have been so instrumental in bringing us this unprecedented technology. They are some of the earliest Internet evangelists and their work has been the foundation for so many of the digital innovations we see today."

The Internet Hall of Fame Innovators Category recognizes individuals who have made outstanding technological, commercial, regulatory or policy advances and have helped expand the Internet's positive impact on the lives of others. The inductees in this category are:

  • Jaap Akkerhuis (Netherlands) was instrumental in the development of the Internet in the Netherlands and Europe since the early 1980s.
  • Yvonne Marie Andrés (United States) was one of the earliest people to use the Internet to develop and advance global e-learning opportunities for educators and students.
  • Alan Emtage (Barbados) conceived of and implemented the world's first Internet search engine, pioneering many techniques used by search engines today.
  • Edward Krol (United States helped develop and deploy early Internet infrastructure through the creation of U.S. regional networks, and wrote one of the earliest non-technical Internet guides.
  • Tracy LaQuey Parker (United States) wrote two of the first best-selling books about the Internet: The Internet Companion in 1992 and The User's Directory of Computer Networks in 1988, now a historic record of the NSFNET.
  • Craig Partridge (United States) contributed extensively to the Internet's early technical evolution, and designed how email is routed using domain names.

The Internet Hall of Fame Global Connectors Category recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the growth, connectivity, and use of the Internet either on a global scale or within a specific region that resulted in global impact. These inductees are:

  • Nabil Bukhalid (Lebanon) led the team at the American University of Beirut that brought the Internet to Lebanon and established the Lebanese Domain Registry.
  • Ira Fuchs (United States) co-founded BITNET, a precursor to the Internet that offered many of the Internet's core services years before the Internet's commercialization.
  • Shigeki Goto (Japan) was instrumental in the expansion of the Internet across Asia-Pacific.
  • Mike Jensen (South Africa) built some of the earliest networks to connect the nonprofit sector, and played a key role in establishing network connectivity for developing countries.
  • Ermanno Pietrosemoli (Venezuela) led technical education of the Internet in dozens of countries in South America and Africa, and was instrumental in building Universidad de los Andes' direct connection to the Internet backbone.
  • Tadao Takahashi (Brazil) was instrumental in the planning and deployment of the Internet in Brazil, and founded and led Brazil's National Research Network.
  • Florencio Utreras (Chile) led the connection of Chile to the BITNET network in 1987 and headed Chile's pioneer academic network.
  • Jianping Wu (China) led the design, development and evolution of CERNET, the first Internet backbone in China, helping it become the largest national academic network.

The 2017 Internet Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held in conjunction with the Internet Society's 25th anniversary celebration. A series of events were held on the UCLA campus, September 17-19, to celebrate the Internet's past and look to its future. In addition to the Internet Hall of Fame, the Internet Society recognized 25 next-generation leaders from 19 countries who are using the Internet to make a positive impact in their communities.


The Internet Society also launched its fourth annual Global Internet Report that explores the key trends and drivers that are set to shape the Internet for future generations.

A recording of the Internet Hall of Fame induction ceremony can be seen via Livestream. More details on the 2017 Internet Hall of Fame inductees, including their biographies and photos, can be found at www.internethalloffame.org. You can follow the Internet Hall of Fame on Facebook and on Twitter (News - Alert) at @Internet_HOF (#IHOF2017).

About the Internet Hall of Fame

The Internet Hall of Fame (www.internethalloffame.org) is a recognition program and virtual museum that celebrates the living history of the Internet and the individuals whose extraordinary contributions have made the Internet, its worldwide availability and use, and its transformative nature, possible. The Internet Hall of Fame was launched by the Internet Society in 2012.

About the Internet Society

Founded by Internet pioneers, the Internet Society (ISOC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet into the future. Together with its growing global community of chapters and members, the Internet Society supports Internet-led innovation, promotes the use of best practice technologies and encourages the adoption of policies that enable universal access to a globally connected, trusted Internet. The Internet Society is also the organizational home of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).


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