Skip to main content

Notable Alumni

Our Alumni community is accomplished and prestigious, with many Alumni actively engaged with current Residents and other Alumni years after their time at International House.

International House Alumni include Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, national presidents, diplomats, and human rights advocates. Many are renowned as artists, authors and musicians (like Leonard Cohen, pictured above), and many more make a difference in the world each day as teachers and activists. The International House community is so much more than student housing in New York City. We prepare Residents to live and work in a global environment and become the next leaders in their fields.

Below are some of the noteworthy International House Alumni who have passed through the doors of 500 Riverside Drive:

  • Chinua Achebe ’63, author

  • Nnamdi Azikiwe ’34, former President of Nigeria
  • Kinan Azmeh ’04, Grammy award-winning musician
  • Pina Bausch ’60, choreographer
  • Patricia Bath ’69, pioneer in ophthalmology & the first African-American female doctor to receive a medical patent
  • Aage Niels Bohr ’50, Nobel Prize-winning nuclear physicist
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer ’31, theologian & anti-Nazi dissident
  • Patricia Cloherty ’67, venture capitalist
  • Leonard Cohen ’57, composer, poet
  • Ariane Daguin ’80, entrepreneur & founder of D’Artagnan Foods
  • Kathryn W. Davis, ’30, philanthropist, civic leader
  • Shelby Cullom Davis ’32, Wall Street banker, US Ambassador
  • Frederica De Laguna ’29, anthropologist
  • Kiran Desai ’98, author, winner of the Booker Prize in 2006 for The Inheritance of Loss
  • Mercedes Ellington ’60, Broadway and television tap dancer, choreographer, director, and producer
  • Paul Harris ’56, artist
  • David Hein ’01, co-creator of Tony Award-winner “Come from Away”
  • Sigurdur Helgason ’45, airline executive
  • Ibrahim Gambari ’71, diplomat, UN under-secretary general
  • Slade Gorton ’50, US Senator
  • Torunn Atteraas Garin ’69, food engineer
  • James Gorman ’87, CEO, Morgan Stanley
  • Burl Ives ’39, actor, folk singer
  • Mohammad Fadhel Jamali ’31, former Prime Minister of Iraq
  • Twesigye Jackson Kaguri ’96, founder of The Nyaka Aids Orphan Project & 2012 CNN Hero
  • Arundhati Katju ’17, attorney, LGBT pioneer; 2019 Time Magazine Top 100 Influencer
  • Wassily Leontief ’32, Nobel Prize-winning economist
  • Patti LuPone ’69, Broadway actress
  • Benjamin Mkapa ’63, former President of Tanzania
  • Yuzaburo Mogi ’60, Honorary Chairman, Kikkoman Foods
  • Artis Pabriks ’98, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Latvia
  • Vikram Pandit ’86, former CEO, Citigroup
  • Santiago Peña ’03, 52nd and current President of Paraguay
  • Hans-Gert Poettering ’71, former President, European Parliament
  • Leontyne Price ’52, opera singer
  • Roya Rahmani ’09, Afghanistan’s first female ambassador to the US
  • Irene Sankhoff ’01, co-creator of Tony Award-winner “Come from Away”
  • Abdul Rahim Sharif ’81, artist
  • Edward J. Sparling ’29, social justice advocate, founder of Roosevelt University
  • Roy Stryker ’23, economist, US government official, photographer

  • German Suarez ’69, former President, Central Reserve Bank of Peru

  • Sidney Taurel ’71, former Chairman & CEO, Eli Lilly

  • Tatsuro Toyoda ’58, Senior Advisor, Toyota Motor Company

“I’ve been lucky to be…part of the Student-Trustee Link program, with each trustee matched to one student. Mine is Shelby Cullom Davis, a legendary Wall Street banker…[he] took me to lunch at a fancy club in Midtown New York, and at the end of the lunch, he turned and pointed at me, and he said, “You, son, should pursue a career in finance.”

James Gorman ’87, CEO, Morgan Stanley, reading from a letter he wrote to his father when Gorman was a Resident at I-House.