WordPress Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Instagram YouTube @cal Pinterest

Notable Alumni

The alumni pictured below are just some of those whose accomplishments contribute to the I-House tradition of excellence. Our alumni include seven Nobel Laureates, governors in the US and abroad, California Supreme Court Justices, Ambassadors representing nine countries, and more than one thousand who have gone on to careers in colleges and universities around the world. Click on photos or categories to view more notable alumni and detail.

Sadako Ogata, United Nations High Commissioner for RefugeesDrew Gaffney, Space Shuttle AstronautArlene Blum, authorWendell Lipscomb, First African American to complete residency at Kaiser Hospital, psychiatrist, trainer of Tuskegee Airmen.Eric Schmidt, CEO of GoogleMaggie Gee, Physicist and First of Chinese-American women aviators of the Women Airforce Service PilotsHaakon Magnus, Crown Prince of NorwayJerry Brown, Governor of California

Trail Blazers

Daima Lockhart Clark

Daima Lockhart Clark (IH 1938-39)
Scholar of African philosophy and religion

"If I had not come to I-House, the experiences and great opportunities that I have had since then simply would not have been possible.”

Edith Simon Coliver

Edith Simon Coliver (IH 1940-43)
First female Field Office Director for the Asia Foundation

"Our greatest pleasure in those days was the folk dance evenings, where students from different, and sometimes hostile, countries danced with each other in friendship and harmony."

The annual Festival of Cultures at I-House was endowed by Coliver and is dedicated in her memory.

Maggie Gee

Maggie Gee (IH 1950-51)
Physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and one of the first Chinese-American women aviators of the Women Airforce Service Pilots

Gee is the focus of the children's book, Sky High: The True Story of Maggie Gee, the story a Chinese-American girl who wanted to fly like Amelia Earhart. Maggie’s experiences sent the powerful message that ethnic minority women could break the barriers of race and gender and succeed in male-dominated occupations.

Sergio Alejo Rapu Haoa

Sergio Alejo Rapu Haoa (IH 2001-03)

First native islander to serve as governor of Easter Island

"In the heart of every human being, there is a space for love, a space for peace. As long as we can respect each other's differences, we can create a bridge to reach each other's hearts."

Wendell Lipscomb, First African American to complete residency at Kaiser Hospital, psychiatrist, trainer of Tuskegee Airmen.

Wendell Lipscomb (IH 1947-48)
Psychiatrist, trainer of Tuskegee Airmen and the first African American to complete residency at Kaiser Hospital

Pauli Murray (IH 1944-45)
Attorney, poet and first female African-American Episcopalian minister


Sandeep Pandey

Sandeep Pandey (IH 1992)
Social activist and co-founder of Asha for Education



Victor Santiago Pineda

Victor Santiago Pineda PhD (IH 1999-2000)
Social development scholar and disability rights advocate

Pineda participated in the development, monitoring and implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. For these efforts he was awarded the Cal Alumni Association’s Mark Bingham for Excellence in Achievement by a Young Alumnus in 2011. Through his foundation he supports youth with disabilities at home and abroad.

"I-House instilled in me a deep understanding of humanity and inspired me to contribute my knowledge about disability and human rights with the rest of the world."

Emmett Rice

Emmett Rice (IH 1947-48)
Fullbright scholar, member of the Federal Reserve Board (1979-1986) and Berkeley's first African-American firefighter



Wendy Schmidt

Wendy Schmidt (IH 1978-80)
President and Co-Founder of The Schmidt Family Foundation and The Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI), earned her masters degree in journalism while residing at International House where she met her husband Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google. As a globally-minded philanthropist, Wendy oversees several strategic initiatives that advance the wiser use of our shared natural resources on land and in our oceans and seeks to resolve related human rights issues worldwide. Wendy Schmidt as International House Alumna of the Year 2014.

“ I-House meant a lot to me. It was my community, a multi-cultural one par excellence.The world needs the type of environment that I-House fosters.”

Julianne Cartwright Traylor

Julianne Cartwright Traylor (IH 1968-69)
First African-American woman to serve as Chair of Amnesty International

“ I-House meant a lot to me. It was my community, a multi-cultural one par excellence.The world needs the type of environment that I-House fosters.”

Khatharya Um

Khatharya Um (IH 1983-88)
Associate Professor of Asian Studies at UC Berkeley and the first Cambodian woman to earn a doctorate in the U.S.

"[At I-House], accents are as common as complaints about the menu [and] one can feel not just the freedom but the pride of wearing a sarong or a sari. These are little mundane things but they mark a world of difference for those of us who find solace in diversity and in a multifaceted environment. "

Delbert Wong

Delbert Wong (IH 1940)
First Chinese-American judge in the continental U.S.

Wong was appointed to Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1959, and served in the Superior Court for over 20 years, including five years in the Appellate Department.

Nobel Laureates

Melvin Calvin

Melvin Calvin (IH 1937-38)
Recipient of the 1961 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his “research on the carbon dioxide assimilation in plants”


Owen Chamberlain

Owen Chamberlain (IH 1940-41)
Recipient of the 1959 Nobel Prize in Physics with Emilio Gino Segre for “their discovery of the antiproton”



Andrew Z. Fire

Andrew Z. Fire (IH 1977-78)
Recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Medicine with Craig Mello “for their discovery of RNA interference – gene silencing by double stranded RNA”


Willis Lamb

Willis Lamb (IH 1930-38)
Recipient of the 1955 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his discoveries concerning the fine structure of the hydrogen spectrum,” shared with Polykarp Kusch

Jayant Sathaye

Jayant Sathaye (IH 1973)
Contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former vice president Al Gore, “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change”

Julian Schwinger

Julian Schwinger (IH 1939-40)
Recipient of the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics, awarded jointly with Sin-Itero Tomonaga and Richard P. Feynman, “for their fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics, with deep-ploughing consequences for the physics of elementary particles.”

Glenn Seaborg

Glenn Seaborg (IH 1934-35 non-resident member)
Recipient of the 1951 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, awarded jointly with Edwin M. McMillan, “for their discoveries in the chemistry of the transuranium elements”

Also, Seaborg has served as University Professor of Chemistry for the University of California, Associate Director-at-Large of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory , co-founder and chairman of the Lawrence Hall of Science, and was an I-House Board member.           

Kirk Smith

Kirk R. Smith (IH 1972)
Contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former vice president Al Gore, “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change”

Also, Smith is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and Professor of Global Environmental Health.

Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson

Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson (IH 1946-50)

Recipient of the 1973 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, awarded jointly with Ernst Otto Fisher, “for their pioneering work…on the chemistry of the organometallic…compounds” 


Ali Abdullah Alireza (IH 1941)
Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the U.S.


Martin Brennan (I-House Executive Director 2007 - 2012)
Former U.S. Ambassador to Uganda and Zambia. Interim U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria.


John Kenneth Galbraith (IH 1931-32)
Professor of Economics at Harvard, author and U.S. Ambassador to India
He first saw UC Berkeley's International House in July of 1931, when he was 22 years old, at the end of a long trip to California from his home in Guelph, Canada. The evening sun lit up the building's tan facade; Galbraith thought it a place of "unimaginable splendor." The intellectual fare was splendid too. As Galbraith recalled years later, "I experienced here an intensity of discussion beyond anything I have known since, in 60 years of public life."

Robert C.F. Gordon (IH 1939-48)
U.S. Ambassador to Mauritius



Haraldur Kroyer (IH 1941-42)
Ambassador of Iceland to the U.S.


Abdul Majid

Abdul Majid (IH 1934-40)
Ambassador of Afghanistan to U.S.



Michael Okeyo
Ambassador of Kenya to the U.S.

Andres Petricevic (IH 1963-72)
Bolivian Cabinet Member and Ambassador to the U.S.


Joao Baptista Pinheiro
Ambassador of Brazil to the U.S.

Joan Plaisted

Joan Plaisted (IH 1996)
U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Marshall Islands


Theogene Rudasingwa

Theogene Rudasingwa (IH 2005-2006)
Ambassador to the U.S. for the Republic of Rwanda and VP of Global Affairs at the Pangaea Global AIDS Foundation


Kenneth Taylor

Kenneth Taylor (IH 1957-59)
Ambassador of Canada to Iran

With extensive international business experience, Ken began his career in the Canadian Foreign Service and held senior diplomatic positions around the world in a 25-year career.  In 1979, while serving as the Canadian Ambassador in Iran, he helped six Americans escape from Iran during the hostage crisis—his heroic story is portrayed in the 2012 movie Argo.  In addition to numerous awards and honorary doctorate degrees, Ken’s civilian honors include the United States Congressional Gold Medal and the Official Order of Canada.

Ken and his wife Dr. Patricia E. Taylor (IH 1958-60) were honored at the 2013 Gala as I-House Alumni Couple of the Year in recognition of their heroism during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, decades of championing the values of International House in their personal and professional lives, and longstanding support of International Houses, Berkeley and New York.

Irving Tragen

Irving Tragen (IH 1943-47)
Diplomat and 2010 Citation Award winner


Andrew Young

Andrew Young (IH 1983-85)
U.S. Ambassador to Burkina Faso

“At International House, I saw firsthand how people from multiple cultures could live together in harmony while building bridges across vast cultural gaps that had erupted in violence in their home countries.  I left with a stronger commitment to pursue cross-cultural understanding as a powerful tool to help make the world a better place.  As I take on the responsibilities as Ambassador in Burkina Faso, I will carry with me the lessons of community that fellow students from International House shared with me.” 

United Nations Staff

Abdelkader Abbadi

Abdelkader Abbadi (IH 1963-67)
U.N. Deputy Director for Political Affairs

"International House is an institution which prepares generations of young men and women for tomorrow's world - a world characterized by interdependence in practically every field, by nations and peoples increasingly stretching their hands towards each other across oceans and frontiers, and aspiring toward a more peaceful, just, and tolerant life."

Jan Egeland (IH 1983)
U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs

"Living in International House was like living in the United Nations without the bureaucracy. Every single day led to new friendships with engaging students and scholars from all over the world."

Takehiro Nakamura

Takehiro Nakamura (IH 1990-92)
Senior Programme Officer, United Nations Environment Programme


Sadako Ogata, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Sadako Nakamura Ogata (IH 1956-57)
U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees          

"To be exposed directly to persons that had gone through different experiences because of the kind of relationships that governments, or countries, or people had in those days—was a very much of an eye- opening experience…. [I-House] made sure we exposed ourselves to diverse cultures… and this is something that still requires a lot of continued reinforcement. "

Shankar Sastry

Shankar Sastry (IH 1977-78)
Dean of the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley, and Director of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS)

In October 2013 Shankar was appointed as one of two U.S. representatives on a new United Nations Scientific Advisory Board charged with strengthening "the interface between science and policy," according to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Public Service

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (IH 1940s)
Prime Minister of Pakistan    


Jerry Brown (IH 1960-61)
Governor of California, Former Mayor of Oakland and Attorney General of California.




Soon Cho

Soon Cho (IH 1960-61)

Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea and Mayor of Seoul     


Jeymoon Chung

Jeymoon Chung (IH 1955-56)
National Assemblyman and Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Republic of Korea


Vernon Ehlers (IH 1956-58)
U.S. Representative of Michigan      



Marcos Espinal
Executive Secretary of Stop TB Partnership  


Adriana Gianturco (IH 1960-61)
Director of the California Department of Transportation and early champion of mass transit and carpool lanes
"One of the high points of my life was my year at I House in l960-196l! "

Laura Castillo Sena de Gurfinkel (IH 1958-62)
Minister of Education of Venezuela


Pyoung Hoon Kim ( IH 1956-57 and 1991-92)
Senior Protocol Secretary to the President of the Republic of Korea
"Living here is where I learned to interface with people from other cultures, to understand their concerns, to read faces. If you want to be a diplomat, live in I-House. What I learned here, you can't learn in school. I-House is an experiment that works."        

Oona King

Baroness Oona King (IH 1989-90)
Former Member of Parliament, U.K.; Google’s Director of Diversity Strategy; I-House 2019 Alumna of the Year

On May 9th, 2019, I-House honored Baroness Oona King as the Alumna of the Year to recognize her work as a member of the British Parliament, her advocacy for human rights, and her visionary leadership as the Director of Diversity Strategy at Google. Read full bio

Tetsuo Kondo

Tetsuo Kondo (IH 1954-55)
Minister of Labor, Japan        



Wissanu Kreangam (IH 1970)

Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand


Robey Lal

Robey Lal (IH 1967-68)
International Air Transport Association (IATA) country manager for India


Mauricio Cardenas

Mauricio Cardenas Santa Maria (IH 1987)
Minister of Economic Development, Colombia


Milton Marks

Milton Marks (IH 1949)

California State Assemblyman and Senator  


Sudarmo Martonagoro (IH 1950-52)
Foreign Minister of Indonesia

Widjojo Nitisastro

Widjojo Nitisastro

Professor of Economics, University of Indonesia    


Ogbonnaya Onu

Ogbonnaya Onu (IH 1977-80)
Governor of Abia, Nigeria     


Venkataram Ramakrishna (IH 1954-55)
Director of the South East Asia Regional Bureau for the International Union for Health Promotion and Education

Sir Desmond Rea

Sir Desmond Rea (IH 1966 67)
Chairman of the Northern Ireland Policing Board and professor at the University of Ulster


Elsie Gardner Ricklefs (IH 1938-39)
Chair of the Hoopa Tribe of California

Martin Rosen (IH 1953-55)
Co-founder and President of the Trust for Public Land


Emil Salim

Emil Salim (IH1962)
Minister of Indonesia and Professor of Economics at the University of Indonesia


James C.Y. Soong

James C.Y. Soong
Chairman of the People First Party (PFP), Taiwan, Province of China


Vicenzo Visco

Vicenzo Visco (IH 1968)

Minister of Finance, Italy       


Pete Wilson (IH 1960)

Governor of California


Laura Zegna (IH 1970s)
Chair of Italy's Special Olympics Organizing Committee

Royal Families

Haakon Magnus
Crown Prince Haakon Magnus of Norway (IH 1997)

Honored in 2009 as International House Alumnus of the Year award for his extensive humanitarian work as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations to promote the Millennium Development Goals.

The Crown Prince returned to I-House in 2011. Read more: Prince is Charming on Royal Visit

Laurent Benoît Baudouin (IH 1995-98)

Prince of Belgium      




Moshe H. Alafi (1949-50)
Mr. Alafi has been called one of the founders of biotechnology, as he was one of the first venture capitalists to see the exciting potential in biotechnology. Mr. Alafi has been an active investor for over 25 years and was a seed investor in Cetus, Biogen, Applied Biosystems, and Amgen. He has founded over 60 companies throughout his career.


J. Dennis Bonney

J. Dennis Bonney (IH 1954-55)
Vice Chairman, Chevron Corporation


Charlene Wang Chien

Charlene Wang Chien (IH 1972-74)
President, First International Computer, Inc., Taiwan, Province of China


Choong Kun Cho

Choong Kun Cho (IH 1955-58)
President, Korean Airlines



Paritish Choksi (IH 1975-77)
Executive Vice President, ATEL Capital Group

Jan Fandrianto (IH 1981-81)
President, Sipura Technology, Inc.

David Fischer (IH 1990-91)
Vice President, AOL Europe

Jawahar Gidwani

Jawahar Gidwani (IH 1973-76)
Chairman and CEO, KARMA2GO, LLC


Richard Goldman

Richard Goldman (IH 1941-42)
Founder of Goldman Insurance Services and the Goldman Environmental Prize, and the Cal Alumni Association's 2010 Alumnus of the Year

"International House is a wonderful concept. It serves a valuable function here and in other cities where I-Houses are located."

Kazusue Konoike

Kazusue Konoike (IH 1973-82)
President, Konoike Construction Co., Ltd., Japan


Kakutaro Kitashiro

Kakutaro Kitashiro (IH 1970-71)
General Manager, IBM Asia Pacific



Simon Lewis

Simon Lewis OBE (IH 1981-82)
CEO, Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) Also, former Director of Communications for former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Communications Secretary to the Queen, Visiting Fellow at Oxford University and Fulbright Scholar. is the chief executive of the Association for Financial Markets in Europe.

Lewis was awarded an OBE in the 2014 New Year Honours List for public service and services to international education through the Fulbright Commission.

Andre Manoliu (IH 1974-76)
Managing Director, GrowthPlans, LLC


Hans Rausing

Hans Rausing (IH 1948-49)
Chairman, TetraPak


Arun Sarin

Arun Sarin (IH 1975-78)
CEO, Vodafone

"Since the world is turning into a smaller and smaller global marketplace, we need to have these very comfortable relationships across cultures. Each culture needs to be respected...each culture needs to have empathy...that's what the I-House taught me professionally."

Hamid Savoj (IH 1990-91)
Senior Vice President, Magma Design Automation


Eric Schmidt

Eric Schmidt (IH 1976-80)
CEO, Google


Leigh Steinberg

Leigh Steinberg (IH 1973-74)
Sports agent and sports attorney credited as the inspiration for the title character in Jerry McGuire



Kaya Tuncer
Kaya Tuncer (IH 1959 – 62)

A Turkish-American mega-builder, entrepreneur and philanthropist.

In 1990 he began a huge project – the Aegean Free Zone – creating a flourishing industrial park that transformed the region and provided jobs to more than 20,000 people.

To foster cross-cultural understanding, Kaya and his wife Mary established Global Friendship Through Space Education, a California nonprofit.

George H.B. Verberg

George H.B. Verberg (IH 1970-71)
President, International Gas Union



Mario Bancora (IH 1946-52)
Director, Atomic Energy Commission of Argentina

Hans Peter Duerr

Hans Peter Duerr (IH 1953-56)
Director, Max Planck Institute


Drew Gaffney

Drew Gaffney (IH 1967-68)
Astronaut and Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University


Saul Griffith

Saul Griffith (IH 1994-95)
National Inventors Hall of Fame inductee, MacArthur Fellow, and founder of HowToons, Instructables.com, Low Cost Eyeglasses, Makani Power, Potenco, Squid Labs, Potenco and other businesses. More on Saul Griffith at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saul_Griffith.

William Haseltine

William Haseltine (IH 1963-68)
CEO, Human Genome Sciences


Wilmot Hess

Wilmot Hess (IH 1949-50)
NASA official and Associate Director of the Department of Energy


Alan Pasternak

Alan Pasternak (IH 1959-64)
Energy expert and staff scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Technical Director at California Radioactive Materials Management Forum


Cyril Ponnamperuma

Cyril Ponnamperuma (IH 1959-61)
Director of the Chemical Evolution Division, NASA Ames Research Center


Rafael Rodriguez

Rafael Rodriguez (IH 1946-50)
Cost Rican artist and botanist, specializing in orchids.


David Scheuring (IH 1957-61)
Founding Director of Yolo Land Trust and Director of the Cache Creek Conservancy

Mohammed Ahmed Selim (IH 1938-43)
Head Engineer for the High Dam in Egypt

David Shirley

David Shirley (IH 1953-62)
Director at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


Theodore Taylor

Theodore Taylor (IH 1946-49)
Nuclear physicist and advocate for peaceful applications of nuclear energy

Chien Shiung Yuan

Chien Shiung Wu Yuan (IH 1936-42)
Professor Emeritus of Applied Physics and Nuclear Engineering at Columbia University, Manhattan Project scientist and the so-called "First Lady of Physics"


Upendra Baxi

Upendra Baxi (IH 1965)
Professor of Law and Vice Chancellor at the University of Delhi; Vice Chancellor at the University of South Gujarat, Surat; and President of the Indian Society of International Law

Rose Bird

Rose Bird (IH 1960-61)
Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court


Barnet Cooperman

Barnet Cooperman (IH 1946-47)
Judge on the L.A. Superior Court

"Because of International House I met my wife of 61 years, and we appreciated I-House and the enriching environment that shaped lifelong friendships and our family of five beautiful children."

Wolfgang Hoffmann-Riem

Wolfgang Hoffman-Riem (IH 1964-65)
German legal scholar, Professor Emeritus at the University of Hamburg, former judge of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany and Recipient of the 2008 Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany

Adrian Kragen

Adrian Kragen (IH 1930-33)
Deputy attorney general of California under Earl Warren and Professor of Law at UC Berkeley


George Kraw

George Kraw (IH 1972-76)
Member of the Advisory Committee of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation


Ernst Pakuscher (IH 1955-56)
Chief Judge of the German Federal Patent Court

Stefan Riesenfeld

Stefan Riesenfeld (IH 1935-37)
Professor of Law, UC Berkeley

"I attribute tremendous positive value to my stay in I-House. It helped me to adjust to the life in a country which is now my own but which was then a foreign country to me, and I formed at that time associations and friendships which have lasted since those days."

Sanford Svetcov (IH 1961-63)
Partner with the Appellate Practice Group at Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP


Wakefield Taylor

Wakefield Taylor (IH 1930s)
California Court of Appeal presiding justice and 34th president of the Commonwealth Club


Raymond Terlizzi

Raymond Terlizzi (IH 1962-64)
Magistrate Judge of the District of Arizona


Literature and Journalism

Amir Aczel (IH 1972-76)
Author of Fermat's Last Theorem, Descartes' Secret Notebook and The Mystery of Aleph

"At I-House, I began to understand that the hatreds on which we had grown up were left far behind us, and that here at I-House, we could see one another as individuals, as people, as warm and caring human beings. For all of us, I-House was a unique place, which would forever stay in our hearts and minds."

Marianne Likowski Alireza

Marianne Likowski Alireza (IH 1941-43)
Author of At the Drop of a Veil, an autobiographical account of her International House romance with Ali Abdullah Alireza, leading to the first marriage between a Saudi man and a western woman

Angelika Blendstrup

Angelika Blendstrup (IH 1970-72)
Business communications consultant and author of They Made It! How Chinese, French, German, Indian, Israeli and other foreign born entrepreneurs contributed to high tech innovation in the Silicon Valley, the U.S. and Overseas

Arlene Blum

Arlene Blum (IH 1967-68)
Arlene has played a groundbreaking role in women's mountaineering and is best known for leading the first all-women's ascent of Annapurna. Blum also led the first women's team up Mt. McKinley; was the first American woman to attempt Mt. Everest; and has played a leading role in more than 20 mountain expeditions worldwide. Author of Annapurna: A Woman's Place , and Breaking Trail: A Climbing Life

Arlene is the founder of the annual Berkeley Himalayan Fair and her articles and photographs have appeared in many publications including National Geographic, Smithsonian, and Science magazines.

Gray Brechin

Gray Brechin
Historical geographer, journalist, television producer and author of Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin and co-author of Farewell, Promised Land: Waking from the California Dream

David Brock

David Brock (IH 1973-82)
Author of Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative


Sandy Close (IH 1961-64)
Executive Director, Pacific News Service


Richard H. Dillon (IH 1946-49)
Author of many books on American history including award-winning Meriwether Lewis: A Biography, North American Indian Wars, Napa Valley Natives, and Captain John Sutter: Sacramento Valley's Sainted Sinner

"I remember my years at I-House as among the happiest of my life. I-House became a base for my first real exploration of my native state, thanks to the kindness of individuals like Doug Powell, Doug Negi, Tad Mori, and Tak Yamamoto. That is what I remember most - kindness and camaraderie. Probably, simple incidents like these led me to change my field of study from Latin American history to American history."

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (IH 1978-79)
International House's 2008 Alumna of the Year and author of several books including The Mistress of Spices and Sister of My Heart.

"Living at I-House made me sensitive to the challenges people face when living in a different country and how it changes people, makes them grow. These are major themes in my work."

Firoozeh Jazayeri Dumas

Firoozeh Jazayeri Dumas (IH 1986-87) Author of Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing up Iranian in America and Laughing Without an Accent

Ms. Dumas was honored in 2009 as Alumnus of the Year for her efforts to promote understanding of Iranian culture and for reminding us – through her books, speaking tours, NPR commentaries, and articles – that our commonalities far outweigh our differences. Full story from IH Times Spring 2009 (pdf)

"My experience at I-House confirmed what I already knew: our commonalities far outweigh our differences. It is in places such as International House that we learn to see beyond nationalities, borders, and religions and see instead our shared humanity. It is the only recipe for world peace."

Markos Kounalakis (IH 1977-78)
President and publisher of Washington Monthly


Hal Gilliam

Harold Gilliam (IH 1941-42)
Environmental columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and author of The San Francisco Experience and Weather of the San Francisco Bay Region

Ved Mehta
New Yorker staff writer for more than 30 years and author of several books including his autobiographical work, Face to Face describing his childhood and his early struggle with blindness. Author of Walking the Indian Streets, Portrait of India, Sound and Shadows of the New World, and The Stolen Light, All for Love, Dark Harbor, and The Red Letters.

Gustav Olivercrona

Gustav Olivercrona (IH 1946-52)
Swedish television commentator


Gustav Olivercrona

Donna Rosenthal (IH 1968-70)
Author of The Israelis: Ordinary People in an Extraordinary Land


Robbie Clipper Sethi (IH 1973-74)
Author of Fifty-Fifty, a celebration of diversity's complexities told through the story of a Punjabi family


Edmundo Paz Soldan

Edmundo Paz Soldan (IH 1991-93)
Author of The Matter of Desire


Dick Wilson

Dick Wilson (IH 1950s)
Author of more than 20 books about Asia including They Changed India

"The I-House year was a high point in our early lives when we did not have to learn internationalism because we lived it every day."

Arts and Entertainment

Yoshi Akiba

Yoshi Akiba (IH 1973)
Founder of Yoshi's Jazz Club and Japanese Restaurant in the Bay Area

"Because of I-House I learned that my life would be about connecting with other people."

Dietrich von Bothmer

Dietrich von Bothmer (IH 1940)
Curator of Greek and Roman Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City

"The day I arrived in Berkeley, January 18, 1940, is engraved in my mind. I remember the extraordinary spirit of friendship that prevailed in difficult times."

Tshewang Dendup
Star of Travelers and Magicians, a film shot in Bhutan which explores the appeal of Western glamour versus traditional ways

Wilton Dillon

Wilton Dillon (IH 1949-50)
Senior Scholar Emeritus at the Smithsonian


Charles Ferguson

Charles Ferguson (IH 1973)
Director and producer of the Academy Award-winning documentary Inside Job and the Academy Award-nominated No End In Sight: The American Occupation of Iraq. Charles Ferguson is International House's 2011 Alumnus of the Year.

Yoshiko Kakudo (IH 1961-62)
Curator of Japanese Arts, de Young Museum of San Francisco

Ermenegildo Zegna

Ermenegildo Zegna (IH 1970s)
Italian fashion designer



Margaret Andrews (IH 1983-85)
Associate Dean for Management Programs at Harvard University, Division of Continuing Education


Helmer Aslaksen

Helmer Aslaksen (IH 1982-85)
Professor of Mathematics, National University of Singapore

"My three years at I-House were the best years of my life. It was both the perfect introduction to the best of American culture, and an unparalleled exposure to parts of the world that I had only dreamt of before. After I-House I feel welcome and comfortable everywhere in the world!"

John Bahcall

John Bahcall (IH 1953-56)
Professor of Natural Science at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, President Emeritus of the American Astronomical Society, and 1999 recipient of the National Medal of Science, the U.S.'s highest science award

Gavan Butler

Gavan Butler (IH 1965)
Political Economy Professor at the University of Sydney and member of the Senate of the University


James Cason

James Cason (IH 1933-35)
Professor of Chemistry and Dean of the College of Chemistry, UC Berkeley


Marian Cleeves Diamond

Marian Cleeves Diamond (IH 1949-52)
Professor of Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley, and Director of the Lawrence Hall of Science

Marian Diamond is a global YouTube sensation with her Integrative Biology 131 series.


Heinz Eulau

Heinz Eulau (IH 1935-38)
Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science, Stanford University


George Foster

George Foster (IH 1935-37)
Professor of Anthropology, UC Berkeley


George Foster

Ashok Gadgil (IH 1973-75)
UC Berkeley Professor and Scientist. Energy Pioneer. See article on page 7 of the I-House Times Newsletter Spring - Summer 2012


Francesca Gobbo

Francesca Gobbo (IH 1969-70)
Professor of Intercultural Education, University of Turin, Italy


Gregory Grossman

Gregory Grossman (IH 1939-41)
Professor Emeritus of Economics, UC Berkeley


 Yohannes Haile Selassie

Yohannes Haile-Selassie (IH 1995-96)
Ethiopian paleontologist and leader of the archeological team that discovered "Lucy's great-grandfather," a fossil 400,000 years older than Lucy

Also, Director of Anthropology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and adjunct professor at Case Western Reserve University

John Heilbron (IH 1956-58)
Professor of History and Vice Chancellor, UC Berkeley


Wolf Homburger

Wolf Homburger (IH 1950-51)
Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Berkeley and author of a number of transportation textbooks including Fundamentals of Traffic Engineering and Introduction to Transportation Engineering. Homburger met his wife, Arlene Levinson, at I-House and dedicated the South I-House Cafe Terrace in her memory.

Cigdem Cizakca Kagitcibasi

Cigdem Cizakca Kagitcibasi (IH 1961-63)
Social psychologist, Koc University, Turkey


William J. Knox (IH 1950)
Professor Emeritus of Physics, UC Davis, and advocate the establishment of I-House Davis

Nobuaki Kumagai

Nobuaki Kumagai (IH 1958-60)
President, Osaka University


Eugene C. Lee

Eugene C. Lee (IH 1946-49)
Director of the Institute of Governmental Studies, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at UC Berkeley, and recipient of the prestigious Berkeley Citation in 1999

Choh Ming Li

Choh-Ming Li (IH 1932)
Vice Chancellor, The Chinese University of Hong Kong


Paulo J.M. Monteiro

Paulo J.M. Monteiro (IH 1980-84)
Roy W. Carlson Distinguished Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley, and the 2007 recipient of the Global Research Partnership Award from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

Professor Gerhard Muelller
Gerhard G. Mueller (IH 1954-57)

Mueller is best known for his work in the area of international accounting education, with contributions that have spanned many areas of accountancy teaching, research, consulting and professional service. During his career, he has been a professor, worked in industry and CPA firms, served on the Financial Accounting Standards Board, and won numerous awards, including the American Accounting Association’s Outstanding Educator Award and similar national awards from the American Institute of CPAs and Beta Alpha Psi.

M. Ishaq Nadiri

M. Ishaq Nadiri (IH 1958-59)
Professor of Economics at NYU, and former Senior Economic Advisor to President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan

"I-House was an experience of being part of the human family with all of its variety, intriguing complexity, and wonder."

A. Richard Newton

A. Richard Newton (IH 1975-76)
Dean of the College of Engineering, UC Berkeley

"I developed many, many friendships while I lived at I-House. In many ways, it is the development of these deeper understandings and these deeper friendships with people from around the world that this House is really all about."

Bora Özkök

Bora Özkök (IH 1964-70)
Scholar of Turkish culture, folklore and music, and Director of Cultural Folk Tours


Karl Pister

Karl Pister (IH 1943-45 Callaghan Hall Resident)
Dean of the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley, Chancellor of UC Santa Cruz, and 2007 recipient of the Clark Kerr Award for Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education by the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate

Lisbet Rausing

Lisbet Rausing (IH 1980-81)
Senior research fellow at Imperial College, London, and author of the critically acclaimed biography, Linnaeus: Nature and Nation

Alison Dundes Renteln

Alison Dundes Renteln (IH 1983)
Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California, and author of The Cultural Defense

Roger Revelle

Roger Revelle (IH 1930-31)
Professor and Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography and advocate for the establishment of UC San Diego

Marion Ross

Marion Ross (IH 1947-51)
Professor of Economics Emerita and Dean of the Faculty at Mills College

Ross's extensive service to I-House includes her roles as Chief Financial Officer, Chair of the Finance Committee and member of the Board of Directors. She co-founded the Rafael Rodriguez/Golden Age Scholarship endowment which provides full room and board scholarships plus a stipend.
"It was shortly after the end of World War II. Students came to I-House as veterans, resistance fighters, and Holocaust survivors. I think of Lottie, the only one of her family to survive the concentration camps, and Milton, who hiked at night from Tientsin to southern China to enlist in the American army and was later dropped behind enemy lines to gather intelligence. Great friendships were formed. I found here a spirit of optimism and a sense of rebuilding a world for peace."

Urvashi Sahni

Urvashi Sahni (IH 1994)
Education reformer in India and recipient of the 2000 Haas International Award


Shankar Sastry

Shankar Sastry (IH 1977-78)
Dean of the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley, and Director of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS)

Shankar was recently appointed as one of two U.S. representatives on a new United Nations Scientific Advisory Board charged with strengthening "the interface between science and policy," according to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Robin Sharwood

Robin Sharwood (IH 1955-56)
Executive Director of the Victorian Law Foundation, and Professor of Law at University of Melbourne, Australia

Hla Shwe (IH 1953-62)
Professor of Physics, UC Davis, and President of International House Davis Board of Directors

Sir Albert Sloman

Sir Albert Sloman (IH 1946-47)
Chairman, United World Colleges


Yasuhiko Torii

Yasuhiko Torii (IH 1960s)
President, Keio University, Japan


Wayne Vucinich

Wayne Vucinich (IH ????-??)
Professor of Eastern European Studies, Stanford University


Bryan Webber

Bryan Webber (IH 1969-73)
Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge, and member of the Royal Society of London