Hannes Richter


Hannes Richter
Hans Matzenauer
Hans Matzenauer, former member of the Austrian Parliament and President of the Vienna School Board for many years, was awarded an honorary doctorate, ‘Doctorate of Humane Letters,’ by The City College of New York (CCNY) on June 1, 2007 for his service to the cooperation between the City of New York and Austria in the field of education. As founder of the Austrian-American Educational Cooperation Association (AAECA), he worked some 16 years with The City College and the New York City Department of Education to develop educational programs, such as the Austrian Visiting Teacher Program, bringing over 400 Austrian exchange teachers to New York City’s public schools as well as a steady stream of Austrian university students and faculty to visit CCNY. Professor Matzenauer also initiated CUNY’s first offshore M.A. program, offering Austrians and other Europeans the opportunity to earn a degree from The City College by attending classes in Innsbruck, Feldkirch or Vienna.

Franz Alt
Austrian Federal Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer presented Professor Franz Alt, a mathematician and one of the pioneers of computer science, the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and the Arts 1st Class in Vienna on May 8, 2007. Franz Alt belongs to one of the first computer programmers worldwide and wrote one of the first textbooks on computers in 1958 entitled, Electronic Digital Computers. Prof. Alt was born in Vienna and is the last member of the Vienna Mathematics Colloquium, a group of scientists in the 1930s who were pioneers in various fields of logic, topology and economics. After leaving Austria in 1938, he worked with the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) where he was responsible for the first computer at NBS and other U.S. government agencies. In 1967 he worked with the American Institute of Physics in New York. He is currently still an active volunteer in organizations dedicated to peace and justice.

Edward O’Donnell
Ambassador Edward B. O’Donnell, Jr., Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues at the U.S. Department of State from 2003-2006, was presented the Grand Decoration of Honor in Silver with Star on May 29, 2007 by Ambassador Eva Nowotny. Ambassador O’Donnell was Chief of Staff to Under Secretary of State Stuart Eizenstat, President Clinton’s Special Advisor on Holocaust-Era issues, during the negotiations of major Holocaust  restitution agreements with Germany, France and Austria. As head of the U.S. Department of State Office of Holocaust Issues dealing with restitution and claims resulting from the Holocaust, he was responsible for implementing these agreements and was an important interlocutor for the Austrian government. Ambassador O’Donnell worked closely with the Austrian government, in particular regarding joint efforts to begin disbursement of payments from the 210 million dollar Austrian General Settlement Fund. He also was the U.S. Government counterpart for Austrian government senior officials supporting OSCE Anti-Semitism Conferences as well as the international Task Force on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research.    His close relations to Austria go back to his assignment to the U.S. Embassy in Vienna (1990 to 1993) when he served as Economic Minister Counselor and organized two Danube Basin Business Conferences to promote joint U.S.- Austrian private sector cooperation in new emerging markets in Central Europe.

Vivian Curran
Professor Vivian Curran was a member of the Independent Claims Committee of the Austrian General Settlement Fund from September 2004 until May 2006. During this time she was involved with evaluating the large number of applications submitted by people who suffered loss of property during the NS regime. The committee drew on her valuable background in law and languages, her internationally-renowned expertise in the area of estates and trusts and deep understanding for the historical context, which uniquely qualified Prof. Curran for this complex work entailing many delicate and sensitive issues. On May 2, 2007 Prof. Curran was presented the Grand Decoration of Merit in Gold by Ambassador Eva Nowotny at the University of Pittsburgh.

Monika Tilley
Monika Tilleys significant contribution to creating public awareness of Austrian fashion in the U.S. goes back many decades, when she introduced “fashionable sportswear” in the United States. Monika Tilley has received numerous awards throughout her career signifying her contributions to design in swimwear, sportswear and leisurewear. She has and continues to work with Austrian textile and fashion companies and their expansion into the United States. On April 18, 2007, the Austrian Consul General in New York, Brigitta Blaha, presented Monika Tilley with the Grand Decoration of Honor in Silver.