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Simon Lee Awarded George Washington University President’s Medal

Aristide Collins, David Dolling, Simon Lee, Steven Knapp, Nelson Carbonell

Alumnus is First Korean-American to Receive President’s Highest Honor

November 20, 2014

WASHINGTON—Simon Lee, founder and chief executive officer of STG Inc., was awarded the George Washington University President’s Medal, the highest honor the university president can award. George Washington President Steven Knapp presented the award at a ceremony on GW’s Foggy Bottom Campus on Nov. 19.  

The George Washington University President’s Medal recognizes individuals who have exhibited courage, character and leadership in their chosen fields and who exemplify the ability of all human beings to improve the lives of others. Mr. Lee is the first Korean-American to receive this honor.

“Simon Lee is a faithful friend and alumnus whose devotion to education has enabled students in both the United States and the Republic of Korea to realize their dreams,” Dr. Knapp said. “I am proud to bestow this special honor on him for his unwavering dedication to the George Washington University, his achievements as a visionary entrepreneur, and his leadership in fostering educational exchanges between his two alma maters and the great capital cities in which they reside.”

Since 2002, Mr. Lee has been an active GW volunteer and an influential advocate for GW in the U.S. and abroad, playing a critical role in the growth and success of the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) and serving as an invaluable resource for student, parent and alumni relations in the Republic of Korea. With a $1 million gift in 2010, Mr. Lee, along with his wife, Anna, endowed the Korea University Undergraduate Exchange Program, which provides financial assistance for engineering students at GW to study abroad at Korea University. Another gift of $1 million in 2014 to Korea University funds an exchange program for graduate students and professors between the two universities.

“I am so honored to receive this prestigious medal,” Mr. Lee said. “I am extremely proud of the relationship GW and Korea University have formed and look forward to its continued growth so that others may have the good fortune of experiencing both institutions as I have.”

After earning his master’s degree from SEAS in 2005, Mr. Lee became a member of the SEAS National Advisory Council. This is the third honor GW has bestowed upon Mr. Lee in recent years. In 2010, GW inducted him into the school’s Engineering Hall of Fame, and in 2012, he received GW’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award. Korea University awarded Mr. Lee an honorary doctorate in 2013.   

Mr. Lee began his career in 1979, when he emigrated from the Republic of Korea to the U.S.  He worked as an engineer and bookkeeper with MCI Telecommunications. His expertise in these areas inspired him to start his own firm to address the growing demand for high-quality information technology (IT) support services. In 1986 he founded STG Inc., as a government-contracting firm that specialized in infrastructure support, security, applied engineering and scientific support. The company has grown tremendously in the 28 years since and now partners with more than 50 federal agencies, as well as Fortune 100 companies and overseas organizations.

“I am delighted that the George Washington University will award the President’s Medal to Mr. Simon Lee,” said David Dolling, dean of SEAS. “Mr. Lee is not only a very successful businessman but also an extraordinarily passionate and successful bridge builder between the United States and Korea, and between the George Washington University and Korea University. Nobody believes more strongly than Mr. Lee in the power of education to better lives, and nobody has been such a tireless ambassador for both universities, building and aiding exchange programs and developing relationships. The lives of many students have been, and will continue to be, enriched through the programs he has built and supported.”

Previous recipients of the President’s Medal, established in 1988, include Nobel laureate and former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, first president of the Czech Republic Václav Havel, former president of Romania Ion Iliescu, former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, former Prime Minister of Hungary Ferenc Gyurcsany, Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo, former Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, former Israeli Prime Minister and Nobel Laureate Shimon Peres, legendary Israeli diplomat Abba Eban, United States Senators William Frist and Joseph Lieberman, NASA astronaut Charles J. Camarda, philanthropist Albert H. Small and Swiss diplomat and social justice advocate Carl Lutz.

The George Washington University
In the heart of the nation’s capital with additional programs in Virginia, the George Washington University was created by an Act of Congress in 1821. Today, GW is the largest institution of higher education in the District of Columbia. The university offers comprehensive programs of undergraduate and graduate liberal arts study, as well as degree programs in medicine, public health, law, engineering, education, business and international affairs. Each year, GW enrolls a diverse population of undergraduate, graduate and professional students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and more than 130 countries.