NIAF Co-Chair Patricia de Stacy Harrison and Vice Chair Robert E. Carlucci Named Recipients of the 2017 Ellis Island Medal of Honor


Alex Benedetto
National Italian American Foundation

(WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 5, 2017) The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is proud to announce that NIAF Co-Chair Patricia de Stacy Harrison and NIAF Vice Chair Robert E. Carlucci have been named recipients of the 2017 Ellis Island Medal of Honor by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO).

The medals are presented each year on historic Ellis Island to a select group of individuals who have made it their mission to share their wealth of knowledge, talents and generosity with those less fortunate; all while maintaining the traditions of their ethnic heritage as they uphold the ideals and spirit of America, NECO said. Past recipients have included presidents of the United States, Muhammad Ali, Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, Louis Zamperini, Rosa Parks and Frank Sinatra.

“NIAF is so thrilled that two of our most active and engaging Board members have been selected by NECO for this prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor,” said John M. Viola, NIAF president and coo. “We at the Foundation are so proud of the accomplishments of our Board members and the amazing achievements the children and grandchildren of immigrants from all cultures have been able to make in our nation.”

Harrison currently serves as the president and chief executive officer of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, directing federal funds to nearly 1,500 public radio and television stations. She is also chairperson of the Leadership Council of Women and Girls Lead, an innovative public media initiative designed to focus, educate and connect women, girls and their allies worldwide to address the challenges of the 21st century.

Carlucci is the founder and chief executive officer of The RC Group, LLC, having started his hospitality and real estate development company 30 years ago. He has served as president of various civic and trade association boards, including the Maryland DC Vending Association; the KFC Northeast Franchise Association; and the Washington DC Taco Bell and KFC Coops.

A ceremony will be held on May 13, at Ellis Island, to honor the 2017 Medal recipients. For more information please visit


The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the Italian American heritage and culture. To learn more about the Foundation and become a member, please visit