Gregory A. Beck ’80 has earned the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award, recognizing his ability to serve as a positive role model in his community, his positive contributions to his field, and his ability to enhance the overall quality of the CCC community.
Greg’s passion for service and commitment to making the world a better place has only grown stronger as his position and status have grown. The impact of his work on the local, regional, and global community as well as within his profession is not easily conceptualized. His career has spanned more than 30 years and four continents; it has focused on humanitarian efforts; includes an appointment in the Obama administration as Deputy Assistant Administrator in the Asia Bureau for USAID; and has resulted in a well-earned reputation for getting things done no matter the obstacles. His drive is tempered only by his seemingly boundless compassion.
In the years since he graduated from CCC, Greg has immersed himself in the needs of others, helping those in emergency or crisis situations. He has assisted in communities facing the aftermath of gruesome wars, the devastation of unpredictable environments, and, as he saw first-hand in Rwanda, the savage disregard fellow humans can have for one another.
In his TEDxChemungRiver talk, “The Day My Heart Cracked,” Greg identifies the simple acts of kindness he witnessed in Corning, describing them as the motivation for his career as a humanitarian worker. He remembers fondly his days at CCC, including the faculty’s dedication to building better minds. He also credits the acts of kindness he experienced in Corning with saving him from the overwhelming despair he could have experienced as he watched some of the worst horrors imaginable.
Greg currently resides in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and two children. He is the Director of the Integrated Development Department at FHI 360, a nonprofit human development organization.