WASHINGTON D.C. – On September 23, 2004, American Hellenic Institute President, Gene Rossides was presented with the “Commander of the Order of the Phoenix” by the President of the Republic of Greece, Konstantinos Stephanopoulos. During a special ceremony held in the Presidential Palace in Athens, Mr. Rossides and 16 other distinguished guests were honored for their efforts concerning Greece in the area of politics, literature and art.
In presenting Gene Rossides with this award, President Stephanopoulos stated, “Mr. Rossides is a Greek born in the U.S., who has served his American country in a very diverse way, but has never forgotten his Greek and Cypriot heritage. He founded the American Hellenic Institute, which contributes to the best of its abilities towards the solution and promotion of our national problems for decades. Mr. Rossides remains not only the founder, but also the president of the Institute with his continuous efforts.”
AHI Chairman James Marketos stated: “For more than 30 years, Gene Rossides has been the conscience of U.S. public policy in relation to Greece, Cyprus, and their regional neighbors. Through the American Hellenic Institute, the public affairs organization he founded in 1974, Gene has championed the rule of law as the foundation for U.S. foreign policy. With an independent and forceful voice, Gene has exposed double-standards and successfully redressed unjustifiable policy imbalances, never losing sight of the best interests of the U.S. We congratulate Gene on being awarded the Commander of the Order of the Phoenix and look forward to his continuing leadership in public affairs.”
The Commander of the “Order of the Phoenix” was established in 1962 and is one of the four decorations of Greece. These merits were instituted during the Middle Ages by various rulers and presented as either knighthood or religious orders. Today, the symbolism of these distinctions remain.
“I am honored to accept this award on behalf of the AHI members and staff and my family, without whom this award would not have been possible,” said Mr. Rossides. “I particularly mention the late founding members General James A. Van Fleet and George Livanos, and key supporters over the past decades, George Paraskevaides, the late A.G. Leventis, the Leventis family, George Spyropoulos, Jim Pedas, Ted Pedas, Jim Lagos, Gus Andy, Ted Spyropoulos, George Behrakis, Angelo Tsakopoulos, Kyriakos Tsakopoulos, Savvas Savopoulos, John Rigas, James Nicholas, Nick Chimicles, Julia Booras, Dr. Spyros Kitromilis, Nicholas Bouras, Tim Maniatis, Aris Anagnos, Harry J. Pappas, Dr. Ted Lyras, Dr. Dean C. Lomis, Dr. Takey Crist and the late Stelios Joannou.
I also want to mention and thank the key Greek American membership organizations, the Order of AHEPA, the Hellenic American National Council, the Hellenic American Women’s Council; the Pan Macedonian Association; the Pan Cretan Association; the Pan Epirotic Association and the Cyprus Federation of America for their cooperation and for their support of the annual Greek American Policy Statements.
This award will give added incentive to the AHI members and staff and to me to redouble our efforts for the rule of law in U.S. foreign policy and strong U.S. – Greece and U.S. – Cyprus relationships as in the best interests of the U.S.”