Rocco Commisso emigrated from Italy to the U.S. when he was 12. (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)

MEDIACOM PARK, N.Y. – Cosmos owner Rocco B. Commisso has been awarded the Foreign Policy Association Medal during a recent ceremony in New York City.

The medal recognizes individuals who demonstrate responsible internationalism and work to expand public knowledge of international affairs.

Past recipients include Colin Powell, U.S. Secretary of State; the Honorable Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City; Timothy Geithner, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury; Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank; Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia; Sheila C. Bair, Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and Lee Bollinger, President of Columbia University, among others.

Born in Calabria, Italy, Commisso immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 12. In his remarks, Commisso recounted how his father was held by the British government as a prisoner of war during World War II. He went on to describe how his life was shaped by the struggles his family faced in war-torn Italy in the 1950’s. Due to the preferential treatment the U.S. afforded to former POWs, he explained how America opened its doors to his immigrant family, giving them boundless opportunities to succeed by simply working hard, pursuing an education, and relying on self-initiative to get ahead.

Commisso is the founder, chairman and CEO of Mediacom Communications.

Founded in 1918, the mission of the Foreign Policy Association is to serve as a catalyst for developing awareness, understanding, and informed opinion on U.S. foreign policy and global issues. Through its programs and publications, the FPA encourages citizens to participate in the foreign policy process.