Eli Harari will receive the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama. As the founder of SanDisk Corporation, Harari will be honored for his innovations and contributions to flash memory storage solutions. Digital storage has had an impact on the evolving development of cameras, smart phones, USB drives, and other technological devices.

In 1988, Harari, along with Sanjay Mehrota and Jack Yuan, founded SunDisk, later named SanDisk. Retired in 2010, Harari was the CEO and director of SanDisk and also served as president from 1998 to 2006. Among the awards he received are ones from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering in 2006 and 2009 and the Global Semiconductor Alliance in 2008. He holds over 100 patents in the field of non-volatile memories and storage systems. Harari graduated from Manchester University, England, with a B.S. in physics, and earned his Ph.D. in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton in 1973.

The medal, the highest honor the President can confer to a United States citizen for achievements related to technological progress, was created in 1980 by Congress and is presented annually. It “recognizes those who have made lasting contributions to America’s competitiveness, standard of living, and quality of life through technological innovation, as well as those who have made substantial contributions to strengthening the Nation’s technological workforce.”