Through the decades, the Hoover Institution and the Library & Archives have been leaders in presenting policy research and preserving rare archival collections. Herbert Hoover’s vision for the institution was for it to be the foremost library and research center dedicated to the pursuit of peace and the ideals of freedom through collecting relevant materials and funding research to prevent future wars and to better humanity. As the institution has grown, so too has its reputation worldwide. World leaders, foreign dignitaries, politicians, American presidents, and Nobel prize winners count among the array of people who have visited the institution to meet with fellows, participate in roundtables, present talks, and view the archives’ holdings.
Famous guests include the following:
1945 Faisal bin Abdulaziz
Prince (later, King) Faisal bin Abdulaziz visited the Hoover Tower and viewed archival material during his visit to San Francisco for the United Nations Conference on International Organization.
1955 – Alexander Kerensky
Alexander Kerensky was the head of the provisional government in Russia between the February Revolution and the October Revolution in 1917. After his exile from Russia, he came to Stanford in 1955 and spent ten years on campus, conducting research in the Hoover Library & Archives and teaching seminars to Stanford students
1970s – Ronald Reagan
In the 1970s, Ronald Reagan was an overseer for the Hoover Institution. He participated in Hoover’s Board of Overseers meetings dedicated to discussing the state and future of the Hoover Institution. He visited again in January of 1981 as the president-elect to meet with the Hoover Overseers.
1975 & 1976 – Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Alexander Solzhenitsyn was a novelist, a Nobel Prize winner in literature, and tireless critic of Soviet totalitarianism. He helped raise global awareness of the Gulag, the Soviet Union's forced labor camp system. After his expulsion from the Soviet Union, he visited Hoover, where he spoke to the press in front of the Hoover Tower and was made an honorary fellow.
1978 – Gerald Ford
In 1978, former president Gerald Ford visited the Hoover Institution to dedicate the new Herbert Hoover Memorial Building at its grand opening.
1983 – Jimmy Carter
Former president Jimmy Carter visited the Hoover Institution in 1983 to meet with Hoover fellows.
1990 and 1992 – Mikhail Gorbachev and Raisa Gorbacheva
Former president of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev and his wife, Raisa Gorbacheva, visited the Hoover Archives and Stanford University as part of a two-week tour of the United States.
2000 – Crown Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz
Prince (present King) Philippe and his wife, Princess (now Queen) Mathilde of Belgium visited the Hoover Institution Library & Archives to view the Commission for Relief in Belgium records collected by Herbert Hoover.
2000 – Margaret Thatcher
Honorary Fellow Margaret Thatcher visited in the Hoover Institution in 2000. While here she gave a speech reflecting on her time in government and the need for leadership. Read her full speech in the Hoover Digest. Read an article written by her for the Hoover Institution here.
2006 – Arnold Rüütel
President of Estonia Arnold Rüütel visited the Hoover Institution Library & Archives to view historical materials relating to his country.
2006 and 2017 - George W. Bush
George W. Bush visited the Hoover Institution both during his tenure as president of the United States and after leaving office. He visited in 2006 to meet with Hoover fellows and again in 2017 to give the keynote conversation with Condoleezza Rice at the Hoover Fall Retreat.
2008 – Vaira Vike-Freiberga
Former president of Latvia Vaira Vike-Freiberga visited the Hoover Institution Library & Archives. She viewed archival material connected to Latvian history.
2008 – José María Aznar
Former president of Spain José María Aznar met with Hoover Fellows at a roundtable discussion that focused on the transatlantic challenges and opportunities for the new presidential administration.
2008 - Prince Radu of Romania
His Royal Highness Prince Radu of Romania visited the Hoover Institution to lead a discussion with Hoover fellows on Romanian economics and politics.
2009 – Prince Michel de Bourbon-Parme and Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Parme
Prince Michel de Bourbon-Parme and Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Parme visited the Library & Archives. Their royal highnesses viewed the various collections in the Archives that document the histories of their extended families inlcuding Mariia Feodorovna of Russia, the mother of the last czar of Russia, Nicholas II. The Hoover Institution Library & Archives contain a collection of correspondence from Empress Mariia Feodorovna to her sister, Queen Alexandra of England, consort of King Edward VII.
2009 – Toomas Hendrik Ilves
President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves visited the Hoover Institution to view materials from the Estonian collections, including documents from the beginning of Estonia’s existence as a sovereign state. In 2017, following his presidential tenure would go on to return later to the Hoover Institution as a distinguished visiting fellow.
2010 - Sebastián Piñera
The President of the Republic of Chile Sebastián Piñera visited the Hoover Institution for a roundtable discussion with Hoover fellows.
2010 – Dmitry Medvedev
President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev visited the Hoover Institution and met with Hoover fellows including Condoleezza Rice and George Shultz.
2011 - Aníbal Cavaco Silva and Maria Alves da Silva Cavaco Silva
President of Portugal Aníbal Cavaco Silva and first lady Maria Alves da Silva Cavaco Silva visited the Hoover Institution for a roundtable luncheon in which they discussed the economic problems of Europe, Portugal in particular, and their country’s future. President Cavaco Silva was a Hoover visiting fellow in the 1970s.
2011 – Maros Sefcovic
Vice President of the European Commission Maros Sefcovic visited the Hoover Institution to meet with Hoover fellows, including Condoleezza Rice and George Shultz. While visiting, he discussed the role of the EU and NATO in security around the world, and the economic and legal cooperation among European countries and their relationships with the United States.
2012 – Robert Zoellick
President of the World Bank Robert Zoellick visited the Hoover Institution to discuss the state of the global economy and the role of emerging markets with Hoover fellows and other Stanford scholars.
2017 - Bronisław Komorowski
Former president of Poland Bronisław Komorowski visited the Hoover Institution Library & Archives. During his visit he viewed Hoover’s world-famous Polish collections, the largest and most comprehensive documentation on modern Poland outside its borders.
2018 – Ma Ying-jeou
During a visit to the Stanford campus, former president of Taiwan Ma Ying-jeou visited the Hoover Institution Library & Archives, where he was shown items related to the history of modern China and Taiwan.