2012 06 26 AFSA Awards Ceremony

it's my pleasure to welcome you to the 2012 American Foreign Service Association half's award ceremony my name is Kim Hughes executive director of NASA and today is very much a special day warmly welcome your friends and colleagues and pleasure to associated perhaps have this ceremony outdoors terrace is such a wonderful day perhaps next year on behalf of FSI certainly express our gratitude for the usages beautiful Erin name of great work invention Franklin whose ideals with celery of course next week but whose ideals also conspirator today as part of these awards presented I recognize certain a former acid of everything board members there are many of them once I started going to many former acid presidents and served ignorant absent members thank you for all being here and for what we hear in addition gafsa welcomes members in via we welcome be and services video production yet discovered this event thank you for the world and bring attention to policy development and to perform certain so thank you very much for the presence and your support and the walls and a she complains or the abscess is now a pleasure for the program over to Susan Johnson elected president well thank you very much he and a warm welcome to all of you of this special occasion today we are very honored to have with us deputy secretary of state bill burns and assistant secretary Johnny Carson to present the lifetime contributions to American diplomacy award to ambassador william lacey schwimmer so a warm water to you than the secretary burns and please accept an enormous thank you from epsom and the Foreign Service for the great work that you have done and are doing afsa it is truly honored to have you as one of our lifetime members I would like to welcome and thank the director general of the fourth service and director of human resources ambassador Linda thomas-greenfield for her support and assistance for this event ambassador thomas-greenfield is another light longtime member pass up and I look forward very much to the opportunity to work with her as director-general and I greatly appreciate the continuous work of her superb teen some of them i see here including Steve thanks for coming Steve it goes without saying that I welcome that Kennedy but we are very fortunate to have as undersecretary for management path and Linda have been it's always strong supporters of ass up and we thank you both very much it's also a special pleasure to welcome and recognize all the former affleck Award winners who could attend today including two former recipients of asses lifetime contributions to American diplomacy board the Honorable ambassador Tom Moya and the Honorable ambassador Bruce lang now just a few words about history this ceremony marks the 45th anniversary of FSS award program which began in the late 60s with the William R rifkin and the April Harriman awards for constructive descent through the years Elsa has add an additional course I understand that Dwight Cramer who was the chair of the you have supports committee when the descent work started and invested John limburg the current chair of the awards committee are also here today thank you both this year we will be giving out the William R Rifkin award for constructive ascent by mid level officers we're pleased to have surpassed William are risking board winners in the audience today including tax Harris Lionel Rosenblatt ambassador and peck and ambassador tomboy yet though acid received a number of nominations for the other descent awards this year they did not mean are established criteria asses descent program is unique and we will be exploring ways to strengthen it further this afternoon we will also present for awards for exemplary performance the app sub-post representative of the Year award the avis Poland award the Nelson B Delavan award and the am wanting to guests award these for performance awards recognize foreign service personnel and family members at their best contributing actively to Collective for admission shoring up morale post providing unique and compassionate service to foreign service colleagues and families while advancing the interests of the Foreign Service and the United States thank you again for your presence today now it's my great privilege and honor to introduce deputy secretary bill burns bill has had an extraordinary foreign service career serving as ambassador to Russia Jordan as assistant secretary for Near Eastern affairs and the NSC and the acting director for the policy planning staff and he's collected just about every department award there is before assuming his current post and current position build served as the undersecretary for political affairs asset is pleased to have a career foreign service officer at the highest level of our Department of State Hills presence here today recognizes the role at NASA place in honoring lifetime service to American diplomacy the courage to dissent and excellence in performance and we think as a man who's checkered past include 30 vs a proud member Christine from personal experience when I say absolutely thank thank you for honoring and taking care of all those remarkable congrats for us thank you for advocating for that's and thank you for reaching out two times a service family all of us for what you do daily basis to advance peace to serve the American people to improve the lives I know the sacrifices in service and just how much is on all our texts from China the Middle East device the farthest so it's a special pleasure to take upon them to step back daily challenges to take stock and I'm delighted to recognize the remarkable achievements some of the foreign services finds while receiving river words later in the ceremony but I wanted to congratulate Joshua logic pro logic out of the box thinking or literally the most urged us descend cable to think beyond particular four walls the embassy to serve our larger issue he is the source Jeff Jake was tireless and courageous advocacy in support of colleagues serving as a cover earned in the title of F sub post-gazette Leila goat farm service family member who founded the first like an authority Valley region of Kenya getting hundreds of Kenyans huge open access to books the first time Sarah first Butler whose work in person post-earthquake Prince helped turn hardship post into a home the supportive family friendly and finally James fillets and outstanding Foreign Service office management specialist receives two every single job as I relief at all hours multiple languages this is a group that is gone above and beyond the call of duty and over bold and creative solutions to perennial problems their peers across countries in America have all benefited from their contributions congratulations and thank you let me also take it in to offer a few words about this way no friend of mine at this year's winner advances work for lifetime contributions diplomacy the ones told us in Mandela sometimes I feel like me or visit or contact history and it's remarkable to think just how much American diplomatic history bill swaying is touched shaped this is a man began public service as a young foreign service officer inside where Nelson Mandela to prison the early 1960s and then served as ambassador delarue's finally set free Kids Day build was already in service of the 30 years ago and remains a trusted expert friend to Africa it's humbling to realize that this is a man the service at the State Department standard period from just after a super Isis to just before so it should surprise no one that left the phone service he scarcely pods before throwing yourself into a second this time working for international organizations as the United Nations envoy to Weston's parent is the secretary-general special representative Democratic Republic of Congo which he posts around and now is director general of the international organization for migration through it all buildings remained an idealist and the doer flammable gracious born diplomat and the console under his leadership or international organization migration has responded quickly and effective to cry season he lived in Pakistan is make sure that those who leave their home countries behind do not also lose the right security do we have the Secretary Clinton the president pleased to announce our support for those candidates he has a mission for all this already accomplished today they'll swim joins the elite ranks of past leaders such as for us which way george HW bush on pilgrimage or shows no one deserves it congratulations sacrifice of achievement from all that I've already said it should be clear that bill spam is a man who needs no introduction and yet he's also a man with a shortage of admiring colleagues here to introduce so I'm pleased to share the other doing just that with assistant secretary each other person who will convey have since lifetime contributions to emerge thank you very much deputy secretary burns were those very warm and appreciated words of the man that were about this afternoon thank you to Asif for giving me an opportunity to provide a few remarks on this momentous occasion when we mark the career and contributions of an extraordinarily diplomat public servant ambassador Liam Lacey swing has devoted his life to advancing the cause of peace and stability to some of the most difficult and challenging places in the world in Africa where he has spent most of his career bill was involved in managing some of the most troubling and troublesome issues we have seen over the last 30 years the service is ambassador to Liberia during the tumultuous period after the assassination of President Robert over the horizon sergeant Samuel Doe is work in south africa during final days of apartheid in Nigeria during a succession of military coups and later in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as we witness the last days of Mobutu Sese Seko and the emergence of horrendous conflict known as Africa's first world war a term that bill swing pointing one of his many first-person cables in addition to his five ambassadorships in Africa they'll also spent five years as ambassador to hate from nineteen ninety three to nineteen ninety-eight during that time a us-led multinational force returned exiled issue president theorists II to office three years after a military coup and oust him in all of these assignments ill swing demonstrated the traits that have made him things cool unflappable in defeat evil knowledgeable analytically rigorous and a skilled in turlock a tumor willing to listen to all sides but also prepared to take tough decisions outside of work the younger bill swing was an avid tennis player and a strong supporter morale-boosting Africa activities for embassy personnel a conservative his wife un shared with him he'll as many of you know traveled around Africa is also something of a rock star in South Africa people used to echo the words of the famous and Lake Duke Ellington's jazz classic when they spoke with Bill sling they would all say if you don't mean the thing if it ain't got that swing after one of his significant interventions with government officials in South Africa the Johannesburg Sunday Times ran a political cartoon with those words underneath everyone knew that it was Bill sling that the cartoon was about music seems to have followed mill around as well to the DRC he was such a popular figure in the Democratic Republic of the Congo during this assignment as the secretary-general special representative that a musical group produced a popular and much admired video known as Coco swing featuring a singer with right here the white moustache you can find this video on today it's worthy of seen again his popularity goes forth and remains long after he is left ambassador down Yates who is with us today well known to lots of Phil's friends worked in Africa speaks of bills energy and activism by describing his capacity to multitask claiming that he cannot recall an instance where he was with build on a drive or sitting in a meeting where Bill was not doing something else simultaneous preparing remarks writing memos and thank you notes or developing strategy for the next tough issue just the thought of this is tiring but it speaks to the qualities that drove bill during his 38 years in the Foreign Service bill has always been committed to excellence in everything that he does and he has always expected no less from his colleagues they would often say that the essence of leadership is the ability to motivate and inspire others to accomplish a common task ambassador at Perkins who was bills deputy in Liberia recalls bills unwavering commitment to high standards and getting the facts and reporting accurately build a network a formidable team in Liberia and again later in the Director General's Office in their long friendship and said one thing always stood out about bill swing his commitment to excellence and his spirit towards people thought years foreign service career bill moved to the United Nations where he first served as a special representative to thee for the Secretary General to the Western Sahara following that assignment he took on problems in the DRC for a second time as the Secretary General's special representative in Kinshasa and that capacity bill assumed responsibility for leading the largest UN peacekeeping mission in the world in a country that had been torn asunder by four decades of poor political leadership at 10 decade in ten years of Civil War today bill serves the global community is the director-general of the International Organization for Migration extending services to the global community extending compassion to the millions of migrants internally displaced around the world seemingly bills work is never done and if the decision of the international community give him a second term in that position is fulfilled people carry on bills work is broad benefit and happiness too many around the world and we are thankful for his tireless commitment and his extraordinary sense of duty and public service bill is a consonant diplomat and he has inspired many of us by his hard work his commitment to public service he has been a wonderful colleague and inspiration and a great friend it is my pleasure that's sincere honor to invite bill to come forward and accept the after award for lifetime contributions to American diplomacy boy after all that photo I said sure I recognize mess up mr. levy secretary impressive mr. citizen theory your colleagues and Friends it's not a one way to give our margin that it's safe thank you very much to absolute to the awards committee for so honoring me and I'm overwhelmed with gratitude and also with your big deal of humility and I'm particularly pleased to associate my wife you and Shawn with the award because she has always been the wind beneath my sales and she'd also brought me back to reality many times because she believes as perhaps others in the audience do that behind every successful man stands a surprise Dwight I'd also like to thank our son Brian who's now kick town resident for the past 20 years I met with he stayed and our Gabrielle who has been in you in DC before last 15 years actually I follow her she will follow me and she's now currently in peacekeeping with you Dom ahead Afghanistan so I would just say a couple of good conduct remarks I want to make three points first of all the humble because both my wife and I know that there are so many others some close friends and number them here today who are so much more deserving than we in terms of contributions we've not served in the large poster dealt with the major issues so it's particularly i'm going to be sober so recognized the second introductory part just simply say that i think all of the stove we stand on the shoulders of those who went before and also those who were with us at the time and all those over the past five decades in africa who supported us and made us look a lot better than we deserve to look i think particularly of James echo who was by OMS and personal assistant for some 22 years and I think probably the finest international public servant that either I or investor Perkins number so I'm very grateful for that half century that I've been able to provide service since joining in 1963 time when Washington are still reeling from the McCarthy period and everybody was over darlington tower studies and see prevailing atmosphere than times seems occasionally resurfaced in today's washington i would just like to also say a word thanks to the US government and the foreign service because it's really rather than you so I should be thanking our government or giving me the opportunity to serve for these past 50 years my life yours has been the great good fortune to be able to serve our country and our people in my case in an admittedly very modest matter and in many vari- court rules but throughout Morgan foreign service in this department have been unfailingly generous to me I'd like to use the few remaining minutes district renew my gratitude to our government and to this department the service for making possible things for me that I never dreamed possible I can even bring them as a government our boy growing up in the south and if I were to be asked would you do it all over again the answer is resounding yes I wouldn't want you to go to bike worse but yes I would do it over again and I say that for their many reasons not just like three and input to sit down first of all foreign service gives us the opportunity to serve and to serve cannoli irie probably mine and personnel at the time in the 80s just after the u.s Civil Service Commission have been renamed Oh be in the office box no matter he said yeah when they service used to be our middle name and I think we should never forget that service is our last name in the Foreign Service that is our major function and about three years ago in a suburb setting I try to make the point that this diplomacy is the indispensable service I still believe this to be the case and it surely has to be a constellation to almost immediately that against globalization and the digital revolution diplomacy has not only survived it is day being revalidated as an indispensable discipline in art in managing relations in a very complicated world second reason I say yes all over again is because of the opportunity that the foreign service gives us from life all learned yes learning languages yes attending to learn history to keep up to date but also a chance to continue to learn from our experiences we just have this came back from Haiti late last night and we've already discovered some of the things that we did wrong in the wake of the horrible earthquake and Conrad Murray we just reassess what we did wrong in Midian took 250,000 migrant workers all but our 25 million dollars a thousand charter flights 18 days force evaluations from its wrapped up Tripoli but we still ain't a lot of estate and we must continue to learn from those and that sort of foreign service is all about continued type effect the art of what it is so I'm very grateful to have that opportunity we learn from our failures and I can cite you many of mine I get here once before three years ago but that's an important part in finding the third most important point for me and I was delighted used that phrase mr. Mandela because he did what say to my presence just after leaving prison that he felt at that moment as if he were in physical contact with history and for me that is the essence of what brings us to this great service that we haven't come we are alone the primitive you who are called to a noble taps sometimes as observers sometimes as reporters as witnesses sometimes its actors in the end they all you think the last as well Moses personally a good night bad for mediocre Macbeth or do they remember that we even played them so we are on that stage a short period but it's wonderful because at that time wherever we are we at the epicenter of those events there and these are events that more often than not affect the lives of many people I was able to report impressive part alien eight years to play the first time the number of people living in temporary shelter Haiti now is below for a dump still a lot of people but it was one of 15 minute so we have to continue to work to try to come so in conclusion first of all diplomacy remains and noble undertaking service to which we fortunate few have been privileged to be called secondly the informed service and Marxist upon simultaneously a lifetime of continuous learning and thirdly this remarkable career offers us unprecedented opportunities to live history and impose his responsibilities to be worthy of our colleagues are authorizing the length of that others that I couldn't make a short speech I would just like to say congratulations again a better swing and bill thank you i know that you've got to leave for other appointments but thanks so much for joining us it's moments like this and listening to these three gentlemen that just remind us if we need any reminder of what a privilege it is to be in public service to the employees and members of State Department of State and to be merciful our service because partly just the fantastic caliber of people that we get a chance to work with you serve with every day so I'm always moved when I listened to three exemplars like we've just had here on the podium speaking and reminding us of the value of diplomacy and the privilege that we all have to serve in the department of state and in the Farm Service so thanks again for all of you being here and let me move to the next part of this ceremony the next Ward is abscess constructive dissent award which recognizes horn service employees who have demonstrated intellectual courage initiative and integrity in the context of constructive dissent apps is proud to honor constructive dissent and the ability to express it appropriately it takes courage for individuals to descend and it's important that they have the environment to do so descent is fundamental to the health of any institution where it does not exist the institution loses vibrancy morale is undermined and effectiveness damaged what distinguishes the professional is the willingness to speak out after careful study and reflection if convinced of the value and importance of changing force or of an alternative policy J William Fulbright said of dissent in a democracy dissent is an act of faith like medicine the test of its value is not in its taste but in its effect president Boyd d eisenhower said here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from Revolutionists and rebels men and women who dared to descend from dr. as their heirs may we never confuse honest descent with disloyal subversion constructive and well-reasoned descent is rooted in our fundamental national values as the honors and seeks to promote a culture that not only tolerates but encourages informed thoughtful professional and principled argument over issues a better thomas boy at one of our lifetime country contributors to American diplomacy recipients has said it well the set is about the national interest not about individual worldviews acid SF awards recognize foreign service personnel who offer constructive criticism and alternative policy and management options it is important for us in the Foreign Affairs agencies to give the voices of advocacy or disagreement the attention and recognition they deserve I now would like to call the Honorable Robert Griffin to the to present the Robin bar with an award this award is presented in memory of his father the late ambassador william are with him Susan for articulating those values that many of us have tried I've described on these occasions in prior years how my mother established a victim ward as the first of what we can't ask some awards after my father's death postcard 1967 and as Susan Lyne should need to recognize encourage constructive descent as the central tool of patriotism is not diminished since bill Rifkin was a Firman Patriot midwestern and results-oriented pragmatist he had no patience for what he called yes that and group think our pal judges reflects that perspective my family my son today remain proud along with us and the herd American families paying tribute to the best of our Foreign Service officers and we really should all be doubled our efforts but for the air on improvements as well i recently read my father's words go to the Rifkin wrote of working in Geneva and Brussels early nineteen sixty-five the Christian hurt then Special Representative for trade relations after a remarkable career as congressman governor of Massachusetts Under Secretary of State and Secretary of State and my father observed he was among the most courtly gentleman I shall ever meet and despite his era broma gentility as hard as stone the situation Joshua Paula check is a worthy successor to a great tradition there I American diplomacy whether our diplomats operate from the Soviet or the al-qaeda threat we must encourage them to keep asking whether our response is proportionate effective and in our overall national interest on behalf of the Rifkin I congratulate mr. Paulo check for his patriotism Robert and I'd like to say that I'm receiving this war das for myself before many members of both Foreign Service and the other foreign affairs agencies both civilian and military with themselves on the line every day whether we talk about Mexico and the drug violence there or the al-qaeda threat across the puzzle majority world large i can say that this award I felt compelled to do this notch for me but the frustrations that I felt but because i believe it's in our national interest as Americans to continue our valleys of the bullpens and to take those values overseas and represent them whatever I'm honoring and I don't feel worthy that the nine of the one standing here before the liquor I can tell you that hundreds of my colleagues reached out to me since winning this award it's the contributions of them really helped me I could particularly like to recognize Lizabeth Rick oh sorry re Richards my former supervisor who has just left as consul general the shower where she had faced issues day to day she and I had a long dialogue but have you faced these issues when there are people trying to kill a capture of our diplomats is still our job to represent our values and our natural national interests overseas so I want to thank all the members of the monsters for this opportunity to serve and particularly secretary decide to leave luckily for a very difficult discussion about another middle so thank you again I don't feel worthy of the other people we will now give out the poor performance awards and the first performance award today is that the asset post representative of the year this award is given to the a supposed representative who must diligently represents absa and its members overseas demonstrating initiative good judgment and energetic service to the community this year jeff jacobs of u.s. embassy Kabul is the recipient of this award mr. Jacobs is not able to attend the ceremony as he's enroute to his new post in Manila so I will read from his letter accepting the award thank you all and my apologies for not being able to attend ladies and gentlemen it is a sincere honor to be named as his paws representative of the year the credit should be given to those in Epsom provided guidance on the issues I enjoy it in assisting my colleagues during my assignment in Kabul and I look forward to being active with outside my next post thank you very much respectfully jeff jacobs after the next three awards on our exemplary performance those who have gone above and beyond in their roles these individuals are being recognized for their contribution to the mission of the United States of United States diplomacy worldwide we're starting today when the avis golden award I invited meant fa trophy Croft representing the daughter of the late Davis Poland ambassador a misty Poland to come forward to present the award to this year's winner Oh they just follow established by that Pamela Harold in memory of a game is full the massive Charles Bowl it is given to an eligible family of Foreign Service employee whose relations with the American and communities and find service gross had done the most to advance American interests in the condition of the label this year's winner the young Cooper has given very generously of her own professional skills and her personal resources to help mitigate the effects of Civil War natural disaster and hiv/aids forever smart important not only because of their value and what they accomplished in and of themselves but because of their value has informal or parallel diplomacy as you know the concept is certainly not recognized everywhere volunteerism shows Americans and their very generous test and those streets that we care enough about the people around us to try to help even if doing so is certainly I am delighted to present thank you all and i'm totally overwhelmed extremely surprised and shocked too such a prestigious and my qualities they're not able to be nice the swamp which is the second largest the library and Canada our mill my way from 200 one school and there are five others in the slum better now so I feel very privileged to have anymore this and thank you all thank you Laila congratulations I now invite john clements president of Clements worldwide and sum of money to guests the podium to present the m1 Yvette escort good afternoon everybody this award was established and made my late mother former owner published worldwide recognizing community liaison officer who had demonstrated outstanding dedication energy the siskiyou family from Americans serving overseas but having that stare up you work better she's quite but young lady she got the short straw he going for a prince after the the earthquake devastation there and basically start over and reestablish the liaison officer very very humble person aerosol smoking which nearly Paris Americans so one of the things you did which is part of the warmth of her character was to establish a playground and she had a merkava bad robbery promenade I know she was really essentially involved with six children at that 231 congratulations and so this year the Emily even guests award goes to Sarah I just want to tell you that the first to be there back or sponsor Serena's clothes have starting with it test me so do you want to take first it really is honest God's trim work so try to Germany seconds close would not be successful without without the involvement of to see more or and there are all these ads amazed by wish to find each other such a great tragedy washed and five we all thank thank you very much sarah and i'm i'm just going to ask for another round of applause to all the clothes all the work that they do I now invite Caldwell hair up son of ambassador really impaired up to the podium to present the dell avail doesn't know it years when all that was here is Judith extraordinary service at the German each broken mast worth it first platform and bizarre a ship passed them let me be citation suggested by how many parts for sustained outstanding performance by the office management maintenance and distal support not see us senior civilian representative and Provincial Reconstruction teams gen Xer other artists often difficult working conditions step as a professional abilities dedication and wealthy suburban acid composition courses have profound positive day-to-day life support issues design chief of mission personnel deployed on the frontier is the field let me just read cuando island from the very lengthy submission on the exhibition it's ghost like me it doesn't make me pause and think that part of the lives of so many of our services office receives Jim design built 100 yard long gravel walkway from the container methods is attached shower in front of the space service that we also install cable TV's everybody mr. secretary Susan Collins Jewish guests and colleagues Wow I said what Mara feels like to win an Oscar seriously I'm i under stand before you today to see this more when year ago I right there and join the visual level is artistry and what happened this position because our former deputy principal officer directed images in my resume he firmly believed government military background german language skills and prior to our experiences preventive Tina's are it's difficult operational environment well he was right this is the result you get personal thanks to part BTW market for giving me this rare opportunity would also like to thank my wife get on it try magnets with respect work steadfast support during my tour and the special place to organize my secretary well I think we all know and recognize what a force multiplier vesa around the world are for missions and so I'd like to extend up half all of us great thanks up to you James and to all of the other messes around to her serving us so well so I want to thank you all for coming today this is the close of the s of course ceremony but i would like to invite you to stay to celebrate the occasion to help yourself to beverages at the back of the road meant to connect with the old friends and colleagues we have grown i think till five o'clock enjoy thank you all

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