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F OR E I GN S E R V I C E J OU R N A L / J U L Y - A UGU S T 2 0 1 2
n June 1, at a ceremony at the
National War College at Fort
McNair, AFSA Governing Board
Retiree Representative Hugh Neighbour
and NWC Commandant Rear Admiral
Douglas J. McAneny announced this
year’s winner of the George F. Kennan
Strategic Writing Award. AFSA has long
sponsored this award, which recognizes the
best paper written by a State Department
employee at the War College.
FSOMichael S. Dixon, this year’s win-
ner, was nominated by two separate pro-
fessors for two outstanding essays:
“Afghanistan’s Mineral Wealth: Can It
Eliminate theNeed forForeignAssistance?”
and “A Critique of Russia’s Use of
Economic, Informational,Diplomatic and
Non-Kinetic Military Instruments in the
Run-Up to the August 2008 Russia-
Georgia War.”
Mr. Dixon is a political officer whose
most recent assignment was as deputy
political-economic counselor and senior
economic officer in Prague. Following
studies at the War College, he is headed
toAstana as political-economic counselor.
He has served in Cyprus, Ukraine,
Poland, Turkmenistan and in the Office
of the European Union and Regional
Affairs. Before joining the Foreign Ser-
vice, he was a Peace Corps Volunteer.
In other writing awards, FSO Greg
Macris took first place in the strategic essay
category of the Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs and Secretary of Defense contest.
AFSA members Andrew Erickson and
Paul Avallone won National Defense
University Foundation awards. And
AFSA member Marc D. Koehler won a
Dr. Frank Trager Faculty and Alumni
Award, sponsored by the NWC Alumni
Kennan Award winners receive a cer-
tificate and a prize of $250, intended for
the purchase of scholarly books. To learn
more about the award, please go to
AFSA Bestows
the 2012 Kennan
Writing Award
involving 25 embassy volunteers over a span of three months, is just one of several suc-
cessful projects Sara organized.
Together with Anna Lason, the mission’s FS health practitioner, Sara helped to estab-
lish a fitness calendar of activities that has resulted in a corps of volunteers organizing
everything from soccer to tennis tournaments.
Since the 2010 earthquake, there has been a fivefold increase in the number of youth
at post, so Sara secured volunteers to teach children’s music and swim lessons and
championed a management initiative to procure a playground.
“One of the highlights of my time at post was installation of the children’s play-
ground,” said Sara. “There were six children at post when I arrived, and now there are
31 kids. The playground became a symbol of continued efforts to transition back to
normal embassy operations.”
When asked what this award means to her, Sarah’s response typifies the
kind of person she is: “Above all, I’m just really grateful for all our community
accomplished under very difficult circumstances.”
FSYF Scholarship Merit Award
The Foreign Service Youth Foundation congratulates Reia Tong, this year’s recipient of the
FSYF 2012 Scholarship Merit Award, sponsored by GEICO and the FSYF. Reia, 18, is the
daughter of Mika and Kurt Tong, currently assigned to Tokyo. She graduated fromWalt
Whitman High School in Bethesda, Md., in June. In her free time, Reia enjoys outdoor
activities, swimming, painting and traveling to new places with her family — she has already
lived in Tokyo, Beijing and Seoul. She will attend Brown University in the fall, where she will
major in architectural studies.
Reia will receive a cash award of $4,000 and will be honored at the FSYF Youth Awards
Ceremony, held in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the Department of State on Friday, July 20.
For information on the 2013 FSYF Scholarship Merit Award, please contact
52nd Annual AAFSW Art & Bookfair
The 52nd annual Art & BookFair of the Associates of the American Foreign Service
Worldwide will take place from Friday, Oct. 12, through Sunday, Oct. 21. The event will be
held in the Diplomatic Exhibit Hall of the Harry S Truman Building. The fair will feature
books, art, collectibles, stamps and coins from all over the world.
All proceeds benefit Foreign Service families and the AAFSW Scholarship Fund.
Donations — especially rare books, art items, stamps and coins — are now being accepted.
For donation pickup, please call (202) 223-5796 or e-mail If
would like to volunteer to help at the event, please contact Judy Felt at (703) 370-1414.
tohave lived inLibya before the revolution
to appreciate the “psychological, econom-
ical and governing impact” of Gaddafi’s
regime, which he described as being “like
Ms. Taylor, currently an international
affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign
Relations, describedTunisianPresidentZine
ElAbidineBenAli’s strenuous efforts topor-
tray his country as a “tourist haven.”But as
Embassy Tunis reported, beneath the sur-
face “the model had a lot of cracks.”
After the presentations, an overflow
crowd posed thoughtful questions to the
panelists, many of which addressed how
Foreign Service personnel operated under
such challenging conditions.
In their responses, as in their remarks,
all three panelistswere optimistic about the
region’s prospects, though they noted that
progressmaybe slowanduneven. AsAmb.
Cretz remarked, the Arab Spring reflects a
pent-up desire by the people of all these
countries to rule themselves that cannot be
Arab Spring • Continued from page 49
M. Juanita Guess Award • Continued from page 54