Matilda W. Sinclaire Language Awards

We are now accepting nominations for the 2024 recipients.
The deadline is August 23, 2024.

Foreign language proficiency is invaluable for today's Foreign Service both in terms of professional development and personal security. Annually, AFSA recognizes outstanding study of a Category III or IV language and its associated culture through the Matilda W. Sinclaire Language Awards. The purpose of Ms. Sinclaire's bequest was to "promote and reward superior achievement by career officers of the Foreign Service [...] while studying one of the Category III or IV languages under the auspices of the Foreign Service Institute." The guidelines were amended and updated in October 2001 and again in 2013 to expand eligibility for the awards to any career and career-conditional member of the Foreign Service from the Department of State, USAID, FCS, FAS, USAGM and APHIS.

Although most nominations are submitted by FSI, AFSA encourages nominations of those who have achieved outstanding results while studying at post. Further information can be found in the “General Guidelines” which can be found here. The nomination form is also available by clicking here. Post language officers may not be able to provide all the information called for in this form, but FSI test results are required. For candidates nominated by posts, the nominating statement is especially important. Nominations are accepted throughout the year.

AFSA is proud of its association with this program, which recognizes Foreign Service employees for dedication and hard work. For further information on the Sinclaire Awards, please contact AFSA's Programs and Member Engagement department. They are available at

Click here for previous recipients