Memorial Plaque Criteria

The AFSA Memorial Plaques honor members of the Foreign Service (as defined by Section 103(1) through (5) of the Foreign Service Act of 1980) who die while serving abroad under circumstances distinctive to the Foreign Service.

Criteria for Eligibility

Eligibility is limited to deaths occurring overseas due to circumstances distinctive to the Foreign Service, including acts of violence or terrorism. The death may occur at post of assignment or in another location as long as the cause of death was an event or circumstance which occurred while on assignment outside the United States and attributable to the location of assignment.

Eligibility may also include any of the following:

  • travel to or from post and travel at post while in the active performance of official duties;
  • death due to disease related to particular circumstances of overseas assignment;
  • death caused by inadequate medical facilities, defective government equipment or facilities, a natural disaster at an overseas post, or crime at an overseas post.

Deaths involving the decedent’s illegal, negligent, reckless, or selfish behavior are not eligible for inclusion.

The criteria for the addition of a name to the AFSA Memorial Plaque shall be the criteria that applied at the time of the individual’s death.


AFSA owns and maintains the plaques and organizes unveiling ceremonies when new names are added, in cooperation with the Department of State. The AFSA Awards and Plaque Committee considers proposals for additional names and makes recommendations to the AFSA Governing Board, which selects the final names for inscription, based on the above criteria.

Any questions about the memorial plaques should be directed to Theo Horn, Awards and Scholarships Manager, at

Approved Criteria as of 11/04/2015.