The Foreign Service Journal, May 2024

64 MAY 2024 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL The Philippines: The Golden Plow Award KENNETH F. SMITH Fifty years ago, in a ceremony at Malacañang Palace, USAID received a “Golden Plow” award for international understanding from President Ferdinand Marcos for assistance to the Philippines as it recovered from the worst flood in the country’s history to avert nationwide famine. Providing commodity and technical assistance, the “shirtsleeved diplomats” and consultants of USAID/Philippines worked closely with our Filipino counterparts on a “Green Revolution” recovery program, “Masagana 99,” using high-yielding rice varieties that produced up to eight times more rice than the then-prevailing national average. Türkiye: Earthquake Response HEATHER BEGGS I’m FS Proud of my local management team at Consulate Adana— the heroes who in 2023 ensured $285 million of U.S. government earthquake assistance reached the people most affected. When hours and minutes mattered, our consulate team worked late into the night, day after day, supporting the requirements of USAID search-and-rescue teams and a disaster assistance response team. Their dedication enabled U.S. rescue teams to save lives and ensured disaster assistance arrived quickly to survivors, while they themselves slept in cars or offices until their homes were deemed safe. I will never forget the courage and compassion of our team. Worldwide: Grateful SIENA FLEISCHER I’m FS Proud of the permission granted me to live alongside our global community, to learn together as neighbors, celebrate progress, witness disasters, then rebuild together. A life of service becomes a way of gaining more than you give, new wisdom to be a better human. Journeying across three continents in the last decade, I am grateful for the opportunity to share the world with my daughters and to watch their tolerance grow as their cultural lexicon expands. USAID meets communities where they are, designing and delivering assistance tailored to current needs, alleviating struggle, and opening the aperture for a better future. n