The Foreign Service Journal, July-August 2012

58 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 O 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 Association. 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 www. A F S A N E W S 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 you 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 cancer.” 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 reversed. Arab Spring • Continued from page 49 AFSA NEWS BRIEFS M. Juanita Guess Award • Continued from page 54