The Foreign Service Journal, September 2008

74 F OR E I GN S E R V I C E J OU R N A L / S E P T EMB E R 2 0 0 8 July-August Journal ,availableonlineatwww. .) AFSAStateVP SteveKashkett present- ed the Christian Herter Award for constructive dissent by a senior-level officer to Jeffrey Feltman, ambassador toLeban- on, who was honored for chal- lenging a State Department decision to proceed with con- struction of a new embassy compound on a site in Beirut thathe recognizedwouldput the lives of American andLebanese employees at risk. As Kashkett explained, “He argued persua- sively to Washington that the proposed new site would be unsafe. ... When Amb. Feltman ran into opposition at various levels of department management, he took his deeply-felt con- cernsdirectlytotheundersecretaryforman- agement and the Secretary of State. Although plans for the proposed new embassywere already at anadvanced stage, the ambassador successfully convinced them that a decision to proceed with the project at that locationwouldplace the lives ofhis employees ingravedanger. As a result of Amb. Feltman’s outspoken dissent, the planswere shelved.” Amb. Feltmanaccept- ed the award on behalf of the embassy’s EmergencyActionCommittee, whichhad beenunanimous in support of the effort to halt the construction. The third dissent winner, for an entry- level FSO, went to Luke Zahner for his humanrights reporting inBangladeshdur- inganespeciallychallengingperiod. Robert Fisk, thegrandsonofAverellHarriman, pre- sented the award. Lifetime Achievement Ambassador Thomas Pickering pre- sented the Award for Lifetime Contri- butions to American Diplomacy to Ambassador Thomas D. Boyatt. The two men began their distinguished Foreign Service careers in the same A-100 class. Amb. Pickering described Amb. Boyatt as amanof integrity, noting that they “found it hard to agree on anything inpolitics, but weagreedonalmost every- thing else.” He credits Amb. Boyatt forhelping to transform AFSA from “a lunchclub” toa strong andpowerful orga- nization and advocate for the Foreign Service. Amb. Pickering acknowledged the contributions of Amb. Boyatt’s wife, Maxine,whoreceivedenthusiasticapplause. Amb. Boyatt gave amoving acceptance speech, describingwhat he sees as two par- allel universeswithintheForeignService— one being the formal universe of rank and promotionsandassignments;theotherbeing the world of esprit de corps, of AFSA and theForeignAffairsCouncil, thepeople and institutions that protect and support the ForeignService. Heplayedapivotal role in creating institutions to defend the career Foreign Service — beginning early in his careerasaleaderofthe“YoungTurk”move- ment (see the interview with Amb. Boyatt in the July-August FSJ , p. 13; www.fsjour )—andcontinuing today inhis role at the Foreign Affairs Council and AFSA. Outstanding Performance The Avis Bohlen Award was presented by Robert Fisk to Foreign Service family member Victor Williams of Embassy Pretoria inhonorof his extraordinarywork creating educational opportunities for SouthAfricanstudents. TheDelavanAward was presented byGeorgeHarrop toOffice Management SpecialistVirginiaGregoryof EmbassyCaracasforherwide-rangingactiv- ities in support of improving post morale. Community Liaison Officer Craig Gerard of Embassy Cairo received the M. Juanita Guess Award for, among other accomplishments, his leadershiprole incre- ating support systems for families of employees serving unaccompanied tours elsewhere. Inhisremarks,Craigspokeabout the way the face of the Foreign Service is changing,notingtheimportanceofimprov- ing spouse employment opportunities. TheGuessAwardwas presentedby the son of M. Juanita Guess, Jon B. Clements. A special award for AFSA Post Representativeof theYearwas givento Julie A. Eadehof EmbassyBaghdad forherwork on behalf of AFSA members and AFSA headquarters in the largest U.S. mission in the world. She could not be at the cere- mony, soAFSAVPKashkett presented the award toher colleague,MeganMyers,who read remarks fromEadeh. Eadeh said that she appreciated the dedication of Foreign Service members serving in Iraq, and that insucha challenging environment, theone thing people could count on was support fromAFSA. o A F S A N E W S Awards • Continued from page 69 Award winners (top photo) from right: Amb. Jeffrey Feltman, Rachel Schneller, Luke Zahner, VictorWilliams, Virginia Gregory, CraigGerard andMeganMyers (for Julie Eadeh). VP Kashkett and Amb. Feltman (middle photo) and Robert Rivkin with Schneller. Maxine and Thomas Boyatt. PHOTOS: MIKKELA THOMPSON