The Foreign Service Journal, September 2012

AFSA NEWS S E P T EMB E R 2 0 1 2 / F OR E I GN S E R V I C E J OU R N A L 53 American Foreign Service Association • September 2012 O n June 26, AFSAhonored members of the Foreign Service community for their courage, integrity and effort. The StateDepartment’s Benjamin Franklin Diplomatic Reception Room was filled with family, friends and colleagues of this year’s award winners. Inher opening remarks, AFSA President SusanR. Johnsonnoted the importance of celebrating the courage it takes for an officer to constructively dissent frompolicy and the dedication to perform in an outstanding way. Deputy Secretary of State Ambassador William J. Burns stressed the significance of the awards. “AFSA awards play a critical role inhighlighting integrity, fortitude andout- standing service to others, and recognize the critical role of ForeignService employ- ees in carrying out U.S. foreign policy around the world,” he stated. Shining A Light “Theseawards shine light onexceptional performanceandprofessional contributions bothduringandafter acareer intheForeign Service,” Burns continued. “They recog- nize thosewhohavedemonstratedthe intel- lectual courage, initiative and integrity to challenge the system from within, to questionconventionalwisdom, and tooffer creative and bold alternatives.” Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs JohnnieCarson then took the stage topresent this year’swinner of theLifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy Award. “AmbassadorWilliamL. Swinghas devoted his life to advancing the cause of peace andbringing stability to some of the most difficult and challengingplaces in the world. Bill is the consummate diplomat, andhe has inspiredmany of us byhis hard work and commitment topublic service,” Carson said. Accepting the award, Amb. Swing said, “I am particularly pleased to associ- ate my wife Yuen with this award, as she has always been ‘thewindbeneathmy sails,’ the one who kept my feet on the ground andmy headout of the clouds. She brings meback to reality, believing as shedoes that ‘behind every successfulman stands a sur- prised wife.’” Swing reflected: “My half-century love affair with diplomacy has thus led me to the following conclusions, namely: that diplomacy remains anobleundertakingof public service to whichwe for- tunate fewhavebeencalled; that the ForeignService embarks us simultaneously upon a lifetime of continuous learning; and that our admission to this remark- able career offers us unprece- dentedopportunities to livehis- tory and, at the same time, imposes heavy responsibilities upon us to be at all times wor- thy of our calling.” Questioning Policy The Honorable Robert S. Rivkinpresented theWilliamR. RivkinAward forConstructive Dissent by aMid-Level Officer to JoshuaPolacheck, for point- ing out that security restrictions imposed by the Department of State hinder FSOs’ ability to perform their mission. The following AFSA Outstanding Performance Awards were presented: theNelsonB. DelavanAward for anOffice Management Specialist to James R. Velez, Mazar-e-Sharif; the M. Juanita Guess Award for a Community Liaison Office Coordinator, to Sara Hurst Butler, Port- au-Prince; the Avis Bohlen Award for a Foreign Service FamilyMember, to Leila Gupta, Nairobi; and AFSA Post Repre- sentative of the Year Award, to Jeff J. Jacob, Kabul. To read Amb. Swing’s full remarks please turn to page 38; to access them online, go to To view the AFSA Awards Ceremony in its entirety, please visit std7h. AFSA Holds 45th Annual Awards Ceremony BY DONNA AYERST (L to R) Susan R. Johnson, Jon B. Clements, Sara Hurst Butler, Alexander Rivkin, the Honorable Robert S. Rivkin, JoshuaW. Polacheck, Leila Gupta, James Velez, Caldwell Harrop, Mette Beecroft, Amb. William Lacy Swing, Ian Houston and Amb. Johnnie Carson. DONNA AYERST