The Foreign Service Journal, December 2018

70 DECEMBER 2018 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL AFSA NEWS Service was presented to former Under Secretary for Political Affairs Ambassador Tom Shannon. In presenting the award, current Under Secretary for Political Affairs David Hale stated that Amb. Shannon “demonstrated how dissent can and should be expressed. His example to younger Foreign and Civil Service officers challenges them—in fact all of us—to think critically, consult openly and act decisively.” In accepting his award, Amb. Shannon reminded the audi- ence: “When we took our oath, we swore to uphold and defend our Constitution. We committed ourselves to the values, rights and institutions that define our democracy, and to respect the will of our sovereign: the American people. We cannot meet this commitment if we are unable to speak our mind. We must be able to provide our elected leaders our best understanding and assess- ment of a situation, and we must be clear about the consequences of decisions and actions.” The William R. Rivkin Award for a mid-level officer was given to Roshni Nirody for her push to restructure the State Department’s approach to high-level visits and congressional relations. The W. Averell Harriman Award for an entry-level offi- cer went to Elena Augustine for her dissent channel cable, which directly contributed to the successful conclusion of March negotiations to amend the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. The F. Allen “Tex” Harris Award for a Foreign Service specialist was presented to Joseph Conners in recogni- tion of his role in reforming the protocol of medical ship- ments via pouch. AFSA/JOAQUINSOSA Exemplary Performance AFSA also offers five awards in recognition of exemplary performance and extraordinary contributions to effectiveness, professionalism and morale. The Mark Palmer Award for the Advancement of Democracy is open to all Foreign Service members from any of the foreign affairs agencies, especially early- to mid-career level, who promoted American policies focused on advanc- ing democracy, freedom and governance through bold, exemplary, imaginative and effective efforts during one or more assignments. This year there were two winners: David Bar- gueño , a Foreign Ser- vice officer who excelled in advancing women’s rights in Pakistan; and Kelly Billingsley , a Foreign Service officer who was recognized for her work to strengthen Sri Lankan democracy and sovereignty. In accepting his award, Bargueño rec- ognized his colleagues, saying, “Nothing would have happened without Past Lifetime Contributions Award winners (from left) Ambassador Nancy Powell, Ambassador Ronald Neumann, Ambassador Tom Boyatt, Ambassador William Harrop, Charles Stuart Kennedy and Ambassador Ruth Davis at the Oct. 10 awards ceremony. AFSA President Ambassador Barbara Stephenson with 2018 Lifetime Contributions winner Ambassador Ronald E. Neumann. AFSA/JOAQUINSOSA The task of improving America’s diplomacy, like diplomacy itself, has no end. It goes on. It is a worthy mission and I thank all those who have strengthened and helped me along the way in working on it. In that spirit, I accept this award on behalf of all who have been a part of the work you have been so kind as to honor. –Ronald E. Neumann