The Foreign Service Journal, December 2019

46 DECEMBER 2019 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL “I want to recognize the hard work of the consulate’s volun- teer refugee assistance group,” Mr. Charbonnet said in accepting the Bohlen Award. “My work maintaining some 300 bicycles at one of the refu- gee centers is just one facet of what they do. And once I’d built up my skills and specialized tools, it just seemed natural to start fixing bikes for the consulate community.” Mr. Charbonnet credited his late father, Arthur, for teaching him to repair bicycles a half-century ago in New Orleans. Born and raised in New Orleans, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Asian studies from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York. He was a member of the first group of American exchange students to go to the People’s Republic of China after the United States and China established diplomatic relations, spending his junior year abroad in Beijing from 1979 to 1980. After gradua- tion, he worked as a visa interviewer and agricultural commodi- ties reporter for the American Institute in Taiwan. In 1987 he became a Foreign Service officer. He retired from the Foreign Service in 2016, after serving overseas in the Philippines, Shenyang, Taipei, Hong Kong (twice), Singapore and Baghdad, and domestically in the Arms Control Bureau, the Japan desk, the National Security Council, the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, and the Office of the Inspector General. After retiring, he proudly took up a support role as an eligible family member to his FSO wife, Michelle Burton. He enjoys indulging his passions for sailing, cycling (and bicycle repair) and travel—combining them when he can. He eagerly awaits his first grandchildren, while trying not to put too much pressure on sons Paul and Daniel. 2019 Award for Achievement and Contributions to the Association F. Allen “Tex” Harris “Mr. AFSA”: 50 Years of Active Engagement F. Allen “Tex” Harris, a retired FSO and a titan of the Foreign Service, was selected to receive the 2019 Award for Achievement and Contributions to the Association for his vital and continuous involvement in AFSA over the past 50 years. As a “Young Turk” working with Tom Boyatt, Lannon Walker, Charlie Bray, Hank Cohen and others starting in 1969, he was instrumental in ensuring that American diplomats had a clear voice in establishing the standards for their profession and that AFSA would be an institution that would defend both the Service and its members. Mr. Harris was the State VP for the 1973 to 1976 AFSA Governing Boards, led by Bill Harrop and Tom Boyatt, respectively. During this time, AFSA became the union for all Foreign Service employees. Tex, as he is known by all who know him, was instrumental in drafting and negotiating the core labor- management agreements in the foreign affairs agencies. “Laurent’s initiative and volunteerism serve as an inspiration and model for others, and his visionary leadership will ensure that the program and the consulate’s ties to Frankfurt’s refugee community will endure long after his departure from post.” –Stephan Langley, ConGen Frankfurt AFSA President Eric Rubin (left) presents F. Allen “Tex” Harris with the AFSA Achievement and Contributions to the Association Award at the AFSA Awards Ceremony Oct. 16. AFSA/JOAQUINSOSA