The Foreign Service Journal, December 2023

46 DECEMBER 2023 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL When some of the department’s most senior leaders descended on Amman for a management officers’ workshop (MOW), Triplett saw an opening. “As a first tour officer, I didn’t know how anything worked in D.C., but I had the opportunity to collaborate with post management officers from three bureaus to develop the MOW,” explained Triplett. “I talked to some of them about my efforts to try to get a new, more inclusive health insurance policy approved. They were enthusiastic, recommending people that I needed to talk to. We went through the list of attendees and made a plan for me, along with management and HR staff from Amman, to meet with key people who could possibly help bring about change.” Shortly after those meetings in Amman, Triplett’s vision became reality when the under secretary for management determined it was in the public interest for U.S. missions around the world to treat their LGBTQ+ staff the same way they treat everyone else. Notably, this global solution leveraged concepts straight from the approach Triplett used in Amman. GTM estimated that as many as 80 posts could use this new framework. Triplett’s journey began with a simple goal—to extend health insurance coverage more inclusively in Jordan. “It hadn’t occurred to me that my work might be relevant to a broader policy discussion,” he said. Triplett’s dissent directly shaped and accelerated a landmark decision in February 2023 by the under secretary for management. This decision allowed missions, to the extent possible locally, to extend benefits to the same-sex domestic partners and dependent children of LE staff in countries where same-sex marriage is not recognized. His persistence had a direct impact on the lives of countless LE staff around the world and guided the department toward a more inclusive and equitable future. He used his role as glifaa post representative to bring his case to anyone who would listen, including the Director General (DG) of the Foreign Service. As his award nominator wrote to AFSA: “It is difficult to imagine a more powerful example of constructive dissent than an untenured, first-tour officer who found the courage to tell the visiting DG that, as an institution, we were not living up to our values.” Christophe Triplett joined the Foreign Service in May 2020 as a management officer and was part of the first all-virtual orientation class. His first post was Amman, and he is now serving in Mexico City. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Triplett worked as a management consultant. He holds a B.A. in economics and Asian studies from Arizona State University and an MBA from Nyenrode University in the Netherlands. He is married to Washington Gonzales, who is originally from Brazil. – EXEMPLARY PERFORMANCE – Nelson B. Delavan Award for an Office Management Specialist Katie Leis Skillfully Managing VIP Visits and Embassy Events Katie Leis arrived in Phnom Penh in August 2021 to begin her assignment as the Regional Security Office (RSO) office management specialist (OMS) and immediately became an indispensable team member, strengthening embassy security services, furthering broader mission goals, and illustrating her commitment to department core values as she helped manage numerous high-level visits. As the site lead for the 40th ASEAN Summit, held in Cambodia in 2022, Leis collaborated with the White House and Secret Service to coordinate security and protocol needs, access, press coverage, and staffing for five meetings with other heads of state. Leveraging her local contacts, she also quickly coordinated a bilateral meeting and unscheduled meet-and-greet for President Joe Biden with ASEAN ambassadors. On the morning of the most important event, the East Asia Summit, Leis coordinated with her local contacts and other participating delegations to move President Biden’s seat after she discovered that the approved seating chart had been changed the night before. “During the president’s visit, I was able to see our highest level of diplomacy in action, as well as see how much work goes into preparing for it,” said Leis. “It took a massive team to make the visit a success, and I was proud to be a part of it.” As the control officer for a congressional (CODEL) visit to Siem Reap, Leis used her cultural expertise to negotiate with airport leadership for vehicle access Katie Leis.