The Foreign Service Journal, December 2023

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | DECEMBER 2023 63 AFSA NEWS AFSA NEWS THE OFFICIAL RECORD OF THE AMERICAN FOREIGN SERVICE ASSOCIATION CALENDAR Please check for the most up-to-date information. December 4 AFSA Scholarship Applications Available December 5 1-2 p.m. Reviewing Your Retirement Plan December 6 12-2 p.m. AFSA Governing Board Meeting December 25 Christmas Day AFSA offices closed January 1 New Year’s Day AFSA offices closed January 17 12-2 p.m. AFSA Governing Board Meeting January 18 12-1:30 p.m. Housing for Seniors— What Are the Options? February 2 4:30-6:30 p.m. AFSA Happy Hour Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma (center) with Ambassador (ret.) and Mariella Tefft on Oct. 5. AFSA/CALEB SCHLABACH AFSA Awards Honor Excellence and Constructive Dissent For more than 50 years, AFSA has been proud to highlight achievement, courage, and sacrifice within the Foreign Service community through its awards program. This year, AFSA hosted the annual awards ceremony on Oct. 5 in the State Department’s Dean Acheson Auditorium. Approximately 100 guests gathered to recognize the winners of the 2023 awards for constructive dissent and for outstanding performance and the recipient of AFSA’s Foreign Service Champions Award, as well as to honor this year’s recipient of the Award for Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy. AFSA presented 13 awards in all; profiles of the winners begin on p. 42. AFSA President Tom Yazdgerdi served as emcee for a distinguished audience that featured four former recipients of AFSA’s Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy Award: Ambassadors (ret.) Nancy Powell, Ruth A. Davis, Anne Patterson, and John Negroponte. Family members and colleagues of the 2023 recipients and senior officials from the State Department were also in attendance. “AFSA takes immense pride in its duty to acknowledge the commitment, patriotism, and excellence that are synonymous with the Foreign Service,” Yazdgerdi said in his opening remarks. “Our diplomats’ dedication plays an instrumental role in shaping global relations and fostering a brighter future for our nation and the international community.” Award winners traveled to the ceremony from all over the world. They each gave brief remarks as they accepted their awards. The ceremony was followed by a reception in the State Department Delegates Lounge. AFSA congratulates all the 2023 award recipients. Lifetime Contributions Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources Richard Verma presented the 2023 Award for Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy to Ambassador (ret.) John Tefft for his lasting contributions to U.S. foreign policy formulation and implementation, for mentoring and inspiring several generations of U.S. diplomats, and for his lifelong commitment to public service. In accepting the award, Amb. Tefft shared the recognition with his wife, Mariella, who “was always there for me and for our country.” He said, “She was my partner throughout the 45 years we spent in the Foreign Service. She was with me at every post, went through two wars together with me, and represented the United States with warmth and empathy.” Amb. Tefft then reflected on his decades of State Department service—he joined the department in