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Culture-Education Diplomacy Awardees Named for 2017

Lois Roth drawing

(Lois Roth Endowment)

(10 June 2017). The Lois Roth Endowment named its winners of this year’s achievement awards for cultural and educational diplomacy at a ceremony on 31 May. The awards were announced by Skyler Arndt-Briggs, chair of the Lois Roth Endowment, and Rick Ruth, Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State Department’ Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, or ECA, that takes part in the awards process.

Priscilla Hernandez, Cultural Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela received the 2017 Lois Roth Award for excellence in cultural diplomacy, that goes to a current Foreign Service Officer. An e-mail from the organization notes …

Priscilla’s fourteen-year career has exemplified mentoring new colleagues; maximizing American Spaces, English-language programs and Alumni networks to reach new audiences; serving in challenging public diplomacy environments; and utilizing technology to achieve U.S. foreign policy goals.  These attributes, combined with her extreme dedication to cross-cultural understanding, her warmth towards people of all backgrounds, and her encouragement of women to overcome all obstacles that lie in their way, make Priscilla Hernandez the perfect recipient of the 2017 Lois Roth Award.

The honorable mention awardee for the Lois Roth Award is Damian Wampler, Cultural Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia.

A similar award, known as the Gill Jacot-Guillarmod Award for locally-engaged staff, people working at embassies and consulates from the host countries, goes this year to Basma Amawi, Senior Cultural Assistant of the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan. The citation says …

She is recognized for, among many other notable achievements, her unsurpassed networks of exchange program grantees, from grassroots organizations to the Royal Court, and particularly her ability to rearrange programs on the fly to maximize impact when circumstances suddenly change.  2017 Gill-Jacot Guillarmod Award goes to Basma Amawi for the thousands of programs she has created and enriched.

Honorable mention recipients for the Gill-Jacot Guillarmod Award are Marcia Mizuno, Cultural Specialist at the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil, and Quynh Ngo, Cultural Specialist at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam.

This year’s Ilchman-Richardson Award that honors an ECA staff member’s contributions goes to David Plack, Senior Advisor for Policy, Academic Programs. The award citation notes …

Over the past dozen years, no single individual has done more to create new international educational initiatives; to engage with Congress for funding of special academic exchanges; and to uphold the U.S. national interest in complex negotiations that ensure our higher education institutions’ ability to compete internationally.  David is renowned for his work ethic and intellect. He unfailingly shares his expertise and helps to educate colleagues about the values, premises and processes of ECA’s work.  He is richly deserving of recognition for his efforts through the Ilchman-Richardson award of the Lois Roth Endowment.

The Lois Roth Endowment is a foundation that honors the life and work of Lois Wersba Roth by promoting and encouraging dialogue across national, linguistic, disciplinary, and cultural boundaries, focusing on countries that were especially important to Lois in her life and career.

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