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PDAA 2013 Awards Recognize Outstanding Public Diplomacy Accomplishments

Peshawar PAO Shayna Cram composed and recorded this music video in Pashto about hope for women and girls. (Courtesy, U.S. Consulate General Peshawar.)

Public Diplomacy Alumni Association highlights achievements by professionals for their work in Algeria, Pakistan, and Korea

Even under the best conditions, public diplomacy can be a challenging undertaking calling for a combination of talent, imagination, determination, and leadership. The Public Diplomacy Alumni Association continues its annual recognition of outstanding achievement by individuals and teams in the field and Washington who demonstrate all of these attributes.

The three recipients of the 2013 Award for Achievement in Public Diplomacy were announced at PDAA’s annual dinner on May 5 in Arlington, Virginia.

Peshawar Public Affairs

Peshawar Public Affairs Section, L-R: Shahbano Durrani, Saif Ullah, Shayna Cram, Saqib Jan, Fakhruddin Fakhar, and Salman Wahab

Public Affairs Section, American Consulate Peshawar, Pakistan

For dedication, courage, creativity, perseverance and unbending professionalism, particularly under challenging and, indeed, often dangerous circumstances. Despite under-staffing and restrictions on their ability to move about outside the consulate, the public affairs team managed to expand their all-important outreach work, promote grants programs and other exchanges, cultivate positive and fruitful working relationships with local journalists, expand the consulate’s social media reach, and effectively use music diplomacy — see video above — to deliver strategic messages to key audiences.

Nini Forino with the Yeosu Expo USA Pavilion Team

Nini Forino (front row center, with glasses) with the Yeosu Expo USA Pavilion Team (Courtesy, USA Pavilion 2012)

Nini Forino — currently PAO Hong Kong — for her work as Public Diplomacy Officer for Korean Affairs and Yeosu Expo coordinator, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs 

For dedication, creativity and drive that as East Asian and Pacific Affairs Coordinator for the 2012 Yeosu Expo effort she brought to the highly challenging task of ensuring a vital U.S. presence at the Expo in Korea. She demonstrated the highest professionalism, perseverance and astute ability to harness public and private resources to manage the myriad aspects of U.S. participation, organize fundraising efforts, select student Ambassadors to staff the pavilion, and lead the interagency working group on messaging and the search for private sector partners, including the recruitment of environmentalist Philippe Cousteau.

Tawshana Bethea, left, with Ambassador Henry Ensher

Tawshana Bethea, left, with Ambassador Henry Ensher recognizing winners of an essay contest on interfaith dialogue. (Courtesy, U.S. Embassy Algiers)

Tashawna Bethea, Public Affairs Officer, Algiers

For exemplary leadership, creativity and perseverance in furthering key embassy policy objectives by using the full range of public diplomacy tools to broaden relationships between the American and Algerian peoples. She established connections with private middle schools throughout Algeria, an alumni program to assist ACCESS graduates, used exchange programs to strengthen English language teaching and learning in Algeria, took an innovative approach to establishing the Information Resource Center, created an impressive social media presence which the embassy now enjoys as a result of her efforts, and led pro-active outreach to the Algerian media.

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