U.S. Department of State Heroism Award Presented to Special Agent Matthew Perry

Press Statement
Washington, DC
February 26, 2013

Matthew Perry, a Special Agent with the U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), received the Award for Heroism from former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, prior to her departure, for his courageous actions during a terrorist attack on a motorcade in Peshawar, Pakistan—one of the most dangerous high-threat cities in the world.

The U.S. Department of State Heroism Award recognizes acts of courage or outstanding performance under unusually difficult or dangerous circumstances by employees of the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and Marine Security Guards who are assigned to diplomatic and consular facilities.

Special Agent Perry received the award for his actions while serving in the city of Peshawar, Pakistan. Peshawar sits on the edge of Pakistan’s tribal areas, which, in recent years, has been the site of numerous terrorist attacks. In May 2011, Perry was driving in a motorcade traveling through Peshawar when a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) exploded a few feet from the vehicle directly in front of him—severely damaging it. Perry and three other Diplomatic Security Special Agents immediately exited the safety of their armored car and went to the aid of two other Special Agents who were trapped inside the heavily damaged and burning vehicle. After gaining access and moving the injured agents to his vehicle, leaving the bombed out car behind, he helped all agents return to a secure location. For those actions Special Agent Perry and the other three DSS Special Agents were recognized by the Secretary of State with the U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism.

“All four of the DS Special Agents performed masterfully in one of the most significant terrorist attacks against Foreign Service personnel in recent years,” said Bill Miller, Deputy Assistant Secretary for High Threat Posts, Bureau of Diplomatic Security. “They were instrumental in coordinating the movements of the security team during the crisis as well as executing the proper response. The agents’ actions reflect not only their laudable physical courage, but also the highest traditions of the Diplomatic Security Service.”

“I’m extremely honored and humbled to receive the award,” said Special Agent Perry. “We all performed our duties as we had been trained to do in such a serious situation, and I’m fortunate to have had an excellent team that enabled us to do what we needed to do to remain safe.”

Perry is the son of Lawrence and Julie Perry, currently residing in Longwood. He attended the University of Central Florida where he received at B.S. in Psychology, then earned a M.A. in Forensic Psychology from Marymount University in 2006.

Perry became a U.S. Department of State Special Agent with the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Diplomatic Security Service in 2008. DSS Special Agents are assigned a variety of duties in the United States and overseas—including criminal investigations, dignitary and VIP protection, and security of U.S. Diplomatic Missions. In addition to Peshawar, Pakistan, Perry has served in the DS New York Field Office and on a temporary duty assignment in Baghdad Iraq. He is now an Assistant Regional Security Officer in Pretoria, South Africa.

The Bureau of Diplomatic Security is the U.S. Department of State's law enforcement and security arm. The special agents, engineers, and security professionals of the Bureau are responsible for the security of more than 280 diplomatic missions around the world. In the United States, Diplomatic Security personnel protect the U.S. Secretary of State and high-ranking foreign dignitaries and officials visiting the United States, investigate passport and visa fraud, and conduct personnel security investigations. For additional information about the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, visit 2009-2017.state.gov/m/ds.

For additional information, contact:

Gale Smith
Bureau of Diplomatic Security Public Affairs


Barbara Gleason