2011 AAFSW Secretary of State Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad

Notice to the Press
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 29, 2011

Six winners will receive the Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide (AAFSW) Secretary of State Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad (SOSA) at a ceremony on Tuesday, December 6 at 10:00 a.m. in the Benjamin Franklin Diplomatic Reception Room at the Department of State. Deputy Secretary Burns will make remarks to congratulate the winners and highlight their exemplary volunteer service.

The awards recognize U.S. Government employees, family members, including domestic partners and other members of household at embassies and consulates who provided exceptional volunteer service to their communities, mission or host country, or rendered outstanding assistance in emergencies. This year’s award winners include:

- Edward (Mick) Davis – Kisumu, Kenya (AF)
Supporting Orphaned Children and an Impoverished Community in Kisumu, Kenya

- Sean P. Myers – Rangoon (EAP)
Bridging Cultures and Providing Sustainable Support for Burmese Staff in Need

- Chong O. Farquhar – Yerevan (EUR)
Providing a Safe, Stimulating Place to Play for Special Needs Children in Yerevan, Armenia

- Matthew David Meredith – Tunis (NEA)
Empowering Tunisians to Build Their Democracy

- Nam A. Nguyen (Anandaroopa) – Chennai (SCA)
Promoting Pride and Empowering the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community in Chennai

- Maria Del Carmen Miller – Quito (WHA)
Quito Cares – Providing Opportunities to Make a Difference for Ecuadorians in Need

A brief synopsis of the volunteer activity that earned each winner his or her award can be found at:  http://www.aafsw.org/awards-scholarships/sosa/sosa-the-2011-winners/.

Last year marked the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the SOSA awards by Secretary and Mrs. James Baker. Since its inception, the SOSA program has been managed and promoted by AAFSW. To honor this milestone, AAFSW has created an on-line publication entitled “FS Volunteers – 20 Years of Grassroots Diplomacy.” The publication documents the contributions and outstanding volunteer service provided by over 400 Foreign Service employees and family members at U.S. embassies and consulates all over the world. The publication is available at http://www.aafsw.org/sosa.htm.

This event is open to the press. Media representatives may attend this award ceremony upon presentation of one of the following: (1) a U.S. Government-issued identification card (Department of State, White House, Congress, Department of Defense, or Foreign Press Center), (2) a media-issued photo identification card, or (3) a letter from their employer on letterhead verifying their employment as a journalist, accompanied by an official photo identification (driver’s license or passport). Those who do not have a State Department building pass should allow adequate time to clear through security at the 23rd Street entrance.

Pre-set time for cameras:  9:00 a.m.
Final access time for all press:  9:45 a.m.


Brenda Greenberg
Bureau of Human Resources

PRN: 2011/2017