2009 Foreign Service National (FSN) of the Year Awards

Under Secretary for Political Affairs William Burns at the Department Awards Ceremony in November called them “the backbone of every U.S. embassy and consulate” and said that “none of our missions could function without the steadfast dedication, hard work and loyalty of our enormously talented FSN colleagues.”
This FSN award recognizes the high standards of performance and the value to the U.S. Government of the special contributions made by Foreign Service National (FSN) employees and foreign nationals serving under a personal services contract or agreement at our missions abroad.
The primary winner now receives a certificate signed by the Secretary of State, and $10,000 (this used to be $5,000). Each of the other five nominees receives a certificate signed by the assistant secretary of the appropriate regional bureau or International Organization (IO) and $2,500.
Selection for this award is based on:
(1) Significant contributions, which support an understanding of the U.S. foreign policy interest abroad;
(2) Outstanding examples of liaison with host country officials and others that facilitated the work of U.S. officers or the goals of the mission;
(3) Exceptional initiative in the defense of U.S. property or of fellow employees or U.S. citizens;
(4) Performance of assigned duties in a manner that clearly was instrumental in the achievement of major mission goals and objectives, and without which success would have been uncertain or seriously delayed;
(5) Special effectiveness in bridging national differences in a way that enhanced the introduction of U.S. staff members into professional, cultural, or personal relationships with host country nationals and contributed to effective representation and personal morale; and
(6) Personal or professional courage in difficult, demanding, or hardship situations.

2009 FSN of the Year — Nigel Whitehouse
Whitehouse, the management operations coordinator at the U.S. Embassy in N’Djamena, is the 2009 Foreign Service National of the Year. Nominated by the Bureau of African Affairs, he was cited for “30 years of extraordinary contributions to the advancement of U.S. interests in Chad.” Two years after he started working at the embassy, he experienced his first war and first evacuation.  He would play a key role in at least seven
more evacuations including the one in 2008 where he “singlehandedly ensured that embassy facilities were safe, that embassy employees were paid and fed, and that important messages were transmitted, despite the shutdown of the phone system,” the embassy said.
Regional Awardees:
EAP | Hyun Sook Choi – Supervisory Visa Specialist, U.S. Embassy Seoul
SCA| Anil Raj Paulose – Security Investigator, U.S. Consulate General Mumbai
NEA | Rashad Mansour – Security Investigator, U.S. Embassy Damascus
EUR | Mariam “Marika” Kharabadze— American Citizen Services, U.S. Embassy Tbilisi
WHA | Lisette Anda – Human Resources Assistant, U.S. Embassy La Paz

Read more about the 2009 FSN of the Year awardees below: