Public Diplomacy Achievement Awards 2012

2012 PDAA Awards Recognize Public Diplomacy Excellence

The Public Diplomacy Alumni Association, formerly the USIA Alumni Association, gave its 2012 achievement awards to U.S. public diplomacy professionals working in Zimbabwe, Okinawa, and Washington, DC. The announcement is below.

Successful public diplomacy requires leadership, imagination, resourcefulness, and determination, and in many cases under challenging conditions. The Public Diplomacy Alumni Association (PDAA, formerly USIA Alumni Association) recognizes outstanding achievement by individuals and teams at overseas posts and at State Department headquarters that display these qualities, among others.

The three winners of this year’s recognition of public diplomacy achievement — the 15th awards in the series that has become an annual event — took place at PDAA’s 2012 annual dinner on May 6 in Washington, D.C.

Heather Eaton, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Consulate General, Naha, Okinawa, Japan In recognition of her innovative leadership and creativity in advancing U.S. strategic objectives in Okinawa — despite an historically difficult public affairs environment and limited resources — by building a collaborative network of American and Japanese civilian and military PD professionals, educators, librarians and volunteers to expand U.S. outreach and refocus programming to core security-related themes.

Sharon Hudson-Dean, Counselor for Public Affairs, U.S. Embassy Harare, Zimbabwe In recognition of her exceptional courage, creativity and perseverance — in the face of daunting political and communications challenges – in cultivating new and effective platforms for U.S. engagement with Zimbabwean youth, women, opposition groups and a hostile media , building American and Zimbabwean partnerships and exchange alumni support for public diplomacy efforts, and harnessing the power of social media to outstanding effect.

Jean Manes, Director of Resources, Office of Policy, Planning and Resources (R/PPR), in recognition of your outstanding initiative, insight and determination in leading a thorough strategic review of Department of State public diplomacy personnel and budgets, effectively advocating for public diplomacy resources and field-directed input, and tutoring a generation of PD managers in building the foundations for long-term resource planning.