Award: Gill Jacot-Guillarmod Award

Elena Broszkowski

For a dozen years, Elena Broszkowski, Cultural Affairs Specialist at U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, managed the Performing and Visual Arts Portfolio, comprising ECA cultural arts programs and nominations, and post-funded social transformation-through-the-arts programs incorporating exchanges alumni, Binational Centers, public and private universities, municipalities led by opposition party members, and many other Post allies. Using …

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Fatma Souidi

Throughout her 22-year career, Fatma Souidi brought Algerians and Americans together – in spite of a civil war, a revolution, economic crisis, and a pandemic. Fatma engineered the region’s first Memorandum of Understanding on Cultural Property which led to updated cultural preservation legislation and training focused on preventing looting of cultural property. Her work in …

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Vanessa Wagner

For nearly two decades, Vanessa has led the entire range of cultural programming. Most notably, she secured $2.5 million to conserve dozens of heritage sites and led U.S. repatriation of some 2,000 artifacts to Peru, raising the profile of the Mission throughout Peru. Vanessa’s humanity, care for contacts and workmates, advocacy for U.S. interests and …

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Elina Akhtiyarova

Elina excels in shaping 12+ exchange programs from inception to program and into ongoing relationships to the benefit of Kazakhstan and the U.S. When COVID canceled the in-person event for the International Visitor Leadership Program’s 80th anniversary, Elina conceptualized, implemented, and moderated a Facebook Live program with Washington and Embassy officials and over 120 guests …

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Dr. Gözde Doğan Yalçıner

Gözde’s Honorable Mention is for the bilateral Cultural Property Agreement (CPA) signed this year. Gözde created partnerships linking the Turkish government, NGOs, and arts institutions, resulting in a CPA that curbs smuggling, denies revenue to terrorist organizations, and protects cultural heritage. Gödze’s work is on the leading edge of a renewed emphasis on protecting cultural …

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Esti Durahsanti

Since her arrival in 2003, Esti’s interpersonal skills and leadership has provided the foundation for the Consulate’s public diplomacy programming and serves as an example of excellence for all Consulate employees. Her extensive knowledge and experience with Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM), women empowerment, disability rights, LGBTQ issues and trafficking in persons have …

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Felicity Aziz

Over a 40-year career, Felicity Aziz, Deputy Director of the American Center, Jerusalem,has managed Center operations and staff, while serving as the liaison to some 35 grantee organizations. The Mission relies on her advice regarding women’s empowerment and economic development, religious affairs, innovation and entrepreneurship, climate and environmental issues, rule of law, good governance and …

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Ali Al Ghadban

Ali Al Ghadban, Cultural Assistant, U.S. Consulate General Jeddah, has supported the entire U.S. Mission to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with his stellar work in exchange and alumni programs over thirty-five years of service. His connections across Saudi Arabia run deep and he continually leverages his vast network of contacts to strengthen U.S.-Saudi ties …

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Ivanka Ponikvar

For most of the nearly three decades that Slovenia has been an independent nation, Ivanka Ponikvar, Education and Professional Exchanges Specialist, U.S. Embassy Slovenia, has been the Embassy’s most respected exchanges interlocutor. Known for her compassion, around-the-clock attentiveness to detail and commitment to participant satisfaction, she deftly navigated a changing political and economic landscape to …

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Helena Vagnerova

Helena Vagnerova, Senior Member, Established Opinion Leader Team, U.S. Embassy Prague is a living legend within Embassy Prague and has mentored generations of Foreign Service Officers and local staff. She has mastered every aspect of public diplomacy, from brainstorming to carrying out policy-relevant, impactful programming. She can single-handedly draft Front Office memos and remarks for …

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Marta Garcia de Bello

Marta’s leadership as a Cultural Affairs Specialist has been crucial to maintaining diplomatic relationships in Venezuela even after the official American presence there ended. Due to Marta’s resilience in the face of these difficult circumstances, outreach activities by EducationUSA and American Spaces continue guiding current and future leaders of Venezuela to become agents of positive …

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Helen Reidy

As Cultural Affairs Specialist at the U.S. Consulate General in Australia over the past 27 years, Helen has inspired hundreds of Australian students to study abroad in the United States by creating specialized outreach programs for EducationUSA and increasing media coverage to make opportunities more visible. Her unwavering dedication to educating students about study in …

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Nadia Ouhenia

Louiza “Nadia” Ouhenia, who has worked with U.S. Embassy Algiers for 25 years, is the master of a portfolio that covers the gamut of cultural and educational engagement with Algeria, single handedly managing the Post’s entire professional exchange program. Even during the “Dark Decade,” when she faced real danger just coming to work, Nadia has …

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Felix Mbatalbaye

Felix Mbatalbaye, of U.S. Embassy N’Djamena in Chad, has utilized his interpersonal skills and judicious recruitment of program participants to build a powerful network of contacts in a variety of fields, and his procurement of essential resources and expertise has transformed the US Embassy into the partner of choice for Chadians over the course of …

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Markéta Kolářová

Marketa Kolarova, an invaluable advisor to Political Affairs Officers and Ambassadors in Prague, Czech Republic, for 28 years, revitalized US-Czech cultural relations after the Velvet Revolution. With her profound insight and managerial savvy, she midwifed the Fulbright Commission; right-sized American Spaces; and led nationwide teacher tech-training, literature engagement and English language programming, all resulting in …

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Carmen Urcuyo

In her 43 years of service to the U.S. Embassy Tegucigalpa, Carmen Urcuyo has trained some fourteen, mostly entry level, Cultural Affairs Officers, many of whom have even requested her mentorship after moving on to new posts. Her legendary networks and extensive program files ensured the right local partners to make every program a success. …

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Marcia Mizuno

In recognition of her work as Cultural Affairs Specialist in Brazil.

Quynh Ngo

In recognition of his work as Cultural Affairs Specialist in Hanoi.

David Plack

In recognition of his work as Director (Senior Advisor) for Policy, Academic Programs, ECA.

Gladys Tutisani

Gladys Tutisani, of the U.S. Embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe, received recognition for her unusually effective programming; her persuasive exchange nominations; her ability to strategically innovate and expand cultural programming; and her willingness to jump into staffing gaps and mentor new officers. In response to her outstanding nomination, we have resolved to start offering a cash …

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Basma Amawi

In recognition of her work as Senior Cultural Affairs Specialist in Jordan.

Tilly De Groot

Tilly De Groot, of the U.S. Embassy The Hague, received this award in recognition of a long career of achievements, including: the creation of American Studies degree programs at five top universities; the establishment, staffing and programming of the John Adams Institute; and work with Dutch Muslim and immigrant communities. Two of de Groot’s programs …

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Monica Alcalde

In recognition of her contributions over 38 years as Cultural Specialist at the US Embassy in Santiago, Chile. The programs she runs include traditional exchange programs, and long-term initiatives in justice, democracy, economics and social issues, many of which she created and sustained over decades. Focusing on legal reform, these programs helped move Chile’s inquisitorial …

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