The Gill Jacot‐Guillarmod Award, introduced in 2013, recognizes a Foreign Service National Employee who has made outstanding contributions in educational and cultural diplomacy to objectives shared by the U.S. and the host country. The award is named in honor of Gill Jacot‐Guillarmod, who served for thirty‐five years at the U.S. Mission in South Africa, first in Cape Town, and then as Senior Cultural Assistant at the Embassy in Pretoria. Her career spanned an era of change in South Africa, from the dark days of apartheid through the peaceful emergence of democracy. During the 1960s and 70s, the U.S. was under intense pressure from the South African government to support its state‐sponsored racial segregation, although the program ran contrary to the American democratic mission. Within this tense environment, Gill programed hundreds of Fulbright and other U.S.G. grantees; later she worked with great political sensitivity to assist in South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy. She is remembered as a consummate cross‐cultural communicator and bridge builder, serving on behalf of all as a mentor, counselor and committed senior colleague.
This year the Gill Jacot-Guillarmod Award for a Locally Engaged Staff member went to Tilly De Groot, of the U.S. Embassy The Hague, 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 have been showcased by the U.S. State Department as “global best practices.”
Exceptionally, an Honorable Mention was awarded to Gladys Tutisani ,of the U.S. Embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe, 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 nomination, we have resolved to start offering a cash award to Honorable Mentions for the Gill Jacot-Guillarmod Award.
Read an Interview with Gill Jacot-Guillarmod, conducted by Foreign Service Officer Dan Whitman and published in his book Outsmarting Apartheid (SUNY Press, 2014).
For a complete list of winners of the Gill Jacot-Guillarmod Award, please see Gill Jacot-Guillarmod Award Recipients.