Awards for Excellence in Cultural Diplomacy

At ECA award ceremony, from left: LRE Chair Sky Arndt-Briggs, LRE Founder Dick Arndt, Dominique Benbrahim, Assistant Secretary of ECA Evan Ryan, Michael Weider & Sherry Keneson-Hall

At 2014 ECA award ceremony with three award winners, from left: LRE Chair Sky Arndt-Briggs, LRE Founder Dick Arndt, Dominique Benbrahim, Assistant Secretary of ECA Evan Ryan, Michael Weider & Sherry Keneson-Hall

In memory of Lois’ work to promote cross‐cultural understanding and cooperation, the Roth Endowment partners with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), part of the U.S. Department of State, to provide the only three annual departmental awards honoring excellence in the field of cultural diplomacy.

The Lois Roth Award recognizes a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. State Department. The Ilchman‐Richardson Award recognizes an ECA employee who has made significant contributions in the domestic management of cultural diplomacy. The newly established Gill Jacot‐Guillarmod Award recognizes a national resident employed by the U.S. State Department at an Embassy or Consulate, who has made outstanding contributions to the most important objectives of the US and the host country in the field of cultural and/or educational diplomacy.

6-2012 ECA ceremony

Pictured here at the 2012 ECA Awards Ceremony (left-right): LRE Founder Richard T. Arndt, former LRE Board Chair Jill E. McGovern, 2012 Ilchman-Richardson Award winner Chris Miner, ECA Assistant Secretary Ann Stock, former LRE Board member and founder Harriet M. Fulbright, former LRE Executive Director Jim Bullock.

Recipients of these three prizes display a range of qualities:

  • Special skill in meeting the needs of representatives of the United States, by promoting collaboration between American and foreign institutions and facilitating high‐quality exchange opportunities with the civil sector
  • Ingenuity and imagination in creating projects, programs and products that bring foreign intellectuals, artists and professionals into deeper contact with their American counterparts
  • Patience, wisdom and generosity in helping new colleagues, both foreign and American, to develop their careers
  • Cross‐cultural sensitivity and understanding for all—regardless of age, race, religion, color, sex, national origin or disability—and the courage, intellectual integrity, and energy to bring alternate facts and opinions into open conversation
  • Deep understanding of the processes and values at work in American NGOs, intellectual communities and civil society, as well as of the relevance of these to the State Department’s work overseas
  • Familiarity with global affairs and foreign languages, to deepen substantive discussion between US and foreign intellectuals, scholars and professionals

Nominations Process:

In early spring, the ECA internally circulates details regarding nominations for these three prizes. Outstanding individuals are to be nominated by their supervisors. Nominations must include:
(a) Name and title of nominee;
(b) Name, title and email address of nominating supervisor;
(c) Work location of the nominee;
(d) Brief description of the role of the nominee at the overseas post or domestic ECA office;
(e) Narrative (not to exceed three pages) describing the achievement(s) of the nominee and justifying the nomination.

Nominations should focus on specific long‐term projects or accomplishments. In exceptional circumstances, nominations for career‐long service may also be considered. Submissions may include web links demonstrating the breadth or effectiveness of the nominee’s work, and be accompanied by a reasonable amount of pertinent materials (e.g., photographs, videos, etc.) supporting the justification. The winners will be selected by a committee made up of ECA, LRE and Public Diplomacy Regional Bureau representatives. Awards are presented at the annual ECA awards ceremony in Washington, DC.