The Lois Roth Award is presented every year to a Foreign Service Officer who has made significant contributions in the field of US cultural and educational diplomacy. It honors those who exhibit cross-cultural sensitivity in all aspects of their work and show patience, wisdom and generosity in helping new colleagues—foreign and American—to pursue and develop their skills and careers. Awardees must have familiarity with areas of the world, global affairs and foreign languages, so that they can hold substantive discussion with US and foreign scholars, artists and professionals. Finally, the winners of this award exemplify Lois Roth’s personal legacy in demonstrating superior creativity and human warmth in their work with others.
The 2019 Lois Roth Award went to Nicole Bayer. As Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Antananarivo, Madagascar, Nicole has shown great ingenuity in cultural diplomacy programming that creates lasting mutual respect and understanding between the people of the U.S. and Madagascar. Her innovative programming included a modernized English language learning symposium, a musical education workshop series that brought together local and American artists and a U.S. film festival in which films were dubbed or subtitled in Malagasy. Nicole’s deep understanding of Malagasy culture and current cultural trends and her dedication to creating impactful programming reached previously untapped audiences and made the United States the leading voice in cultural diplomacy across Madagascar.
In addition to this year’s winner, the selection committee also chose to recognize Jeffrey Ladenson with an Honorable Mention. Jeffrey’s work as Cultural Affairs Officer transformed U.S. public diplomacy efforts in Tanzania and created a lasting positive impact. By cultivating a strong network of contacts, Jeff partnered with local organizations to host meaningful programming, such as the first-ever Tanzanian girls entrepreneurship summit for young female innovators. Jeffrey’s work demonstrates a deep compassion for and knowledge of Tanzanian culture and history through which he has created programming that is relevant to the unique interests of the Tanzanian people and advances U.S. cultural diplomacy in Tanzania.
For a complete list of Lois Roth Award recipients, please consult Lois Roth Award Recipients.