Lois Roth Award for Cultural Diplomacy

Margot Carrington (left) with Assistant Secretary for ECA Marie Royce (center) and LRE Chair Skyler Arndt-Briggs (right)

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 2018 Lois Roth Award went to Margot Carrington. Margot’s exceptional Japanese language skills and deep knowledge of Japanese culture and history enabled her remarkable achievements as a Country Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy Tokyo: fighting for adequate legal protection for trafficked persons; promoting gender equality in the workplace; and even challenging traditional gender roles by performing the lead role in a Kabuki theater performance, a position normally reserved for men. Margot innovated the evaluation of various outreach initiatives, tracking the outcomes of huge funding resources, and creating a new method with the potential for worldwide adoption within the State Department. Her 25-year career exemplified groundbreaking programming paired with mentoring and service to the wider profession.

Monica Davis at the opening of a new Access School in Cambodia.

This year, the jury awarded an unprecedented two Honorable Mentions for the Lois Roth Award. The first went to Monica Davis, who harnessed her creativity to support public diplomacy in Cambodia amid political turmoil. Monica engaged with Cambodia’s majority-youth population through programing that addressed themes relevant to them and that emphasized aspects of the U.S. that they admired. She was also integral to the success of her Post’s college fairs and regional youth alumni conference, further highlighting her dedication to youth-oriented programming. Her contacts and colleagues admire her kindness, work-ethic and ability to boost the impact all types of programming, including cultural preservation projects, exhibits on US-Cambodian history, and the inauguration of the New American Center.

Robin Solomon at a graduation ceremony for the Cultural Center of the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem.

 

The second Lois Roth Award Honorable Mention went to Robin Solomon. Robin’s ingenious use of art and culture to reach Palestinian youth and women’s groups helped them develop skills help themselves through programs that provided arts management courses, entrepreneurial support, and cultural tourism development. Her collaboration with Palestinian civil society organization and intensive social research enabled her Post to innovate their engagement with Palestinian women. With delicate cultural sensitivity Robin mentored staff, grantees and alumni to build interacting layers of human resources and a strategic framework that will benefit post programs for years to come.

For a complete list of Lois Roth Award recipients, please consult Lois Roth Award Recipients.