Awards for Excellence in Cultural Diplomacy

Pictured here at the 2019 ECA Awards Ceremony (left-right): Jeffrey Ladenson (Lois Roth Award Hon. Men.), Marta Garcia de Bello (Gill-Jacot Guillarmod Hon. Men.), Richard Arndt (LRE Founder), Yolanda Robinson (Ilchman-Richardson Winner), Nicole Bayer (Lois Roth Award Winner), and Helen Reidy (Gill-Jacot Guillarmod Winner)

In honor 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 and educational 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 Gill Jacot‐Guillarmod Award and the Gill Jacot- Guillarmod Career Achievement Award recognize national residents employed by the U.S. State Department at an Embassy or Consulate, who has made outstanding contributions to the most important objectives of the U.S. and the host country in the field of cultural and/or educational diplomacy. In 2018, the Roth Endowment introduced the Emeritus Award, which recognizes lifetime contributions to deepening international educational and cultural exchanges. It honors US and foreign awardees from among retired diplomats and others, including but not restricted to those with a background in government, universities, US non-profits and international NGOs.

From left to right, 2017 winners Quynh Ngo (Gill-Jacot Guillarmod Hon. Men.), Basma Amawi (Gill-Jacot Guillarmod Winner), Richard Arndt (LRE Founder), David Plack (Ilchman-Richardson Winner), Márcia Mizuno (Gill-Jacot Guillarmod Hon. Men.), Skylar Arndt-Briggs (LRE Chair), Priscilla Hernandez (Lois Roth Award Winner), Laurie Weizenkorn (LRE Board Member) and Rick Ruth (2016 Ilchman-Richardson)

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