Lifetime Contributions

Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy

The American Foreign Service Association established its award for Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy in 1995. The award honors those who have made extraordinary contributions to diplomacy over a period of many years. By giving this high-profile award, AFSA also seeks to bring greater recognition to its other awards, including its unique annual awards for constructive dissent. Candidates are proposed by AFSA’s Awards and Plaque Committee. The AFSA Governing Board makes the final decision. 

Originally, there were no criteria beyond those implied by the award’s name. In 2009, the AFSA Governing Board specified that “lifetime” means at least a decade of service to diplomacy, ideally including continuing involvement after retirement. The contributions should include involvement in foreign policy development and/or implementation as well as efforts that advance the diplomatic profession. Recipients will normally be career diplomats, but may include other individuals in exceptional cases. Recipients must attend the annual AFSA awards ceremony.

The presentation takes place during AFSA’s annual Awards Ceremony in June in the Benjamin Franklin Diplomatic Room of the State Department. The Secretary of State is invited to present this award. If the Secretary is unable to attend, a distinguished individual who has worked with the recipient is asked to present the award.

For information on these awards, please contact AFSA's Coordinator for Special Awards and Outreach, Perri Green, at or (202) 719-9700.

The American Foreign Service Association is delighted to name career diplomat William C. Harrop as recipient of the 2015 Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy Award, honoring his extraordinary commitment to advancing the field throughout his career in the Foreign Service, as well as through subsequent diplomacy-focused efforts in the nonprofit sector. This award will be presented on June 9, 2015 at the Department of State's 8th-floor Benjamin Franklin State Dining Room.
During his 39-year career as a Foreign Service officer, Ambassador Harrop served as U.S. Ambassador to Guinea, Kenya, Seychelles, Zaire and Israel. He also held positions as Inspector General of the State Department and Foreign Service, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, member of the State Department Policy Planning and Coordination Staff, and Deputy Chief of Mission in Australia. While the breadth and prestige of his appointments attests to the quality of Ambassador Harrop’s diplomatic work, his excellence in the field has also been recognized officially. Ambassador Harrop received the Presidential Distinguished Service Award and State Department Distinguished Honor Award, as well as the 2001 Foreign Service Cup.
Since 1958, Ambassador Harrop has served as an influential leader within AFSA. He was chair of the Scholarship Committee in his first year of membership and, through hard work and dedication to the organization, rose to become AFSA President in 1971, a position he held for two years. Ambassador Harrop continues to demonstrate his commitment to his fellow Foreign Service colleagues and friends as a director of the Senior Living Foundation. He also sponsors AFSA’s F. Allen 'Tex' Harris Award for Constructive Dissent by a Foreign Service Specialist and the Nelson B. Delavan Award for Exceptional Performance by an Office Management Specialist. He also provides support for AFSA as director of the Delavan Foundation.
In his post-career work, Ambassador Harrop continues to show a remarkable level of commitment to the profession, dedicating his time and expertise to numerous organizations that seek to recognize the importance of diplomacy in American life and history. He has worked with the American Academy of Diplomacy, American Diplomacy Publishers, and the Henry L. Stimson Foundation. As president and chairman of the Foreign Affairs Museum Council, Ambassador Harrop spearheaded the effort to create the U.S. Diplomacy Center, a museum and education center that focuses on the vital role of American diplomacy in our nation’s past and future. Thanks to the efforts of Ambassador Harrop and the rest of the committee, construction on the USDC began this year.
Ambassador Harrop has contributed to several books and publications on diplomacy. As chairman of the American Academy of Diplomacy’s Program Committee, he launched the books First Line of Defense (AAD, 2000) and Commercial Diplomacy (AAD, 2004) and provided support for American Statecraft: The Story of the U.S. Foreign Service (Thomas Dunne Books, 2013), as well as America’s Other Army (CreateSpace, 2012). In association with the Foreign Policy Association, Ambassador Harrop is currently developing a PBS film on notable U.S. diplomats.
The innumerable ways in which Ambassador Harrop has sought to advance the field of diplomacy serve as a testament to his lifelong commitment to the profession. His contributions demonstrate his determination to garner for diplomacy, and his fellow diplomats, the recognition they deserve as essential to the formation and execution of U.S. foreign policy.
Previous recipients of this award include U. Alexis Johnson, Frank Carlucci, George H.W. Bush, Lawrence Eagleburger, Cyrus Vance, David Newsom, Lee Hamilton, Thomas Pickering, George Shultz, Richard Parker, Richard Lugar, Morton Abramowitz, Joan Clark, Tom Boyatt, Sam Nunn, Bruce Laingen, Rozanne Ridgway, William Lacy Swing, George Landau and Charles Stuart 'Stu' Kennedy.

AFSA invites friends and colleagues of Ambassador Harrop to attend the AFSA Awards Ceremony on June 9 at 4:00 p.m. in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the Department of State. There we will celebrate Ambassador Harrop’s incredible generosity, fortitude and devotion to the goal of making the achievements of the Foreign Service known to the American public.

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Our Recipients

2015 William Harrop
2014 Charles Stuart Kennedy, Jr.
2013 George W. Landau
2012 William Lacy Swing
2011 Rozanne L. 'Roz' Ridgway
2010 L. Bruce Laingen
2009 Senator Sam Nunn
2008 Thomas D. Boyatt
2007 Joan Clark
2006 Morton Abramowitz
2005 Senator Richard Lugar
2004 Richard Parker
2003 George Shultz
2002 Thomas Pickering
2001 Lee Hamilton
2000 David Newsom
1999 Cyrus Vance
1998 Lawrence Eagleburger
1997 George H.W. Bush
1996 Frank Carlucci
1995 U. Alexis Johnson

Related Links

2014 recipient Charles Stuart 'Stu' Kennedy, Jr.
with AFSA President Bob Silverman.