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. Colin Powell presented the award to Thomas Pickering and to George Shultz; Elliot Richardson presented the award to Frank Carlucci; Mr. Carlucci presented it to Lee Hamilton; Robert Zoellick presented it to Richard Lugar; Senator Lugar presented to award to Senator Nunn; and Lawrence Eagleburger presented the award to Joan Clark. Honorees are presented with a globe and certificate.

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



Ambassador George W. Landau received the 2013 American Foreign Service Associations Award for Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy, in recognition of a distinguished Foreign Service career and a lifetime of public service.  Past recipients of the 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 and William Lacy Swing.

Ambassador Landau served as United States chief of mission in Paraguay (1972-1977), Chile (1977-1982), and Venezuela (1982-1985). Following his retirement from the Foreign Service in 1985, Amb. Landau became president of the Americas Society and the Council of the Americas, a position he held until 1993.

Hailed as a “vigorous human rights advocate”  by Time magazine, Amb. Landau promoted civil liberties and the rule of law in all of his Foreign Service assignments, standing up to fierce local opposition. He played a crucial role in solving the murder of Chilean politician Orlando Letelier, an opponent of President Augusto Pinochet who died in a car bombing in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 21, 1976, by preserving evidence which helped identify the organizers of the bombing.

During his tenure as president of the Americas Society and Council of the Americas, Amb. Landau  worked tirelessly to persuade Congress to grant “fast track” negotiating authority  to conclude the North American Free Trade Agreement. His work also helped build the foundation for the U.S.-Chile Free Trade agreement of 2004 and the current Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.  In recognition of his key role in trade promotion, Amb. Landau  twice served on the  Export-Import Bank’s board and received decorations from the governments of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela.

Throughout a half-century of service to his country and to the international community, Ambassador George W. Landau has represented the best of the U.S. Foreign Service.  The American Foreign Service Association is proud to have bestowed upon him its 2013 Lifetime Award for Contribution to American Diplomacy.

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Our Recipients

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

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Amb. George Landau receives
the 2013 Lifetime Contribution Award
presented by Amb. Thomas Boyatt