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AFSA
NEWS
J U L Y - A UGU S T 2 0 1 2 / F OR E I GN S E R V I C E J OU R N A L
49
American Foreign Service Association • July-August 2012
I
nconjunctionwith theMay issue of the
ForeignService Journal
,whichfocusedon
“Snapshots of Challenge & Hope: The
ArabSpring,AYearLater,”onJune6AFSA
hosted a panel discussion drawing on the
expertise of three Foreign Service profes-
sionals.
Two of the panelists were on the front
lines at that historic juncture: Ambassador
GeneCretzwas chief ofmission inTripoli
when Libyans rose up against Moammar
Gaddafi, andAmbassadorMargaret Scobey
experienced firsthand the tumult of Tahrir
Squareandthedownfall ofHosniMubarak.
The thirdpanelist, FSOVictoriaTaylor,
served in Tunisia from 2006 to 2008, and
returned to the country in February to
assess developments. (She shared her
insights fromthat visit intheMay
FSJ
.) And
the panel moderator, retired Ambassador
DavidNewton, spent 22 of his 36 years in
the Foreign Service in the Arab world,
including tours as ambassador to Iraq and
Yemenanddeputy chief ofmission inSyria
and Yemen.
Before introducing the panelists, Amb.
Newtonnoted thatwe have begun“a chal-
lengingdecade forAmericandiplomacy in
the region.” He pointed to the role of Al-
Jazeera and other information outlets,
including the Internet and socialmedia, in
fomenting the revolts and changes in gov-
ernance that have collectively constituted
the Arab Spring.
Each panelist then shared his or her
experiences dealing with the former
regimes and the ongoing transitions, high-
lighting the role of Foreign Service profes-
sionals in reaching out to the democratic
opposition in these countries, as well as
monitoringandreportingondevelopments
and making policy recommendations to
Washington.
Amb. Scobey, who is nowdeputy com-
mandant and international affairs adviser
at the National Defense University, noted
that neither shenor anyone else “couldpre-
dict [the] incredible collapse of the regime”
of President Mubarak.
Amb. Cretz stressed that a person had
AFSA Panel Assesses Prospects for the Arab Spring
BY EVA M.A. MOSS, AFSA STAFF
AFSA Announces 2012 Award Winners
O
n June 26, with a large audience filling the StateDepartment’s BenjaminFranklin
Room, AFSA honored the winners of the 2012 AFSA Constructive Dissent and
OutstandingPerformanceAwards. Winners received a certificate of recognition,
a monetary prize and the AFSA Globe.
Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy
Ambassador William Lacy Swing
Constructive Dissent Awards
TheWilliamR. RivkinAward:
Joshua Polacheck, Washington
Outstanding Performance Awards
The Nelson B. DelavanAward:
James R. Velez, Mazar-e-Sharif
TheM. Juanita Guess Award:
Sara Hurst Butler, Port-au-Prince
The Avis BohlenAward:
Leila Gupta, Nairobi
AFSAPost Representative of the Year:
Jeff J. Jacob, Kabul
Profiles of the winners begin on page 53.
AFSA hosts FS experts on the Arab Spring. From left, Executive Director Ian Houston, Ambassador
Margaret Scobey, Ambassador David Newton, AFSA President Susan Johnson, FSO Victoria Taylor
and Ambassador Gene Cretz.
Continued on page 58