Page 20 - Foreign Service Journal - September 2013

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20
SEPTEMBER 2013
|
THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
AFSA’S DISSENT AWARDS
HONORING THE
BEST AMONGUS
AFSA’s four constructive dissent awards constitute
a program unique within the federal government.
BY JOHN W. L I MBERT
I
n December 1967, as the Vietnam War was raging, AFSA unveiled two
annual awards to recognize and encourage constructive dissent and
intellectual courage by Foreign Service professionals: the
W. Averell
Harriman Award
for constructive dissent by junior officers (FS-6 through
FS-4) and the
William R. Rivkin Award
for mid-level officers (FS-3
through FS-1).
A
Foreign Service Journal
editorial that month expressed the hope that
the awards would “result in even higher professional standards in the
Foreign Service. In this regard, we are particularly pleased that in stress-
ing excellence, these two awards are to be received primarily by those officers who
show intellectual courage or creativity.”
John W. Limbert, a retired Senior Foreign Service ofcer, chairs AFSA’s Awards and Plaques Com-
mittee. He was ambassador to Mauritania from 2000 to 2003 and AFSA president from 2003 to
2005, among many other assignments. In 2009 and 2010, Ambassador Limbert took leave from
the U.S. Naval Academy, where he is the Class of 1955 Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, to
serve as deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Near Eastern Afairs (with special responsibil-
ity for Iran). He is the author of
Iran: At War with History
(Westview Press, 1987),
Shiraz in the
Age of Hafez
(University of Washington Press, 2004) and
Negotiating with Iran: Wrestling the
Ghosts of History
(U.S. Institute of Peace Press, 2009).
FOCUS
AFSA’S AWARDS PROGRAM