The Foreign Service Journal - September 2017
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Sinclaire Award Recipients in Action

Annually, AFSA recognizes

outstanding accomplishments

in the study of Category III or

IV critical languages and their

associated cultures through

the MatildaW. Sinclaire

Language Awards. Mastery

and professional utilization of

foreign languages, and knowl-

edge of the culture of the host

country, are invaluable skills in

the Foreign Service.

In 2017, AFSA recognized 11

recipients, adding to the more

FSO Gregory Aurit speaks about the benefits of studying in the United

States to a group of Japanese high school students at Aoyama High School

in Tokyo.

Assistant Regional Security Officer for Investigations Kevin Gonzalez gives

a presentation to Chinese local staff during Consular Leadership Day. Using

the local language, in this case Mandarin, during a presentation helps to

build a connection with the audience, resulting in effective delivery of the

message. As an ARSO-I, conducting investigations in the local language

helps build essential rapport with interviewees.

than 300 members of the For-

eign Service who have been

honored since the award was

established in 1982. Here we

highlight seven of this year’s

recipients as they use their

language at post.

AFSA is now accepting

nominations for the 2018

Sinclaire Awards; nomination

guidelines are available on the




Jacob Glenn uses Hindi daily as he interviews visa applicants at the U.S.

embassy in New Delhi. He also utilizes his language skills as he conducts

visa outreach trips, like this one with students.

Mariana L. Neisuler is the deputy

economic counselor at U.S.

Embassy Amman. In April 2017, Ms.

Neisuler visited Jordan’s largest

Syrian refugee camp, Za’atri, where

she spoke in Arabic with many of

those who have been displaced.

Here Ms. Neisuler speaks with two

5-year-olds who have spent their

whole lives in the camp.

James Waterman is a consular

officer in Tbilisi, Georgia. Here he

discusses an American citizen

services case using his Georgian

language skills.

Jacob Rocca (left) studied

Japanese while serving in Pakistan.

He is pictured at the Foreign

Service Institute with FSI distance

language mentor, Mariko Price


Brian Corteville is the consular

chief at U.S. Embassy Pristina, a

position which requires Albanian

language skills. Here he enjoys a

local restaurant cum bookstore.

“Në këte fotografi, jam duke pirë

një macchiato në restorantin tim

të preferuar, Soma. E dije ti që

Kosova ka macchiatot më të mira

ne botë? Ashtu thuhet, të pakten

këtu në Kosovë!”Translation: In this

photo, I’m drinking a macchiato in

my favorite restaurant, Soma. Did

you know that Kosovo has the best

macchiatos in the world? That’s what

they say, at least here in Kosovo!