Foreign Service Journal - November 2013 - page 58

Proficiency in foreign languages is one of the most valuable
and important skills in today’s Foreign Service. AFSA’s Sin-
claire Language Awards program honors language students
for outstanding accomplishments in the study of a “hard”
language and its associated culture. 
The Matilda W. Sinclaire Language Award program was
established in 1982 by a bequest to AFSA from Ms. Sinclaire, a
former Foreign Service officer, to “promote and reward supe-
rior achievement by career officers of the U.S. Foreign Service
while studying one of the ‘hard’ languages under the auspices
of the Foreign Service Institute of the Department of State.”
Any career or career-conditional member of the Foreign
Service from the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for
International Development, the Foreign Commercial Service,
the Foreign Agricultural Service and the International Broad-
casting Bureau is eligible.
Candidates for the award may be nominated by FSI’s
Sinclaire Awards Deadline
language-training supervisors, by the language instructors at
the field schools, or by post language officers. A committee
comprised of the dean of the FSI School of Language Stud-
ies (or designee) and members of AFSA’s Governing Board,
Awards Committee and from AFSA’s general membership,
selects the winners. Winners receive $1,000 and a certificate
of recognition signed by the AFSA president and the chair of
the AFSA Awards Committee. 
Although most nominations are submitted by FSI, AFSA
encourages nominations from posts. While post language offi-
cers may not be able to provide all of the information called
for in the form, FSI test results are required. For candidates
nominated by posts, the nominating statement is critical.
Nominations for 2013 continue to be accepted through
Dec. 24. For additional information, nomination guidelines
and the nomination form, please go to
Winners will be announced in February.
For questions on the Sinclaire Awards, please contact
AFSA’s Coordinator for Special Awards and Outreach Perri
Green at
or (202) 719-9700.
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