Press Statement
Washington, DC
September 9, 2009


Special Agent Furstenberg Provided Extraordinary Assistance to National Police

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State Dept Image/Aug 29, 2009 Date: 08/29/2009 Description: Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo (left) shakes DS Special Agent Philippe Furstenberg's hand (right) after awarding him the 'Paraguayan National Police Medal of Merit' on August 29, 2009, in Asuncion, Paraguauy.  U.S. Department of State Photo. © State Dept Image
Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo (left) shakes DS Special Agent Philippe Furstenberg’s hand (right) after awarding him the “Paraguayan National Police Medal of Merit” August 29, 2009 in Asuncion, Paraguay.
Philippe G. Furstenberg, a Special Agent for the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, has been awarded the “Paraguayan National Police Medal of Merit.”

Special Agent Furstenberg, 35, was honored by the President of Paraguay for providing extraordinary assistance to the Paraguayan National Police. The awards ceremony was held on August 29 in Asuncion, Paraguay. After the ceremony, Furstenberg remarked: “I am honored to be recognized by the Government of Paraguay. I and all my colleagues with the Diplomatic Security Service take our responsibilities seriously and this award is a tribute to the work everyone in my office does to assist with U.S. diplomatic priorities.”

Since August 2008, Furstenberg has worked to develop a close relationship with the Ministry of Interior and the Paraguayan National Police. He has administered dozens of police-assistance courses offered by the U.S. Department of State and responded to the Ministry of Interior and Paraguayan National Police whenever they have requested urgent assistance. In one instance earlier this year, unknown criminals planted improvised explosive devices (IEDs) all around the city of Asuncion. The Chief of the Paraguayan Police and the Minister of the Interior asked Furstenberg for assistance. Furstenberg relied on his training with Diplomatic Security to mobilize resources from a variety of agencies and advise the police on methods of dismantling the devices. As a result, authorities were able to quickly identify the IEDs, uncover leads, and improve search and explosive disabling techniques. Additionally, Furstenberg assisted with follow-up investigative strategies and post-incident analysis.

Furstenberg is the son of Mark Furstenberg of Washington DC and Gilberte Furstenberg of Boston, Massachusetts. He is a 1991 graduate of Albert Einstein High School in Kensington, Maryland. In 1996, Furstenberg graduated Magna Cum Laude from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Later, he received a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center.

In 1999, Furstenberg became a Special Agent for the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Since then, he has been assigned to the Bureau’s Boston Field Office and the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka. Additionally, Furstenberg served in Washington, D.C. in the Criminal Fraud Investigations branch at DS Headquarters. In 2006 he became the DSS representative to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Currently, Furstenberg serves as the Regional Security Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Paraguay, where he manages all Embassy security programs and investigations on behalf of the U.S. Government. He is the Embassy’s primary police liaison official and runs the U.S. Government’s police-training programs in the country.

The “Paraguayan National Police Medal of Merit” is given to police officials and civilians who provide extraordinary assistance to the National Police.



The Bureau of Diplomatic Security is the U.S. Department of State’s law enforcement and security arm. The special agents, engineers, and security professionals of the Bureau are responsible for the security of 285 U.S. diplomatic missions around the world. In the United States, Diplomatic Security personnel protect the U.S. Secretary of State and high-ranking foreign dignitaries and officials visiting the United States, investigate passport and visa fraud, and conduct personnel security investigations. In 2008, DS participated in 2,487 arrests globally, primarily for passport and visa fraud, including 586 arrests overseas in cooperation with foreign police. Read more in the U.S. Department of State’s Visa and Passport Security Strategic Plan at: www.state.gov/m/ds/rls/rpt/79895.htm. Additional information about the U.S. Department of State and the Bureau of Diplomatic Security may be obtained at www.state.gov/m/ds.

Contact:
Sarah Rosetti
571-345-2507
RosettiSN@state.gov