Notice to the Press
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 29, 2010


Deputy Secretary of State James B. Steinberg will present the 2010 Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide Secretary of State Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad to the six winners from different geographic regions at a ceremony on Thursday, December 2 at 10:00 a.m. in the Benjamin Franklin Diplomatic Reception Room at the Department of State.

The awards recognize U.S. Government employees; family members, including domestic partners; and other members of household at embassies and consulates who gave exceptional volunteer service to their communities, mission or host country, or rendered outstanding assistance in emergencies. This year’s award winners include:

Shirley A. Winter – Yaounde

Shameera M. Wiest – Kuala Lumpur

Mindy R. Michels and Melissa E. Schraibman – Tirana

Beth A. Brownson – Mumbai

Jose M. Torres – San Jose

A brief synopsis of the volunteer activity that earned each winner her/his award can be found at: http://www.aafsw.org/sosa.htm.

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the SOSA awards by Secretary of State and Mrs. James Baker. To honor this milestone, the Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide have created an on-line publication entitled “FS Volunteers – 20 Years of Grassroots Diplomacy.” The publication documents the contributions and outstanding volunteer service provided by over 400 Foreign Service employees and family members at U.S. embassies and consulates all over the world. The publication is available at http://www.aafsw.org/sosa.htm.


The award ceremony is open for press coverage. Members of the press wishing to attend should contact Public Affairs Officer Brenda Greenberg at 202-647-4282.

Pre-set time for cameras: 9:00 a.m. from 23rd Street lobby
Final access time for all press: 9:30 a.m. from 23rd Street lobby

Media representatives may attend this award ceremony upon presentation of one of the following: (1) a U.S. Government-issued identification card (Department of State, White House, Congress, Department of Defense, or Foreign Press Center), (2) a media-issued photo identification card, or (3) a letter from their employer on letterhead verifying their employment as a journalist, accompanied by an official photo identification (driver’s license or passport). Those who do not have a State Department building pass should allow adequate time to clear through security at the 23rd Street entrance.



PRN: 2010/1721