The Washington Times - June 18, 2009, 06:58PM

The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), the diplomats’ union, recognized three of its members Thursday for “constructive dissent” from U.S. policy.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton missed the annual ceremony in the State Department’s ornate Benjamin Franklin reception room because of a broken elbow.


AFSA honored Michael C. Gonzales, who worked to “rebalance U.S. foreign policy toward Ethiopia” during his assignment at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa. Jeffrey S. Collins received the award for his efforts to improve “the protection of human rights in Turkey and raising awareness about the need to reform the State Department’s human-rights reporting process.”

Barron I. Rosen, a diplomatic courier, received an award for his “willingness to speak out against unsafe practices that greatly affected the diplomatic couriers assigned to travel to certain Central American posts.”

Other honors included an award to Kenneth Kero-Mentz, who just completed a tour in Berlin, for best AFSA representative at an overseas post. Erica L. Krug won the award for a family member of a Foreign Service employee who has “done most to advance American interests.”

Juliana G. Hightower, a community liaison officer in Addis Ababa, and Megan E. Gallardo, an office-management specialist, were also recognized.

Sen. Richard G. Lugar, Indiana Republican and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, presented an award for lifetime contributions to American diplomacy to former Sen. Sam Nunn. In 1991, Mr. Lugar and Mr. Nunn co-authored the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, which has become a key disarmament and nonproliferation tool.