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Grants & Fellowships

Foreign Service Adult Family Member and Employee Grants and Fellowships

The Secretary of State’s Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad (SOSA)

The annual AAFSW/Secretary of State’s Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad (SOSA) recognizes the outstanding volunteer activities of U.S. Government employees, family members, and members of household over the age of 18 serving overseas.

For more information about the SOSA award, click here or email

Lesley Dorman Award

In 1993, AAFSW decided to honor Lesley Dorman for her accomplishments and untiring efforts on behalf of the Foreign Service community by creating the Lesley Dorman Award. The award recognizes an AAFSW member who has performed outstanding service in all aspects of the organization. The award is given at the annual AAFSW Volunteer Awards Program in December. For more information, email

Tragen Award

The Eleanor Dodson Tragen Award honors the memory of AAFSW member Eleanor Dodson Tragen and recognizes a member of the Foreign Service Community who has effectively advocated for and enhanced the global rights and benefits provided to the Foreign Service community. The award is sponsored and administered by DACOR, an organization of foreign affairs professionals. The award is funded by the income from a gift to DACOR Bacon House Foundation from retired FSO Irving Tragen and is is given at the annual AAFSW Volunteer Awards Program in December. For more information, email

AFSA Awards for Exemplary Performance or Voluntary Activities at Post

AFSA offers three awards for exemplary performance of assigned duties or voluntary duties at an overseas post that constitute extraordinary contributions to effectiveness, professionalism and morale.

  1. The Nelson B. Delavan Award acknowledges the work of a Foreign Service Office Management Specialist who has made a significant contribution to post or office effectiveness and morale beyond the framework of her/his job responsibilities.
  2. The M. Juanita Guess Award goes to a Community Liaison Officer who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, dedication, initiative or imagination in assisting the families of Americans serving at an overseas post.
  3. The Avis Bohlen Award recognizes the accomplishments of a family member of a Foreign Service employee whose relations with the American and foreign communities at post have done the most to advance the interests of the United States, in the tradition of the late Avis Bohlen.

All nominations are submitted to a panel of judges composed of both active and retired members of the Foreign Service, as well as family members of Foreign Service employees. All winners and runners-up selected by the judges’ panels are subject to final confirmation by the AFSA Awards and Plaque Committee, chaired by Ambassador Bruce Laingen.

Winners receive a cash prize of $2500, framed certificates signed by the president of AFSA, and are honored at a ceremony in late June in the Benjamin Franklin Diplomatic Reception Room at the State Department.

Questions about any of the awards may be directed to Barbara Berger, Coordinator for Professional Issues, at

Detailed information on nomination procedures and guidelines can be found on AFSA’s website.

The J. Kirby Simon Foreign Service Trust

The J. Kirby Simon Foreign Service Trust is a charitable fund established in the memory of Kirby Simon, a Foreign Service Officer who died in 1995 while serving in Taiwan . The Trust is committed to expanding the opportunities for professional and community service and personal well being of active-duty Foreign Service personnel and their families.

The Trust’s main activity is to support projects – initiated on a voluntary basis by members of the extended Foreign Service family (American and locally engaged employees and family members) – that seek, on a modest scale, to improve the health and welfare of people living in the host countries. Projects are usually conducted in cooperation with local charitable or educational organizations. Since its inception in 1997 the Trust has made ten rounds of grants, more than 245 in all, to support projects based in more than 80 countries.

The J. Kirby Simon Foreign Service Trust commends all current and prior grant recipients on their commitment to voluntary community service. The deadline for applications is March 1 of each year. Please consult the Trust’s website for more information.

For more information on past projects or application procedures, please contact:

J. Kirby Simon Foreign Service Trust
82 Edgehill Road
New Haven, CT 06511
Phone: (203) 432-2698
Fax (303) 432-0063

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