The 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.

Lesley Dorman was AAFSW president from 1976 to 1981, and served AAFSW in many other capacities, including Program Chair, Housing Office Chair and Public Relations Chair. In 1977, she directed the Forum Committee survey that resulted in the influential “Report on the Concerns of Foreign Service Spouses and Families.” The report convinced then-Secretary Cyrus Vance to support the creation of the Family Liaison Office, which was opened in 1978 with Lesley’s involvement. Lesley was also involved in the creation of the Overseas Briefing Center.   

By testifying on Capitol Hill, Lesley worked to ensure that the Foreign Service Act of 1980 included a ground-breaking provision which held that a Foreign Service Pension be equally divided between spouses upon divorce unless an agreement or court order existed to the contrary.  Later on, the   process was altered to award the divorcing spouse a pro-rated share of the annuity based on the number of years married and in the Foreign Service before the divorce.  Lesley became passionate about this issue after meeting long-married Foreign-Service spouses who were living in poverty after a divorce.

To learn more about Lesley’s remarkable life, and her outstanding work with AAFSW, read the ADST (The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training) Oral History interview of Lesley by clicking this link and read this article by Mette Beecroft by clicking here.

Dorman Award Winners

2023 Ambassador Patrick Kennedy, Betty Swope

2022 Joanna Athanasopoulos Owen, PhD

2021 Cathy Salvaterra

2020 Katarina Hamilton

2019 Sherry Barndollar Rock

2018 Catherine Pierce

2017 Anna Dworken

2016 June Carmichael

2015 Patricia Linderman

2014 Lara Center

2013 Barbara Reioux

2012 Debbi Miller

2011 Faye Barnes

2010 Anne Kauzlarich

2009 Sheila Switzer

2008 Lucy Whitley

2007 Judy Felt

2006 Lisa Wilkinson, Dianne Bodeen

2005 Terri Williams

2004 Chris Zarr

2003 Barbara Ratigan

2002 Melissa Hess

2001 Jan Fischer-Bachman

2000 Alice Chirieleison

1999 Doris Reddington, Loretta Jones

1997 Mette Beecroft

1996 Christine Shurtleff

1995 Ann La Porta

1993 Patricia Ryan