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Meet the 2021 Dorman Award Winner, Cathy Salvaterra

The 2021 winner of the Lesley Dorman Award for lifetime service to AAFSW is Cathy Salvaterra, unanimously chosen by the selection committee consisting of previous Dorman Award recipients.

Among many other contributions to AAFSW and the Foreign Service community, Cathy Salvaterra served as Chair of the Secretary of State’s Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad (SOSA) for four years, establishing standard operating procedures for the administration of the SOSA program and spearheading an online history of the award written by Sarah Genton. 

In 2010, Cathy began volunteering for AAFSW’s annual Art and BookFair, working weekly in the BookRoom and during the Fair itself. Since 2011, she has worked in the Department each Tuesday from January to September pricing donated books for the Fair, along with her Book Room colleague B.J. Harrick. This work has resulted in many thousands of dollars raised for scholarships and other AAFSW initiatives in support of the foreign affairs community.2021 Dorman recipient, Cathy Salvaterra

The Salvaterra Foreign Service history began in August 1983 when her husband was assigned to Ankara, Turkey.  She reports, “Despite the joys and challenges of raising three daughters overseas, I always managed to find meaningful employment at our posts overseas.  I served as CLO Coordinator in both Ankara and Brasilia, Brazil.   I was an ESL teacher for 3 years in a Japanese public high school in Tokyo.  And for 3 years in Bonn, Germany I worked in the Embassy HR Office and was responsible for family member employment and local AMCIT hiring.”

Cathy served overseas at 5 posts over 17 consecutive years with no Washington assignments.  Upon her return to DC in 1999, she was hired as the CLO Program Coordinator in the Family Liaison Office where she had worldwide responsibility for the management of the CLO program and CLO training. She remained in that position for four years until her retirement from the Department of State in 2003.

The Lesley Dorman Award was created in 1993, to honor Lesley Dorman, AAFSW president from 1976 to 1981. Lesley played a key role in the groundbreaking “Report on the Concerns of Foreign Service Spouses and Families,” the creation of the Family Liaison Office. and much more. The award recognizes an AAFSW member who has performed outstanding service in all aspects of the organization. Cathy Salvaterra’s contributions to SOSA, the Art & BookFair, the BookRoom and many other areas make her a well-deserving recipient of this award.

The award was presented on November 18 at the hybrid AAFSW Awards Ceremony hosted at DACOR-Bacon House. Former Dorman Award winner Mette Beecroft introduced Cathy and the award, and Brian McKeon, Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources, joined Mette in presenting the award certificate and silver platter.