Seeking Nominations for the 2017 SOSA, CCE-EFM and Tragen Awards

Nominations of direct-hire employees and family members are solicited for three awards: the Secretary of State Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad (SOSA), the Champions of Career Enhancement for EFMs (CCE-EFM) Award, and the Tragen Award. SOSA and CCE-EFM are sponsored and administered by the Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide (AAFSW), a non-profit community organization for Foreign Service spouses, partners and employees. The Eleanor Dodson Tragen Award is sponsored and administered by DACOR, an organization of foreign affairs professionals. The SOSA, CCE-EFM, and Tragen awards will be presented at the annual AAFSW awards ceremony on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. Deadlines for all awards is June 30, 2017.


Description: The Secretary of State Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad (SOSA) was established in 1990 by Secretary of State James Baker and Mrs. Susan Baker. Funding for the award includes donations from former Secretaries of State, AAFSW members and an annual donation from the Green Family Foundation which supports social action.

Criteria: The SOSA Award recognizes volunteer efforts at posts overseas in the following areas: 1) remarkable service to the mission community; 2) outstanding activities directed towards the host country; and 3) exceptional service in emergency situations. Evaluation factors considered in the selection process include: scope and reach of activities, sustainability, ingenuity and leadership. A recipient is chosen from each regional bureau for their volunteer achievement. Winners will receive a cash award of $2500, a certificate signed by the Secretary of State, and a pin commemorating the November event. Travel to Washington for the awards ceremony will be paid by the individual bureaus. Eligibility: All active American USG direct-hire employees, their spouses and family members over the age of 18, their EFM domestic partners, and their members of household (MOH) are eligible. Previous nominees can be reconsidered if an updated summary statement is included.


Description: The AAFSW “Champions of Career Enhancement for Eligible Family Members” Award (CCE-EFM) was developed by AAFSW’s EFM Employment Committee to recognize and incentivize those who go above and beyond their job descriptions and routine daily activities to promote the cause of employment and career development for Foreign Service family members.

Criteria: The recipient(s) will be chosen for his/her/their individual or collective efforts, above and beyond any regular work duties, to adopt best practices and innovations that expand and elevate individual job opportunities and long-term career enhancement for Foreign Service family members. The winning individual or group will receive a cash award of $750 and will be honored at the November 7 ceremony. Eligibility: All active American USG direct-hire employees, their spouses and family members over the age of 18, their EFM domestic partners, and their members of household (MOH) are eligible. Any of the above also may nominate an outstanding Locally Employed Staff (LES) member, Personal Services Contractor (PSC), or third-party contractor who has significantly exceeded work requirements to expand job opportunities and/or long-term career enhancement for Foreign Service family members.


Description: The Eleanor Dodson Tragen Award honors a spouse, family member, EFM domestic partner, or member of household (MOH), who has effectively advocated and promoted rights, programs, services and benefits for Foreign Service families in the tradition of the AAFSW and its members, as did the late Mrs. Tragen.

Criteria: The recipient will be chosen for his/her volunteer efforts to enhance, improve, broaden, or make more effective services, rights and benefits provided to FS spouses, families, EFM domestic partners, and household members. The initiative to be recognized should benefit more than just a specific mission activity at one post, but offer promise of replication or application throughout the Foreign Service. Nominees must agree to attend the November awards ceremony if selected. The winner will receive the cash award of $2,000, funded by the income from an endowment established by DACOR Bacon House Foundation, and if posted outside of Washington, DC, two nights free lodging at DACOR Bacon House. Eligibility: Nominees must be spouses, family members, EFM domestic partners, or members of household (MOH) of FS employees, active or retired. Previous nominees can be considered if an updated justification sheet is included.


Nominations for all awards are not to exceed three pages double spaced and must include the following information: the nominee’s name including middle initial; the relationship to the direct-hire employee or retiree; the nominee’s e-mail address; the nominator’s name and relationship to nominee; a justification for the nomination including specific actions and qualities that fulfill the award criteria; and the name of the nominee’s hometown newspaper and U.S. representative in Congress. Nominations for the SOSA and CCE-EFM awards may be submitted via the AAFSW website ( for SOSA, or for CCE-EFM), or may be sent to the AAFSW Office by e-mail (Word documents only) to Additional supporting materials such as letters of commendation or photos may be uploaded with the website nomination form, or emailed to Nominations for the Tragen Award should be sent to DACOR by e-mail to Susan Cimburek at Nominations for all three awards must be received no later than June 30, 2017.

The SOSA and Tragen Awards are given for volunteer activities only. Only nominees who are serving or have served abroad under the authority of the Chief of Mission or are abroad in Involuntary Separate Maintenance Allowance (ISMA) status are eligible. Posts or individuals may submit as many nominations as they wish provided the nominees meet the criteria. Rather than submitting several nominations for the same individual from one post, AAFSW recommends a group nomination for that person. The selection committee for the SOSA Awards will include representatives from AAFSW, FLO and the Executive Director of the regional bureaus. The winner of the CCE-EFM Award will be selected by members of the AAFSW EFM Employment Committee and a FLO representative. The selection committee for the Tragen Award will include representatives from DACOR, AAFSW, AFSA, and FLO. All nominees will be notified as soon as the selections are made.


For additional information on the SOSA and CCM-EFM Awards, contact AAFSW at, or by phone at 703-820-5420. For additional information on the Tragen Award, contact DACOR Executive Director Susan Cimburek at or by phone at 202-682-0500, ext. 14.