New Benjamin Joy Award Honors U.S. Embassy Ethiopia Team

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The first-ever joint award given by the U.S. Departments of State and Commerce was presented today to the U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Charles H. Rivkin and Department of Commerce Global Markets Assistant Secretary and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service Arun Kumar presented the Benjamin Joy award to the U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa State-Commerce-Team at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The Benjamin Joy Award was created to highlight and promote interagency collaboration and honor commercial diplomacy excellence. The winning team, led by former U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Patricia M. Haslach, includes Deputy Chief of Mission Peter H. Vrooman, Senior Foreign Commercial Service Officer Tanya Cole, Trade and Investment Promotion Officer Gaia Self, Commercial Specialist Tewodros Tefera, and Advocacy Center Regional Manager Nnaji Campbell. Embassy Addis Ababa’s leadership and innovation advanced U.S. business interests in Ethiopia and created a model for U.S. missions to support fair competition and increase U.S. exports in Africa.

The winner was selected from 43 nominations from posts around the world. The award’s namesake, Benjamin Joy, was an early exemplar of U.S. commercial and economic diplomacy, appointed in 1792 by President George Washington as the first American Consul and Commercial Agent to India. Today, there are more than 200 diplomatic outposts helping to strengthen America’s economic reach and positive economic impact.

For updates, follow Assistant Secretary Rivkin on Facebook and Twitter @AmbRivkin and @EconEngage. Follow Assistant Secretary Kumar at @Tradegov.

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