Office of the Spokesperson
U.S. Department of State’s “Heroes of U.S. Diplomacy” initiative will recognize Ambassadors Deborah Malac, John Hoover, Alexander Laskaris, and Dr. Gary Penner, Kathleen FitzGibbon, Ervin Massinga, Sheila Paskman, and Dr. Gregory Martin for their steadfastness in advancing the Department of State’s mission during the 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
On Wednesday, October 13 at 11 a.m. ET, “Heroes of U.S. Diplomacy” honorees, then posted at U.S. embassies in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, will discuss the instrumental role they played in developing a comprehensive strategy to overcome fear and denial, build government capacity, lead interagency teams, advise local and foreign governments, and win public trust during the evolving epidemic. The discussion will be moderated by Ambassador (ret.) Nancy Powell, who led Ebola epidemic response efforts from Washington. The Foreign Service Institute’s Deputy Director Joan Polaschik will deliver opening remarks.
Since September 2019, the Department of State has recognized “Heroes of U.S. Diplomacy.” These heroes display sound policy judgment, as well as intellectual, moral, and even physical courage while advancing the mission of the Department of State and U.S. foreign policy goals on behalf of the American people.