The annual AAFSW/Secretary of State's Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad (SOSA) recognizes the outstanding volunteer activities of U.S. Government employees, spouses, family members over the age of 18, and members of household who are living and working overseas.
The SOSA award was created in 1990 with the direct encouragement and support of then Secretary of State James A. Baker and his wife Susan. AAFSW administers the award through generous contributions from former Secretaries of State as well as AAFSW members.
Nominations are accepted from posts worldwide and cover volunteer activities in one or more of the following categories:
- Exceptional service to the USG community at post.
- Outstanding activities directed toward the host country.
- Exceptional service in emergencies at post.
A recipient is chosen from each of the Department of State's six geographical bureaus. Each winner receives:
- A cash award of $3,000.
- A pin commemorating the annual AAFSW awards ceremony.
- A certificate signed by the Secretary of State.
Below are the 2008 Winners from State's six geographical bureaus:
- Sherilynn R. Tounger – Ouagadougou (AF-African Affairs)
- Amy E. Robinson – Rangoon (EAP-East Asian Pacific)
- Bridget L. Guerrero – Ankara (EUR-European Affairs)
- Susan C. Mattes – Baghdad (NEA-Near East Asia)
- Calvin L. McQueen – Karachi (SCA-South and Central Asia)
- Ellen J. Brager – Santo Domingo (WHA-Western Hemisphere)
The Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide (AAFSW) is a non-profit organization that has been representing Foreign Service spouses, employees and retirees since 1960. AAFSW is an independent advocate for its membership, giving members a stronger voice when working on common concerns and a chance to enjoy shared interests. Membership is open to all adult family members of the foreign affairs agencies who have served, or are subject to service, at a U.S. diplomatic mission. Read more about AAFSW here.