January 1, 1998 Amb. Kenneth Quinn
For the second consecutive year, Ambassador Quinn was presented this award for his embassy’s continued excellent reporting, including his personal prediction that efforts would be made to assassinate certain top political leaders. He also protected a threatened political activist by hiding him inside the embassy for two months. In addition, Ambassador Quinn was the first foreign ambassador to reach An Long Veng, the long-time stronghold of the Khmer Rouge leaders including Pol Pot. By interviewing defectors, he personally reported the information about the location of secret hideouts used by Pol Pot in Thailand. Based on Ambassador Quinn’s reporting, a special U.S. Delta Force operation with U.S. Marshals was put into place at his embassy in Phnom Penh in an effort to capture Pol Pot and bring him to justice. Ambassador Quinn’s actions led to pressure being applied to force Pol Pot back into Cambodia, where he committed suicide to avoid capture.