World Food Prize Ambassador Quinn
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THE ARCHIVE OF AMBASSADOR KENNETH M. QUINN
FROM THE MISSISSIPPI TO THE MEKONG
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Christian Herter Award | American Foreign Service Association

01/01/2000 Amb. Kenneth Quinn

Ambassador Quinn was the recipient of this award for the initiative, integrity and intellectual courage he exhibited in regard to the security of the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh. The embassy had been evaluated as the most vulnerable U.S. diplomatic mission in the world. It had no Marine Security Guards and was badly exposed to a possible truck bomb attack. Rather than accept the halfway measures directed by the State Department which would still leave his staff exposed to mass casualties, Ambassador Quinn wrote to the Secretary of State in the Dissent Channel stating that he refused to implement the Department’s orders, demanding that they move to a new completely safe embassy building. His deputy Chief of Missions, Carol Rodley, also refused to carry out those directions. Their dissent led to the State Department committing all of the funds needed to build a new embassy that had security features meeting all requirements and with Marine Security Guards. He received the award, presented by the American Foreign Service Association, jointly with Ms. Rodley, who would later become Ambassador to Cambodia in 2008. When Ambassador Quinn received this award, he would become the only Foreign Service Officer in history to ever to receive the American Foreign Service Association awards for dissent and intellectual courage on three separate occasions. 

 

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