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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Ceremony for Award for Courage and Dissent

In 2000, Ambassador Quinn and Carol Rodley, his Deputy Chief of Mission in Cambodia, received the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) Christian Herter Award for intellectual courage and dissent. The award presentation took place in a ceremony in the Benjamin Franklin Room of the State Department. Ambassador Quinn's two sons, Davin and Shandon, were present for the event. The Ambassador and Ms. Rodley were honored for their action in refusing to implement the State Department's orders about how to best fortify the badly exposed US Embassy building in Phnom Penh. At that time, the US Embassy in Phnom Penh had no Marine security guards and was judged to be the most exposed and vulnerable U.S. Diplomatic Mission anywhere in the world. In a Dissent Channel message to the Secretary of State, Ambassador Quinn stated that following the Department's orders would leave the Embassy and the entire staff still vulnerable to terrorist attacks which could kill or injure the entire Embassy staff. DCM Rodley sent her own separate message stating that if the Secretary removed Ambassador Quinn, she would also refuse to implement the Department's orders. As a result of their Principled Stand, the State Department was forced to revise its instructions and then built an entire new Embassy in Phnom Penh which met all security standards. With this award, Ambassador Quinn became the only Foreign Service Officer in history to win the AFSA Awards for courage and dissent on three separate occasions.

 

Ken at ceremony with Carol

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