WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (December 5-11, 2011)

VOLUNTEERING

Group honors six for their volunteerism abroad.” By Teresa Tomassoni. Yale Daily News. December 7, 2011. For 19 years, Nam Nguyen, has followed his partner, Bryan Dalton, a Foreign Service officer, around the world. Until recently, the former investment banker struggled to find work while traveling without a diplomatic visa, which was not issued to same-sex partners of diplomats until 2009. In recent years, however, Nguyen discovered “an alternative to a permanent career” by diving into international volunteer work. At a ceremony Tuesday at the State Department in Washington, Nguyen was recognized for organizing the first month-long Pride celebration of gay, lesbian, bisxeual and transgender rights at the U.S. Consulate General in Chennai, India, where his partner was posted from 2008 to 2011. He was one of six Foreign Service officers and family members awarded the Secretary of State Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad by the Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide, a nonprofit group that has represented Foreign Service spouses, employees and retirees for more than 50 years. More than a hundred men and women who have done tremendous volunteer service in their host countries have received the award since it was created in 1990 with the encouragement of then-Secretary of State James A. Baker and his wife, Susan. Recipients also receive a $2,500 cash grant.

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