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Ambassador Robert E. Lighthizer Announces USTR Annual Awards During Virtual Event

December 11, 2020

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative held its annual awards ceremony, recognizing outstanding achievement and service among the more than 250 employees at USTR.  

This year, we announced the first ever Ambassador’s Award, which is given in recognition of extraordinary efforts of an individual who goes significantly beyond the requirements of their position and makes notable contributions in advancing U.S. trade interests.  The Ambassador’s Award went to Constance A. Hamilton, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for African Affairs.  Connie is a 41-year veteran of federal service with 20 years at USTR, having served as a distinguished economist and trade negotiator.  Connie and her team launched Free Trade Agreement talks with Kenya earlier this year and have made substantial progress in the ensuing months under difficult conditions imposed by the pandemic.

The William B. Kelly Award recognizes an employee who demonstrates the highest standard of professional excellence in the trade field and demonstrates sustained contributions and leadership in advancing USTR’s goals, an exemplary degree of initiative and creativity, and great respect from peers and superiors.  This year’s recipient is Roy Malmrose, Policy Analyst in the WTO & Multilateral Affairs office and one of the longest-serving employees at USTR.  Roy is well-known across the U.S. government and in the stakeholder community for his expertise in industrial subsidies and safeguards and is a lead subsidy negotiator in the WTO and its committees and groups.  

The Linda Enoch Award recognizes dedicated service and excellence in administrative management, including the qualities of professionalism, initiative, creativity, and respect of peers.  This year’s recipient is Tia Potskhverashvili, Trade Research Assistant in the Environment & Natural Resources Office.  Tia’s positive professionalism has earned her the respect and warm admiration of not only her colleagues in the Environment Office, but of USTR staff across the agency.

The Excellence in Service Award recognizes an employee who has made an extraordinary contribution in an administrative services position over a period of at least two years.  This year we recognize Drauthon Antoine, who serves as an IT Network Specialist in the Administration Office.  Drauthon has been instrumental in promoting and providing IT services and assistance throughout USTR, and he helped lead the redesign of the initial phases of USTR’s intranet systems while working under difficult conditions.

USTR also recognizes two recently retired colleagues with the Distinguished Career Service Award:

Sharon Bomer-Lauritsen was most recently Assistant United States Trade Representative for Agriculture, ably expanding opportunities around the world for U.S. agricultural producers and exporters.  Both her skills as a negotiator with foreign counterparts and her outreach to the wide community of U.S. agriculture stakeholders were exemplary.  She also served on USTR’s Performance Review Board and the Awards Committee to help ensure that USTR recruited, nurtured, and rewarded the very best personnel.

John Melle served as Assistant United States Trade Representative for the Western Hemisphere and as lead negotiator for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).  John’s decades of exemplary service at USTR were capped off by achieving a landmark trade deal with America’s two largest trading partners.  John was a true USTR institutionalist, and all those who worked with him benefited enormously from his dedication to USTR and its mission.  

The Superior Achievement Award recognizes employees for special efforts significantly above and beyond the requirements for their position.  This year’s Superior Achievement Award recipients are: David Boling, Linda Chambers, Julia Doherty, Jerry Duran, Elizabeth Kosobucki, Karen Lezny, Amanda Mayhew, Kelly Milton, Jamesa Moone, Celestine Pressley, Carlos Romero, Deborah Tidwell.