Ambassador Katherine Tai Recognizes USTR 2021 Awards Ceremony Recipients

June 24, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative held its annual awards ceremony today, recognizing outstanding achievement and service among the approximately 300 public servants at USTR.

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’s recipient is Elizabeth Falkner, Administration Officer for Geneva.

The Linda Enoch Award recognizes dedicated service and excellence in administrative management, including the qualities of professionalism, initiative, creativity, and respect for peers.  This year we recognize Sandy McKinzy, Legal Technician (Litigation) for the Office of the General Counsel.

The William B. Kelly Award recognizes an employee who demonstrates the highest standard of professional excellence in the trade field and sustained contributions and leadership in advancing USTR’s goals. The honoree must also show an exemplary degree of initiative and creativity, along with great respect from peers and superiors.  Brendan Lynch, DAUSTR for South and Central Asia is this year’s recipient.

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: Khalil Gharbieh, Tom Fine, Katy Sater, Sarah Lopp, Jennifer Carton, John Corrigan, Ross Bidlingmaier, Mike Rogers, Silvia Savich, Kari Heerman, Laurie-Ann Agama, Kent Shigetomi, Jennifer Stradtman, Victor Aqueche, Jonathan McHale, Deborah Tidwell, Earl Gladney, and Bart Thanhauser.

The Way-to-Go Award recognizes outstanding efforts when the team members’ contributions result in significant benefits to USTR. This year’s Way-to-Go Award recipients are: Catherine Laporte-Oshiro, Scott Livingston, Jesse Huang, Sean O’Connor, Ben Allen, Brenna Dougan, Karen Lezny, Jennifer Stradtman, and Sarah Ellerman.

This year’s Group/Team Award recipients are:

  • The Negotiation of the Brazil and Ecuador Protocols on Trade Rules and Transparency group: Courtney Smothers, Magaly Garcia, Leah Liston, Christina Kopitopoulos, Renee Hancher, Phil Butler, Christina Sevilla, and Sloane Strickler.
  • The Japan Trade Agreements (U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement and U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement) group: David Boling, Danielle Fumagalli, Maria Choi, Rosa Waddy, Leigh Bacon, Kate Hadley, Will Martyn, Sushan Demirjian, Rebecca Gudicello, Roger Wentzel, Erin Nicholson, Jonathan McHale, Sarah Ellerman, William Shpiece, Karen Lezny, and Yvonne Jamieson.
  • The Implementation of the USMCA Autos Rules of Origin group: Kent Shigetomi, Matt Siordia, and Nick Paster.
  • The Establishment of the United States Trade Representative USMCA Office in Mexico City, Mexico group: Deborah Tidwell, Linda Chambers, Earl Gladney, Zonda Fuller, Michelle Secrist, Tameka Cooper, Terri Lonon, Celestine Pressley, Carlos Romero, Daniel O’Brien, Sezaneh Seymour, Shelia Edwards, Brian Cochran, Calvin Jackson, Jon Johnson, and Jamesa Moone.
  • The USTR IT team: Drauthon Antoine, Yatrik Desai, Calvin Jackson, Jon Johnson, Kendall Sneed, Yuri Stern.
  • The Office of Human Capital and Services team: Taiwo Carmichael, Tiffany Enoch, Cassie Galla, Emily Harrison, Angela Morris, and Deborah Tidwell.


USTR also recognizes two retired colleagues with the Distinguished Career Service Award: Lewis Karesh, who served as the AUSTR for the Office of Labor Affairs, and Shelia Givens, who served as a Congressional Affairs Assistant for the Office of Congressional Affairs. Lewis Karesh joined USTR in 2005, and Shelia Givens joined USTR in 1982.