IESC Awards

IESC Honors Volunteers and Staff for Service, Dedication, and Impact

On May 13, IESC presented its annual awards to volunteers and staff for their service and dedication to improve lives and livelihoods around the world. The awards were presented in conjunction with the triannual Board of Directors’ meeting. This year, two volunteers and two staff members were recognized.

Frank Pace Award

IESC volunteer Susan Gurley accepts the Frank Pace Award in Washington, DC.

The Frank Pace Award was established in 1989 to recognize volunteers who performed the most outstanding project in the previous year. IESC was founded as a volunteer organization and volunteers continue to be a critical part of IESC's mission.

This year, IESC recognizes two volunteers for their exemplary service: Susan Gurley and Michael Braden.

Susan Gurley was selected for her work on the Capacity Building of Cambodia’s Local Organizations Program. Gurley provided critical support to the Reproductive and Child Health Alliance, which received a $10 million award from USAID for local programming. As a result of her volunteer assistance, RACHA was transformed. She helped to bring all administrative, operational and compliance-related activities up to the caliber required for organizations that receive U.S. Government funding—a tremendous undertaking.

Gurley has extensive experience with the U.S. Government and international development, including working for USAID, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the East-West Management Institute.

The Frank Pace co-recipient is Michael Braden, who was nominated for his work supporting the Middle East and North Africa Farmer to Farmer Program. Braden is currently a vice president for agricultural finance at Key Bank in Salem, Oregon. He took his vacation time to serve as the first volunteer on the program. As such, Braden helped to shape the strategic approach for activities related to access to finance in Egypt and helped set the stage for successful program implementation. 

After his assignment, Michael continued to provide support to the beneficiaries—as many IESC volunteers do—and blogged about his experience.

David Rockefeller “Spirit of Service” Award

The David Rockefeller Spirit of Service Award recognizes outstanding and continuing contributions to IESC. The award is named for David Rockefeller, who championed the idea of using private enterprise to spur economic development abroad and who helped found IESC. Established in 1992, the award is open to all members of the IESC family, including staff, consultants, chiefs of party, and volunteer experts.

This year’s David Rockefeller award winner is Erin Spinnell, associate vice president of program operations at IESC. Spinnell has been with the organization for 15 years and has served in a broad range of programmatic roles. Spinnell was recognized for her longtime commitment to IESC’s mission and to making IESC a better organization. She has demonstrated a commitment to quality and attention to detail that has become infused in the way that IESC does business. She cares deeply about the organization and its work and is a critical and committed member of the IESC family.

Tarek Nabhan “International Achievement” Award

Dr. Shahla Amiri accepts the Tarek Nabhan Award from IESC Associate Vice President Chad Ford in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The Tarek Nabhan International Achievement Award was established in 2013 to recognize staff members in the field who go above and beyond their normal job responsibilities to achieve excellence. The award is named after Tarek Nabhan, in honor of his 31 years of service to IESC.

The 2014 Tarek Nabhan Award is presented to Dr. Shahla Amiri for her incredible dedication and commitment to the Change Management and Capacity Building II Program in Afghanistan. Amiri serves as the program’s gender specialist, and despite the risk to her personal safety or reputation, she has engaged with government officials and other donor-funded programs to promote gender equity and to ensure that Afghan women's voices are heard and their needs addressed.

Amiri is highly regarded by all who have the opportunity to interact with her. She facilitated the establishment of Women’s Empowerment Working Group at the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock. The working group brings together all program partners and ministry offices to strengthen coordination and collaboration on gender issues, promote gender equality, and empower and involve women in agriculture and natural resource management.

For 51 years IESC has been successfully raising living standards, creating jobs, and growing businesses around the world because of our talented, committed, and creative staff and volunteers.