The Distinguished Honor Award is an award of the United States Department of State. Similar versions of the same award exist for the former U.S. Information Agency, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and USAID. It is presented to groups or individuals in recognition of exceptionally outstanding service or achievements of marked national or international significance.
The award consists of a gold medal set and a certificate signed by an assistant secretary, an official of equivalent rank or the Chief of Mission. Due to the demanding nature of the criteria, the award is not routinely issued; only two non-Ambassadorial rank Foreign Service Officers have ever received an individual award.〔Christopher W. Runckel journal, 1997, http://www.business-in-asia.com/vietnam_trip.html〕
The following criteria are applicable to granting a Distinguished Honor Award:
* Exceptionally outstanding service to the agencies or the U.S. Government resulting in achievements of marked national or international significance;
* Exceptionally outstanding service and/or leadership in the administration of one or more agency programs that results in the highly successful accomplishment of mission, or in a major attainment of objectives or specific accomplishment to meet unique or emergency situations; and
* Outstanding accomplishments over a prolonged period that involve the exercise of authority or judgment in the public interest.
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