AFSA's M. Juanita Guess Award
Sponsored by Clements Worldwide
The M. Juanita Guess Award is named in honor of Jon Clements’s mother, who instilled a deep and profound respect in her son for the U.S. Foreign Service. Jon, Clements Worldwide's Chairman, has personally presented the award every year since 1995, to Community Liaison Officers who have shown outstanding initiative in serving others and embodied the best that America has to offer abroad.
Building on its commitment to honor Foreign Service Members, Clements Worldwide gives several awards honoring those in Foreign Service and beyond, inspiring young people to also pursue a path of cultural diplomacy.
2021 Award Winner - Alisse Sergeant
This year’s award goes to Alisse Sargeant, a CLO at Embassy Beijing. During the pandemic, China declared an order of departure on January 29, 2020 that coincided with the holiday season, when many of Alisse’s embassy colleagues were back in America visiting their families.
As the only CLO at the Beijing Embassy, she sensed the importance of maintaining the close bonds the Embassy community had developed as a team in China. She began organizing virtual town halls on a regular basis to keep her colleagues connected and informed. She also published a weekly newsletter and sent individual emails to her fellow Embassy employees.
Mission China was the first post to experience a pandemic-related evacuation, so it has significantly guided the Department’s standards and practices for evacuations and returning Foreign Service members to their posts. Alisse served as a vital part of the Department-wide taskforce that was responsible for flying community members back to their respective Embassies.
Alisse worked tirelessly to reunite the Embassy Beijing team after they had spent 7 long months apart. But her efforts didn’t end there. When CLO funding was cut by 70% due to financial concerns with the AEA, Alisse took it upon herself to raise enough money to fund major community events. She simultaneously helped the AEA find proactive solutions to its funding issues.
Clements Worldwide is proud to congratulate Alisse Sargeant for receiving the M. Juanita Guess award for 2021. We applaud her for her efforts not just to help Embassy Beijing thrive, but for her broader example of American service and ideals in her involvement with the entire Department.