Leonard Marks Foundation Essay Contest
for Creative Thought and Writing on American Foreign Policy
Sponsored by the American Academy of Diplomacy

The American Academy of Diplomacy is a private, non-profit, non-partisan organization whose membership includes 200 men and women who have held positions of major responsibility in the formulation and implementation of American foreign policy. They believe that diplomacy, backed by America’s strength, plays an indispensable role in the promotion of U.S. interests abroad. It is therefore of critical importance that the highest possible standards distinguish our diplomacy in practice.

To that end, the Academy annually sponsors this essay contest, for the last five years, named for and supported by the late Leonard Marks, a prominent Washington, DC lawyer who was a former director of the United States Information Agency, which has now been integrated into the Department of State. He also served as the former chairman of our Academy’s Executive Committee, the chairman of the Executive Committee of the Foreign Policy Association, and the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Fund. He was actively involved with many other foreign policy and diplomacy-related organizations during his lifetime.

**2009 marked the last year for the Leonard Marks Essay Contest, and we thank the Leonard Marks Foundation for its support.**

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2009 Winners

The Academy is pleased to present the first prize of the Marks Essay Contest to Ches Thurber of Tufts University for his essay titled, "Reassessing Diplomatic Strategy Toward Iran." Second prize goes to Christine Osowski of Georgetown University for her essay, "Setting the Agenda for US-China Relations." Mr. Thurber and Ms. Osowski will be recognized at the Academy's annual awards ceremony at the US Department of State in December 2009, and will be given cash prizes of $8,000 and $5,000, respectively.

The Academy heartily congratulates Mr. Thurber and Ms. Osowski for receiving the highest rankings by the Academy's Essay Committee, especially due to the large number of submissions the Academy received and the high degree of competition for this year's award.

2009 Winning Essays

Reassessing Diplomatic Strategy Toward Iran, by Ches Thurber
Tufts University

Setting the Agenda for US-China Relations, by Christine Osowski
Georgetown University

2009 Runners-up:

Engaging Russia Realistically, by Brian Carlson
John Hopkins University - Nanjing University

An Iranian Grand Bargain, by Farbod Elihu
American University

A Limited Commitment in Afghanistan, by Gabriel Francis Geisler Mesevage
University of St. Andrews

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Previous Winners of the Leonard Marks Essay Contest

2008: First Prize: Zachary Wasserman, Yale University
Topic:
Managing China's Rise, [PDF]

Second Prize: Daniel Liss, Georgetown University
Topic: A Three-Pronged Approach to China, [PDF]

2007: First Prize: Joyce M. Lawrence, University of California at San Diego.
Topic: “Venezuela’s Proposal for a Banco del Sur” [PDF]

Second Prize: Christopher M. Dorle, University of Michigan.
Topic: US Policy Toward Pakistan”

Third Prize: David Dreilinger, Georgetown University.
Topic: Implications of Iranian Nuclear Weapons and Strategies for Stopping the Nuclear Program

2006: First Prize: Andrew Prosser, Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva.
Topic: Engaging Iran to Impose Limits on its Nuclear Program.

Second Prize: James Stocker, Graduate Institute of International Studies , Geneva.
Topic: Options for Setting Criteria for Troop Withdrawal from Iraq

Third Prize: Evan McKay, DePaul University.
Topic: US - China Relations: A Balanced Approach

2005: First Prize: Arturo Lopez Levy, University of Denver.
Topic: Reclaiming Policy Initiative in Cuba by Redesigning Travel Sanctions

Second Prize: Ludovic Hood, Columbia University.
Topic: Alleviating the Humanitarian Tragedy in the Darfur Region of the Sudan

Third Prize: Kelley Cantrell, George Washington University.
Topic: US Position on the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization

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