Walter and Leonore Annenberg Excellence in Diplomacy Award

The Walter and Leonore Annenberg Award for Excellence in Diplomacy is an annual award given by the American Academy of Diplomacy in recognition of an individual or group who has made exemplary contributions to the field of American diplomacy. It is the Academy’s highest honor and its purpose is to highlight the important contribution of all aspects of diplomacy to the nation’s business.

The Award is presented at the Academy’s Annual Awards Luncheon at the State Department in the fall, during which the recipient acts as keynote speaker. Recipients of the Annenberg Award are recommended by the Academy’s Executive Committee and are approved by the Board of Directors.

Secretary William J. Perry, Annenberg Award recipient, accepting his award at the 2017 Awards Luncheon.

Recipients of the Annenberg Award:

2020: Jimmy Carter
39th President, 76th Governor of Georgia, former Georgia Senator, and Carter Center co-founder

2019: John Negroponte
Deputy Secretary of State, Director of National Intelligence, Ambassador to Honduras, Mexico, the Philippines, the United Nations, and Iraq

2018: James A. Baker, III
13th and 19th White House Chief of Staff and 61st United States Secretary of State

2017: William J. Perry
The 19th United States Secretary of Defense

2016: Robert B. Zoellick
Former World Bank Group President & U.S. Trade Representative

2015: William J. Burns
Under Secretary of State

2014: Carla A. Hills
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

2013: George P. Shultz
Secretary of State

2012: Richard G. Lugar
Senator

Hal Saunders Annenberg Award
Hal Saunders with Academy Chairman and President Thomas Pickering (L) and Ronald Neumann (R)

2011: Robert Gates
Secretary of Defense

2010: Harold Saunders
Director of international affairs, the Kettering Foundation

2009: William Lacy Swing
Director General, International Organization for Migration (IOM)

2008: Ryan C. Crocker
Ambassador to Iraq

2007: Christopher Hill
Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs

2006: Max M. Kampelman
Head of the United States Delegation to the Negotiations with the Soviet Union on Nuclear and Space Arms

2005: Men and Women of the Foreign and Civil Service
Accepted by Under Secretary R. Nicholas Burns

2004: Joseph J. Sisco
Former Undersecretary of State

2003: John Danforth
Former Senator

2002 Secretary Colin Powell, Senator Lugar 1
Secretary Colin Powell, with Academy Chairman Joseph Sisco and Senator Richard Lugar
2001 Excellence in Diplomacy Award Kofi Annan with Chairman Joe Sisco
Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan and his wife Nane Annan, with Chairman Joseph Sisco

2002: Colin L. Powell
Secretary of State

2001: Kofi Annan
UN Secretary General

2000: Richard Lugar & Sam Nunn
Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program

1999: Stuart Eizenstat
Deputy Secretary of the Treasury

1998: George Mitchell
Peace Negotiations on Northern Ireland

1997: George F. Kennan
Lifetime Contributions to Diplomacy

1996: Dennis Ross
Special Middle East Coordinator

1996: Richard Holbrooke
Dayton Peace Accords on Bosnia

1995: Robert Gallucci
Ambassador-at-Large; North Korean Negotiations

1994: General John Vessey (USA, ret.)
President Emissary to Hanoi for missing American servicemen

1993: Robert Oakley
Special Envoy to Somalia

1991: Vernon Walters
Ambassador to Germany

1990: Thomas Pickering
Ambassador to the United Nations

1989: Rozanne Ridgway
Assistant, Secretary of State for European Affairs

1988: Stephen W. Bosworth
Ambassador to the Philippines

Walter and Leonore Annenberg

Walter and Leonore Annenberg, founders of the Annenberg Foundation

Recipient

Jimmy Carter

39th President, 76th Governor of Georgia, former Georgia Senator, Carter Center co-founder, and Nobel Peace Prize awardee

Winner of the 2020 Walter and Leonore Annenberg Award for Excellence in Diplomacy.

President Jimmy Carter (James Earl Carter, Jr.), thirty-ninth president of the United States, was born Oct. 1, 1924, in the small farming town of Plains, Georgia, and grew up in the nearby community of Archery. His father, James Earl Carter, Sr., was a farmer and businessman; his mother, Lillian Gordy Carter, a registered nurse.

He was educated in the public school of Plains, attended Georgia Southwestern College and the Georgia Institute of Technology, and received a B.S. degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1946. In the Navy he became a submariner, serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets and rising to the rank of lieutenant. Chosen by Admiral Hyman Rickover for the nuclear submarine program, he was assigned to Schenectady, New York, where he took graduate work at Union College in reactor technology and nuclear physics and served as senior officer of the pre-commissioning crew of the Seawolf, the second nuclear submarine.

On July 7, 1946, he married Rosalynn Smith of Plains. When his father died in 1953, he resigned his naval commission and returned with his family to Georgia. He took over the Carter farms, and he and Rosalynn operated Carter’s Warehouse, a general-purpose seed and farm supply company in Plains. He quickly became a leader of the community, serving on county boards supervising education, the hospital authority, and the library. In 1962 he won election to the Georgia Senate. He lost his first gubernatorial campaign in 1966, but won the next election, becoming Georgia’s 76th governor on January 12, 1971. He was the Democratic National Committee campaign chairman for the 1974 congressional and gubernatorial elections.