Diana Putman ’78 Wins Award for Constructive Dissent

Posted February 16th, 2011 at 6:08 pm.

photo of diana putmanAt a ceremony at the U.S. Department of State  last June, the American Foreign Service Association presented an award for “constructive dissent” to Diana Putman ’78, an official at the U.S. Agency for International Development.

In 2009, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was planning a visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo focusing on sexual violence against women. AFRICOM, the U.S. military’s African headquarters, developed a plan to conduct short-term surgical or psychological treatment of victims of sexual violence. Arguing development experts and NGOs already in the country were better suited than the military to provide such services, Putman challenged the plan and urged that AFRICOM instead build or rehabilitate buildings that NGOs or the Congolese government could use to provide these services. Although she initially met with resistance, Putman pursued the issue to the top of the command structure and persuaded the general in charge to adopt her plan.

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