Clifton Jeffery, a Special Agent with the U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), received the Award for Heroism from former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, prior to her departure, for his courageous actions during a terrorist attack on a motorcade in Peshawar, Pakistan—one of the most dangerous high-threat cities in the world.
The U.S. Department of State Heroism Award recognizes acts of courage or outstanding performance under unusually difficult or dangerous circumstances by employees of the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and Marine Security Guards who are assigned to diplomatic and consular facilities.
Special Agent Jeffery received the award for his actions while serving as an Assistant Regional Security Officer at the U.S. Consulate General Peshawar, Pakistan. Peshawar sits on the edge of Pakistan’s tribal areas, which, in recent years, has been the site of numerous terrorist attacks. In May 2011, Jeffery was driving in a motorcade traveling through Peshawar when a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) exploded a few feet from the vehicle directly in front of him—severely damaging it. Jeffery and three other Diplomatic Security Special Agents immediately exited the safety of their armored car and went to the aid of two other Special Agents who were trapped inside the heavily damaged and burning vehicle. After gaining access and moving the injured agents to his vehicle, leaving the bombed out car behind, he helped all agents return to a secure location. For those actions Special Agent Jeffery and the other three DSS Special Agents were recognized by the Secretary of State with the U.S. Department of State Award for Heroism.
“All four of the DS Special Agents performed masterfully in one of the most significant terrorist attacks against Foreign Service personnel in recent years,” said Bill Miller, Deputy Assistant Secretary for High Threat Posts, Bureau of Diplomatic Security. “They were instrumental in coordinating the movements of the security team during the crisis as well as executing the proper response. The agents’ actions reflect not only their laudable physical courage, but also the highest traditions of the Diplomatic Security Service.”
“I don’t look at the circumstances of that day as doing anything heroic,” said Special Agent Jeffery. “We do what we are trained to do and we instinctively look after our friends and colleagues in the face of danger—the same way we would expect them to look out for us.”
Jeffery is the son of Clifton Jeffery, Sr., and Christine Jeffery, both residents of Vicksburg. He spent most of his early life in Mississippi—attending Warren Central High School, Tougaloo College, and Mississippi College School of Law, where he earned a JD degree. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and U.S. Army Reserve from 2001 to 2007.
Jeffery became a U.S. Department of State Special Agent with the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Diplomatic Security Service, in 2007. DSS Special Agents are assigned a variety of duties in the United States and overseas—including criminal investigations, dignitary and VIP protection, and security of U.S. Diplomatic Missions. In addition to Peshawar, Pakistan, Jeffery has served in the DS Houston Field Office and is currently an Assistant Regional Security Officer at the U.S. Embassy Gaborone, Botswana.
The Bureau of Diplomatic Security is the U.S. Department of State's law enforcement and security arm. The special agents, engineers, and security professionals of the Bureau are responsible for the security of more than 280 diplomatic missions around the world. In the United States, Diplomatic Security personnel protect the U.S. Secretary of State and high-ranking foreign dignitaries and officials visiting the United States, investigate passport and visa fraud, and conduct personnel security investigations. For additional information about the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, visit www.state.gov/m/ds.
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Bureau of Diplomatic Security Public Affairs