The Government of Albania has bestowed on Diplomatic Security Special Agent Barry Hale its Medal of Honor for distinguished service in support of the Albanian State Police.
The award is the highest honor that the Albanian government can confer upon a foreign official, and it also marks the first time that the Albanian government has so honored a U.S. Embassy employee.
During the April 23, 2013 presentation at the Ministry of the Interior in the capital of Tirana, Albanian Minister of the Interior Flamur Noka praised Special Agent Hale for his contribution to strengthening the professional capacity of the Albanian State Police as well as cooperation between U.S. and Albanian law enforcement agencies.
During his 2010 to 2013 tenure as the U.S. Embassy’s Regional Security Officer in Tirana, Special Agent Hale was responsible for managing security for U.S. diplomatic personnel and facilities in Albania. During his assignment in Tirana, Special Agent Hale managed nine extraditions, including that of Hektor Kelmendi, named as one of five most-wanted human trafficking suspects by the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Working with U.S. Embassy staff in Tirana and Albanian police authorities, Special Agent Hale also developed an enhanced security plan that doubled the number of Albanian law-enforcement personnel assigned to protect U.S. facilities.
Hale also built such strong partnerships between the U.S. Embassy and Albanian police that when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the country in November 2012, the Albanian state police supported the trip with a dedicated and robust contingent of officers.
Special Agent Hale earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Master’s in Public Administration from Murray State University. He joined the U.S. Department of State in 1999 as a special agent with the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Diplomatic Security Service. DS 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.
Prior to Special Agent Hales’ assignment in Tirana, he served in the Diplomatic Security Service offices in Denver and Los Angeles, and in the Regional Security Offices at U.S. embassies in Baghdad, Iraq and Bogotá, Columbia. He is currently serving in the Regional Security Office at Embassy Kabul, Afghanistan.
The Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS), the law enforcement and security arm of the U.S. Department of State, provides a secure environment for the conduct of American diplomacy. To advance American interests and foreign policy, DS protects people, property, and information at more than 275 State Department missions in 170 counties worldwide. DS is the most widely represented U.S. security and law enforcement organization in the world and a leader in international investigations, threat analysis, cyber security, counterterrorism, and security technology. For additional information about the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, visit www.diplomaticsecurity.state.gov.
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