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On behalf of Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs is soliciting public input for recommendations for this year’s Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE). Now in its 20th year, the ACE honors U.S. companies demonstrating leadership in their overseas operations, specifically recognizing U.S. firms that uphold the highest standards of responsible business conduct, and whose operational practices and decision-making exemplify American values and international best practices. Recommendations are due to U.S. embassies and consulates by April 12, 2019.

For 2019, the categories are:

Award for Corporate Excellence in Sustainable Operations will honor a company’s commitment to incorporating sustainability into its core policies and decision-making, including environmental, social, or other types of sustainability practices.

  • Description: This category seeks to showcase innovative, game-changing ways companies are achieving sustainable development by harmonizing its three interconnected core elements—economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental protection. The category focuses on companies’ achievements in promoting sustainable, inclusive, and equitable economic growth; creating greater opportunities for all; respecting human rights and labor rights; raising basic standards of living; fostering social development; environmental protection; and/or promoting integrated and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems.

Award for Corporate Excellence in Women’s Economic Empowerment will honor a company’s commitment to supporting women’s economic empowerment through its values, strategies, policies, programs, procedures, and/or operational practices.

  • Description: Empowering women in the workplace and the economy is critical to driving economic growth and prosperity, and improves the quality of life for women, families, and communities. To this end, the award seeks to recognize companies whose policies, programs, and operations create workplaces where women can thrive. This may include efforts to address balanced representation of women in C-Suite corporate boards and local operations, parental leave and workplace flexibilities, equal opportunity and non-discrimination policies in hiring and promotion, sexual harassment, professional training and development, women’s entrepreneurship, enterprise development, integration of good jobs for women into supply chains, and pay equity and transparency. In particular, nominations of women-owned or women-led businesses that have embraced and implemented high standards of empowering women within their operations are welcome.

Details on Submitting a Recommendation:

ACE nominations focus on the exemplary operations of a company in a specific country. Nominations are officially sent to the Secretary’s office by Chiefs of Mission at U.S. embassies. As such, recommendations should be directed to a specific U.S. embassy or consulate for the operations of a U.S. firm in that country.

Stakeholders should contact the U.S. embassy or consulate switchboard during normal business hours and ask to speak with the economic section regarding the Award for Corporate Excellence. Contact information can be obtained on the website of the respective embassy or consulate. Chiefs of Mission will ultimately decide which recommendations to nominate for the Secretary of State’s consideration. Chiefs of Mission retain final decision-making on such matters. Stakeholders are asked only to put forward recommendations to embassies and consulates and should refrain from lobbying for a particular recommendation once it has been submitted.

Compelling recommendations will include proof of positive impact, particularly with metrics when available, show alignment of responsible practices with core business operations, and demonstrate commitment to the communities where a company does business.

For more information visit and on Twitter @EconAtState .

U.S. Department of State

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