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On behalf of Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, the U.S. Department of State’s 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 22nd year, the ACE honors U.S. companies demonstrating leadership in their overseas operations, and whose operational practices and decision-making exemplify American values and international best practices.  Recommendations are due to embassies and consulates by May 31, 2021.

The 2021 ACE categories are:

Award for Corporate Excellence in Climate Innovation

  • This category aims to recognize a company’s commitment to using methods, investments, and approaches that can provide breakthrough solutions to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the effects of climate change. Candidate companies excelling in this field enhance the Department’s efforts to address the climate crisis by contributing to global emissions mitigation, monitoring, abatement, and adaptation, and thus, to global economic and human development. 

Award for Corporate Excellence in Health Security

  • This category aims to recognize a company’s contributions to increasing the security or resilient supply of goods and services critical to health security through its strategies and operational practices.  Candidate companies excelling in this field are leading innovators in health-related sectors and play a prominent role when it comes to identifying, addressing, and helping to contain health threats.

Award for Corporate Excellence in Economic Inclusion

  • This category aims to recognize a company’s commitment in its international operations to advancing equity and gender equality as means to support economic opportunities for women and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, or adversely affected by poverty and inequality.  Candidate companies excelling in this field promote American ideals and values such as equality and fairness and are taking concrete steps to ensure under-served populations are not being left out. 
Details on Submitting a Recommendation

ACE nominations are focused on the exemplary operations of a company in a specific country, and nominations are officially put forward to the Secretary’s office by Chiefs of Mission from U.S. embassies and consulates.  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 embassy or consulate switchboard during normal business hours and ask to speak with the economic section regarding the ACE.  Contact information can be obtained on the website of the respective embassy or consulate.  Chiefs of Mission will ultimately decide which recommendations to send forward as nominations to the Secretary of State, and they retain final decision-making on such matters.  Stakeholders are asked only to put forward recommendations to embassies and consulates for their consideration 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 core business operations with the category for which the company is being nominated; and demonstrate commitment to the communities where a company does business.  Nominations of small- and medium-sized firms are encouraged.

For more information visit and on Twitter @EconAtState .

U.S. Department of State

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