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American Councils Establishes the David P. Patton Distinguished Alumni Award

December 21, 2023

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To honor President and CEO, Dr. David P. Patton's retirement after three decades of service to American Councils, the organization is proud to announce the establishment of the David P. Patton Distinguished Alumni Award. This award is a lasting tribute to Dr. Patton's profound impact on international education and public diplomacy.

Starting in 2024, coinciding with American Councils' 50th anniversary, the organization will launch the David P. Patton Distinguished Alumni Award.  American Councils will recognize two inaugural recipients, an international and domestic student, of the David P. Patton Distinguished Alumni Award. The awardees will be from among the over 100,000 international and domestic alumni of American Councils' administered programs. Recipients will be chosen based on their exemplary representation of American Councils' goals for alumni, showcasing achievements that align with the organization's core values. 

Distinguished Alumni Awardees will receive support for a one-week program comprised of consultations, discussions, and professional development in Washington, DC. This experience aims to advance projects or activities that are significant to the awardees, fostering their continued contributions to the values of American Councils.

Dr. Patton's journey with American Councils began in the early '80s with his participation in the year-long American Councils for Teachers of Russian program at the Pushkin Institute. Dr. Patton went on to serve as the Resident Director for the Advanced Russian Language and Area Studies Program (RLASP) in Moscow and, later, Vice President for Field Operations, overseeing 50 field offices. His leadership culminated in his becoming president and CEO in 2019, navigating the organization through unprecedented challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the evacuation from Afghanistan in 2021, and the Russian Federation's invasion of Ukraine in 2022. His career showcases a steadfast commitment to American Councils' mission and adept navigation through complex situations.

Dr. Patton's commitment to American Councils' mission to strengthen international ties and promote mutual understanding has been evident throughout his distinguished career. His leadership has left an indelible mark on the organization, from overseeing academic, professional, and cultural exchange programs to advocating for language acquisition, educational development, and research.

In heartfelt appreciation of Dr. David P. Patton's leadership, American Councils expresses deep gratitude and anticipates continuing to uphold his legacy by fostering ongoing success for exchange alumni. The establishment of the David P. Patton Distinguished Alumni Award stands as a proud testament to honoring and celebrating the achievements of American Councils alumni in advancing a more interconnected world.

Stay tuned for the 2024 announcement, where details on contributing to the David P. Patton Distinguished Alumni Award will be shared – your support can make a lasting impact on the recognition and encouragement of outstanding achievements within the American Councils community.

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