The Bureau of Political-Military Affairs is pleased to announce the selection of this year’s Robert D. Murphy awards for excellence for the Department’s diplomats serving as Foreign Policy Advisors (POLAD) to senior U.S. Department of Defense military leaders around the world.

  • Scott Ticknor, POLAD to Combined Joint Task Force–Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), was selected as the 2017 Robert D. Murphy Senior-Level POLAD of the Year Award winner for his work ensuring close cooperation between the Department and U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) throughout Eastern and Central Africa. He also worked closely with interagency partners to build Somalia’s National Security Forces and provided assessments of Al Shabaab that contributed to improving Somalia’s stability and security.
  • Craig Conway, POLAD to U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM), was awarded for his efforts in assisting NORTHCOM to modernize its command and control structure, which improved harmonization between U.S. and Canada national security strategies and plans. He also advised his Command’s leadership on a variety of national security issues between Mexico and the United States.
  • Melissa Lan, POLAD to Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT), was recognized for her work in promoting and coordinating interagency efforts to counter al-Qai’da in Yemen, counteract Iranian influence throughout the Middle East, and defeat the Islamic State. She also ensured that SOCCENT’s efforts to train and equip forces in Syria were well integrated into the Department policies and planning.

The award is named in honor of U.S. diplomat Robert D. Murphy, who served as an advisor to General Dwight D. Eisenhower during World War II. Today, approximately 90 State Department Foreign Service Officers advise U.S. military combatant and component commanders, as well as leadership in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff and DoD civilian agencies, strengthening U.S. national security by enhancing interagency cooperation and policy coordination.