Badye?and Hella?Ladhari, a husband-and-wife team with a combined 58 years of service to the U.S. Government at the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia, exemplify the heroism, selfless service, and extraordinary contributions of locally employed staff who contribute every day to the advancement of American diplomacy worldwide.? When protesters attacked U.S. Embassy Tunis on September 14, 2012,?Badye?Ladhari, the lead Foreign Service National Investigator in the embassy’s Regional Security Office at the time,?coordinated critical communications with Government of Tunisia security elements, escorted staff to safety, and risked his own security to save the U.S. flag from being burned by the angry crowd.? In the aftermath of the attack, Hella?Ladhari?helped arrange a special evacuation flight and processed hundreds of evacuation orders to get American staff and their families to safety.
Hella and?Badye?Ladhari?are the first locally employed staff members to be recognized as Heroes of U.S. Diplomacy, and the virtual event will coincide with Locally Employed Staff?and Foreign Service National?Recognition Day,?when the Department of State?honors the more than 60,000 locally employed staff working at U.S. embassies, consulates, and presence posts around the world.
The?virtual?event will feature?a conversation between the?honorees?and Director General of the Foreign Service Ambassador?Carol?Z.?Perez, with introductory remarks by Acting Director of the Foreign Service Institute Ambassador?Julieta Valls Noyes, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security?Todd?J.?Brown, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs?Joey Hood.
The “Heroes of U.S. Diplomacy” initiative?highlights the stories of modern-day “Heroes Among Us,” alongside heroic figures from our Department’s rich history.?? These individuals displayed sound policy judgment along with intellectual, moral,?and/or physical courage while advancing the Department of State’s mission and elevating U.S. diplomacy.?? For questions about the initiative, direct your inquiries to?HeroesofDiplomacy@state.gov?or visit www.state.gov/HeroesofUSDiplomacy.