LONDON, January 31, 2013 – The winners of the inaugural Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Awards were announced last night at a ceremony in London. Over 120 distinguished guests from embassies, political offices, universities and non-government organisations gathered to celebrate the achievements of outstanding diplomats and politicians representing the people’s interest at the highest level. 

Host and director of Grassroot Diplomat Talyn Rahman-Figueroa described the nominees as “worthy examples for all others... committed to listening and respecting the needs of the people”. The competition was stiff with over 30 government officials shortlisted for this honour but there could only be six winners. Winners were judged on the quality and outreach of their campaign, level of support within the community and results of their direct actions. 

The full list of winners:

•    Robert Buckland, MP for South Swindon 
     Policy Driver Winner for Special Educational Needs
•    HE Mauricio Rodriguez Munera, Embassy of Colombia 
     Policy Driver Winner for Evaluating International Drug Trade
•    Baroness May Blood MBE, House of Lords
     Social Driver Winner for Integrated Education in Northern Ireland
•    HE Ivan Romero-Martinez, Embassy of Honduras 
     Social Driver Winner for Supporting Street Children
•    Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth 
     Business Driver Winner for Pay on Time Campaign
•    HE Dr Suresh Chandra Chalise, Embassy of Nepal 
     Business Driver Winner for Business Integration of the Gurkhas

Honourees:

•    Tom Watson, MP for West Bromwich East
•    HE Ruth Elizabeth Rouse, High Commission of Grenada
•    Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria, London
•    Jeremy Corbyn, MP for North Islington
•    Councillor Chris Maines, Blackheath Ward
•    HE Daniel Taub, Embassy of Israel

The Initiative Award was supported by Chateau de la Ligne, Kenya Airways, St James Theatre, Gastronomica, World Vision Photography, All Health Studio, Denbies Wine Estate and the Grange Hotel. Guests were treated to live cello wine reception, 3-course meal, raffle fundraising, and performance by Eurovision artist Imaani.

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