Highlighting the 20th Anniversary of the Award for Corporate Excellence

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A logo commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Secretary's Award for Corporate Excellence.

Highlighting the 20th Anniversary of the Award for Corporate Excellence

Since 1999, each Secretary of State has honored companies that uphold the highest standard of American business practices with the annual Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE). On this 20th anniversary of the ACE, we are celebrating the past and present ACE winners who have unleashed world-class innovation and ingenuity, while simultaneously raising the bar on business integrity and ethical policies. These winning companies exemplify the highest level of leadership in their overseas operations—specifically U.S. companies that epitomize responsible business conduct through their international operations. 

Each winner of the ACE is deeply committed to improving its business in a manner that improves surrounding communities. From supporting women’s economic growth to investing in youth education to job creation, the award has celebrated U.S. businesses investing in local communities and exporting our values. These companies create thriving businesses while addressing local needs.

Now, after 20 years, 53 ACE winners have told the story of initiatives that have helped U.S. businesses prosper while ensuring greater economic opportunity for all. For example, in 2010, Cisco was recognized for helping over 2,000 teenagers from local communities in Israel become leaders in the technology sector. Apache Corporation in Egypt was awarded an ACE in 2013 for combating illiteracy and providing accessible and safe education annually for approximately 7,000 underserved girls and young women, by building and maintaining 200 schools throughout the country. In 2018, Alaffia was the ACE recipient for their impact in women’s economic empowerment. They directly employed over 700 women in rural Togo, paid salaries four times the average family income, and contracted over 14,000 women as suppliers. For 20 years, the Award for Corporate Excellence has been honoring the important role U.S. businesses play in advancing democratic principles worldwide and in countering social inequalities. The American economy is getting stronger every day because of the commitment of U.S. businesses to community investments at home and abroad, leading by example in achieving sustainability and profitability.

This year, we are honoring four ACE winners whose exemplary work in Women’s Economic Empowerment and Sustainable Operations are examples of this leadership. In the Sustainable Operations category, we honor Agilis Partners in Kampala, Uganda, a small-to-medium size enterprise, and PepsiCo India, in New Delhi, a multinational enterprise. In the Women’s Economic Empowerment category, we recognize Chambers Federation in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, a small-to-medium size enterprise, and Procter & Gamble (P&G) Asia Pacific in Singapore, a multinational enterprise. These companies raise the high standards of the ACE legacy by pursuing economic growth in a way that brings value to the communities where they do business, to their own brand, and to the American economy overall.

Here’s to another 20 years of the Award for Corporate Excellence and U.S. businesses trailblazing in responsible business conduct in the global community! 

About the Author: Manisha Singh serves as Assistant Secretary of State of the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.