The President shall establish a system of awards to confer appropriate recognition of outstanding contributions to the Nation by members of the Service or Civil Service. The awards system established under this section shall provide for presentation by the President and by the Secretary of medals or other suitable commendations for performance in the course of or beyond the call of duty which involves distinguished, meritorious service to the Nation, including extraordinary valor in the face of danger to life or health. Distinguished, meritorious service in the promotion of internationally recognized human rights, including the right to freedom of religion, shall serve as a basis for granting awards under this section.
22 U.S. Code § 4013 - Department awards
1998—Pub. L. 105–292 inserted at end “Distinguished, meritorious service in the promotion of internationally recognized human rights, including the right to freedom of religion, shall serve as a basis for granting awards under this section.”
Memorandum of President of the United States, Dec. 22, 2010, 77 F.R. 75507, provided:
Memorandum for the Secretary of State
To honor the legacy of one of America’s greatest diplomats and to reaffirm our commitment to diplomacy, I hereby direct you to establish the Richard C. Holbrooke Award for Diplomacy, to be awarded annually. You are authorized to take all necessary steps to establish an appropriate award program under the auspices of your department to recognize distinguished Americans who have made especially meritorious contributions to diplomacy.
Sixty days prior to presenting the award, you shall present to me a list of nominees, from which I will select up to five individuals or groups of individuals to receive this award. In preparing your list of nominees, you may consider the recommendations of appropriate individuals and groups, coordinate your nominations in consultation with other executive agencies as appropriate, and may include recommendations for posthumous awards.
You are authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.
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