WASHINGTON, DC, March 26, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Judith M. Heimann with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. (As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.)
Ms. Heimann celebrates many years' experience in American diplomacy on three continents in a career that spans some 40 years, starting a 20-year career in 1972 with becoming one of the first "tandem" diplomats to serve alongside a Foreign Service Officer spouse, and ending, after retirement, with most years between 1997 and 2018 as a re-hired annuitant, often working abroad (2001-2011) as "senior advisor to the political section" in US Embassies in Europe. As a diplomat she won various promotions and awards, including the rarely given Department of State Award for Valor (1991) for rescuing a young American woman being held hostage at gunpoint by a crazed Frenchwoman. Most of her diplomatic career, before and after retirement, was in the political affairs specialty, including decades reporting and advising on European Union political actors of importance to US foreign policy. Her last two career assignments were as Consul General of the then oldest US consulate, in Bordeaux, France and, by then a member of the Senior Foreign Service, as Refugee Coordinator in the Philippines, which included responsibility just after the volcanic eruption of Mt. Pinatubo for 20,000 Vietnamese boat people on the Bataan Peninsula who were waiting to immigrate as refugees to the US.
In the 1960s, before being one of the first through the barrier that had previously prevented spouses from becoming American diplomats, Ms. Heimann contributed historical and anthropological chapters to eight Area Handbooks published by the US Government Printing Office on countries in Asia and the Pacific. Since the late 1990s, during and after her years as a re-hired Department of State annuitant, she became an award-winning non-fiction author. Her solo books include the ground-breaking Using Nature's Shuttle: The Making of the First Genetically Modified Plants and the People Who Did It, published in 2018, and Paying Calls in Shangri-La: Scenes from a Woman's Life in American Diplomacy, in 2016. A memoir about Ms. Heimann's experiences living in Africa, Asia, and Europe, and her career as one of the first married female diplomats, Paying Calls was nominated for The American Academy of Diplomacy prize in 2017 for the best book on the craft of diplomacy. Before that came her most famous book, The Airmen and the Headhunters: A True Story of Lost Soldiers, Heroic Tribesmen and the Unlikeliest Rescue of World War II, in 2007. It was made into the TV documentary, "Headhunters of World War II", commissioned by PBS, the BBC, and National Geographic International; it won the 2010 Hugo TV top prize for historical documentaries and was nominated for an Emmy. Her first effort as a solo non-fiction writer was about a British polymath she knew in Borneo: The Most Offending Soul Alive: Tom Harrisson and his remarkable life. Published in 1999, with a second edition in 2003, it became a 2007 BBC documentary, "The Barefoot Anthropologist", presented and narrated by Sir David Attenborough.
Ms. Heimann obtained an A.B. in 1957 from Harvard University while a classmate and (by 1956) wife of the late John P. Heimann. She is a current member of the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs and the Diplomatic and Consular Officers, Retired. She was featured in the 21st edition of Who's Who of American Women.
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