At a ceremony on January 16 during which U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Emilio Gonzalez welcomed 25 new U.S. citizens during a special naturalization ceremony at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., Director Gonzalez also presented four prominent naturalized U.S. citizens with the “Outstanding American by Choice” certificate of recognition. Department of Homeland Security Acting Deputy Secretary Paul Schneider and other senior officials were present to congratulate both the new citizens and the certificate recipients.
Among the recipients of the Outstanding American by Choice certificate was Anh Duong, a science advisor with the Office of Naval Research. In 2001, Duong led a team that designed a thermobaric bomb credited with helping defeat the Taliban in the initial invasion of Afghanistan, and currently develops anti-terrorism technologies working as the science advisor for the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information, Plans, and Strategy and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Prior to becoming a science advisor, she was director of science and technology at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division.
The Outstanding American by Choice recipients were acknowledged for their outstanding contributions in civic participation, professional achievement, and responsible citizenship. Each recipient of this honor has also demonstrated their commitment to this nation and to the common civic values that unite all Americans.
Along with Duong, the other honorees included: U.S. Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ); U.S. Army Major General (retired) John L. Fugh; and Duncan Wardle, vice president of Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts. The recipients are originally from Vietnam, Cuba, China, and the United Kingdom, respectively.
Duong also was honored recently by the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service with a Service to America Medal for National Security for her government service with Indian Head and the Office of Naval Research. The medal, presented during a ceremony in September 2007 by Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter, is awarded to civil servants for their high-impact contributions critical to the safety, health, and well-being of Americans.