LOS ANGELES–Former Ambassador to Armenia, John Marshall Evans has been named 2010 Professional of the Year by the Armenian Professional Society (APS) for his steadfast adherence to addressing the Armenian genocide in a forthright manner.
He will be accepting the honor at this year’s annual APS banquet that will take place on Friday, November 19.
As the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia in 2004-2006, Evans broke with State Department policy by using the term “Armenian genocide” and was subsequently released from his duties as ambassador. In Addressing members of the Armenian community at the time, Evans referred to the Armenian genocide as “the first genocide of the 20th century,” pledging to do a better job in addressing the issue.
The Ambassador later told an Armenian newspaper that it was an ethical issue and that he had no choice but to speak the truth, despite an established policy of employing euphemisms and circumlocutions. “I have to say that it is not something that any diplomat does lightly. It goes against every grain of our being. It goes against every teaching that we’ve ever had as diplomats, so it was not an easy decision.”
Commenting on the decision to honor Ambassador Evans as the Professional of the Year, APS President Stephan Bagboudarian stated that the ambassador’s bravery was unprecedented. “Ambassador Evans chose to stand up for the truth, in spite of the possible consequences. He is a true patriot for upholding historical truth, human rights and justice.”
Ambassador Evans will be attending the APS Annual Banquet in Los Angeles to accept the honor, along with his wife Donna Evans, a former President of the World Affairs Council of Washington, D.C.