She contacted all o her sta , and they agreed to return, despite concerns aboutworking inside a building while atershockswere occurring and about amily memberswho were still missing. “I had a great team,”she said. “T ey would see me coming andask ‘what’s next?’”In addition to coordinating the LE Sta ,the embassy said, she helped orient morethan 75 temporary duty personnel, managedtranslator teams or humanitarian paroleprocessing and prepared several hundredemergency immigrant visas or orphans.She also oversaw the eeding o babies in theconsular waiting room and the stocking o ood and water or 16,000 evacuees at theairport. She said the drive to the airport,only a ew kilometers away, took two to threehours on the clogged roads.She was “a constant guiding presencein our crisis response,” the embassy said,“working nonstop or several weeks, even inthe ace o the devastation that took the liveso her close riends.” During that period, shesaid, “I elt no emotion; I had to keep going.My head was spinning.”o all that multitasking, she added onemore task: She readied her team to reopenimmigrant visa processing. T e embassy saidthat in less than six weeks they were up andrunninga nearly impossible achievement.One day, the sta worked until 9 p.m.and processed 1,000 people, she said. “Wedecided to take as many as we couldopenhouse, no appointments.”Gerdes has worked or the embassy or 29years. She is married and has three children.
Agha anveer Hussain, senior security investigator working or the regional security o ce at the U.S. Consulate General inLahore, Pakistan, is the FSN o the Yearor the Bureau o South and Central AsianA airs. He was cited or improving U.S.-Pakistan bilateral relations and making U.S.mission outreach possible during a periodo increased terrorist activity, unprecedentedsta growth and record-setting numbers o o cial visitors.T e post nominating cablecommended him or his quick ande ective reaction to an attempt by demonstrators in 2009 to storm theconsulate compound. Since the regionalsecurity o cer was away rom post,Hussain had to come in rom homeitwas a holidayto deal with the mob o several dozen demonstrators, who acedlittle resistance rom the ew local policepresent. He instructed the embassy guardsto immediately lock down the acility.Although police reinorcements had notyet arrived, Hussain talked to the demonstra-tors and asked them to disperse. He said hismessage to them was: “T is is not the way toact. We are Pakistanis. T ese diplomats areour guests.”Aterward, he convinced the police toinstall an anti-personnel barrier. It took threemonths to get all the permissions. Policesupport or the consulate is “unmatched,”