Black Caucus Awards Former BDA US Consul

April 23, 2010

This week Members of the Congressional Black Caucus presented former Bermuda Consul General Gregory Slayton with the ‘Distinguished Foreign Service Award’ for his diplomatic work in Bermuda. Former US Presidential candidate Senator John McCain was on hand, and called Mr Slayton a “great American”.

U.S. Congresswoman Diane Watson [D-CA], stated:

It has been a true pleasure for me—and for many of my colleagues from both Parties—to work with Gregory Slayton on a whole range of U.S./Bermuda issues over the past four years. On behalf of my House and Senate colleagues from both Parties, we thank Mr. Slayton for his service to our Nation.

Mr. Slayton was appointed by President George W. Bush as the United States Consul General and Chief of Mission to Bermuda. He was sworn into the post by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on August 15, 2005.

Mr. Slayton was the senior diplomat representing the U.S. in Bermuda for four years, and was the youngest U.S. Chief of Mission to serve in Bermuda in the modern era. He was extended twice by the Obama Administration, which is said to be a rare honor in the diplomatic world.

Mr. Slayton retired from both his Bermuda post, and from the Foreign Service, on August 15, 2009 – four years to the day from his swearing in.

Under Mr. Slayton, the US Consulate in Bermuda developed initiatives including internet consular services, a Press Affairs Office, and an Economic/Commercial Office. Mr. Slayton also started an annual “State Visit” for Bermuda government officials to meet in Washington, D. C., with the U.S. President and congressional leaders every spring.

Locally he was known for his distinctive bow ties, and for often wearing a baseball cap.

The Premier of Bermuda Dr. Ewart Brown, publicly lauded Slayton’s achievements when the diplomat stepped down from his post late last year saying:

U.S./Bermuda relations are as good or better than they have been in many years – and we owe that in large part to the hard work, diplomatic skill and sheer perseverance of our friend Gregory Slayton.

Contrary to the Bermuda-rumour-mill, Premier Dr. Brown was not in attendance at this event, instead enroute from Spain to Los Angeles.

Senator Susan Collins of Maine said “People from all over Bermuda told me over and over again what a difference he was making”.

The video below shows Mr Slayton receiving the award:

On hand for the award presentation was Senator John McCain, Senator Susan Collins, Congresswoman Diane Watson and Congressman Dan Lundgren.

The Congressional Black Caucus is an organization representing the black members and interests of the United States Congress. The Caucus is officially non-partisan, but in practice it has been closely identified with the Democratic Party, and only four black Republicans have been elected to Congress since the Caucus was founded in 1968.

In the 110th Congress, then-Senator Barack Obama was the only black member of the United States Senate, therefore the only Senator who was a member of the congress.

Very notable is the fact that Mr. Slayton was the first Republican ambassadorial appointee in history to receive this award from Congressional Black Caucus.

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