Winners for the 2019 Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence

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Department of State
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
Media Note
October 7, 2019


The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs is pleased to announce the four winners for the 2019 Secretary of State’s Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE).  The winners will be presented with the award in a ceremony on October 31, 2019, at 3:00 p.m. EDT at the State Department.

This year commemorates the Award for Corporate Excellence’s 20th year.  Established in 1999, the ACE recognizes U.S. companies that promote and uphold high standards as responsible members of their communities where they do business.  Together, these companies exemplify some of the most promising and innovative business ideas of the 21st century:  that profitability and sustainability are not mutually exclusive, and that sustainability can drive prosperity in the modern economy.  The 2019 ACE categories are Sustainable Operations and Women’s Economic Empowerment.

The 2019 Award Recipients:

ACE Winner in Women’s Economic Empowerment (Small-to-Medium Enterprise):

Chambers Federation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Investing in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), The Chambers Federation is a social impact investment firm building inclusive, sustainable businesses in high-risk areas.  They focus on creating stability and economic empowerment in the lives of women in areas of conflict.  They built the first chocolate processing facility in the DRC, which now produces the country’s first premium chocolate in-country. This chocolate is grown, harvested and manufactured entirely by women.  The Chambers Federation established the first supply chain of conflict-free, mercury-free, fully traced, responsible artisanal gold from a conflict zone, which is exported to the U.S. and European markets.  Their newest initiative has developed an eco-friendly manufacturing process and trains women recovering from gender-based violence to produce gold jewelry components.

ACE Winner in Women’s Economic Empowerment (Multinational Enterprise):

Procter & Gamble Asia Pacific in Singapore

Consumer goods company P&G Asia Pacific is a leading voice in the gender equality movement within 16 countries across the Asia-Pacific region.  With executive mentorship, flexible parental leave, and childcare programs, P&G’s policies and programs construct a workplace that supports and empowers women leaders.  P&G Asia Pacific’s #WeSeeEqual Gender Equality Program improved female representation at all levels, with women now holding half of the company’s manager positions in the Asia Pacific region.  Thirty-five percent of directors and higher-level executives are women, compared to an average of ten percent in Singapore for women in leadership positions.

ACE Winner in Sustainable Operations (Small-to-Medium Enterprise):

Agilis Partners in Uganda

Agilis Partners is the largest grain and oil seed producer and one of the leading wholesalers of agricultural commodities in Uganda.  It invests in local communities, sets high product standards, uses sustainable farming methods, pays competitive wages, and incorporates cutting-edge technology.  Hundreds of food manufacturers depend on Agilis’ safe and affordable supply to nourish over 500,000 consumers in East Africa annually.  Agilis employs 650 people, and women represent a major contingent of the operational and management team in a traditionally male-dominated industry. 

ACE Winner in Sustainable Operations (Multinational Enterprise):

PepsiCo India in India

PepsiCo India is invested in collaborating with 24,000 farmers to source sustainably in India.

The company saved more than 17 billion liters of water in 2017 through its community water programs focused on water replenishment and water conservation agricultural practices, such as direct seeding of rice and micro irrigation.  Under its Sustainable Water Resource Development and Management program focused on water replenishment, PepsiCo India has replenished over five billion liters of water, positively impacting 60,000 community members.

The U.S. Department of State is committed to working with companies to further responsible business practices worldwide and to recognize their efforts to improve lives at home and abroad.  For more information, please visit:

The invitation-only 2019 ACE ceremony will be open to credentialed members of the media on a space-available basis.  A separate notice to the press with access details will be issued soon.  For media inquiries, please contact the Economic and Business Affairs Bureau public diplomacy office at [email protected].

This translation is provided as a courtesy and only the original English source should be considered authoritative.
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