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USGS Official Awarded Afghan Presidential Medal

Earlier this month, Mr. Pat Leahy of the US Geological Survey (USGS) was awarded the highest medal for scientific excellence by the Government of Afghanistan in a special ceremony at the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, D.C. The medal was awarded in February to Mr. Leahy based on his prior work with Afghanistan while he served as Associate Director for Geology within USGS. During this time, in November 2002, Mr. Leahy convened a panel of experts to discuss ways that USGS might be helpful in supporting US foreign policy in the reconstruction of Afghanistan. From these discussions, Pat led and directed an effort of more than 60 USGS geoscience experts in the preparation of a 5-year proposal focused on the reconstruction and revitalization of the Afghan Natural Resources Sector. Activities included oil and gas, mineral, coal, and water resources assessments plus earthquake hazards assessment as well as capacity building and geospatial infrastructure development.

Pat attended numerous bilateral and multilateral meetings as a representative of the USGS, gave counsel and continued support both within and outside of USGS, and made a trip to Kabul to observe and consult with Afghan government counterparts. For all these efforts, Pat was awarded the “Mir Bacha Khan” Medal bestowed by President Hamid Karzai. Without Pat's support and continued interest, USGS and the Afghan government would not have produced the oil and gas resources assessment, mineral resources assessment, and earthquake hazard assessment as well as more than 170 products including geologic maps, satellite images, aerial photography, gravity and magnetic maps, hyperspectral data.


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