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Department of State Honors Law Library for Legal Research Expertise

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The following article originally appeared in the May 3,  2013, edition of Library of Congress staff newsletter, The Gazette.

The U.S. Department of State this week honored the Law Library of Congress for legal research work it provides in support of global criminal-justice programs.

The State Department presented the “Outstanding Partnership in Criminal Justice Assistance” award to Law Librarian David Mao at a ceremony at the department’s Foggy Bottom headquarters on May 13.

Law Librarian David Mao (fifth from left) accepted an award from the State Department for the Law Library’s work in support of criminal-justice programs. Ceremony participants included (from left) Nicholas Roti, Chicago Police Department; Ambassador William R. Brownfield; Raymond Kelly, New York Police Department; George Turner, Atlanta Police Department; Mao; Secretary of State John Kerry; Karl Spiecker, Colorado Department of Corrections; Beau Biden, Attorney General of Delaware; Bruce Swartz, Department of Justice; and Greg Marcantel, New Mexico Corrections Department. Photo Credit: U.S. Department of State.

The award is in recognition of the Law Library’s “significant research work on complex legal issues” that aid global criminal-justice programs managed by the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).

“The research highlighted by this award illustrates the important, practical value of the Law Library’s work in providing a full-service suite of legal-information research and analysis,” Mao said.

The Law Library was one of two federal recipients, along with the Department of Justice. Other awardees included state and local law enforcement agencies such as the New York Police Department, Chicago Police Department, Atlanta Police Department and the Colorado Department of Corrections.

Ambassador William R. Brownfield, Assistant Secretary of State for INL, congratulated Mao and recognized the Law Library’s contributions to U.S. foreign-assistance programs.

Law Librarian David Mao pictured with Ambassador William R. Brownfield, Assistant Secretary of State for INL. Photo Credit: U.S. Department of State.

Since 2011, legal specialists at the Law Library produced approximately 25 reports that helped INL staff prepare for assessments, develop programs and inform host-country counterparts of different approaches to legislating issues. Reports have covered a range of issues, such as wildlife trafficking laws throughout central and south Africa to alternatives to pretrial detention throughout Central America.

In receiving the award, Mao paid tribute to the Library staffers who support INL, as well as Congress and the public. He cited the dedication of Law Library staff, especially the foreign-law specialists and legal-research analysts, as the catalyst for the real-world delivery of authoritative, timely and comprehensive foreign law research that “promotes greater knowledge and understanding of international issues.”


  1. Congrats!

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