The awardee with Ambassador Eva Nowotny
On May 2, Ms. Ingrid Richardson-McKinnon, Legal Attaché at the Austrian Embassy, received the "Decoration of Honor in Silver" from Federal President Heinz Fischer. The decoration was awarded by the Austrian Ambassador to the United States, Eva Nowotny.
Ms. Richardson has been with the Austrian Embassy in Washington, D.C. since 1973 and she has been honored for her outstanding work in resolving legal issues, matters of privileges and immunities, and the problems of social security and restitution. Ms. Richardson-McKinnon stated that her work, particularly with restitution matters, is challenging because it deals with a very traumatic period in the lives of the applicants. "The reward, however, is great and worth the effort," she said. Ambassador Nowotny agreed that in all of her work "Ms. Richardson-McKinnon puts a human face on the Austrian Embassy."
Ms. Richardson-McKinnon is a quintessential cosmopolitan. After a period of study in London, she worked in the private sector in Paris. Following a brief assignment in her native Vienna where she served as a translator of publications from English into German, she moved to Milan. Three years later, she accepted a position as Administrative Officer at the Austrian Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, where she served for six years. When Ms. Richardson moved to Washington, D.C., in 1973, she thought the assignment would be of short duration. The Embassy wishes to thank her for having extended her stay.
The awardee Franz Muschitz in front of a portrait of Emperor Franz I. of Austria
On March 9, Mr. Franz Muschitz was awarded the "Decoration of Merit in Gold of the Republic of Austria" by Federal President Heinz Fischer. The Austrian Ambassador to the U.S., Eva Nowotny, presented the award during a reception at her residence. Mr. Muschitz has been with the Office of the Defense, Military, Naval and Air Attaché at the Austrian Embassy since 2001.
While working overseas in peacekeeping operations and embassies, Mr. Muschitz was actively involved with the German School Boards Abroad: first as President in Moscow, then as Deputy in Beijing. In Washington, D.C., he has also served as President of the Board and has committed his time to a series of reform projects. These projects are designed to create a better educational environment for Austrian, Swiss and German children.
In his acceptance speech, Mr. Muschitz explained the reason for his personal dedication to the German School. "During my deployments with the United Nations, I have witnessed how people have gone from wealth to utter poverty literally overnight. One can lose material wealth, but a good education can never be lost. In Austria or Germany, one can choose between a variety of schools, but for those living abroad there is only one German school. That school must be careful ly nurtured and cared for in order to offer and maintain an education of the highest quality."