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Alumnus Matthew Perry Receives U.S. Department of State Heroism Award

Monday, March 11, 2013
Marymount was recently notified by the U.S. Department of State that Matthew Perry ʼ06 (M.A. in Forensic Psychology), a special agent with the Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), received the Department’s Award for Heroism from then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for his courageous actions during a terrorist attack on a motorcade in Peshawar, Pakistan.

In May 2011, Perry was driving in a motorcade traveling through Peshawar when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) exploded next to the vehicle directly in front of his own. He and three other special agents quickly went to the aid of those trapped in the damaged, burning car. They moved the injured agents to their vehicle and transported them to safety.

The U.S. Department of State Heroism Award recognizes acts of courage or outstanding performance under unusually difficult or dangerous circumstances by employees of the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and Marine Security Guards who are assigned to diplomatic and consular facilities.

Bill Miller, deputy assistant secretary for High Threat Posts, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, stated, “All four of the DS Special Agents performed masterfully in one of the most significant terrorist attacks against Foreign Service personnel in recent years.” He added, “They were instrumental in coordinating the movements of the security team during the crisis as well as executing the proper response. The agents’ actions reflect not only their laudable physical courage, but also the highest traditions of the Diplomatic Security Service.”

Upon receiving the recognition, Perry said, “I’m extremely honored and humbled to receive the award. We all performed our duties as we had been trained to do in such a serious situation, and I’m fortunate to have had an excellent team that enabled us to do what we needed to do to remain safe.”

Perry is now an assistant regional security officer in Pretoria, South Africa.