University at Albany

Lifetime Achievement Award

Vincent J. Abramo, BA ’67 Construction Safety & Occupational Health Manager, Overseas Buildings Operations U.S. Department of State

Mr. Vincent J. Abramo is in the Career Civil Service serving in the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations at the U.S. Department of State.  For the past 25 years he has managed OBO construction site safety and occupational health programs. He is responsible for the safety, health and general welfare of more than 16,000 foreign construction workers employed by large American and international contractors to perform building construction tasks on U.S. Department of State properties.

Mr. Abramo deals regularly with American and foreign construction company executives as well as the hundreds of foreign construction laborers and supervisors who are in their employ.  His focus is to protect the lives, dignity, and human rights of the workers. Through the years he has effectively built loyalty, trust and a mutual respect that has effectively contributed to the establishment of optimal construction work environments. Since the beginning of his tenure in 1991 as construction safety and occupational health manager, more than 1 billion worker hours have been completed with a remarkably low incident rate of construction accidents. In addition there have been no incidents of violent disturbances or physical threats by foreign workers inside the perimeter of project sites, including major renovations in fully occupied U.S. Embassy buildings.  

Mr. Abramo’s varied international and domestic career initiatives including the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Peace Corps, U.S. Department of Labor’s Job Corps Program, U.S. Peoples Republic of China Science & Technology Protocols, and consulting contracts with the World Bank have taken him to more than 160 countries and most of the 50 states. His website contains numerous photographs of construction workers taken as part of his global adventures since 1971.

After graduating from the University at Albany in 1967 he pursued graduate degrees at Georgetown University Graduate School of Government and the University of Lyon (France). In 2001, as part of the U.S. Department of State's part time evening master's program at the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency's National Intelligence University, he was awarded the Master of Science Strategic Intelligence with distinction. His thesis for the MSSI identified the intractable core beliefs in Ultra- Orthodox Judaism that adversely affected Israeli compromise on the 1993 Oslo accord.

In 2005-2012 he returned to the National Intelligence University’s graduate evening program in studies focused on events in Eastern Europe, Russia and the Ukraine beginning with German reunification and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Mr. Abramo is a member of the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Law & National Security, the National Intelligence University Alumni Association and a current member and recent co-chair of Rockefeller College Advisory Board.  As a member of the Board he has mentored and advised countless numbers of Rockefeller College students interested in international work and provided invaluable advice on College programming.