Skip to main content

The Eugene Abrams Citizenship Award

2017 Winner

American Citizens Abroad, Inc. (ACA, Inc.) is proud to confer its Eugene Abrams Award for 2017 on Jackie Bugnion.

The Abrams Award, named for Eugene B. Abrams, ACA Executive Director from 1992-1994, honors Americans abroad who have contributed outstanding volunteer service to their community. This year, it is being presented to an American abroad who has been of invaluable service to the overseas American community around the world.

Mrs. Bugnion served on the ACA Board and Executive Committee for 12 years, from 2003 to 2015, and she was the driving force behind the development of Residency-Based Taxation (RBT), writing detailed RBT proposals, visiting lawmakers and giving speeches on several different continents.  She was instrumental in creating relationships with key legislators and the tax writing committees on Capitol Hill, and she wrote policy papers which helped establish ACA as the premier thought-leader on issues affecting the community of Americans living and working overseas.  Mrs. Bugnion led the team that published ACA’s anthology of short stories, “So Near Yet So Far.” The stories included in the collection are written by Americans living and working overseas and cover a myriad of experiences and issues.   After publication the book was sold to the public and a copy was sent to every member of the Congress helping them to understand that Americans overseas were very much like those living in the United States and that their issues must be heard and addressed by their Representatives.

ACA and ACAGF owe a great debt of gratitude to Mrs. Bugnion for her years of service to the organization. She always had excellent insight into the problems facing Americans overseas and worked tirelessly to find practical solutions to these problems.  Jackie’s dedication and commitment to the cause of Americans overseas and her committed focus to the issues of overseas taxation and compliancy issues helped bring RBT to the forefront of discussions in Washington.

Mrs. Bugnion was born in New Jersey and grew up in Ohio.  She earned a B.A in Economics from Cornell University, and was one of the first women to earn an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, where she met her husband-to-be Jean-Robert Bugnion.  After graduation she worked in New York for McKinsey & Company, before moving to Switzerland with Jean-Robert.   While raising her children, Mrs. Bugnion worked in the Swiss watch industry and in the Office for the promotion of the canton of Neuchâtel.  After the family moved to Geneva, she worked in banking for some years before joining a European consumer products group where she became Group Financial Controller until her retirement in 2003. 

Since retiring from ACA, Mrs. Bugnion has turned her attention to her family, her husband Jean-Robert, and her son and daughter and, perhaps most importantly, her grandchildren.  

“There simply are not enough words to express the importance of Jackie’s contribution to ACA and to the community of Americans living and working overseas.  Many of those now benefiting from the advancements made to help the community are not aware of how much they owe Jackie,” said Executive Director Marylouise Serrato.

“Jackie is a real worker. There are projects that require a big effort and a great deal of attention to detail, and Jackie would commit big blocks of time to working on something and making it a success. This was true of the Residency-Based Taxation project and the Canadian conference a few years ago. Things don’t happen by themselves. Jackie made things happen, and I was always amazed and appreciative.” -- Charles Bruce, Chairman, American Citizens Abroad Global Foundation

“Jackie has a brilliant mind and an incredible command of detail, and I’ve been present in meetings where she blew away legislators with her detailed knowledge of the issues.  Her proposals were always incredibly well researched and totally pragmatic.  ACA would not be where we are today without Jackie’s expertise.” -- Anne Hornung-Soukup, Director, American Citizens Abroad Global Foundation

“Jackie selflessly invested in developing the deep subject knowledge needed to propose improvements that now benefit millions of people she will never meet. She embodies the altruism upon which the United States was founded.” -- Roland Crim, Director, American Citizens Abroad, Inc.