Surrounded by many long time colleagues at a special event on November, 20th, in the French Ambassador's Residence in Washington DC, Dr. Rita Colwell received from the Honorable Gérard Araud, Ambassador of France to the United States, the Légion d’Honneur from the Government of France. In his remarks, Amb. Araud recognized the many decades of Dr. Colwell’s humanitarian services in Africa and Asia in combatting cholera and other waterborne infectious diseases. Dr. Colwell, former Director of the National Science Foundation and contributor to many health focused scientific endeavors, maintains her current position as Director of the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the University of Maryland, where she holds the prestigious title of Distinguished University Professor. Of particular importance in her many ongoing applied research activities is her participation in the Global Alliance Against Cholera and other water borne infectious diseases (GAAC), an activity sponsored by the Veolia Foundation, based in Paris, France.