Ambassador Eric Rubin comes to AFSA from his most recent posting as U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria, where he has served since 2016. His previous positions include Deputy Chief of Mission in Moscow, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs, Consul General in Chiang Mai, Executive Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Assistant White House Press Secretary and NSC Director for Public Affairs, and Rusk Fellow at Georgetown University's Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. Ambassador Rubin joined the Foreign Service in 1985 and is a Career Minister in the Senior Foreign Service. In 1994, he was a recipient of a group William R. Rivkin Award for Constructive Dissent by Mid-Level Officers for his work on the Bosnia crisis.
Ambassador Rubin is a former member of The Foreign Service Journal's editorial board and a career-long AFSA member. He has declared his commitment to defending the Foreign Service and all AFSA members at a time of unprecedented challenges and threats to our people and our profession. He will focus on the critical nuts-and-bolts work of defending our members and advancing their interests, including those of our family members, and at the same time more broadly on winning support for American diplomacy and resources for the Foreign Service and all of our members' agencies, ensuring that the Foreign Service continues to play a central role in carrying out our nation's foreign policy. He also intends to focus on the urgent need to increase diversity in both hiring and promotions, and to address growing challenges in recruitment and hiring.
Ken Kero-Mentz joined the State Department in January 2000 as a member of the 95th A-100 class. He was posted overseas in Rio de Janeiro, Baghdad, Berlin, Colombo, and Erbil, and worked domestically in the Bureaus of European and Eurasian Affairs and Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. He served most recently as AFSA’s Vice President for State where he fought to enhance AFSA’s dual mission of defending the Foreign Service and protecting Foreign Service employees. An econ-coned officer, Ken served as AFSA Post Rep in Berlin where he received the AFSA Post Rep of the Year Award in 2009. He served two tours on the AFSA Governing Board from 2011 to 2015 under the leadership of Susan Johnson and later with Bob Silverman. Prior to joining State, Ken spent five years on Capitol Hill covering a wide-range of legislative issues, including foreign policy. Raised in Vermont, he got his B.A. in International Affairs with a Minor in German, and a Master’s in Public Administration from the George Washington University here in DC. Ken is looking forward to serving as Secretary of AFSA with a focus on the organization’s governance.
Virginia Bennett, senior director for international programs at CNA Corporation, is a retired Senior Foreign Service officer who served as principal deputy assistant secretary of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor from 2014 to 2017. From 2011 to 2014, she served as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Athens.
Ms. Bennett also served in Bogota, Tokyo and Manila; in New York City at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations; and in Washington, D.C., in the State Department’s Operations Center and in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.
Ms. Bennett speaks French, Spanish and Japanese. She graduated from Wellesley College and has a master’s degree in business administration from Cornell University.
A member of the Senior Foreign Service, Tom Yazdgerdi entered the U.S. Foreign Service in 1991 and is currently Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues in the European and Eurasian Bureau at the Department of State. Before that, he served as Director of the Office of South Central European Affairs (2014-2016). He was also Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul (2013-2014), head of the U.S. Consulate in Kirkuk, Iraq (2011-2012) and Deputy Political Counselor for Iran Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad (2010-2011). Tom also served as Deputy Chief of Mission and Political-Economic Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Pristina, Kosovo (2006-2009) in the run-up to and aftermath of Kosovo independence. His other assignments include Panama, Bratislava, Tirana, and Athens, as well as positions in the European Bureau (Czech Desk) and the Political-Military Affairs (PM) Bureau at the State Department, and as Senior Balkans Program Officer with the National Democratic Institute in Washington.
Tom has a B.A. in History from Cornell University and an M.A. in Central European History, Security Studies and American Diplomatic History from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.
Tom is the recipient of three Superior Honor Awards, a Meritorious Honor Award, the Sinclair Award for Excellence in Language Study (Greek), four Group Superior Honor Awards, and the Secretary of State’s Award for Volunteerism Abroad.
Before joining the Foreign Service, Tom worked as Legislative Assistant for Foreign Affairs and Defense issues to Congressman William O. Lipinski (D‐IL), who represented the southwest Chicago area where Tom was born.
Tom speaks Dari, Farsi, Spanish, and Greek and has competency in Czech and Slovak. His interests include piano, tennis, reading, and hiking.
The son of a USAID Foreign Service Officer, Jason Singer is a proud high school graduate of the International School of Kenya (Go Lions!) with 20+ years of professional, interagency development experience including 14+ as an FSO with USAID. In addition to his service with the U.S. Treasury and National Security Council, Mr. Singer has served in a range of USAID overseas and domestic posts and led USAID teams in a variety of sectors including economic growth; anti-corruption & good governance; immunization & water, sanitation & hygiene; basic education; agribusiness; workforce development; disaster risk reduction and women’s empowerment. In this context, Mr. Singer has tremendous respect for development professionals across all functional and technical areas, and the importance of intra- and interagency collaboration to strengthen the Foreign Service cadre. His experience of being raised in the Foreign Service, and his diverse professional background, bolster his commitment, capacity and enthusiasm to represent and advocate on behalf of his USAID colleagues.
Jay Carreiro is a career Foreign Service Officer and an 18-year veteran of the Commerce Department. He joined the Commercial Service in 2009, serving as Special Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Operations. Prior to his election to the AFSA Governing Board, he was the Director for Business Liaison and Special Advisor to the U.S. Executive Director at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington. He also served in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Before joining Commerce, Jay served as a judicial law clerk in Trenton, New Jersey. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Public Administration from Rhode Island College, and a Master of Public Administration and Juris Doctor from Rutgers University. He is married with one child and currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia.
Michael Riedel has served as an FSO with the Foreign Agricultural Service for 20 years, and realizes his long-time goal of serving as AFSA vice president for FAS. His overseas assignments have included New Delhi, Baghdad, Ho Chi Minh City, Beijing (as director of the embassy’s Office of Agricultural Affairs), and Lima (as agricultural counselor).
Between Beijing and Lima, Mr. Riedel spent time in FAS/Washington as Asia division director of the FAS Office of Country and Regional Affairs and as Western Hemisphere area director in the Office of Foreign Service Operations.
Before beginning his public service career, Mr. Riedel worked as an international trade analyst in a law firm’s Washington offices. He received his bachelor’s degree in international and comparative politics from Western Michigan University and his master’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. Mr. Riedel has one delightful daughter who is growing up much too fast.
John Naland’s 29-year Foreign Service career included service in Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico (as principal officer in Matamoros), and Iraq (as leader of the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Basra). Washington assignments included the Secretary’s Policy Planning Staff, the White House Situation Room, and the Bureau of Human Resources (as director of the Office of Retirement). He was AFSA State vice president from 1999 to 2001 and AFSA president from 2001 to 2003 and from 2007 to 2009. He retired from the Foreign Service in 2015. He is in his second term as AFSA Retiree VP having been first elected in 2017. He is also currently president of the Foreign Service Youth Foundation and coordinator of the Foreign Affairs Retirees of Northern Virginia. He is co-author of the third edition of Career Diplomacy: Life and Work in the U.S. Foreign Service (Georgetown University Press 2017). A former U.S. Army cavalry officer who served in West Germany during the Cold War, he is a graduate of the Army War College. Born in Kansas, he grew up in New Orleans and graduated from Tulane University. He is married and has two daughters.
Kristin Roberts is the Director of Policy in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Her most recent assignment was in the Office of Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs as a desk officer in August 2018, where her portfolio included Cyprus, Greece, Turkey, NATO, and the European Union.
Ms. Roberts began her career with the U.S. Department of State in 2005 and has served in a variety of policy positions, including press attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia. She previously oversaw the Public Affairs Office at the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and served as the Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs in Washington, D.C. Prior to those postings, she worked in the State Department Operations Center, the Department’s communications and crisis management hub, and as the deputy spokesperson at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India. Ms. Roberts has also served overseas at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan and at the U.S. Mission to the European Union.
Ms. Roberts earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Washington. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, she worked as an attorney for the law firm Cozen O’Connor in Seattle, Washington. Ms. Roberts has studied Georgian, Russian, Urdu, and Swedish. She is married to fellow Foreign Service Officer James Morris, and they have two sons, Elias and Jonah. In her spare time, she enjoys reading the annual New York Times Notable Fiction list and running (albeit slowly).
Lillian Wahl-Tuco joined the Department of State in 2006 as a Consular coned Foreign Service Officer. She is currently serving as a Pearson Fellow on the SFRC, Minority staff. Lilly has served on award committees, employee association boards, and as a Federal Women's Program coordinator during her overseas assignments. She also helped launch the first FAST (first and second tour) program in Paris. During a Washington tour in 2011, Lilly’s passion for work-life issues motivated her to launch Balancing Act with several other FS and CS colleagues to help the Department modernize all its work-life policies - including in areas such as flexible work arrangements, telework, parental leave, childcare, and eldercare issues. In addition, Lilly was an AFSA board member from 2012-2014. During that time, she successfully helped secure programs such as the Voluntary Leave Bank, Backup care, and job share reform, among other things. Lilly is part of a FS-CS tandem and is a mother of two children. Lilly is joining EUR/PD in August where she will cover Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova.
Lilly is interested in re-joining the AFSA board as now, more than ever before, she believes a strong Foreign Service needs to be supported and advocated for by AFSA- especially as hiring and promotions have slowed down. She also wants to help AFSA efforts on diversity and gender issues and continue to be an advocate for work-life reforms that are a win-win both employees and the Department. She believes her experience as a Pearson and Congressional contacts will also prove to be a valuable asset to AFSA.
Holly Kirking Loomis is Acting Director of the State Department Office of Global Change, where she leads the 35-person team that coordinates and implements U.S. foreign policy, negotiations strategy, and programs related to climate change. Holly previously served in Brasilia, Tegucigalpa, and twice in Beijing. She speaks Portuguese, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese. In the summer 2019, she served a temporary assignment as A/Deputy Chief of Mission in Majuro, Marshall Islands.
Ms. Kirking Loomis joined the foreign service as an Economic Officer in 2004. She earned her master’s degree from Tufts University Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy and graduated Summa cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota. She served as Treasurer and Development Chair on the Board of Directors of the American School in Brasilia and joined the AFSA Board in order to advocate for the practitioners and practice of diplomacy. She also recently joined the Board of Directors of the Green Climate Fund as Alternate U.S. representative. Before joining the Foreign Service, Holly worked in trade finance in Chicago. Holly and her husband Landon Loomis have three young sons, who call Wisconsin and New Orleans their home.
Tamir Waser is the Deputy Director for the Office of European Security and Political-Military Affairs at the Department of State. He served overseas most recently as Political Counselor at the U.S. Mission to NATO in Brussels (2015-18), as Principal Deputy High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2013-2014), and as Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo (2011-2013). Tamir has also served in U.S. embassies in Riga, Freetown, Canberra, and Bogotá. In Washington, he has served on the staff of Under Secretary for Political Affairs, in the Balkans office working on Kosovo, and in the Office of European Security and Political-Military Affairs handling NATO’s operations in the Balkans.
A native of California, Tamir has a BA and MA from the University of Virginia and an MSc from the National War College. He is a baseball fan and enjoys history.
Joshua Archibald is the Deputy Director of EB’s Office of Economic Policy and Public Diplomacy. Previously (2016-2019) he was the deputy director of the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement office in San Salvador, where he led the fight against MS-13, corruption, and impunity. Prior to El Salvador, Mr. Archibald was a special assistant for the Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment; the State Department’s lead officer on the Committee for Foreign Investment in the United States; and the manager of the internal unit in the Political-Military office of Embassy Baghdad. His other diplomatic assignments include Laos, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, and Italy.
Born and raised in the Bay Area of California, Mr. Archibald earned a bachelor’s degree in international economics and German from U.C. Davis, and a Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) from Georgetown. He speaks German, Spanish, and just enough Lao to be dangerous. He is married (as part of a “tandem”) with three children.
Mr. Archibald’s goals for AFSA include pushing for in-state tuition for the children of FSOs in their state of domicile, continuing to improve opportunities for economic officers, finishing Overseas Comparability Pay, and encouraging continued improvements to the Department’s administrative and managerial processes.
Matthew Dolbow is studying Japanese at the Foreign Service Institute in preparation for his assignment as consul general in Naha. He previously served as chief of staff in the National Security Council and in the National Economic Council’s international economics office, counselor for economic and social affairs at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York City, economic strategy unit chief at U.S. Embassy Beijing and as spokesman for U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong.
Mr. Dolbow completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in public administration at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government via the Foreign Service Institute’s University Economic Training position. He enjoys mentoring and leadership development and aims to contribute to department efforts to promote a resilient workforce. Outside of the office, he races cars and enjoys studying art, design, architecture, music and film. He and his wife, Judy, recently welcomed their first child into the Foreign Service family.
Ms. Lorraine Sherman is a Foreign Service Officer with the United States Agency for International Development where she currently serves as Senior Advisor.
She is a decorated U.S. Army veteran and holds Bachelor of Arts degrees from Rutgers University, a Juris Doctor from Boston University School of Law, and a Masters degree from the School of Advanced Military Studies/Command and General Staff College.
Mike Calvert is a Foreign Service Officer (FSO) serving in U.S. Embassies around the world to advance U.S. commercial interests. He is currently serving on a two-year domestic assignment within the Office of Africa and the Middle East (MEA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Among his portfolio responsibilities are supporting infrastructure projects across the MEA region as well as serving as the desk officer for Egypt.
Prior to Mr. Calvert’s current assignment, he served as the Senior Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras from 2016-2019 and as a Commercial Officer in Johannesburg, South Africa from 2014-2016. As a Commercial Officer, Mr. Calvert regularly assists U.S. companies looking to penetrate overseas markets in a variety sectors including agriculture, automotive, education, energy, mining, healthcare, safety and security, telecommunications, transportation, and more.
From 2008-2014, Mr. Calvert served as an International Trade Specialist in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Western Hemisphere at the U.S. Department of Commerce. In this capacity he has served as a Program Manager for the Western Hemisphere’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs where he worked with U.S. businesses to promote successful CSR programs throughout the western hemisphere as well as assist other firms in developing their own CSR programs. Mr. Calvert also managed numerous programs focused on promoting education and innovation partnerships within the hemisphere. During his tenure at Commerce, Mr. Calvert served as one of the lead USG negotiators for the U.S.-El Salvador Partnership for Growth Agreement.
Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Commerce, Mr. Calvert was a political staffer within the Illinois General Assembly covering the Committees of Health, Insurance, and Travel and Tourism. Mr. Calvert has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Northern Illinois University and a Masters in International Relations from the University of Chicago.
Mary Rose Parrish is the deputy director for Multilateral Trade Capacity Building Programs at USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service in Washington, D.C. She just returned from Mexico City where she served as the deputy director of the Agricultural Trade Office, following her role as agricultural attaché in the Office of Agricultural Affairs.
Within FAS, Mary has also worked in the Animal Division and the Global Commodities Analysis Division. Prior to FAS, Mary worked at the World Bank in the Central America Management Unit on Sustainable Development and on the Agricultural Risk Management Team. Previously, she was the program and membership manager at the Fair Trade Federation.
She holds a master’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University with a concentration in international development and bachelor’s degrees from the University of California, Berkeley in international political economy and Latin American studies. Raised in Raleigh, N.C., Mary and her husband have one son.
Jeffery is a career Foreign Service officer. Prior to his recent relocation back to APHIS headquarters, he served as the Area Director for the APHIS International Services office in San Jose since 2014. He is responsible for the technical/scientific, sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) side of import/export regulations of agricultural trade between Central America and the United States. Additionally, he works to identify emerging animal and plant pest and disease issues within the Central American region and works with the respective countries to develop surveillance and mitigation measures.
Steven L. Herman is the White House bureau chief for the Voice of America. The veteran correspondent has been a member of the Foreign Service since 2007 when he was named as VOA’s South Asia bureau chief, based in New Delhi. Subsequent to his India posting, Herman was Northeast Asia bureau chief, based in Seoul, and then Southeast Asia bureau chief in Bangkok. He returned Stateside in 2016 to cover diplomacy, based at the State Department, before moving to cover the new administration shortly after the inauguration.
Herman spent 16 consecutive years living in Tokyo, working in media, before joining VOA as a staff correspondent. He is also a former news reporter for the Associated Press and began his career in radio and television news in Las Vegas. Herman is a former president of both the Foreign Correspondents' Club and the Seoul Foreign Correspondents' Club. He is also a governor of the Overseas Press Club of America. The Cincinnati native is a graduate of Thomas Edison State University and holds a M.A. in Public Diplomacy from Mountain State University.
Mary Daly is a Senior Advisor in the Department of State’s Bureau of Human Resources where she directs the Franklin Fellows Program, a public-private collaboration that brings outside experts to State and USAID for a sabbatical year. She was a political officer in the Foreign Service for 23 years, serving as political counselor, speechwriter, policy planner, and legislative liaison, among other assignments, before retiring early to care for a family member. Since retiring, she has served as a senior inspector at OIG, editor-in-chief of the International Religious Freedom Report, and FSI instructor, in addition to her work in HR. She served as AFSA’s Director of Advocacy and Speechwriting in the critical period between July 2017 and March 2018. In that capacity, she built relationships for AFSA with Appropriations and Authorizations committee members and staff, and helped launch the Friends of the Foreign Service caucus.
Philip A. Shull retired in 2016 after 31 years with the Foreign Agricultural Service. A native of Wooster, Ohio, his interest in food security and international relations was sparked from living in India as a boy where he saw severe malnutrition. Mr. Shull's work maximizing exports of U.S. food and agricultural products and promoting global food security included trade negotiations, capacity building, food safety, biotechnology, marketing and promotion, scientific exchange, and economic analysis. His overseas assignments included Korea, Argentina (including Uruguay and Paraguay), Hong Kong, Philippines, and three postings to China. His final position was Minister Counselor for Agriculture in Beijing.
Throughout his career, Mr. Shull used common goals in improved technology, science-based regulations, food safety standards, and farmer-to-farmer visits to advance broader U.S. diplomatic interests. He reveled in working with other sections of the embassy to expand the reach of USDA programs. He believes that embassies, being among the very few institutions where top experts from diverse fields share office space and a common objective, can epitomize government effectiveness.
Mr. Shull's goal in running for Retiree Representative on AFSA's Governing Board was to use his private sector contacts to promote public support for the Foreign Service, particularly in the heartland; defend the Foreign Service against unjustified resource cuts; help ensure our Foreign Service continues to promote the full range of our traditional diplomatic and economic interest; and create opportunities for retirees to demonstrate the value of the Foreign Service by sharing their knowledge, experience, and insights in universities and other forums.