Programs, Events and Updates

July-August 2017

  1. Seeking Input on the EFM Hiring Freeze
  2. Join AFSA at an Upcoming Event
  3. Do You Have Nationals Tickets Yet?
  4. Welcoming the New AFSA Governing Board
  5. AFSA Awards Ceremony Honors Foreign Service Excellence
  6. AFSA Merit Award Winners Honored
  7. Calling All FS Book Authors!
  8. Write for the Journal
  9. Become an AFSA Post Representative
  10. Make Sure AFSA Has Your Updated Address

1) SEEKING INPUT ON THE EFM HIRING FREEZE

The July-August Foreign Service Journal article, “Out in the Cold: How the Hiring Freeze Is Affecting Family Member Employment,” has quickly become one of the most-read FSJ articles of the year. AFSA is deeply engaged on this issue. The jobs done by EFMs are absolutely critical to operations at posts worldwide.

As part of AFSA’s effort to understand the on-the-ground consequences of the hiring freeze and to move the discussion forward, the Journal invites you to respond to the article and the issue with your own story. Please send a comment (200 to 300 words) describing the impact of the hiring freeze on you, your family and your post to The Foreign Service Journal. Be specific. Please include your name, position and post. We will assume that all comments are for publication unless you tell us otherwise. If you do mark your comments “not for attribution,” we will not share identifying information. The Journal will compile and publish the responses in an upcoming issue. Responses should be sent to journal@afsa.org by July 18, with the subject “EFM Hiring.”

 

2) JOIN AFSA AT AN UPCOMING EVENT

AFSA has a busy events calendar through the rest of summer and into fall. We hope you will find the opportunity to visit AFSA HQ for any of the following programs:

  • September 7 at 12:00 p.m.: AFSA President Ambassador Barbara Stephenson will participate in a moderated conversation with Foreign Service Officer Oni Blair, who is finishing a tour in the office of the mayor in Houston, Texas. Ms. Blair will discuss her experience and her concrete contributions to helping Houston achieve numerous international successes. Stay tuned for further information in a future message.
  • September 14 at 12:00 p.m.: Retired Foreign Service Officers and authors John K. Naland and Harry W. Kopp will discuss the brand-new third edition of Career Diplomacy: Life and Work in the Foreign Service. Click here to register.
  • Our next networking happy hour will take place from 4:00-6:00 p.m. on September 20. All are welcome to these social events, where light snacks are offered and $5 tickets for beer and wine are available for purchase. Click here to register.
  • October 11 at 12:00 p.m.: Retired Ambassador James Bullington joins us to talk about his new book, Global Adventures on Less-Traveled Roads: A Foreign Service Memoir. Click here to register for this event.
 

3) DO YOU HAVE NATIONALS TICKETS YET?

Don’t forget to make plans for September 8, when the second annual Foreign Service Night at Nationals Park takes place! The Nationals will take on the Phillies, and we hope to have a large group of Foreign Service community members in attendance. Last year we had over 400 people there – let’s do better this year! Tickets are available for purchase at https://groupmatics.events/event/American7.

 

4) WELCOMING THE NEW AFSA GOVERNING BOARD

The 2017-2019 AFSA Governing Board officially took office on July 15. As we thank the outgoing board for its contributions and dedication to the Foreign Service, we invite you to meet the new members and welcome your engagement with them over the next two years. Click here to meet the Board.

 

5) AFSA AWARDS CEREMONY HONORS FOREIGN SERVICE EXCELLENCE

Thirteen outstanding members of the Foreign Service community – along with three runners-up – were honored for constructive dissent, exemplary performance and lifetime contributions to American diplomacy during AFSA’s annual awards ceremony on June 20. Ambassador (ret.) Nancy J. Powell was selected as this year’s lifetime award recipient for her inspirational Foreign Service career and her tireless mentorship of colleagues ranging from interns to Ambassadors. It was a truly awe-inspiring occasion where the recipients together wove a story of the importance of diplomacy and development and the many contributions of the Foreign Service and the wider FS community. You may watch the ceremony at www.afsa.org/video.

 

6) AFSA MERIT AWARD WINNERS HONORED

On July 7, AFSA teamed up with FSYF and AAFSW at a Youth Awards Ceremony where Foreign Service children were honored for their academic, art and community service accomplishments. The ceremony is available for online viewing at www.afsa.org/video. Speakers at the ceremony included AFSA President Ambassador Barbara Stephenson, FSYF President John Naland, AFSA Scholarship Committee Chair Ambassador Lange Schermerhorn and HR DAS Constance Dierman. AFSA had the pleasure of conferring merit awards on 24 students. More information on the winners can be found at www.afsa.org/scholar.

 

7) CALLING ALL FS BOOK AUTHORS!

In November The Foreign Service Journal will celebrate the wealth of literary talent within the Foreign Service community with its annual “In Their Own Write” edition. Genres include history, biography, memoirs, issues and policy, fiction and other topics. Foreign Service-affiliated authors whose books have been published in 2016 or 2017 are invited to send us a copy of the book, along with a press release or backgrounder on it. Deadline for submissions is Sept. 1. For more information, please email journal@afsa.org.

Send your materials and new books to the attention of: Dmitry Filipoff, Publications Coordinator, American Foreign Service Association Publications Department, 2101 E Street NW, Washington DC 20037.

 

8) WRITE FOR THE JOURNAL

We welcome your writing on any topic of concern to the FS community, or choose among the focus topics (available via the AFSA website, www.afsa.org/edcalendar). The Journal is always seeking strong Speaking Out submissions (1,500-1,800 words), Reflections (700 words) and features (1,500-2,000 words). See Author Guidelines for more detail. We also invite you to share your thoughts on Journal articles by sending a letter to the editor. Please send feedback and submissions to journal@afsa.org.

 

9) BECOME AN AFSA POST REPRESENTATIVE

As summer comes to an end, many of AFSA's current Post Representatives will have transferred, leaving some posts temporarily without an AFSA Rep. All posts without an AFSA Rep, or one moving on, should hold elections as soon as possible to ensure continuity. Click here to determine if there is a vacancy at your post or a Rep that will be leaving soon.

The only employees excluded from serving as official AFSA Reps are management officials and/or confidential employees including chiefs of mission, deputy chiefs of mission, management officers, human resources officers, regional security officers, and office management specialists for COM/DCM. Posts preparing to hold elections may visit the AFSA website to review the guidelines for holding elections. Be sure to advise AFSA when a Post Rep is elected so that they can be properly certified. For further information contact the Member Services Department at member@afsa.org.

 

10) MAKE SURE AFSA HAS YOUR UPDATED ADDRESS

Did you get the most recent issue of The Foreign Service Journal? If not, we probably don’t know where you are! Update your address now by sending an email to member@afsa.org or submitting an update via the AFSA website.