Programs, Events and Updates

March-April 2018

  1. Join AFSA at Upcoming Events
  2. Foreign Service Day Events at the Department of State
  3. Call for Nominations: AFSA Dissent and Performance Awards
  4. The Foreign Service Journal Enters Centennial Year!
  5. AFSA Scholarship Deadline is March 29!
  6. Seeking Input from Local Staff for July-August FSJ
  7. Are You Retiring Soon?
  8. Do You Want Back Issues of the FSJ?
  9. New Excerpts from Inside a U.S. Embassy Now Online
  10. Please Update Your Address!
 

1) JOIN AFSA AT UPCOMING EVENTS


Our events calendar is quite full in the coming weeks, and we invite you to join us at AFSA headquarters for one or more of the following:

  • Please join us for the first happy hour of the year on March 29 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Click here for more information.
  • On May 1, Jeannie Singleton of LTC Partners will discuss issues having to do with long term care insurance. Stay tuned for a separate message on this event.
  • Ambassador (ret.) Vicki Huddleston joins us at noon on May 3 to discuss her new book, Our Woman in Havana: A Diplomat’s Chronicle of America’s Long Struggle with Castro’s Cuba. Click here to register.
  • Foreign Service Day this year is May 4. The annual AFSA memorial ceremony will also take place that day. Stay tuned for a separate message on AFSA’s increased programming and services around this annual homecoming event.
  • The highly popular Foreign Service Night at Nationals Park is coming back this fall! Mark your calendars for Friday September 7 at 7:05 p.m. when the Nationals play the Cubs. Click here for more information and to buy a ticket!
  • If you’ve missed a recent event, you can catch up on most of them at www.afsa.org/video.
 

2) FOREIGN SERVICE DAY EVENTS AT THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Last week, State began mailing out 2,900 invitations to retirees for Foreign Service Day (Friday, May 4). It usually sells out quickly, so we recommend you RSVP and mail in your check immediately to secure your place (they do NOT take credit card reservations). State drops people who haven’t sent an RSVP in the last couple of years from the mailing list. If you’re not sure you are on the mailing list, we recommend you email foreignaffairsday@state.gov, state your interest in attending on May 4, and ask them to confirm that you are on the mailing list, or, if not, to add you immediately to the list. AFSA looks forward to seeing you at Foreign Service Day as well as welcoming you to AFSA after the program for our own Foreign Service Day reception, a great way to touch base with other retirees in town.

 

3) CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: AFSA DISSENT AND PERFORMANCE AWARDS

AFSA is now accepting nominations for the association’s awards for constructive dissent and exemplary performance. We encourage members to nominate deserving colleagues—or themselves—so that we may continue to spotlight those who are worthy of recognition. The deadline for nominations is May 25, 2018. Please visit www.afsa.org/awards for more information.

 

4) THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL LAUNCHES CENTENNIAL YEAR!

With the April issue, the FSJ enters its centennial year of continuous publication. Not many magazines last a century, but The Foreign Service Journal has. Why? Because of you—our readers, our authors, our community. The Journal stays strong as “the independent voice of the Foreign Service” because you write for it, you read it and you join in the conversation. In honor of our centennial celebration, please send us a note about what the Journal has meant to you in your Foreign Service life and career. Email us at journal@afsa.org with your answer to this: “The Foreign Service Journal is ___.” (Please be nice. It’s our birthday.)

 

5) AFSA SCHOLARSHIP DEADLINE IS MARCH 29!

Applications for AFSA financial aid and merit scholarships are due on March 29. Funding this year for merit aid is nearly tripled thanks to prudent management of the AFSA Scholarship Fund, including recent efficiencies to trim the cost of administering the program. This means we are able to provide up to 65 students with financial aid scholarships, while up to 42 students can receive merit scholarships, which include academic and art merit as well as awards for best essay and community service. Learn more at www.afsa.org/scholar. Note that when asked for a code during the applications process, the one to use is AFSA.

 

6) SEEKING INPUT FROM LOCAL STAFF FOR JULY-AUGUST FSJ

The Foreign Service Journal will devote the July-August issue to “What Local Staff Want You to Know,” and we are looking for stories and advice from Locally Employed staff (Foreign Service Nationals) around the world. Please share this note and encourage your FSN colleagues to send in a submission for the July-August issue. Instructions: Please answer one or more of the following questions in 500 to 700 words and send your response to journal@afsa.org by April 2. Use subject line “FSN Input” and include your name, home country, post (or former post), position (or former position) and years working for the U.S. government. Submissions may be edited for style and clarity, and we cannot promise to publish all of them.

  • What advice would you give American employees at the embassy about working with local staff?
  • How have you in your work contributed to relations between your country and the United States?
  • Please give an example or a story of a time you felt your work made a difference.
  • What do you think the U.S. embassy/mission should focus on but isn’t?
  • What should be done to help LE staff/FSNs be even more successful in their work?
  • The most interesting thing about my job is…
  • The hardest thing about my job is…
 

7) ARE YOU RETIRING SOON?

If so, please make sure that you carry your AFSA membership into retirement. Be aware that your AFSA membership will not continue unless you transition it to Retiree Membership. We recommend you do so before you actually retire so that there is no break in your membership. Dues are less than half the active duty rate and include benefits specifically for retired members. You may access the retiree membership annuity deduction forms online by clicking here. Be sure to note the date of your retirement in your email to ensure a smooth transition. Questions? Please contact member@afsa.org. In case you are on the verge of retirement, you may find AFSA’s recent seminar on retirement planning to be useful; please visit www.afsa.org/video to watch it.

 

8) DO YOU WANT BACK ISSUES OF THE FSJ?

Need teaching material to help explain the value of diplomacy? Want magazines to share in your reading and waiting spaces? AFSA has hundreds of back issues of the FSJ, and we’d be glad to send some your way! Visit the FSJ featured content page to see what’s available and email journal@afsa.org with inquiries and (domestic) mailing address. Even better if you let us know by email and can stop by to pick them up.

 

9) NEW EXCERPTS FROM INSIDE A U.S. EMBASSY NOW ONLINE

What’s it like helping Mexican journalists tell stories in Guadalajara? Or setting up high-level visits in Moscow? Or finalizing bilateral energy agreements between the United States and the United Arab Emirates? New excerpts from AFSA’s bestselling book, Inside a U.S. Embassy, are now online to help tell the story of the U.S. Foreign Service and show how diplomacy serves the national interest.

 

10) PLEASE UPDATE YOUR ADDRESS!

Did you receive the March issue of The Foreign Service Journal? If not, we may not have your most up-to-date address. Email us at member@afsa.org and we will correct your record.