Programs, Events and Updates

September-October 2017

  1. Join AFSA at Upcoming Events
  2. Senior Living Foundation—Here to Help
  3. Heads Up! the Book Market is Back!
  4. Grab Your Pen and Write for the Journal
  5. Journal Seeking Photos: Dog Days and Cat’s Cradles
  6. AFSA’s Essay Contest Turns 20
  7. Are You Retiring Soon?
  8. Please Update Your AFSA 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:

  • Our fall happy hour takes place on Wednesday September 20 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. It is a fantastic opportunity to network with friends and colleagues and enjoy a relaxing afternoon. Light refreshments will be served and $5 tickets for beer and wine will be available. Click here to register.
  • On October 11 from 12:00-1:30 p.m., we welcome Ambassador (ret.) James Bullington to discuss his memoir, Global Adventures on Less-Traveled Roads as part of our ongoing AFSA Book Notes series. Click here to register.
  • On October 17 (time TBD), we will offer a discussion on the foundational document of the modern Foreign Service – the Foreign Service Act of 1980. AFSA President Ambassador Barbara Stephenson, AFSA Board Secretary Ambassador (ret.) Tom Boyatt and AFSA Professional Policy Issues Director Julie Nutter will lead the discussion. Stay tuned for an invitation and additional details.
  • If you’ve missed any recent event, such as the September 14 Book Notes discussion on Career Diplomacy, most events are recorded and made available for online viewing at www.afsa.org/video.

2) SENIOR LIVING FOUNDATION—HERE TO HELP

Some of our retired Foreign Service colleagues have seen their homes damaged or destroyed by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Others have endured other costs to meet their healthcare needs in these difficult times. This is a reminder that The Senior Living Foundation (SLF) of the American Foreign Service (www.slfoundation.org) is available to help those in times of need. Cases will be reviewed for need and to ensure that applicants meet the Foundation’s established guidelines for assistance. Retired Foreign Service employees and their spouses, including divorced or widowed spouses, can contact SLF at (202) 887-8170 or info@slfoundation.org.

3) HEADS UP! THE BOOK MARKET IS BACK!

We are planning one of our favorite events—the AFSA Book Market. The Book Market is an open-house networking, browsing and shopping event featuring two dozen authors whose books are featured in the November 2016 and 2017 editions of “In Their Own Write” in The Foreign Service Journal. Save the date: November 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at AFSA headquarters.

4) GRAB YOUR PEN AND 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.

5) JOURNAL SEEKING PHOTOS: DOG DAYS AND CAT’S CRADLES

Traveling around the world with a pet can be an exhausting, but ultimately rewarding experience. We know that our members love the dogs, cats and even more unusual pets they take with them to every clime and place, and we invite readers to submit photos of their animals at post. When submitting your high-resolution images, please include your name, the name of your animal, where the photo was taken and the origin of your pet (we know there are a lot of rescue animals out there!). Send your (high-resolution/1MB+) images to journal@afsa.org, subject line: Pets. The best photos (with notes) will be published in a future issue of the Journal.

6) AFSA’S ESSAY CONTEST TURNS 20

In 2018, AFSA will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its National High School Essay Contest. The contest will launch on September 15. This year, we are asking students “Why Diplomacy and Peacebuilding Matter.” AFSA has partnered with the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Semester at Sea (SAS) and the National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC) to make this contest a rewarding and educational experience for thousands of students. Teachers across the country have integrated the contest into their classroom curriculum. The contest has challenged high school students from around the nation to explore and research difficult issues related to American diplomacy and the Foreign Service.

The 2018 contest asks students to submit an essay identifying two cases—one they deem successful and another they deem unsuccessful—where the U.S. pursued an integrated approach to build peace in a conflict-affected country. The deadline for submissions is March 15, 2018. Please spread the word about this great opportunity for our nation’s high school students. Learn more at www.afsa.org/essaycontest.

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.

8) PLEASE UPDATE YOUR AFSA ADDRESS!

As the summer transfer season comes to an end, it is important to remember to update your address on file with AFSA. You can do so in less than 60 seconds by emailing member@afsa.org or visiting www.afsa.org/contact.