Programs, Events and Updates

January-February 2019

  1. Upcoming Federal Benefits Programming
  2. Spring Happy Hour, March 28
  3. Save the Date for Foreign Service Day Activities at AFSA
  4. AFSA’S 2019 Retiree Directory
  5. Give the Gift of Understanding: FSJ Centennial Subscription
  6. Call for Nominations: 2018 Sinclaire Language Awards
  7. AFSA Scholarship Applications are Available Now
  8. Seeking Input from ConGen Jerusalem Alumni
  9. Join the FSJ Centennial Celebration
  10. Free Maps for FSJ Readers
  11. Please Update Your Address!
 

1) UPCOMING FEDERAL BENEFITS PROGRAMMING

We are pleased to announce our next two federal benefits events.

  • On February 5, AFSA retiree vice president John Naland will conduct a webinar for our retiree members, focused on “Reviewing Your Retirement Plan,” focused on encouraging members to take a look at their current retirement plan and ask whether changes or updates are needed. Email events@afsa.org to register.
  • On April 11, Naland will offer a second session of his very popular presentation, “Retirement Planning 5 to 10 Years Out.” This is geared toward active-duty members. Click here for additional information and to register.
  • We are also organizing events on financial planning and how to use LinkedIn for networking. Stay tuned for additional information on those programs.
 

2) SPRING HAPPY HOUR, MARCH 28

Join AFSA in a celebration of the season! Our spring happy hour will feature a themed cocktail and wonderful company from the Foreign Service community. As always, light hors d'oeuvres and soda/water will be served free of charge. An entry ticket, which includes one free drink, is $5; additional drink tickets are $3 each. Click here to register for this event, which takes place at AFSA HQ, 2101 E Street NW, from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

 

3) SAVE THE DATE FOR FOREIGN SERVICE DAY ACTIVITIES AT AFSA

AFSA will be opening its doors again this year to welcome back retired members of the Foreign Service for Foreign Service Day. As a compliment to the activities held at the State Department on Friday May 3 (for information on those events please email foreignaffairsday@state.gov), AFSA invites members to its headquarters for a full day of activities during our Open House on Thursday, May 2. Following the success of last year, the Open House will include a professional photographer on hand taking free professional head shots, food and drink and a place to relax and socialize with colleagues, as well as a number of scheduled programs and workshops outlining AFSA's outreach and advocacy work and other topics of professional interest. For those of you who can't make it to Washington, we hope you will participate in AFSA's annual letter-to-the-editor campaign which aims to remind and inform our local communities of the critical work of the Foreign Service in maintaining the safety and prosperity of the United States. We hope to see you on Thursday, May 2; please stay tuned for more information.

 

4) AFSA’S 2019 RETIREE DIRECTORY

Our retired members in the United States should have received their copy of the 2019 retiree directory by now; members abroad may have a few more days until deliveries are completed. We urge you to read the front section at your earliest convenience, as it contains a wealth of information on the importance of keeping your retirement plans and paperwork up to date. If you did not receive your copy yet, or need to update your information, please email us at member@afsa.org.

 

5) GIVE THE GIFT OF UNDERSTANDING: FSJ CENTENNIAL SUBSCRIPTION

With the lens turned on federal workers due to the shutdown, we all need to be able to explain what the Foreign Service does and why diplomacy matters. One good tool to use is The Foreign Service Journal. Please think about who in your life you’d like to understand more about what it is you do and how diplomacy works—and consider signing them up for a Foreign Service Journal gift subscription.

 

6) CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: 2018 SINCLAIRE LANGUAGE AWARDS

Foreign language proficiency is a vital Foreign Service skill, and AFSA is pleased to be able to honor those who stand out in their mastery of languages. We are calling for nominations for the Matilda Sinclaire Language Award, which honors members of the Foreign Service for outstanding accomplishments in the study of a Category III or IV language and its associated culture. The deadline for nominations is March 4, 2019. Winners will receive a $1,000 prize. AFSA encourages nominations of those who have achieved outstanding results while studying at post. Post language officers may not be able to provide all the information called for in this form, but FSI test results are required. For candidates nominated by posts, the nominating statement is especially important. Further information can be found in the “General Guidelines” available at www.afsa.org/sinclaire; you will also find the nomination form there.

 

7) AFSA SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS ARE AVAILABLE NOW

Applications for AFSA Financial Aid and Merit Scholarships are being accepted now. In 2018 AFSA awarded $220,000 in financial aid scholarships ranging from $2,000 to $6,000 to a total of 59 students. AFSA is also proud to have awarded $129,000 in scholarships across the categories of Academic Merit, Art Merit, and Community Service to 36 high school seniors, a significant increase over historical levels. Applications will continue to be open until March 15. For more information on the AFSA scholarship program or to apply please visit afsa.org/scholar.

Our January-February double issue is a primer on the critical work of economic diplomacy, with examples from around the world. This issue can be mailed to any new subscriber. In addition to sharing understanding, your gift can help celebrate the approaching Foreign Service Journal centennial. Our goal is 100 new subscriptions by the March 100th anniversary. To sign up, please go to the AFSA website’s subscription page. For more information, visit the FSJ, email journal@afsa.org or call us at (202) 338-4045, ext. 709.

 

8) SEEKING INPUT FROM CONGEN JERUSALEM ALUMNI

After 175 years of diplomatic history in Jerusalem, Consulate General Jerusalem will be merged into U.S. Embassy Jerusalem. As the consulate seal is taken down, the team there is asking for your help in recording and telling the story of the consulate and its many years of good work on behalf of the United States. If you have served at Consulate General Jerusalem (active-duty or retired), please consider sharing memories, anecdotes, stories or photographs of your time there. Please send submissions and any questions to ConGenJTales@state.gov, or directly to Joanne Schmoll at SchmollJL@state.gov or Scott Rasmussen at RasmussenSR@state.gov by February 19. Thank you for helping capture the history of Consulate General Jerusalem.

 

9) JOIN THE FSJ CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION

Please join The Foreign Service Journal Centennial Celebration by snapping a photo of yourself (or a friend or family member) reading the Journal wherever you are—the more distant from D.C., the better! Photos should be 1 MB or larger if possible; this is possible using almost every cell phone. Send submissions to journal@afsa.org, and please include details about yourself and the photo location and date.

 

10) FREE MAPS FOR FSJ READERS

In connection with Ambassador (ret.) Edward Peck’s December Reflection on maps, the founder of ODT Maps was kind enough to offer our readers $25 worth of world maps for only the cost of shipping. The offer is still good, and there are many wonderful maps to choose from. All you have to do is go to http://ManyWaysToSeeTheWorld.org and choose the maps you want to order. When checking out of the ODT store, use the code “donation$25” and $25 will be credited to the order.

 

11) PLEASE UPDATE YOUR ADDRESS!

Did you receive the January-February 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.