The Foreign Service Journal, June 2018

52 JUNE 2018 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL AFSA NEWS AFSA has welcomed several new staff members over the past few months. Our new director of advocacy, Kim Greenplate , will take the lead on all our congressional relations efforts and will serve as a close adviser to AFSA leadership. Kim comes to AFSA from the Hill, where she was most recently legislative director for Representative A Fresh Approach to Member Services AFSA has embarked on a reorganization of the associa- tion’s member services in an effort to improve engage- ment, enhance service and benefits, and become more proactive than reactive in the way we communicate with our members. Communication with members is the most impor- tant avenue of engagement for AFSA. Recognizing this, the membership function has been combined with the communications function to form the new department of communications and membership. Longtime AFSA staff member Ásgeir Sigfús- son has taken on the role of director of communications and membership. Ásgeir has been with AFSA for 15 years and has a deep knowledge of the association’s history and a strong understanding of member needs. AFSA has hired Ashley Dunn as member accounts specialist.With a background in customer service and association member engage- ment, Ashley acts as the primary point of contact for all members. She will respond to member inquiries as quickly and comprehensively as pos- sible, relying on colleagues across the association for more complex inquiries. She also oversees AFSA’s post representative program.When she isn’t at AFSA, Ashley runs her own catering company. Christine Miele continues in her role as retiree out- reach coordinator. As such, she engages with our retiree members across the broad spectrum of the association’s work, ranging from speakers’ bureau activities to recruit- ment and local advocacy efforts. Christine will also oversee moderation of AFSA’s new online community, launching early this month. For the last two months, AFSA has been engaged in a study of the needs of retiree members when it comes to individual casework and coun- seling to better understand what is required and thus to ensure that this function is properly resourced and sup- ported. We look forward to imple- menting the recommended course of action resulting from this study, making sure that our retiree members experience the best possible customer service, and that all member needs are met at a high level. n Christine Miele Ashley Dunn Ásgeir Sigfússon AFSA Welcomes New Staff Members Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.). Kim was the representative’s lead adviser on the House Armed Services Committee and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. During her time on the Hill, Kim championed national security issues, focusing on military readiness, training and veterans. Kim has both a B.A. and B.S. from the University of Florida and attended the U.S. Air Force Air Command and Staff College. In her spare time, Kim enjoys cycling and trips to the beach. Kim can be reached at greenplate@ AFSA also wel- comes new griev- ance counselor Heather Townsend . Heather brings 29 years of Foreign Service experience to her new position. A career management officer, she retired in November 2017 as a member of the Senior Foreign Service. Her domes- tic assignments included executive director of the Bureau of European and Eur- asian Affairs and the Bureau of International Organiza- tional Affairs and principal deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations. She served overseas in Moscow (twice), and in Slovakia, Bosnia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. Heather has an M.A. from the University of Michigan