Page 7 - proof

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J U LY - A U G U S T 2 0 1 1 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L
5
The impact of globalization
and militarization is generating
a pressing need to review and
rethink the roles of diplomacy
and development, both in sup-
porting our foreign policy and
national security and in advanc-
ing American interests and values.
Within the broad framework of this de-
bate, a question arises: how can a pro-
fessional association and bargaining unit
such as AFSA contribute to strengthen-
ing our diplomacy and development
services as a tool of national power?
There are three aspects of this issue
on which I believe AFSA should con-
tinue to focus its energies: (1) raising the
profile and credibility of diplomacy; (2)
enhancing the professionalism and
quality of American diplomats and de-
velopment experts; and (3) protecting
and promoting the interests of each of
our member agencies. (I will develop
each of these objectives more fully in fu-
ture columns.) I invite readers to share
their thoughts on these goals to benefit
the newly elected 2011-2013 Govern-
ing Board, which will soon set priorities
for the next two years.
AFSA has welcomed the commit-
ment of Secretary of State Hillary Rod-
ham Clinton and outgoing Defense
Secretary Robert Gates to diplomacy
and development as critical tools of na-
tional power, alongside defense. Equal-
ly important, they have both consis-
tently sought the resources and domes-
tic political support those func-
tions deserve. As part of this ef-
fort, AFSA has strongly
supported full implementation
of the Diplomacy 3.0 hiring
programand completion of the
Quadrennial Diplomacy and
Development Review.
As our recent annual reports docu-
ment, AFSA has been investing in its
own capacity building, starting with a
renovated building, a modernizedWeb
site and IT communications capacity.
We have expanded professional staffing
to deepen our bench in the areas of pol-
icy, legislative work, labor management
and retiree services, as well as targeted
use of outside expertise.
AFSA has begun a program to col-
lect and present Foreign Service pro-
files to demystify our profession and
explain what our diplomats and devel-
opment experts around the world actu-
ally do, illustrating the excellent return
on investment that diplomacy and de-
velopment services offer the American
taxpayer. We have also issued a new
edition of our book,
Inside a U.S. Em-
bassy
, expanded media outreach,
sought out opportunities to testify be-
fore Congress, and begun building a
broader spectrum of alliances with
other groups.
In addition, AFSA continues to work
to define and enhance professionalism
in American diplomacy and develop-
ment. We are pursuing this goal
through coverage in the
Foreign Service
Journal
, by expanding the quantity and
quality of our programming, by partici-
pating in the American Academy of
Diplomacy’s project on diplomatic pro-
fessional education and training, and
working to formulate ethical standards
and a code of conduct for today’s For-
eign Service professionals. This de-
mands more attention and closer coop-
eration with management and the For-
eign Service Institute, as well as with
American diplomats who, as master
practitioners now in academia, repre-
sent a valuable resource.
Effective promotion and protection
of the interests of the Foreign Service
requires broad understanding of what
the key issues are and what strategies
are most likely to be effective. Federal
government employees across the
board have been presented with un-
precedented challenges, starting with
questions about their relevance and
role, but the largest proportional cut in
the 2011 and 2012 budgets relates to in-
ternational affairs. Challenges of this
severity to the Foreign Service call for a
collective response.
As the 21st Century AFSA Slate’s
campaign theme, “Moving Forward To-
gether,” emphasizes, your support will
strengthen our credibility and capacity
to speak out on your behalf —whereas
lack of interest will diminish our voice.
Please share your thoughts at johnson
@afsa.org.
P
RESIDENT
S
V
IEWS
Moving Forward Together
B
Y
S
USAN
R. J
OHNSON