AFSA Supports a Uniform Set of Qualifications for Ambassador Nominees

For Immediate Release
February 14, 2014
Ásgeir Sigfússon,, (202) 944-5508
Allan Saunders,, (202) 719-9712

Washington, D.C. - The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) is closely monitoring the recent Senate confirmation hearings of President Obama’s nominees to be U.S. ambassador. The topic of the qualifications of ambassadorial nominees is of great interest to AFSA’s membership. All Americans have a vested interest in ensuring that we have the most effective leaders and managers of U.S. embassies and missions advancing U.S. interests around the globe.

As the voice of the Foreign Service, AFSA believes that individuals who have spent decades in the United States Foreign Service are uniquely qualified for the job of Ambassador given their years of training and hands-on experience. We also recognize that some outstanding ambassadors have come from outside the ranks of the career Foreign Service.

To help further this conversation, AFSA will in the coming days bring forward a set of guidelines on the necessary qualifications and qualities of a successful chief of mission. Recently adopted by AFSA’s Board of Governors, these guidelines have been in development for a period of months. They have been prepared by a group of ten ambassadors – career and non-career individuals – representing the last eight presidential administrations. We hope you will be able to join us as we present this new project.

Media outlets that are interested in more information on “Guidelines for Successful Performance as a Chief of Mission” should contact

AFSA, the voice of the Foreign Service, is the professional association and labor union of the U.S. Foreign Service. Founded in 1924 and celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, AFSA represents 31,000 active-duty and retired Foreign Service employees at the Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, Foreign Commercial Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, the Broadcasting Board of Governors Bureau, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.