AFSA Works with White House and State Department to Increase Transparency of Ambassador Nominations

For Immediate Release
April 4, 2014
Ásgeir Sigfússon,, (202) 944-5508
Allan Saunders,, (202) 719-9712

Washington, D.C. - The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) has come to an agreement with the Administration that both parties believe will increase transparency in the ambassadorial nomination process. Moving forward, the “certificates of demonstrated competence,” a document produced for each ambassadorial nominee to comply with the Foreign Service Act of 1980, will be published on the State Department’s web site when a nominee is announced.

In addition, these certificates will now be written to address the qualifications detailed in AFSA’s recently released “Guidelines for Successful Performance as a Chief of Mission.” The Guidelines, released in late February, were written by a working group of ten former Ambassadors to augment existing legal guidance on nominees and describe the necessary qualifications and qualities needed by both career and non-career nominees in order to effectively lead an embassy or mission.

AFSA believes that all Americans have a vested interest in ensuring that the United States has effective leaders in our embassies and missions overseas. AFSA President Robert J. Silverman said of this new agreement, “We believe transparency of the nomination process is an important step. We very much appreciate the efforts of the White House and State Department, and AFSA—as the voice of the Foreign Service—looks forward to working to assure that our country is represented by the very best men and women at our diplomatic missions abroad. We all agree that it is essential that these individuals are able to advance the president’s policies and protect U.S. interests around the globe.”

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.