Kicking Off the Centennial

Letter from the Editor


The U.S. Foreign Service and the American Foreign Service Association turn 100 this year. The Rogers Act, signed into law in May 1924, merged the U.S. diplomatic and consular services into one, establishing a career institution—the United States Foreign Service.

Within a few months, the Consular Association became the American Foreign Service Association. AFSA has been serving the members of the FS community as a professional association ever since and has represented them as a union for more than 50 years.

The Foreign Service Journal, which began as The American Consular Bulletin and has been in publication consistently from 1919 to today, will celebrate the centennial throughout the year, with a special 100th anniversary edition in May.

AFSA President Tom Yazdgerdi kicks off our 2024 centennial coverage with “2024: Celebration, Reflection—and Looking Forward.”

No one was better suited to write our lead Focus article, “AFSA’s First Hundred Years,” than former diplomat Harry Kopp. As author of The Voice of the Foreign Service: A History of the American Foreign Service Association (FSBooks, 2015), and the forthcoming centennial edition as well, he literally wrote the book.

Next, in a tribute to AFSA leadership, Ambassador Mike McKinley reminds the FS community not to assume their institution is secure in “Lest We Forget: The Importance of Leadership in a Time of Adversity.”

And in “The Journal on 100 Years of AFSA,” we highlight articles from the digital archive and point you to more of that history, all preserved online in searchable form.

We also look to the next generation of Foreign Service leaders. The Feature, “Engaging Aspiring Diplomats,” introduces the fast-growing, nationwide student organization, the High School Foreign Service Association. Founder Ivan Pankov, a high school senior, tells its story.

In the Speaking Out, FSO Zia Ahmed praises the pledge from the State Department to address and prevent workplace harassment and bullying.

In Reflections, Ambassador Tom Armbruster tells us what it was like helping with “The Opening of U.S. Embassy Nuku`alofa” in the South Pacific. And the Local Lens by USAID FSO Trevor Hublin gives a unique view of Hanoi.

Please join AFSA in celebrating the centennial year. Read more about anniversary plans in AFSA News and watch for messages about upcoming events. As always, we want to hear from you. Send letters, article pitches, and submissions to

Shawn Dorman is the editor of The Foreign Service Journal.


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