New AFSA Board Takes Office

For Immediate Release
July 17, 2023
Contact: Ásgeir Sigfússon,

Washington, D.C. – The American Foreign Service Association welcomes new leadership as the professional association and labor union’s new Governing Board begins its two-year term today.

Incoming President Thomas Yazdgerdi, a 32-year veteran of the State Department, will return to the Governing Board, having served two terms as AFSA Vice President for the State Department. Mr. Yazdgerdi has held numerous positions at the State Department, including Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues, and postings in Kabul, Kirkuk, Baghdad, Pristina, Panama, Bratislava, Tirana, and Athens. He also served as director of the Office of South and Central European Affairs.

Foreign Service Officer Hui Jun Tina Wong will return to the board as AFSA's Vice President of the Department of State constituency, having previously served as a State Department Representative. Prior to being elected State VP, Ms. Wong worked in the Office of Policy and Regional Affairs in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. She has held a variety of policy positions, including as an advisor on agricultural trade and biotechnology issues in China and the East Asia and Pacific region in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs.

Foreign Service Officers Randy Chester, Joshua Burke, Lisa Ahramjian, and John Naland (ret.) were elected Vice Presidents of the USAID, Foreign Commercial Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, and retiree constituencies, respectively. Ambassador (ret.) John O’Keefe will serve his second term as treasurer, and retired Foreign Service Officer Sue Saarnio will serve as the Board secretary, completing AFSA’s leadership team.

Complete bios for AFSA elected leadership, including all officers and constituent representatives, can be found at

AFSA thanks outgoing President Eric Rubin, USAID Vice President Jason Singer, FCS Vice President Charles Ranado, and the other members of the previous Governing Board for their service over the past two years.

AFSA, the voice of the Foreign Service, is the professional association and labor union of the U.S. Foreign Service. Founded in 1924, AFSA represents 31,000 active and retired Foreign Service employees at the Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, Foreign Commercial Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, the U.S. Agency for Global Media, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.