The Foreign Service Journal, January-February 2016

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2016 67 AFSA NEWS AFSAGoverning Board Meeting November 2, 2015 October Governing Board Minutes: On a consent motion from State Representative Leah Pease, the board approved the Oct. 7 Governing Board minutes. The motion passed unanimously. Scholarship Committee Appointment: On a consent motion by State Representative Margaret “Nini” Haw- thorne, the board approved the appointment of Foreign Commercial Service Foreign Service Officer James Golsen to serve on the AFSA Scholarship Committee. The motion passed unanimously. Awards and Plaques Committee Chair: On a consent motion by Retiree Representative Dean Haas, the board approved the nomination of State FSO Annie Pforzheimer to serve as chair of the AFSAAwards and Plaques Com- mittee. The motion passed unanimously. USAID Standing Committee Appointments: On a motion by USAID Representative Jeff Cochrane, the board approved the appointment of FSOs Christian Hougen and Madeline Williams to serve on the USAID AFSA Standing Committee. The motion passed unanimously. Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy Award Nominee: On a motion by USAID Rep. Cochrane, the board approved the nomination of Ambassador Ruth Davis as the 2016 Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy Award recipient. (See the March AFSA News for a formal announcement.) The motion passed unani- mously. AFSA Memorial Plaque Criteria: On a motion by Retiree Rep. Haas, the board approved revisions to the criteria governing who is eligible to be considered for inclu- sion on the AFSAMemorial Plaques, located in the Depart- ment of State’s C Street Lobby. The change clarifies that any member of the Foreign Service—as defined by Section 103(1) through (5) of the Foreign Service Act of 1980—who dies while serving abroad under circumstances distinctive to the Foreign Service is eligible for consideration. Civil Service Overseas Development Program: Retiree Rep. Haas briefed the board on the Department of State’s request to place the office management specialist (OMS) positions in the Regional Security Offices in Milan and Skopje in the Overseas Development Program—a pilot initiative offering overseas excursion tours to Civil Service employees. The ODP is currently capped at 20 positions, each of which is vetted with AFSA prior to being advertised. On AFSA’s objection to placing these two OMS slots on the ODP list, the department agreed to remove the RSO OMS Milan position. AFSA has appealed the department’s deci- sion to keep the Skopje position in the program on the grounds that RSO OMS tours provide unique professional development opportunities for Foreign Service OMS per- sonnel, and which are particularly popular among entry- and mid-level bidders . [The Director General has since denied AFSA’s appeal and placed the RSO OMS Skopje job in the ODP over AFSA’s objections.] The board also affirmed AFSA’s stance that any ODP positions should offer long-term benefits to the depart- ment; in the case of OMS jobs, this is more easily accom- plished through OMS positions in policy-forming and reporting sections, such as public diplomacy, political and economic sections. RSO OMS excursions do not fulfill this standard, as the skills acquired—knowledge of access controls, Diplomatic Security reports, etc.—are not trans- ferable to Washington-based Civil Service jobs. n PROGRESS I N THE SENATE On Nov. 11, the Senate confirmed tenure and/or promotion for 632 members of the Foreign Service. AFSA worked diligently to reach out to majority and minority members of the Senate to urge confirmation of these individuals. In addition, following the Thanksgiving holiday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee got to work holding hearings for a number of ambassadorial nominees. On Dec. 9, eight ambassadorial nominations were confirmed, seven of which were careers FSOs. Get the latest on who has been confirmed and who is still waiting at We are pleased to congratulate all whose names were on the tenure-promotion lists, and look forward to con- tinuing our collaboration with the SFRC and others in the Senate on future lists and ambassadorial nominations, as well as on other matters. n NEWS BRIEF