The Foreign Service Journal, January-February 2020

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2020 63 AFSA NEWS “Next Stage” Panel: Post–Foreign Service Careers for Diplomatic Security Agents On Oct. 18, four former Diplomatic Security agents explained how they have successfully parlayed their unique skills into related pro- fessional fields during AFSA’s latest Next Stage panel, “Post-FS Careers for Diplo- matic Security Personnel.” The panelists were Justine Sincavage, a senior security consultant at State who pre- viously served as the assis- tant chief security officer of global security operations for General Electric; John Ren- deiro, senior adviser to Inter- national SOS Assistance; Erik Antons, vice president of global security for Hyatt Hotels Corporation; and Glen Gershman, vice president for global safety and security for Laureate Education. All panelists agreed that DS personnel are enviably marketable, with experience in advising chiefs of mis- sion (which translates to a comfort level in advising chief executive officers), language skills and a service mentality, which is critical in the private sector. They cautioned, how- ever, that most private- sector companies have a lean matrix-like structure, and that it’s important to explain that DS, particularly over- seas, mirrors a less hierarchi- cal structure than is usually associated with government. The panelists offered extensive practical advice. They agreed that it’s impera- tive to translate DS work into the different lexicon of the private sector. Mr. Rendeiro advised audience members not to forget to share stories of their work, which generally are fascinating and reveal the level of professionalism typi- cal of DS. Networking while still in active duty is key to opportunities post-FS, panel- ists said. When asked about chal- lenges during the first years of transitioning, Mr. Antons suggested that if hired cor- rectly, people will struggle during the first year, hold their own in the second and be on positive ground in the third. The panelists agreed it is not uncommon to move into a lateral position, and said it is important to look at entire compensation pack- ages, not just the salaries, to make apt comparisons. Mr. Gershman under- scored the importance of going into a job search with eyes wide open. A company in the private sector tends to look at its employees as cost centers and how they con- tribute to the bottom line. Ms. Sincavage empha- sized that people are judged not by their effort, but by their output. Since private- sector work will probably demand more than 40 hours per week, it’s essential for people to do some soul- searching about their priori- ties post-FS. Finally, Mr. Antons advised building a strong résumé— and asking for advice from a professional before finalizing it. Make sure to know the right buzzwords and apply widely to jobs even if their descriptions don’t sound perfect. A video of the event is available at Stay tuned for announce- ments on upcoming Next Stage programs, and please contact Dolores Brown ( with sug- gestions and feedback. n From left: John Rendeiro, Justine Sincavage, Glen Gershman and Erik Antons at an AFSA panel on post-FS careers for DS agents on Oct. 18. AFSA/CAMERONWOODWORTH AFSAGoverning Board Meeting, November 20, 2019 2019-2021 Board Vision Statement: The AFSA Govern- ing Board adopted the following vision statement for its 2019 to 2021 tenure: “At the 100th anniversary of AFSA and the Foreign Service, AFSA is an agile champion of diplomacy, advancing the needs of our Service by putting people first, reflecting a diverse workforce and enhancing modern tradecraft. AFSA has more impact with the foreign affairs agencies and more influence on Capitol Hill, enabling it to improve its members’ daily lives and reassert the leadership of the Foreign Service in U.S foreign policy.” Diversity Committee: Kristin Roberts moved to form a Diversity Committee. The Governing Board approved. Committee volunteers from the board include: Kristin Roberts, Joshua Archibald, LillianWahl-Tuco, Holly Kirking Loomis, Lorraine Sherman, Matthew Dolbow, Mary Par- rish, Jay Carreiro, Jason Singer and Thomas Yazdgerdi. 2020 Budget: The AFSA Governing Board approved the proposed budget for 2020 as submitted. n