The Foreign Service Journal, March 2020

60 MARCH 2020 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL AFSA NEWS We are pleased to present the board term report for the 2017-2019 AFSA Governing Board. AFSA has decided to move away from the costly and environmentally wasteful production of a printed annual report mailed to members as a separate publication. Instead, we have moved to a board term report, covering the two years of the most recent board. Going forward, we plan to publish this report every other year in the September issue of The Foreign Service Journal . This report covers the highlights of all depart- ments of the association, providing a window into the work done on behalf of members and the Foreign Service over the term of an elected governing board. —Ásgeir Sigfússon Executive Director 2017-2019 AFSA Governing Board Term Report Members of the 2017-2019 AFSA Governing Board gather for the first board meeting at AFSA headquarters in July 2017. From left: FCS Alternate Rep. Matthew Hilgendorf, Retiree Rep. Amb. (ret.) Al La Porta, BBG Rep. Steven Herman, State Rep. Josh Glazeroff, State Rep. Tricia Wingerter, State Rep. Martin McDowell, President Amb. Barbara Stephenson, Secretary Amb. (ret.) Tom Boyatt, Retiree Rep. Phil Shull, Retiree VP John Naland, Treasurer Amb. (ret.) Tony Wayne, State VP Ken Kero-Mentz and FCS VP Daniel Crocker. AFSA/CALEBSCHLABACH Professional Policy Issues During the 2017-2019 Governing Board term, AFSA strengthened its reputa- tion as a creator of reliable content about the Foreign Service. Starting in 2018, our Professional Policy Issues department created a data library dedicated to the Foreign Service. Since then, AFSA has monitored various trends in Foreign Service life using data—overall numbers on promotion, attrition, the size of the corps and Foreign Service test takers, to name a few. AFSA now receives multiple media requests every week for information about the Foreign Service as an institution and as a career. Our data is also frequently used by our strategic part- ners such as the American Academy of Diplomacy and the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. AFSA has continued to host structured conversa- tions between the AFSA pres- ident, with the appropriate constituency vice president, and groups of members from the various constituencies of each foreign affairs agency to keep up with their top concerns. For example, in 2018 we heard from our upper mid- level State members about how the loss of State senior leadership deprived them of mentoring, references for bidding, and “top cover” when these members wanted to try new approaches to policy issues. They told us of their experiences bidding when fewer overseas jobs were available, which demon- strated the need to put more positions in the field. During this board period, AFSA hosted several career development events orga- nized by our Professional Policy Issues deparment, including a panel for hir- ing managers on how to choose candidates for jobs, a webinar on family member professional employment and a discussion on differ- ent career paths to Foreign Service success.