The Foreign Service Journal, March 2021

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | MARCH 2021 75 AFSA NEWS Continued on next page AFSA Treasurer’s 2020 Report Despite the volatility expe- rienced globally and in the markets in 2020, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Foreign Service Association is in excellent financial health at year end. AFSA’s financial reserves remain strong. The operating reserve fund stood at $4.3 million at year end, compared to $3.6 million at the end of 2019. That level represents approximately 65 percent of AFSA’s operating budget for 2021 and is a solid indicator of the association’s sustain- ability. Some modest savings were realized from curtailed operational activities due to the pandemic. Investment gains were robust. The ongoing financial support of our membership base and other contributors is critical to AFSA’s advocacy and outreach on behalf of our members and their interests. As we move into a new administration and out of the pandemic, there are likely to be significant opportunities. The AFSA team pledges to capitalize on those on your behalf. Budget Operations AFSA’s $5.2 million planned operating budget for calendar year 2021 is funded primarily from membership dues. AFSA’s membership base stood at approximately 16,750 as of year-end 2020, a modest increase from 2019’s 16,680. That number repre- sents more than 80 percent of active-duty employees across the foreign affairs agencies, plus approximately 25 percent of Foreign Service retirees. Members approved a modest baseline dues increase in 2020. Dues additionally increased by 1.4 percent for 2021, in line with consumer price index levels. AFSA operations contin- ued throughout the pan- demic, but with significant workarounds and modifica- tions. Reaching new Foreign Service members was a particular challenge, but sus- tained and extensive efforts to establish new member- ships ultimately paid off. AFSA has greatly strength- ened its public advocacy and outreach over the past several years to highlight the contri- butions the career Foreign Service makes to U.S. national security, although the pan- demic proscribed a number of larger-scale opportunities in this regard. AFSA leader- ship remained undeterred, however, and continued its outreach and visibility. AFSA and its political action committee continued to advocate with Congress on a bipartisan basis for a sus- tained professional Foreign Service, as well as on issues of importance to members during this election cycle. Legal needs for some members, a hallmark of the second half of 2019, largely abated during 2020, although there remain cer- tain unresolved matters. Legal expenditures on behalf of members climbed from approximately $135,000 at year end 2019 (net of December invoices) to $472,000 at year end 2020 (again, net of December invoices). The Legal Defense Fund received $143,000 in dona- tions by year end 2020 fol- lowing 2019’s approximately The 2019-2021 Governing Board is sworn in at AFSA headquarters on July 15, 2019. Front row (from left): Steve Herman, Kristin Michelle Roberts, Virginia Bennett, Eric Rubin, Jay Carreiro, Mary Daly and Tom Yazdgerdi. Back row (from left): Jason Singer, Joshua Archibald, John Naland, Ken Kero-Mentz and Tamir Waser. Not pictured: Michael Riedel, Lilly Wahl-Tuco, Holly Kirking Loomis, Matthew Dolbow, Lorraine Sherman, Mary Parrish, Jeffrey Austin and Philip Shull. AFSA/ÁSGEIRSIGFÚSSON