The Foreign Service Journal, April 2020

AFSA NEWS THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | APRIL 2020 57 THE OFFICIAL RECORD OF THE AMERICAN FOREIGN SERVICE ASSOCIATION AFSA Foreign Service Artist Showcase April 8 12-1:30 p.m. Seminar: “Demystifying the Transportation Process” April 15 12-2 p.m. AFSA Governing Board Meeting April 30 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Foreign Service Day Open House at AFSA including Next Stage: “Speaking Opportunities to Share Your Expertise” April 30 6:30-8:30 p.m. Foreign Service Day Reception Co-hosted by AFSA & DACOR DACOR Bacon House 1801 F St NW Washington, D.C. May 1 Foreign Service Day AFSA Memorial Ceremony May 15 Deadline: Nomination for AFSA Dissent and Performance Awards May 20 12-2 p.m. AFSA Governing Board Meeting Out of an abundance of caution over the COVID-19 coronavirus, in March AFSA decided to postpone all AFSA programming during the weeks of March 16 and March 23. Decisions on programs and events after March 30 will be made as additional information becomes available. CALENDAR The Passing of F. Allen “Tex” Harris The American Foreign Ser- vice Association is saddened to announce the passing of Franklin Allen “Tex” Harris, one of the most consequen- tial people in the history of the association and a man who defined the term “larger than life.” Tex Harris died on Feb. 23 at a hospital in Fairfax County, Va. He was 81. Over the past 50 years, Tex made enormous contributions to AFSA and the U.S. Foreign Service. After entering the For- eign Service in 1969, he joined with fellow“Young Turks” Lan- nonWalker, Charles Bray, Her- man “Hank”Cohen and others to ensure that American diplomats had a clear voice in establishing the standards for their profession and that AFSA would be an institution that would defend both the Service and its members. Tex served as vice presi- dent for the State Depart- ment constituency on the AFSA Governing Board from 1973 to 1976, during which time he worked withWilliam Harrop and Thomas Boyatt to remake AFSA as the union for all Foreign Service employees. He was instrumental in draft- ing and negotiating the core labor-management agree- ments in the various foreign affairs agencies. He remained active in AFSA battles throughout his distinguished 36-year For- eign Service career, serving two terms as AFSA president from 1993 to 1997. During his tenure as president, he fought against reductions- in-force at USAID, gov- ernment shutdowns, the appointment of unqualified political ambassadors and major management abuses. After retiring from the Foreign Service in 1999, Tex continued his close involve- ment with AFSA. In 2000, he was instrumental in creating the F. Allen “Tex” Harris Award for Constructive Dissent by a Foreign Service Specialist to bring the same recognition to specialists as afforded to Foreign Service officers since 1968. He was elected by the AFSAmembership to multiple terms on AFSA Governing Boards during the 2000s and 2010s as Secretary and Retiree Representative—thus contributing to setting AFSA’s agenda and policies for two more decades. Widely referred to as “Mr. AFSA,”Tex remained in contact with scores of retired Foreign Service col- leagues—sharing information and connecting them with other colleagues to discuss major issues facing today’s Foreign Service. He was an active member of the group of former AFSA presidents who advise AFSA and other FS groups. In October 2019, AFSA honored Tex with its award for Contributions to the Associa- tion for his decades of tireless support for AFSA and the career Foreign Service. During the ceremony he gave a typi- cally rousing speech, which had the audience cheering him loudly. It was Tex at his best, and the honor was well deserved. Look for an Appre- ciation in the May issue. n Tex Harris, at the AFSA Awards Ceremony on Oct. 16, 2019, at the State Department, where he received the 2019 Award for Achievement and Contributions to the Association. “Empire Half-Light” (2016), by artist and former FSO Rosemarie Forsythe, was featured on the cover of the March 2020 Foreign Service Journal. Forsythe was one of four artists fea- tured in the AFSA Foreign Service Art Showcase on Feb. 6 (see article and photos on page 62) . AFSA/JOAQUINSOSA