The Foreign Service Journal, April 2020

64 APRIL 2020 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL AFSA NEWS AFSA Welcomes Incoming Classes On Feb. 7 AFSA welcomed 81 members of the 155th spe- cialist class to its headquar- ters in Washington, D.C., for a lunch and overview of AFSA’s role in supporting the Foreign Service. The 155th class features four construction engineers, five diplomatic couriers, three facility managers, two financial management officers, three general service officers, 17 information management specialists, two Foreign Service medical pro- viders, 19 office management specialists, 22 special agent candidates, two security engineering officers and two security technical specialists. Almost half of this group of specialists have previ- ously worked for the State Department as eligible family members, interns, contrac- tors or in other roles. AFSA President Eric Rubin hosted the luncheon. Nearly 65 percent of the attendees chose to join AFSA at the event. On Feb. 12, AFSA again opened its doors for a lun- cheon to welcome 69 (out of 85) members of the 201st A-100 class. Before joining the For- eign Service, members of the 201st had engaged in a wide variety of interesting activities, from fishing for piranha in Venezuela, running a company that made fake meat and participating in the highest-elevation sprint- length triathlon in the United States to appearing on Jeop- ardy !, performing as a dancer at the Kennedy Center, living and working in Antarctica, working for NASA, climbing Mount Fuji and commuting to work by horseback. Other accomplishments cited by these new FSOs include becoming engaged on top of Machu Picchu, spending a night in every state in the Union, play- ing professional basketball in Bolivia, being bitten by a poisonous centipede, winning the 2000 National Geographic Bee, memorizing the opening lines of Beowulf in Old English and success- fully intervening in a robbery in Geneva. Almost 60 percent of the new officers have prior State Department experience. And some have had other federal government work experience as civil servants and contrac- tors. The class also includes a number of veterans of the U.S. armed forces. In the private sector, members of the 201st have worked as developers, ana- lysts, attorneys, reporters, researchers, teachers and interpreters. More than 70 percent of class members have post-graduate degrees, and many have worked, stud- ied or volunteered abroad. Ambassador Rubin hosted the luncheon. Eighty-three percent of the attendees joined AFSA. Welcome to the U.S. For- eign Service! n AFSA Director of Professional Policy Issues Julie Nutter, at left, speaks with members of the 201st A-100 class on Feb. 12 at AFSA headquarters. Members of the 155th specialist class. Members of the 201st A-100 class celebrate Flag Day on Feb. 19 at the Foreign Service Institute. FOREIGNSERVICE INSTITUTE FOREIGNSERVICE INSTITUTE AFSA/CAMERONWOODWORTH