The Foreign Service Journal, April 2020

66 APRIL 2020 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL AFSA NEWS AFSA/CAMERONWOODWORTH AFSA Outreach Campaign Highlights the Foreign Service as the First Line of Defense The primary goal of AFSA’s outreach is to tell the story of the U.S. Foreign Service. Many of our important stakeholders inside the Belt- way understand the work and value of the Foreign Service. But to the general public, the work of Ameri- can diplomats may seem removed from their day-to- day reality. To address this distance, AFSA has partnered with the Una Chapman Cox Founda- tion for the past two years to develop public outreach messaging to help draw the connections, showing how the work of members of the Foreign Service affects Americans at home. Last year’s “Economic Diplomacy Works” campaign successfully highlighted the work the Foreign Service does to promote American prosperity. This year’s campaign,“U.S. Foreign Service: The First Line of Defense,” aims to convey to the American public the role our Foreign Service plays in keeping various threats at bay and dealing with knotty challenges. Throughout this cam- paign, our goal is to highlight the many and critical ways in which members of the Foreign Service are protecting and advancing our national security, preventing threats of all kinds—including economic, political, climate, disease and cyber—to safeguard Ameri- cans at home. To help guide this year-long effort, AFSA has brought on board a strategic messaging coordinator, Nadja Ruzica. We are looking at new channels and new audiences for this message. One of our major campaign initia- tives this year is focusing on community colleges, which are found in most cities throughout the United States. Community colleges offer an opportunity to engage with students and faculty on the work of the Foreign Service, and also to reach the broader community. We encourage all AFSA members to get involved in this year’s campaign, whether by being active in the Speak- ers Bureau, contributing sto- ries and examples of how the Foreign Service acts as our country’s first line of defense, or sharing messages on social media (or all of the above!). If you teach at a commu- nity college—or know some- Nadja Ruzica, AFSA’s new strategic messaging coordinator. one who does—please let us know and join us in spreading the message. We have developed com- munications materials that you can find on our website,, and we regularly update our calendar of events. You might want to familiar- ize yourself with this year’s central message by watching AFSA’s new video that shows how the Foreign Service helps keep threats at bay. This video is tailored for general audi- ences that are not yet familiar with the work of the Foreign Service. The video can be found at We look forward to your energy, ideas and involvement in AFSA’s outreach cam- paign. If you would like more information on how you can help us spread the First Line of Defense message, please contact You can also learn more at the AFSA Foreign Service Day Open House at AFSA head- quarters on April 30. n AFSA President Eric Rubin speaks to U.S. chiefs of mission on Feb. 25 at AFSA headquarters. The ambassadors were in Washington, D.C., for the State Department’s Chief of Missions Conference. AFSA Hosts Breakfast for Ambassadors