The Foreign Service Journal, April 2021

66 APRIL 2021 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL AFSA NEWS AFSA Welcomes New Hires to the Foreign Service AFSA welcomed 161 members of the State Department Foreign Service Orientation 159-205 class of gener- alists and specialists to the Foreign Service in a Zoom call on Feb. 8. AFSA President Eric Rubin hosted the call and discussed the many benefits AFSA offers to members. Also sharing their views on AFSA membership were AFSA Governing Board members Tom Yazdgerdi, Tamir Waser, Virginia Ben- nett, Kristin Michelle Roberts, Carson Relitz Rocker, Jason Snyder and Joshua Archibald, as well AFSA staff members Christine Miele, Julie Nutter and Dolores Brown. The FS Orientation 159- 205 class comprises 79 Foreign Service generalists and 82 specialists. Among the generalists, 44 are in the consular career track (still widely known as cone); 11 in the political track; 10 in the management track; seven in the economic track; and seven in the pub- lic diplomacy track. Among the specialists are 45 Diplomatic Security special agent candidates; eight facility managers; eight information management specialists; eight office man- agement specialists; three general services officers; two construction engineers; two human resource officers; two medical providers; two secu- rity technical specialists; an information management technical specialist and a regional public engagement specialist. The class includes four Pickering Fellows, 47 for- mer members of the U.S. armed forces and 44 former employees and contractors with other U.S. government agencies. Ninety-five class members worked for the State Department in some capacity before joining this orientation class. Those coming from the private sector have worked as analysts, consultants, attorneys, ballet instructors, real estate agents, teach- ers, students, engineers, law enforcement personnel, researchers and medical providers. Ninety-three members of the class have postgraduate degrees, and most worked, studied or volunteered abroad. Class members speak the “big six” languages of the United Nations, as well as 25 other languages: Alba- nian, German, Pashto, Mongolian, Japanese, Urdu, Korean, Lao, Italian, Czech, Kinyarwanda, Vietnamese, Polish, Bahasa-Indonesian, Swedish, Nepali, Tagalog, Thai, Hebrew, Bulgarian, Bambara, Greek, Farsi, Hun- garian and Georgian. Members of the class have also performed at the 2000 Sydney Olympics: served as extras in TV shows either in the United States or abroad (including Zambia and South Korea); circum- navigated the globe on a ship; traveled to more than 50 countries; led former Secretary of State John Kerry to Narnia; and climbed all sorts of mountains (from Kilimanjaro to Macchu Pichu). Many enjoy hiking in national parks or backpack- ing (and eating food) abroad, while others are culinary adventurers who make their own bacon, hot sauces and honey. AFSA looks forward to hosting in-person lunches again for incoming classes at our Washington, D.C., headquarters as soon as it is safe to do so. n AFSA greeted members of the FS Orientation 159-205 class in a Zoom call on Feb. 8. AFSA/CAMERONWOODWORTH