The Foreign Service Journal, April 2022

56 APRIL 2022 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL RETIREE VP VOICE | BY JOHN K. NALAND AFSA NEWS Contact: Foreign Service and AFSA Centennials Plans are advancing to celebrate the 100th anniver- sary of the 1924 founding of the U.S. Foreign Service and its professional associa- tion, the American Foreign Service Association. Com- memorating these centen- nials is a unique opportunity to increase understanding among the American people, Congress and the media about the vital role the For- eign Service plays in sustain- ing U.S. global leadership. Starting with the out- reach opportunity that has the longest lead time, last summer AFSA submitted a proposal to the U.S. Postal Service to issue a U.S. Foreign Service Centennial stamp in 2024. Secretary of State Antony Blinken sent a supportive letter of endorse- ment to the Postmaster General. The Postal Service annu- ally receives more than 40,000 such proposals and issues fewer than 100 commemorative stamps, so our chances of success are uncertain. We should learn the answer by early 2023. In December, we secured the agreement of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, to host an exhibit on the Foreign Service in 2024. Having signed up the most visited presidential library (400,000 visitors annually pre-COVID), we are now contacting other presidential libraries around the nation to reach audiences beyond the Beltway. Each exhibit will likely open with a ceremony and a VIP speaker. We will invite area Foreign Service retirees to attend. We have commissioned Harry W. Kopp to update the 2015 first edition of The Voice of the Foreign Service: A History of the American Foreign Service Association for publication in 2024. Mr. Kopp is the author of the 2015 edition. AFSA also commissioned the Association for Diplo- matic Studies and Training to conduct oral histories of AFSA officers and staff from recent decades. Transcripts of those interviews will be posted alongside more than 1,200 other ADST oral histories on the Library of Congress website to capture, preserve and share their accounts of fighting for the interests of the Foreign Service. To accompany these efforts, AFSA’s Online Com- munications Manager Jeff Lau designed a centennial logo. The version that graces this page will be used when communicating primarily with AFSA members. A ver- sion that does not men- tion AFSA will be used with external audiences whom we want to focus on the Foreign Service. With these initial projects underway, AFSA’s Centen- nial Celebration Commit- tee, which I chair, is now brainstorming other ways to mark these centennials. Possibilities include a video documentary, podcasts, a nationwide lecture tour, a gala dinner in Washington, D.C., and a congressional resolution. Our Centennial Celebra- tion Committee will seek to identify the best ideas. We welcome your suggestions. Please send them to me at n AFSAGoverning Board Meeting Jan. 19, 2022 Due to ongoing concerns over the COVID-19 omicron variant, the AFSA Governing Board met via teleconfer- ence on Jan. 19. New Committee: The Foreign Service Reform Commit- tee was constituted without objection for the purpose of working with the AFSA advocacy team to advance issues relating to Foreign Service reform with Congress and the foreign affairs agencies. The committee will report periodically to the Govern- ing Board on activities and recommendations. Initially consisting of 10 current members of the Governing Board, the committee will choose a chairperson and will be authorized to appoint additional members of the board to serve on the committee. The first committee meeting took place on Jan. 24. n