The Foreign Service Journal, April 2022

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | APRIL 2022 61 AFSA NEWS AFSA Welcomes New Hires to the Foreign Service AFSA was pleased to wel- come new members of the Foreign Service in a series of virtual meetings earlier this year. This included a new class of USAID officers, a group of Foreign Agricultural Service officers embark- ing on their first overseas assignments and the State Department Foreign Service Orientation 163-209 classes, which are combined general- ist and specialist classes. AFSA President Eric Rubin welcomed all groups and outlined AFSA’s current work and priorities in support of members. Meeting with the USAID C3-28 class on Jan. 12, AFSA USAID Vice President Jason Singer spoke about his role and the work of AFSA’s Labor Management Office, and AFSA staff members gave an overview of how to join the association. The USAID class is made up of 12 officers across five different specialties, or back- stops: business, industry and private enterprise; environ- ment; humanitarian assis- tance; crisis, stabilization and governance; and contract management. Seven have previous USAID experience, and other professional experi- ence ranges from government and nonprofits to interna- tional organizations, universi- ties and the private sector. In total, they speak 13 languages and have worked and studied in 63 different countries. One is the founder of a nongovernmental organi- zation in Nepal. The 11 new FAS officers, whom AFSA met with on Jan. 27, have been assigned to Hanoi, Santo Domingo, Guangzhou, Mexico City, Brasília, Beijing, Bogotá, Shanghai, Cairo and Kuala Lumpur. On Feb. 3, AFSA met with the FS Orientation 163-209 class, which comprises 89 Foreign Service generalists and 62 specialists. It includes two Pickering and Rangel fellows, one Foreign Affairs Information Technology fellow and 10 Mustang Civil Service converts. There are 98 class mem- bers with prior U.S. govern- ment experience, as well as entrepreneurs, medical offi- cials, educators and public sector employees. Education levels range from high school to postgraduate degrees. One member of the class performed in President Barack Obama’s 2009 inau- guration parade as a member of their high school marching band. Class members speak 39 languages, including the “big six” languages of the United Nations. AFSA is continuing to welcome new classes on Zoom and 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 Become an AFSA Post Representative AFSA post representatives serve as a vital connection between AFSA and members around the world. They play a significant role not only in disseminating AFSA mes- saging at post, but also in bringing potential areas of concern to AFSA HQ and Labor Management so that we can better support mem- bers and the Foreign Service as a whole. As sometimes occurs, with the departure of an AFSA post rep, a post may be temporarily without a rep. If there is a vacancy at your post, we encourage you to consider stepping into this role. The AFSA post rep has five important areas of responsi- bility: • Representing the collec- tive and individual interests of Foreign Service personnel at post. • Responding to questions members may have regard- ing AFSA messaging and advisories. • Bringing to AFSA’s atten- tion issues of collective and individual concern at post. • Expanding AFSA’s membership and encourag- ing others at post to seek the AFSA post rep position when a rep moves on. • Working with AFSA to update membership informa- tion at post. The only employees excluded from serving as official AFSA reps are management officials and/ or confidential employees, including chiefs of mission, deputy chiefs of mission, management officers, human resources officers, regional security officers and office management specialists for chiefs of mission and deputy chiefs of mission. To read more about the AFSA post rep program and how to volunteer, visit afsa. org/post-representatives. If you are a post rep leaving post soon, please let us know about your departure and help us find a replacement. You can find the full listing of post reps on the AFSA website at listing. For further informa- tion or to update the post rep information for your post, contact us at member@afsa. org. n