The Foreign Service Journal, May 2021

AFSA NEWS 64 MAY 2021 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL Diplomats at Work: Telling Foreign Service Stories On March 24 nearly 260 people attended AFSA’s first “Diplomats at Work” event, a virtual webinar with guest Kala Bokelman, a Diplomatic Security Service supervisory special agent. Diplomats at Work is a new virtual speaker series that tells the stories of the Foreign Service, introducing the work of diplomats to new audiences. “We are that bureau within State that is the law enforcement and security arm, providing a safe and secure platform for diplo- mats to go out and do their jobs,” Bokelman explained. “That is one of the key components of our job, safety and security. In every embassy and almost every consulate, you’ll find an agent.” Bokelman added that DSS agents also provide protection for American athletes when they compete in international events, such as the Olympics or the World Cup soccer championships, as well as for all foreign dignitaries who come to the United States. “Not only are we sworn law enforcement officers, we’re also diplomats, liais- ing with our counterparts overseas and in the United States at the state and local levels,” she said. Conveying a real sense of what the job entails, Bokel- man shared her experience helping to break up a child pornography trafficking ring in Costa Rica. Her article about the case appeared in the June 2018 FSJ . “I always like to say diplomacy solved this case,” she says. “The embassy as a whole had made combatting human trafficking and child exploitation a priority.” The political section was working to help change Costa Rican laws to make them more in line with international standards, she explained, and the public affairs section came up with a training pro- gram that sent Costa Rican law enforcement officials to the United States for 30 days. Kala Bokelman has been a Diplomatic Security Service special agent for 16 years. Her domestic assign- ments have been in the San Francisco Field Office and in Washington, D.C., headquar- ters. She has also served in Maputo, Baghdad and San Jose. In 2018, she returned to Washington, D.C., for assignment in the Overseas Criminal Inves- tigative Division and currently leads the Recruit- ment Division for DSS. Roughly half of her time in DSS has been spent investi- gating crimes involving human trafficking, sexual assault and fugitive returns. Diplomats at Work, a quarterly event, is part of AFSA’s outreach efforts to broaden the domestic constituency for the Foreign Service. This series strives to reach audiences at universi- ties, community colleges and other local organiza- tions throughout the United States to share stories of the important and varied work of the U.S. Foreign Service and how that work relates to all Americans. AFSA members may view the webinar at videos. n Webinar: All About Federal Long Term Care Insurance Nathan Sebert, a senior account manager at Long Term Care Partners, spoke with AFSA members in a March 2 webinar about the benefits of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program. Sebert discussed the importance of long-term care planning, and reviewed benefits and features of the new FLTCIP 3.0 plan, which offers a premium stabilization feature. He also provided tips on designing your own plan, reviewed plan costs and covered information on FLTCIP eligibility and enrollment. Sebert joined Long Term Care Partners, which administers the FLTCIP, in 2006. He is a certified long-term care insurance consultant (CLTC) and a long-term care professional (LTCP). Members may view a recording of the webinar at videos. n Diplomatic Security Service Supervisory Special Agent Kala Bokelman speaks during the March 24 AFSA Diplomats at Work webinar. SCREENCAPTURE