The Foreign Service Journal, June 2022

Inside Diplomacy Event Creating a More Diverse and Inclusive Foreign Service In a virtual event on April 5, AFSAPresident Eric Rubin interviewed Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the State Department’s first chief diversity and inclusion officer at her one-year anniversary in the position. They discussed plans for advancing diversity and inclusion at State, the progress to date and the challenges that lie ahead. (Excerpts from the interview start on page 25 of this issue. ) The question of whether we have adequately addressed the need for a Foreign Service that is diverse and inclusive has been with us since the 1960s, Amb. Rubin pointed out in his open- ing remarks. Just over one year ago, Secretary of State Antony Blinken appointed Amb. Abercrombie-Winstan- ley to a newly created position with the goal of making the American diplomatic corps more representative of the country it serves. Amb. Abercrombie-Win- stanley said she began this undertaking with three pillars in mind: intentionality, trans- parency and accountability. Intentionality, she said, means paying attention to who is speaking up at the table and who is not at the table at all. “It’s how we’re treating our workforce internally, but also how we’re doing our jobs overseas,” she added. “Are we reaching every part of the population in our host nation?” Transparency requires gathering and analyzing data, and Amb. Abercrombie-Win- stanley said this data work was among the first things she put in place when setting up the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. The information that’s been collected, she said, “is already on our web- site [via] a dashboard that shares [it] for the first time in a disaggregated fashion that will allow us to judge our prog- ress.”More data is coming. Finally, accountability comes from rewarding those who are going to make the State Department a healthier, stronger organization and holding accountable those who are contributing to or tolerating a toxic work envi- ronment. According to Amb. Abercrombie-Winstanley, this pillar “requires that we all speak up and be truthful about the experiences we’re having so that we can ensure we’re getting the leaders that our workforce deserves.” As part of AFSA’s outreach work, Inside Diplomacy is a series of discussions that explore current national secu- rity issues as they relate to foreign policy and the Foreign Service profession. To view the entire conversation, visit InsideDiplomacyDEIA. n Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Gina Abercrombie- Winstanley shares her vision for advancing equality within the State Department. AFSA/JULIAWOHLERS AFSAGoverning Board Meeting, April 20, 2022 The board met on April 20 at AFSA headquarters in person, with some members joining virtually. Following bylaw requirements for voting to be only in person, those joining online did not have voting authority. Interim Secretary: The board approved the appointment of Sue Saarnio as interim Governing Board secretary begin- ning in June, when the current secretary, Daniel Crocker, will resign his position, through the end of the current Governing Board term, which lasts through July 15, 2023. Multiyear Financial Commitments: The board adopted a rule precluding any AFSA Governing Board from entering into new financial commitments that extend beyond its term of office plus 90 days. Committee Dissolution: The board dissolved the Ad Hoc Committee on Foreign Service Reform, as it has successfully completed its work on a list of AFSA reform advocacy items. Disbursement: The board authorized the disbursement of $10,000 from the Legal Defense Fund to an AFSAmember. Awards: The board voted on the selection of two recipients for the 2022 Foreign Service Champions award. The board further approved a series of recommendations related to the George Kennan Award for StrategicWriting, renaming it the AFSA StrategicWriting Award and expanding eligibility to all Foreign Service students (generalists and specialists) attending all colleges under the National Defense University. An updated description of the award was also approved. n AFSA NEWS THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JUNE 2022 55