The Foreign Service Journal, June 2022

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JUNE 2022 57 AFSA NEWS Road Scholars Get Crash Course in Diplomacy As AFSA enters its 26th year of collaboration with the Road Scholar lifelong learning organization, it held two four-day programs in Washington, D.C., to educate participants about the work of the Foreign Service. From March 27 through 31, and again from April 17 through 21, AFSA members and representatives from each of the six foreign affairs agencies led adult students through the “Inside American Diplomacy with the Foreign Service” program. Held at the Hyatt Place Washington, D.C./National Mall hotel, the event’s presen- tations featured overviews of each agency and anecdotes drawn from the careers of FS members. After an introduction to the Foreign Service from retired FSO Julie Nutter (AFSA policy and AFSA Governing Board Member Steve Herman, Ambassador (ret.) Robert Cekuta, FCS FSO Dao Le and USAID FSO (ret.) James Bever. In seven lectures across four days, attendees received a crash course on the mis- sion of U.S. diplomats in the Foreign Service, discussed hot-button issues such as Russia and Ukraine, and screened films about Ameri- can diplomacy. Participants also ventured outside the classroom to explore the U.S. Institute of Peace, Embassy Row, the DACOR Bacon House and Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Affairs. The two programs included a total of 67 students from across the country and ranging in age from 63 to 91. In post-event evaluations, they provided AFSA/NADJARUZICA “The minute you finish your last EER process, start your next one,” he said. “And find someone more senior who you trust and who writes well to take a look at your EER.” Drame, a career FSO with almost 20 years of experience, suggested reading strategy papers and mission strategic plans. “Your job is part of a bigger picture,” she pointed out. “You need to understand why you’re here getting paid to do the work that you do and how you’re advancing the goals of the mission.” The panelists agreed that it is up to individual employees to present their accomplishments effectively. “No one will care about your EER as much as you do,” Perry reminded the audi- ence. “Take ownership of the process.” The topic proved to be highly popular. In addition to the hundreds online for the event, hundreds more have watched the recording on AFSA’s YouTube. Watch it at bestEER. n director), current and retired FSOs shared their insights and observations on the pro- fession of diplomacy. Speakers included State FSO (ret.) Joyce Namde, FAS FSO (ret.) and AFSA Govern- ing Board Member Philip Shull, FSO with USAGM positive feedback on the week’s content, offering the following comments: “Such learning is not available through any other program. ... Amazing com- bination of facts and real- life insight. Speakers were amazing.” “The speakers were all very knowledgeable and articulate. They presented a comprehensive view of the Foreign Service. I learned a lot and was very impressed with the experience of the presenters.” “Deep learning that I could not find elsewhere.” “Every single one of [the speakers] was fabulous!” The Road Scholars program remains a highly successful outreach and con- stituency-creating vehicle. For more on AFSA’s programs and course offerings through Road Scholar, see www.afsa. org/road-scholar. n Julie Nutter, AFSA’s director of professional policy issues, introduces the Foreign Service to Road Scholar program participants on March 28.