The Foreign Service Journal, July/August 2018

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JULY-AUGUST 2018 89 AFSA NEWS Advocating for the Foreign Service in Your Community As part of its Foreign Service Day programming, AFSA welcomed members to participate in a workshop, “Advocating for the Foreign Service in Your Community,” on May 3. Facilitated by AFSA staff members Christine Miele, Julie Nutter and Erika Bethmann, the workshop provided retirees who are active in speaking to organi- zations in their communities with key messages that AFSA has found to be successful at the national level for com- municating the work of the Foreign Service. Many retired members of the Foreign Service volunteer their time to share their area or regional expertise with both large and small com- munity organizations—both independently and as part of AFSA’s Speakers Bureau. AFSA encouraged the more than two dozen work- shop participants to leverage these speaking opportuni- ties to educate the public about the role of the Foreign Service in promoting and protecting the interests, values and security of the United States. Taking the time to do this not only helps to build aware- ness of the Foreign Service as an essential American institution, but helps to dis- pel stereotypes and misper- ceptions that can alienate us from the constituency we serve, the American people. The workshop also focused on how stories from the field can be transfor- mative, offering a tangible understanding of the critical work of the Foreign Service. Workshop participants shared examples from their careers, which they use in presentations to illustrate how the work of the Foreign Service benefits all Ameri- cans. AFSA President Ambas- sador Barbara Stephenson presented an overview of AFSA’s work over the past year with members of Con- gress and the media to cre- ate a national conversation about the role of diplomacy in preserving U.S. global leadership. With members of Congress delivering a bipar- tisan rejection of proposed State Department budget cuts and a call for normal hiring and staffing numbers, and with the arrival of the new Secretary, AFSA is eager to look ahead. Amb. Stephenson thanked participants for advocat- ing for the Foreign Service locally, ending with a call to action: “You are our eyes and ears beyond Washington. We need you to speak out in your community, to show Americans that a strong For- eign Service serves the U.S. national interest.” Presenters used the workshop to introduce the resources that AFSA makes available to assist speakers in preparing presentations, and asked participants for feedback on what additional information would be helpful. Based on the positive response to the workshop, AFSA plans to offer this workshop again soon to aid members interested in com- munity outreach. n You are our eyes and ears beyond Washington. We need you to speak out in your community. AFSAWelcomes 30th TLG Intern AFSA is pleased to welcome Clarke Jackson, the 30th student to be selected as the AFSA/Thursday Luncheon Group intern since the program began in 1992. A native of Finksburg, Md., Clarke is majoring ship program selects accomplished minority col- lege students for a sum- mer-long internship at the Department of State. Both organizations provide a sti- pend for the student. AFSA also collaborates with the Hispanic Employees Council of Foreign Affairs Agencies and the Asian Americans in Foreign Affairs Association on similar initiatives. n in romance languages and sociology at Spelman Col- lege in Atlanta, Georgia. She has spent time in Yaoundé, Cameroon, and Paris and Montpelier, France, study- ing French and francophone culture. Clarke will spend the summer working on the Nigeria desk in the Office of West African Affairs. The AFSA/TLG intern- Clarke Jackson with AFSA President Ambassador Barbara Stephenson AFSA/ALLANSAUNDERS