The Foreign Service Journal, July-August 2021

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JULY-AUGUST 2021 55 AFSA Retention Survey A Look at Why Some Consider Leaving the Service In partnership with three Rangel Fellows (Constanza Castro, Caroline Kim and Mojib Ghaznawi) at Har- vard’s Kennedy School for Public Service, AFSA spon- sored a survey on retention, diversity, equity and inclu- sion in the Foreign Service. The survey, conducted last December and January by the fellows, was sent to all AFSA members via the Harvard survey platform Qualtrix. The survey’s aim was to identify the primary reasons why members would consider leaving the Foreign Service. Second- arily, the survey revealed why members who had left the Service before “normal” retirement chose to depart. With this information, we can pinpoint measures that government agencies and AFSA might take to ensure healthy Foreign Service retention. The retention survey asked whether members are considering leaving the For- eign Service, and why; what their recommendations are for how the Foreign Ser- vice agencies can improve retention; and the areas on which AFSA should focus its advocacy. It also contained demographic questions. Out of approximately 16,700 AFSA members, 3,338 responded to the AFSARETENTIONSURVEY AFSARETENTIONSURVEY AFSA NEWS More than two-thirds (68 percent) of active-duty respondents reported that they would definitely or probably stay in the Foreign Service, while 952 respondents (32 percent) said they were seriously considering leaving and exploring their options. Continued on page 56