The Foreign Service Journal, September 2008

Foreign Service Journal on the Web The recent FSJ reader survey showed that many of our readers do not know that the entire Journal is posted online every month. We began posting selected articles from each FSJ in 2000 and have been posting the whole issue each month since June 2005. Given the sometimes lengthy period it takes mail to reach far- flung posts, you may be able to get to the current issue more quickly through the Web edition. In 2007, we updated the FSJ site, adding categories of articles to the home page to help people find articles of partic- ular interest, such as those on Iraq service and professional issues, as well as “News You Can Use” and the obituaries. Classifieds are online now as well, as are special advertising sections including the school supplement. We hope to improve the site further during the coming months, aiming to switch to a more searchable format. Please visit us on the Web and send your suggestions for improving your access to the Journal . BOOKFAIR The 48th annual BOOKFAIR of the Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide opens on Friday, Oct. 17, in the Exhibit Hall of the Harry S. Truman Building (Main State). In addition to secondhand books from all over the world, BOOKFAIR will once again feature the Art Corner, Collectors’ Corner and an assortment of coins and stamps. It is open from 2-5 p.m. for all badge holders and escorted guests. BOOK- FAIR continues from Oct. 20-24 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for this same group. During the weekends of Oct. 18-19 and 25-26, the sale is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Access is through the C Street entrance. VISA, MASTERCARD and personal checks accepted. Please call (202) 223- 5796 with questions, or consult the Web site at . AFSA Bids Fond Farewell to Amb. Heather Hodges AFSA State VP Steve Kashkett presents a plaque to Heather Hodges, the outgoing prin- cipal deputy assistant secretary of State for human resources, for the positive collabora- tion that AFSA enjoyed with her over the past two years. Ambassador Hodges has left that position to take up her duties as chief of mis- sion in Ecuador. S E P T EMB E R 2 0 0 8 / F OR E I GN S E R V I C E J OU R N A L 75 A F S A N E W S AFSA NEWS BRIEFS Spouse Employment Gets a Boost In July, Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy sent out a worldwide message announcing an expansion of the Professional Associates Program, a program that provides “professional-level, full-time employment opportunities overseas for appointment-eligible family members.” Thanks to congressional support through supplemental appropriations, the depart- ment plans to address the current Foreign Service shortfall in the field by filling up to 105 Professional Associate positions starting immediately. The majority of the PA positions will be compensated at the FS-4 through the FS-6 levels and may be available immediately and through the summer of 2009, depending on each post’s specific needs. Regional bureaus will be work- ing with posts to identify and finalize the list of potential PA positions. Consistent with the existing PA program, appointment-eligible family members selected for PA positions will be expected to serve for a minimum of one year. AEFMs already at post will be eligible to apply through HR/CDA. AEFMs will be hired under a Family Member Appointment. Questions can be directed to . AFSA supported this decision to increase professional opportunities for spouses, but contin- ues to urge increased funding to boost Foreign Service hiring to overcome long-term staffing shortages. ZLATANA BADRICH Baggage Fees Reimbursed Important information on baggage fees, from unclassified message State 78335: Most major U.S. carriers have modified their checked baggage policies by eliminat- ing the practice of allowing free checked bags for some flights and are charging additional fees for all checked baggage. All U.S. government travelers on official orders may be reimbursed for fees charged by an airline for checking in a first and/or second piece of luggage. These additional charges on a first and/or second checked bag that is not overweight or oversized, when actually incurred and necessary, can be itemized and reimbursed per 14 FAM 562.2(3). Please note that the weight and dimensions of checked baggage and the chargeable first and/or second bag have not changed and may be viewed at the respec- tive U.S carrier Web site. Seeking AFSA Post Reps Help serve your community by volunteer- ing to be the AFSA representative for your post. Post reps help keep headquarters con- nected to the 70 percent of AFSA member- ship overseas. The authority and responsi- bilities of a post rep are spelled out in the AFSA Chapter Manual ( reps/manual.cfm). For more information, or if you don’t know if your post currently has an AFSA rep, check in with the AFSA mem- bership department at . o