The Foreign Service Journal, September 2010

I n June2009, AFSAwas pleased to report a major success in our longstanding effort to close the overseas pay gap suf- feredby entry-level andmid-level Foreign Service members stationed abroad. The Department of State first implemented its overseas comparability pay authority in August 2009. Other affected agencies fol- lowed suit. This was an historic develop- ment that was particularly satisfying for AFSA, because we know it makes a direct difference for you and your family. AFSA believed this significant devel- opment and the commitment byCongress toclose aportionof thepay inequitywould build the momentum that would propel future legislative action to finish the job. Now we are pleased to report that yet another stephasbeenmade toward thegoal of completely closing the gap. The second tranche, authorized in the Fiscal Year 2010 Omnibus Appropriations bill, became law on Aug. 15. With this development, 16.52 percent of the gap has been closed (7.7 percent in August 2009+1.12percent inJanuary2010 + 7.7 percent in August 2010). (The January 2010 percentage represents the locality pay portionD.C. workers got over A F S A N E W S 54 F OR E I GN S E R V I C E J OU R N A L / S E P T EMB E R 2 0 1 0 The Overseas Pay Gap: More Progress BY LEGISLATIVE DIRECTOR CASEY FRARY T here is no more perfect editor than Shawn Dorman for theall-new, soon-to-be-released third edition of Inside a U.S. Embassy . Shawn has led the very successful book project since 2002, pioneer- ing AFSA’s book publishing division established as Foreign Service Books in 2009. AForeignServiceofficer for sevenyears, shebrought her extensive knowledge toAFSA in 2000. She served as AFSANews editor for eight years while also serving, from2004, as associate editor for the ForeignService Journal , a posi- tion she still holds. Born and raised in Baltimore, Shawn’s connection with the ForeignService beganwitha college internship at State’s Soviet desk in the late 1980s. After graduating fromCornell, she was hired by State for a Civil Service position on the desk. She took leave from that job to go to Moscow, as a nanny. There she also worked in the embassy’s political section for a year, and later spent fourmonths helping out a busy consular section in St. Petersburg. She left State for graduate school, spent a semester teaching in northern China, and earned anM.A. in Russian studies at Georgetown University. Shawn joined the Foreign Service in 1993, figuring (correctly) that she’d be sent to one of the new countries of the former Soviet Union. After twochallenging and fascinating years inKyrgyzstan— where our brand-new embassy was in a temporary building — as general services officer and then consul, she was sent as a political officer to Jakarta. It was, she says, an “inspiring time in Indonesia, with students leading the efforts to push for reformand democracy.” She stayed on through the1998evacuation(because shewas theofficer in touch with student groups)—sending her husband and 2-year-old son off in the middle of the night—and then “had the chance to wit- ness the end of the 30-year Suharto regime and the peaceful tran- sition of power.” From Jakarta, she went to the State Department Operations Center as awatch officer—“a fascinating assignment, because it offers a front-rowseat toall that’s happening around theworld.” Following the birth of her daughter, Shawn resigned fromthe Service in2000. State’s loss was AFSA’s gain. “Shawn’s profound familiarity with the Foreign Service has equipped her toperformat a consistentlyoutstanding level,” says FSJ Editor Steve Honley. “As a former FSO, she has enormous cred- ibility precisely because she walked the walk.” Shawn has written a number of special reports for the Journal , including articles on diplomatic service in Iraq, transformational diplomacy, spouse employment, Foreign Service reform and the “Total Candidate” hiring process. “It is such a pleasure to work withShawn,” says SeniorEditor SusanMaitra. “She’s a creativeprob- lem-solver and, withher dynamic graspofAFSA’smission, has con- tributed vitally to the Journal and other association initiatives.” ExecutiveDirector IanHouston agrees. “Shawn brings creativ- ity and imagination to AFSA, but also common sense. That is a terrific combination of qualities, especially as it relates to AFSA’s future book plans.” After 10 years, Shawn is still enthusiastic: “AFSAhas enabledme to do what I’ve always wanted to do—combine an interest in for- eign affairs withwriting, editing and publishing. I work with some wonderful people at AFSAand in the ForeignService, and I can feel somewhat in the loopwithout having to live inBaghdadorKabul.” Shawn ismarried to ShawnMcKenzie (yes, they have the same first name) and lives outsideBaltimorewith childrenGabe, 14, and Hannah, 11, along with “two dogs, a Kyrgyz cat, five dwarf ham- sters, one gerbil and three frogs.” She is learning toplay guitar along with her children. ❏ MILESTONES: 10 YEARS AT AFSA Shawn Dorman: From the Foreign Service to Foreign Service Books BY FRANCESCA KELLY HANNAH MCKENZIE