The Foreign Service Journal, September 2014

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | SEPTEMBER 2014 55 AFSA NEWS Ambassadorial Logjam AFSA Hos t s Bu s i nes s Round t ab l e t o Ex ped i t e Con f i rma t i on s AFSA reached out to the business com- munity recently as part of its continuing effort to expedite the U.S. Senate confir- mation of ambassadorial appointees. On June 24, AFSA’s advocacy depart- ment brought together entrepreneurs, business leaders and government affairs professionals to consider the impact of delays in the confirmation process on our country’s ability to effectively serve American interests. The discussion focused on Africa, where nearly a quarter of our missions had no ambassador as of August 2014. The African countries awaiting American ambassadors are Botswana, Cabo Verde, Lesotho, Madagascar and Comoros, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Zambia. The career diplomats nominated to these countries have been waiting for an average of eight months. The combined trade between the United States and these African countries was more than 1.8 billion in 2013, accord- ing to the U.S. Trade Representative. The roundtable gave participants the opportunity to hear from area experts, share concerns and ask questions about the role and importance of chiefs of mission for U.S. national security and economic prosperity. —Debra Blome, Associate Editor Ambassadors in Waiting. The data on the 48 ambassadorial nominations still awaiting Senate confirmation as of Sept. 8, 2014, shown here was compiled by AFSA. For more information on ambassadorial appointments, see AFSA’s Ambassadors Project at ambassadors.aspx. AFSA/JEFFLAU