68 SEPTEMBER 2019 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL AFSA NEWS Next Stage: How Your Foreign Service Background Adds Value in the Private Sector For AFSA’s most recent Next Stage program, “Transitioning to the Private Sector,” Foreign Service alumni explained how they parlayed their diplomacy expertise into post-FS careers in the private sector. Our panel of recently retired members from vari- ous backgrounds and career tracks highlighted how For- eign Service experience can pave the way to successful private-sector transitions. The panel was the brain- child of AFSAmember and State retiree Stephen M. Lis- ton. Currently vice president of global government rela- tions at Equifax, a consumer credit reporting agency, Mr. Liston underscored that For- eign Service members have a unique skill set that is key to the success of U.S. busi- nesses in foreign climes. FS personnel know how to approach and negotiate with foreign governments, which is particularly important given that a good many economies are state-run, and foreign gov- ernments are often directly involved in such issues. Mr. Liston pointed out that not all U.S. businesses are fully aware of the benefits that can be derived from the expertise FS personnel bring to the table, and it is impor- tant for FS personnel to be ready to describe the signifi- cance of their expertise when looking to make the transition to the private sector. Other panelists were former deputy assistant secretary of State Juan Gon- zalez, now an associate vice president at the Cohen Group; former State FSO Samantha Carl-Yoder, who is currently the director of marketing and international affairs for Tel- lurian, a natural gas company; and Andrew Rudman, who was both a tenured State FSO and then an officer with the Department of Commerce before moving on to be man- aging director at Monarch Global Strategies, a boutique strategic advisory firm. An audience member said that the panelists “did an excellent job of explaining the many ways in which our global skill set is valuable to the private sector, coaching us on how to describe the value that we can bring to an organization and sharing a wealth of practical tips on the Juan Gonzalez (left), Samantha Carl-Yoder, Stephen Liston and Andrew Rudman discuss “Transitioning to the Private Sector” during a Next Stage event. way the job search process really works.” “Next Stage” is a new AFSA initiative that includes a range of events geared toward post-Foreign Service career options and the skills you need to take advantage of them. n AFSA/CAMERONWOODWORTH Scenes from AFSA’s Summer Happy Hour Attendees chat at the AFSA Summer Happy Hour against a backdrop of panels from the FSJ ’s centennial exhibit. Attendees enjoy food at the AFSA Summer Happy Hour. AFSA/CAMERONWOODWORTH AFSA/CAMERONWOODWORTH AFSA/CAMERONWOODWORTH Outgoing AFSA President Ambassador Barbara Stephenson makes farewell remarks at the AFSA Summer Happy Hour June 27.