The Foreign Service Journal, September 2021

AFSA NEWS AFSA Speaker Series Reaches New Audiences This year, AFSA’s outreach team kicked off two new virtual speaker series: “Inside Diplomacy” and “Diplo- mats at Work.” Both series are intended to help reach AFSA’s goal of increasing awareness of and support for the U.S. Foreign Service. Hosted by the AFSA president, Inside Diplomacy is tailored to connect with a more traditional international affairs audience by explor- ing current national security issues as they relate to foreign policy and the Foreign Service. The series is also intended to showcase AFSA as a thought leader and critical resource on the role of the Foreign Service in diplo- macy. Featured speakers have included Liz Schrayer, president and CEO of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, and Jim DeHart, U.S. coordi- nator for the Arctic Region. The second series, Diplo- mats at Work, is designed to introduce new and diverse audiences to the work of the Foreign Service. The pro- gram features active-duty members of the Foreign Ser- vice who share their stories of life and work at U.S. posts abroad. The format is accessible and provides an overview of the type of work the individ- ual is responsible for at a U.S. embassy or consulate, while also highlighting a specific story to help illustrate that work. To promote this series, AFSA focuses on outreach to colleges and universi- ties around the country, in particular to community col- leges. We connect with Diplo- mats in Residence and local organizations to help get the word out in their respective communities. To date, both series have been successful, drawing more than 200 participants per event. For “Inside Diplo- macy,” participation is a good mix of AFSA members and those in the broader inter- national affairs community. For “Diplomats at Work,” as planned, the participation is largely external and includes students and professors from around the country, as well as professionals in diverse sectors. AFSA will host two more events in each of the series through December. Even as things begin to open up and allow for in-person events, these series will remain vir- tual. Hosting virtual outreach events has enabled us to reach audiences who other- wise wouldn’t have access to AFSA events. We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the important role members have played in the promotion of these series by spreading the word of the events among their friends, colleagues and family mem- bers. This again confirms that members are one of our most important and effective outreach assets. We encour- age members to continue the great work in promoting these series, and other out- reach efforts. Finally, as shared in our June update, AFSA has been working diligently to increase our social media presence. If you haven’t yet followed us on Twitter (@afsatweets), LinkedIn (American Foreign- Service Association), or Facebook (afsapage), we encourage you to do so. It’s a fast and easy way to check Members are one of our most important and effective outreach assets. on the latest events, articles or updates, and share with friends. You can also visit The For- eign Service Journal ’s Face- book (fsjournal) and LinkedIn (The Foreign Service Journal) pages. As always, if you have any questions about AFSA’s outreach program, please contact Strategic Communi- cations and Outreach Man- ager Nadja Ruzica at ruzica@ . n AFSA STATEMENT ON NEW FEDERAL COV I D -19 MEASURE AFSA welcomes the July 29 Biden administration announcement that all federal employees and contrac- tors are required to either attest to their COVID-19 vac- cination status or wear a mask and submit to regular testing in cases where no such attestation is given. This is in response to the rising number of infections worldwide from the now-dominant delta variant. As AFSA stated in its June 17 message on the signifi- cant COVID-19 breakout at our embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, the association is supportive of vaccina- tion measures to ensure the health and safety of the extended FS community. AFSA fully supports any medical or religious exemp- tions to vaccine requirements, and has urged the federal government, including leadership at our agencies and embassies, to ensure that anyone falling under such exemptions be protected from any kind of adverse impact. 70 SEPTEMBER 2021 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL