The Foreign Service Journal, September 2023

AFSA NEWS 60 SEPTEMBER 2023 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL Meet the 2023-2025 AFSA Governing Board The American Foreign Service Association is proud to introduce the elected officers and representatives of the 2023-2025 Governing Board. The AFSA Governing Board meets on the third Wednesday of each month from 12 to 2 p.m. at AFSA headquarters. AFSA members are welcome to attend any board meetings. THOMAS YAZDGERDI PRESIDENT A member of the Senior Foreign Service, Tom Yazdgerdi served from 2019 to 2023 as the AFSA State VP and is proud of the many wins that AFSA has secured for members. Before that, he was special envoy for Holocaust issues in the European and Eurasian Bureau at the Department of State. Mr. Yazdgerdi has served as director of the Office of South Central European Affairs, political counselor at U.S. Embassy Kabul, head of U.S. Consulate Kirkuk, and deputy political counselor for Iran affairs at U.S. Embassy Baghdad. He also served as deputy chief of mission and political-economic chief at U.S. Embassy Pristina during the run-up to and aftermath of Kosovo independence. Before joining the Foreign Service in 1991, Mr. Yazdgerdi worked on Capitol Hill. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Cornell University and a master’s degree in Central European history, security studies, and American diplomatic history from The Fletcher School at Tufts University. SUE SAARNIO SECRETARY Sue Saarnio retired from the Foreign Service in 2021 after serving as consul general in Tijuana. A career economic officer, she worked at U.S. embassies in Mexico City, Panama, and Ottawa, and at U.S. Consulate Jerusalem. She served as principal deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Energy Resources and deputy assistant secretary for Mexico, Canada, and regional economic policy in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. In the Economic Bureau, she served as deputy special representative for commercial and business affairs and special adviser for conflict diamonds. Ms. Saarnio has served twice before as a State representative on the AFSA Governing Board. Prior to government service, she worked as a journalist in Montana and Minnesota. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., and she also spent a year at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, through a study abroad program. She has two grown children and lives in Falls Church, Va., with her Mexican dog, Daisy. JOHN O’KEEFE TREASURER Ambassador (ret.) John O’Keefe served for 32 years in the Foreign Service, beginning in Moscow as a general services officer. He joined the Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute as a Global Fellow in 2019. On retirement from the Foreign Service in 2007, he headed the Open World Leadership Center, a legislative branch agency, for 10 years, then served for two years as counselor to the board of trustees. He expanded the center’s programs from Russia and Ukraine to all countries of the former Soviet Union, the Balkans, Türkiye, and Mongolia. As ambassador to Kyrgyzstan from 2000 to 2003, he negotiated the treaty allowing coalition forces to establish a base there to support operations in Afghanistan. From 2003 to 2004, he headed the Office of Career Development and from 2004 to 2006 was deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Human Resources, serving as acting Director General of the Foreign Service. Amb. O’Keefe has received the Distinguished Honor Award, the Replogle Award for Management Improvement, and the Presidential Meritorious Service Award, as well as several Superior Honor Awards and Meritorious Honor Awards. The American University of Central Asia awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. He is married to Monica O’Keefe, a retired public diplomacy officer. This is his second term as AFSA treasurer. HUI JUN TINA WONG STATE VICE PRESIDENT Tina Wong is a State Department economic officer who brings more than 13 years of State Department experience leading DEIA initiatives, deepening data transparency, and building allies to champion institutional reforms. She most recently led Western Balkans energy, infrastructure, sanctions, and regional economic integration issues in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs’ Office of South Central Europe Affairs. Previously, she advanced U.S. national security in the European and Eurasian Affairs