The Foreign Service Journal, November 2011

NOV EMB E R 2 0 1 1 / F OR E I GN S E R V I C E J OU R N A L 65 American Foreign Service Association • November 2011 AFSA NEWS CALL FOR NOMINATIONS AFSA Awards: Keeping It Honest, Keeping It Real BY PERRI GREEN, SPECIAL AWARDS AND OUTREACH COORDINATOR ASGEIR SIGFUSSON, OUTREACH AND MARKETING MANAGER CONSTRUCTIVE DISSENT AWARDS S ince 1968, AFSA’s constructive dis- sent awards programhas recognized individualswhohave demonstrated professional courage and integrityby chal- lenging the systemfromwithin, asking the tough questions and offering alternative solutions. Many Foreign Service luminar- ies— including Ambassadors Jeffrey Felt- man, James Warlick, Ryan Crocker, John W. Limbert,MichaelGuest andCarolRod- ley—have receivedanAFSAdissent award. By singling out a policy or manage- ment/personnel issue theydeemtobedetri- mental to the Service or at odds with U.S. policy, FS employees who present their opposition inaprincipledandconstructive way engage in one of the most important traditions in the Foreign Service: dissent. To honor the next generation of dis- senters, AFSA is nowseekingnominations from the field. Recent years have seen an alarming decline in the number of nomi- nations. We hope this isn’t an indication ofpeoplechoosingnot todissent, but isper- haps indicative of the need to raise aware- nessthattheawardsexist. TheAFSAawards build on a very long tradition of dissent in the Foreign Service. We urge you to join AFSA’s efforts to honor independent thinking and creative dissent by nominating a colleague. Please note that dissent must be made through anauthorizedchannel, includingmeetings, e-mails to superiors, memoranda or telegrams/cables. Nominations for dissent that has been carried out through social media or blogs, or dissent that has been conducted anonymously, will be disqual- ified. The dissent awards are: The F. Allen “Tex”HarrisAward foraForeignServicespe- cialist; the W. Averell Harriman Award for anentry-level ForeignServiceofficer (FS6- 4); the WilliamR. RivkinAward for a mid- career officer (FS 3-1); and the ChristianA. Herter Award for a senior officer. Awardswill bepresented to thewinners atAFSA’s annual awardceremony, held in the Benjamin Franklin Diplomatic ReceptionRoomin June 2012. The dead- line for nominations is Feb. 29, 2012. EXEMPLARY PERFORMANCE AFSAalsooffers threeannual awards for exemplaryperformanceof assignedor vol- untary duties at an overseas post that con- stitutes an extraordinary contribution to effectiveness, professionalism and morale. The award categories are: The Nelson B. DelavanAward , for aForeignServiceOffice Management Specialistwhohasmadea sig- nificant contribution topost or office effec- tiveness andmoralebeyond the framework of his or her job responsibilities; the M. Juanita Guess Award , for a Community LiaisonOfficerwhohas demonstratedout- W aking up early on an October morning at the Chautauqua Institution is a bit of an other- worldly experience. A gentle fog shrouds the forested hills on the east side of Chautauqua Lake, the rising sun strikes a golden glow on the lake’s surface, and the absolutequiet—unfamiliar tocitydwellers — is broken only by the chirping of birds. All of these qualities, in addition to the Institution’s 137-year history,makeChau- tauqua an ideal learning environment for thethousandsofpeoplewhoflockthereeach yearforeducationalprogramscoveringsuch diverse subjects as global health, Iran, the U.S. civil war and the intelligence infra- structure. The same reasons explainwhyAFSAhas partnered with Chautauqua since 1996, allowingustodeveloptheRoadScholarpro- gram(formerlyElderhostel) intooneof the association’smost successful national out- reach efforts. Focus on Foreign Policy and Development Theprogram, open to thepublic, offers perspectivesonforeignpolicyissuesthrough the eyes of Foreign Service personnel. The Chautauqua Institution: An AFSA Partner for 15 Years BY ASGEIR SIGFUSSON Continued on page 72 Continued on page 71