The Foreign Service Journal, December 2023

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | DECEMBER 2023 71 AFSA NEWS AFSA welcomed more than 200 new State Department FS officers and specialists to AFSA HQ in October. The newest crop of FS members is so large that we had to hold three separate events to fit them all into the building. The 131 generalists and 96 specialists included facilities managers, security engineers, DS special agents, and FSOs from all five career tracks. The group included 58 former State Department employees, including contractors and family members as well as 70 people who have served as State Department interns or fellows. We met 101 class members who have prior government experience outside of the State Department, including 40 who served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Of the 227 class members, 202 have previously worked, studied, or volunteered abroad. One class member speaks eight languages, while another plays nine instruments. Among the class members is a pole vaulter, a competitive lumberjack, an amateur sumo wrestler and at least two black belts in taekwondo. One class member was adopted into a Foreign Service family as an infant, while another is the first person in their family to travel internationally. And one class member, our own former FSJ associate editor Julia Wohlers, signed up for AFSA membership as a new public diplomacy officer headed to Beijing. We enjoyed meeting all these new FS members and look forward to many years of working on their behalf. n Amb. (ret.) Lino Gutierrez addresses class members on Oct. 11, 2023. Thank You, Table Hosts! As the year draws to a close, AFSA wishes to extend its sincerest gratitude to members who have served as table hosts at our welcome lunches for incoming classes of the Foreign Service. Over the course of this year—in which we welcomed a bumper crop of new hires—AFSA has hosted 17 lunches, requiring nearly 150 table hosts. Table hosts are at the heart of the association’s recruitment events, serving as the voice of AFSA, engaging with new recruits, and ready to answer any questions they might have about Foreign Service life, the career itself, and the work that AFSA does to support it. They bring a sense of camaraderie to our recruitment lunches and have generously served as points of contact for new members of the Foreign Service. We recognize the time and effort required to attend these events and appreciate the contribution of every host who has participated this year. Thank you! AFSA is always looking for additional table hosts. If you are in the Washington, D.C., area and would be interested in volunteering, please contact Hannah Chapman at n One of three groups of new FS members who were invited to AFSA HQ in October. AFSA Welcomes Newest FS Members AFSA/DONNA GORMAN AFSA/DONNA GORMAN