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On the congressional side, AFSA’s Advocacy Department expanded

its network once again. Through a series of initiatives, the asso-

ciation progressed from tapping into a small, targeted network on

Capitol Hill to having access to more than 250 offices and

committees in the House and Senate.

AFSA started the year with a bang when it began a

new tradition


January by sending

a team to the Hill to welcome 31 newly elected

members of the 114th Congress on their first day in office.

During AFSA’s

2nd Annual Advocacy Day

on April 15, the association

visited nine Senate and House offices and hosted more than 100

congressional offices at an evening networking reception. We were

pleased to be able to feature an impressive lineup of keynote speak-

ers: member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State,

Foreign Operations and Related Programs Representative Barbara Lee

(D-Calif.), Career Ambassador and Principal Deputy Assistant Secre-

tary of State in the Bureau of Near East Affairs Gerald Feierstein and

Edith Bartley, whose father, FSO Julian Bartley Sr., and brother Julian

Jr. were killed in the 1998 attack on Embassy Nairobi.

AFSA raised the profile of the Foreign Service in other ways, as well.

Foreign Commercial Service Vice President Steve Morrison partici-

pated in the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute’s 4th Annual

Trade and International Affairs Symposium and the Association of Government Relations Professionals’ Congressional Trade Panel. In

October, AFSA partnered with the Foreign Affairs Congressional Staff

Association to sponsor a panel titled “Strong Diplomacy in Today’s World: U.S. Foreign Service 101.” Roughly 100 congressional staffe


fellows and interns attended.

In 2015, AFSA enhanced its outreach explaining who the Foreign Service

is and why what it does is in the interest of every single U.S. citizen.

We focused on two primary audiences: Congress and the American public.


The association’s advocacy efforts also target

decision-makers at the state level. For exam-

ple, AFSA participated in Virginia Governor

Terry McAuliffe’s Latino Summit and the Vir-

ginia Public Access Project’s Ethics Seminar.

In Wisconsin, we helped one of our members

introduce legislation that would provide

active-duty Foreign Service members the same

vehicle registration and motor vehicle-

operator licensing privileges enjoyed by our

active-duty colleagues in the U.S. Armed

Forces. And in Maryland, we connected with

civic and business leaders at the Montgomery

County Executive Hispanic Gala.

Representative Gerald

Connolly (D-Va.) speaks on

the future of international

development and transpar-

ency and accountability in

foreign aid during a Feb. 9

members-only town hall at

AFSA headquarters. (AFSA/

Debra Blome)