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AFSA promotes a strong professional career

Foreign Service, fosters a better under-

standing of and appreciation for the Foreign

Service’s critical role in promoting America’s

national security, economic prosperity and

values, and safeguards the interests of its



AFSA exists to support the United States

Foreign Service, which deploys worldwide

to protect and serve America’s people, inter-

ests and values. The Foreign Service is the

only U.S. government entity that is globally

deployed with an enduring physical

presence in almost every country in the

world, creating an enormous competitive

advantage for America and for Americans

from all walks of life.

Nearly 80 percent of active-duty members of

the Foreign Service choose to join AFSA, the

voice of the Foreign Service. AFSA’s mem-

bers are career professionals who volunteer

to live and work abroad for roughly two-

thirds of their careers, families often in tow,

sometimes not, representing America to the

people and leaders of other countries. Mem-

bers of the Foreign Service are posted to

more than 270 U.S. embassies, consulates

and other missions that are scattered across

the globe—most in difficult and many in

dangerous environments.

America’s Foreign Service understands

and speaks foreign languages; comprehends

other countries’ politics, laws, economic

drivers and cultures; and knows how to get

things done on behalf of American people

in unfamiliar territory.


Foreign Service Act of 1980,

the legal

foundation for the Foreign Service, opens

by declaring that “a career foreign service,

characterized by excellence and profession-

alism, is essential in the national interest.”

AFSA speaks for its members individually,

ensuring that the law is upheld and due

process followed, but also, crucially, for

the long-term health and vigor of the

Foreign Service as an institution, certain in

the conviction that a career Foreign Service,

characterized by excellence and profession-

alism, is in America’s national interest.

Members of the Foreign Service

are leaders, problem solvers and

adept communicators.

They preserve peace, end wars,

challenge authority when needed

and inspire others to see merit

in American ideals of

democracy, human rights,

dignity and justice for all.