Call for Nominations - 2017 Governing Board

Call for Nominations: 2017-2019 AFSA Governing Board

AFSA’s Governing Board needs you! By standing for election to the AFSA Governing Board, you can help lead the association dedicated to furthering the profession of diplomacy and the career Foreign Service. AFSA is seeking dedicated active-duty and retired professionals from all Foreign Service agencies to serve in leadership positions. There are many benefits to joining the AFSA Governing Board:

  • A significant role in advancing your profession;
  • Access to up-to-date information about the challenges facing your agency and your profession;
  • An opportunity to enhance the value of AFSA membership to the foreign affairs community;
  • Managing a multimillion-dollar organization with a large professional staff; and,
  • The chance to exchange ideas and perspectives with other volunteer leaders.

AFSA values and seeks diverse leadership as defined by professional level, skill code, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, etc.

Consider joining the next AFSA leadership team by running for a position on the 2017-2019 AFSA Governing Board.

Election Call

Election of AFSA Officers and Constituency Representatives. This election call, issued in accordance with Article VII (2)(a) of the AFSA bylaws, constitutes a formal notice to all AFSA members of the opportunity to participate in the nomination and election of a new Governing Board.

IMPORTANT DATES
February 1, 2017 Deadline for nominations
February 9, 2017 Informational meeting for Candidates - optional
February 15, 2017 Committee on Elections announces candidates’ names
April 17, 2017 Ballots and candidate statements mailed
June 8, 2017 Ballots counted
July 15, 2017 New Governing Board takes office

Call for Nominations

Available Positions. The following positions will be filled in this election:

OFFICERS
President
Secretary
Treasurer
Vice President for State
Vice President for USAID
Vice President for FCS
Vice President for FAS
Vice President for Retirees
CONSTITUENCY REPRESENTATIVES
State Department Representatives (5)
USAID Representatives (1)
IBB Representative (1)
APHIS Representative (1)
Retired Member Representatives (2)
Alternate FCS Representative (1)
Alternate FAS Representative (1)

Note: As per the bylaw amendments approved by the membership in the 2015 AFSA election, the AFSA Governing Board will be reduced from 29 members to 18 voting members. Each constituency with 100 members will have one Vice President and is entitled to one representative per 2,000 members or fraction thereof, provided that the fraction is greater than half. Constituencies with fewer than 100 members are entitled to one representative.

The positions listed above have two-year terms beginning July 15, 2017. AFSA bylaws require that all Governing Board members must be resident in the Washington, D.C., area within 60 days of taking office on July 15, 2017, and must remain resident in the Washington, D.C., area throughout their term in office.

The president and State, USAID, FCS and FAS vice presidents are full-time positions detailed to AFSA. These employees are assigned over complement and are eligible for time-in-class extensions. The active-duty representative positions are not full time, but they are given a reasonable amount of official time to attend meetings regarding labor management issues. Governing Board members are required to attend board meetings, traditionally held on the first Wednesday of each month at lunchtime and may volunteer to serve on additional committees. For position descriptions for all officer positions, see the AFSA website: www.afsa.org/board.

Nomination Procedures

Nominating Candidates. Any AFSA regular member in good standing (i.e., a member whose dues are automatically deducted or who has paid dues as of February 1, 2017) may nominate any person (including themselves) for any of the available positions for which the nominee is eligible. The following requirements apply to nominations:

  1. No member may nominate more than one person for each officer position or more than the number of representatives established for each constituency. No member’s name may appear on the ballot for more than one position. Each nomination must indicate the position for which the person is being nominated. A nominee may run for a position outside of his or her constituency (e.g., a retiree position while on active-duty) as long as the nominee will be a member of that constituency by the time the new Governing Board takes office on July 15.
  2. All nominations must be submitted by completing the nomination form on the AFSA website: www.afsa.org/nominationform. To be valid, they must, without exception, be received no later than 5 p.m. on February 1, 2017.
  3. Nominations must be accompanied by evidence of eligibility (i.e., no conflict of interest as described below).
  4. Nominations may be submitted individually or in slates. To qualify as a slate, a proposed slate must have a minimum of four candidates from at least two constituencies. Slate designations will be noted on the ballot.

Qualifications for Governing Board Membership. Individuals meeting the following qualifications are eligible for nomination to one of the available positions:

  1. The individual must be an AFSA regular member in good standing by February 1, 2017, and remain in good standing through the election process and, if elected, for his or her term of office.
  2. The individual must not have a conflict of interest as defined in Section 1017(e) of the Foreign Service Act. Please see the “Conflicts of Interest” section below for more information.
  3. The individual must be resident in the Washington, D.C., area on July 15 as described in Article V, Section 8 of the AFSA Bylaws.

Conflicts of Interest. Section 1017(e) of the Foreign Service Act restricts employees serving in certain positions within their agencies from participating in labor-management issues while serving on the Governing Board. Management officials and confidential employees, as well as those in positions that may raise or appear to raise a conflict of interest (as defined below) when the new Governing Board takes office on July 15, may not participate in Governing Board discussion, deliberations or decisions relating to labor-management issues. They may participate in AFSA Board activities that do not relate to labor-management issues. The Foreign Service Act also imposes a two-year pre- and post-AFSA “cooling off” period on employees who occupied or will occupy positions within their agency that involve labor management relations or the formulation of personnel policies and programs of a foreign affairs agency.

a. Section 1017(e) of the Act, 22 USC 4117(e) states: “Participation in labor organizations restricted. (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter—(A) participation in the management of a labor organization for purposes of collective bargaining or acting as a representative of a labor organization for such purposes is prohibited under this subchapter - (i) on the part of any management official or confidential employee; (ii) on the part of any individual who has served as a management official or confidential employee during the preceding two years; or (iii) on the part of any other employee if the participation or activity would result in a conflict of interest or apparent conflict of interest or would otherwise be incompatible with law or with the official functions of such employee; and (B) service as a management official or confidential employee is prohibited on the part of any individual having participated in the management of a labor organization for purposes of collective bargaining or having acted as a representative of a labor organization during the preceding two years. (2) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(A)(ii) and paragraph (1)(B), the term "management official" does not include - (A) any chief of mission; (B) any principal officer or deputy principal officer; (C) any administrative or personnel officer abroad; or (D) any individual described in section 4102(12)(B), (C), or (D) of this title who is not involved in the administration of this subchapter or in the formulation of the personnel policies and programs of the Department.”

b. Section 1002 (12), 22 USC 4102(12) of the Foreign Service Act defines a management official as “an individual who: is a chief of mission or principal officer; occupies a position of comparable importance to chief of mission or principal officer; is serving as a deputy to the foregoing positions; is assigned to the Office of the Inspector General; or is engaged in labor-management relations or the formulation of personnel policies and programs of a foreign affairs agency.”

c. Section 1002 (6), 22 USC 4102(6) of the Act defines a confidential employee as “an employee who acts in a confidential capacity with respect to an individual who formulates or effectuates management policies in labor-management relations.” Employees who may have a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest include those who are “engaged in personnel work in other than a purely clerical capacity” (for example, employees assigned to non-clerical positions within the HR Bureau) and “employees engaged in criminal or national security investigations of other employees or who audit the work of individuals to ensure that their functions are discharged honestly and with integrity” (such as employees assigned to Diplomatic Security investigative units or those assigned to the OIG). See Sections 1012(1) and (2), 22 USC 4112(1) and (2) of the Foreign Service Act.

As discussed above, the Foreign Service Act precludes these categories of individuals from participating in labor-management issues while serving on the Governing Board.

The Foreign Service Act also imposes a two-year pre and post “cooling off period” which restricts the movement of Foreign Service employees between certain positions on the AFSA Governing Board and certain Washington-based positions.

  • Pre-AFSA restrictions: Any individual who has served: 1) in a management position in Washington in which he or she has engaged in labor-management relations or the formulation of personnel policies and programs; or 2) as a confidential employee to one of these management officials within two years prior to taking office in AFSA, is precluded from participating in labor-management issues while serving on the Governing Board.
  • Post-AFSA restrictions: Employees who have participated in collective bargaining while serving on the AFSA Governing Board may not serve: 1) in a management position in Washington that involves labor-management relations or the formulation of personnel policies and programs; or 2) as a confidential employee to such management positions, for two years after leaving AFSA. Members should consider these restrictions before deciding whether to run for AFSA Governing Board positions covered by these restrictions.

Please direct questions regarding this issue to Sharon Papp, General Counsel, by email: papps@state.gov. All other election-related queries should be addressed to the Committee on Elections by email: election@afsa.org.

In addition to the above, due to AFSA efforts to educate Congress on issues related to Foreign Service conditions of employment, legislative proposals and other issues directly impacting the Foreign Service, employees serving in congressional fellowships may not serve on the AFSA Governing Board. A conflict or potential conflict of interest exists between their position in AFSA and their official duties. AFSA members serving as congressional fellows may run for the AFSA Governing Board provided their fellowship ends before the incoming board takes office on July 15, 2017.

Accepting a Nomination

  1. A nominee must indicate his or her acceptance of a nomination by completing the online Nomination Acceptance Form at www.afsa.org/nominationform no later than 5 p.m. EST on February 10, 2017. Any nominee whose Nomination Acceptance Form is not received by the Committee on Elections by this time will be considered to have declined candidacy.
  2. All active-duty candidates accepting a nomination must identify the position or positions they have filled for the past two years by completing the Nomination Acceptance Form. All active-duty candidates not seeking a full-time AFSA position (President, State VP, USAID VP, FCS VP, FAS VP) must also identify the department/agency position they will be serving in beginning on July 15, 2017, when the Governing Board takes office. This information is necessary to ensure compliance with section 1017(e) of the Foreign Service Act.
  3. All candidates accepting a nomination must be members of the constituency for which they are being nominated. However, an active-duty member may run to be a retiree representative, if he or she will be retired on July 15.

Campaigning

  1. Campaign Statements. All candidates will be given the opportunity to submit campaign statements for dissemination to AFSA members with the election ballots. Further information regarding such statements and editorial deadlines is contained in the “Instructions to Candidates,” which will be posted by the Elections Committee on the AFSA website (www.afsa.org/elections) by January 3, 2017.
  2. Supplementary Statements. Should candidates wish to mail supplementary statements to the membership, AFSA will make its membership mailing list or address labels available to the candidate upon request and at their expense. Further information on this and other campaign procedures will be included in the “Instructions to Candidates” mentioned above.
  3. Other Methods of Communication. Department of Labor requirements prohibit individuals from using government resources (including government email accounts) to campaign for AFSA positions. Candidates will be able to participate in the online AFSA Community Open Forum from their personal computers/devices during non-working hours. This online forum will be open to all members for whom AFSA has a valid personal email address.

Voting

Ballots will be distributed on or about April 17, 2017, to each individual who is a regular AFSA member as of March 17, 2017. Candidates or their representatives may observe the ballot distribution process if they so desire. Each member may cast one vote for president, secretary, and treasurer, as well as, one vote for a constituency vice president and each representative position in the member’s constituency.

Regular members may cast their votes for candidates listed on the official ballot, or by writing in the name(s) of member(s) eligible as of March 17, 2017, or by doing both. To be valid, a ballot must be received by 8 a.m. on June 8, 2017, either (i) at the address indicated on the envelope accompanying the ballot or (ii) by online vote. More detailed balloting instructions will accompany the ballots.

Vote Counting and Announcement of Results

On or about June 8, 2017, the Elections Committee will oversee the ballot tabulation and declare elected the candidate receiving the greatest number of votes for each position. Candidates or their representatives may be present during the tally and may challenge the validity of any vote or the eligibility of any voter. The committee will inform candidates individually of the election results by the swiftest possible means and will publish the names of all elected candidates in the next issue of The Foreign Service Journal. The elected candidates will take office on July 15, 2017, as per the bylaws.

The Committee on Elections and supporting staff members may be reached at election@afsa.org.