AFSA engages in vigorous outreach to the media, always with the intent of telling the story of the Foreign Service to the public at home and abroad. To that end, we have developed long-standing relationships with the journalists who cover diplomacy and federal worker issues.
On this page, you will find links to the most recent stories concerning those issues affecting AFSA's membership and the Foreign Service community at large. You will also find AFSA's press releases, which reach hundreds of media outlets and create awareness of what AFSA advocates for on behalf of its members.
Director of Communications Kristen Fernekes handles all media issues at AFSA. For press inquiries or requests for comment/quotes, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 944-5516.
Most Recent Press Releases
November 5, 2013
The Foreign Service Journal in November Features Books by Foreign Service Authors
Washington, DC - The American Foreign Service Association has published the November issue of The Foreign Service Journal. The Journal covers foreign affairs from an insider’s perspective, providing thoughtful articles on international issues, the practice of diplomacy and the U.S. Foreign Service.
October 17, 2013
AFSA Lauds End of Shutdown; Back Pay for Furloughed Feds
Washington, D.C. – The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) expresses its relief that the 16-day government shutdown has come to an end and that America’s dedicated federal workforce can now get back to work on behalf of the nation.
October 3, 2013
AFSA Supports H.R. 3223/S. 1567, the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act
Washington, D.C. – The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) strongly supports H.R. 3223/S. 1567, the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act, and urges its swift passage.
September 27, 2013
AFSA Members Rally: Don't Shut Down Diplomacy
Washington, D.C. – The American Foreign Service Association held a rally on Friday, September 27, to protest a potential government shutdown and to draw attention to the impact this would have on U.S. diplomacy and the Foreign Service employees who protect and promote the interests of the United States overseas. The event, titled “Don’t Shut Down Diplomacy,” took place at Edward J. Kelly Park at 21st Street and Virginia Avenue NW. AFSA President Bob Silverman, AFSA Vice President for the State Department Matthew Asada, and AFSA Vice President for USAID Sharon Wayne all addressed the assembled crowd.
September 25, 2013
AFSA to Hold Rally Against Government Shutdown
Washington, DC - The American Foreign Service Association will hold a rally on Friday, September 27, to protest a potential government shutdown and to draw attention the impact this would have on U.S. diplomacy and the Foreign Service employees who protect and promote the interests of the United States overseas.
September 17, 2013
AFSA Calls on Congress to Ensure Funding for the Security of U.S. Personnel Overseas
Washington, D.C. – The American Foreign Service Association supports the decision of Secretary of State John Kerry and the Department of State to reinstate the four employees who were placed on administrative leave following the September 11, 2012, attack on our diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya.
August 14, 2013
Secretary of State Honors First-Prize Winner in AFSA Essay Contest
Washington, D.C. -- Secretary of State John Kerry met Lincoln, Nebraska native Kailee Marie Pedersen and congratulated her for the winning entry in the American Foreign Service Association’s 2013 National High School Essay Contest. Ms. Pedersen was recognized at a ceremony attended by AFSA President Robert J. Silverman that took place on August 8 at the Secretary’s Office at the Department of State in Washington, D.C.
August 14, 2013
U.S. Diplomats Honor Wall Native in National Essay Contest
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mr. Joshua Ferry, of Wall, New Jersey, is the runner-up in the American Foreign Service Association’s Annual National High School Essay Contest. A rising senior at Wall High School, Mr. Ferry won a full-scholarship for tuition to National Student Leadership Conference’s International Diplomacy program this summer in Washington, D.C., and New York City. Upon graduation from Wall High School, he hopes to attend Brown University to follow his interests in foreign policy.
July 23, 2013
Newly Elected AFSA Board Takes Office
Washington, DC – The newly elected Governing Board of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) took office on July 15. The new officers were elected by their peers to represent more than 30,000 Foreign Service colleagues. Two chief issues are of concern to the Foreign Service at present: first, overseas security--in particular, managing security risks in ways that enable us to continue engaging local publics--and second, professional development: ensuring that all Foreign Service members have access to training and the opportunities to advance along rewarding career paths.
June 26, 2013
AFSA Welcomes Supreme Court Decision on DOMA; Urges Quick Access to Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses of Federal Employees
Washington, DC – The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) welcomes today’s Supreme Court decision declaring the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional.
June 17, 2013
AFSA Supports Informed Oversight; Encourages Full Respect for Due Process, Protection of Privacy, and Senate-Confirmed Inspector General
Washington DC – The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) welcomes thoughtful and informed oversight into allegations of unethical or inappropriate behavior at the Department of State or any other foreign affairs agencies. As the professional association and bargaining unit for America’s diplomats, AFSA is dedicated to the maintenance of the highest professional ethics and standards within our profession.
May 9, 2013
AFSA Applauds Senator Leahy's Amendment to Provide Equal Treatment for Same-Sex Couples as Part of Immigration Reform
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) this week offered an amendment to provide equal treatment for same-sex couples under the recently proposed immigration reform legislation. His amendment would eliminate discrimination in immigration laws by permitting the permanent partners of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to obtain lawful permanent resident status in the same manner as spouses of heterosexual citizens and lawful permanent residents.
April 8, 2013
AFSA Mourns Death of FSO Anne Smedinghoff in Afghanistan
Washington, D.C. – The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) expresses its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Anne Smedinghoff, the young Foreign Service Officer killed in a terrorist attack in Zabul province, Afghanistan on April 6.
March 29, 2013
NAPA Report Validates AFSA’s Concern About STOCK Act
Washington, D.C. – The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) reacted positively to the release of a study by National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) that was commissioned by Congress in response to the many complaints about the unintended negative consequences of the STOCK Act’s online disclosure provisions.
February 25, 2013
AFSA Congratulates Argo on Best Picture Oscar Victory
Washington, DC – American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) president Susan R. Johnson, on behalf of the members of AFSA, extends her congratulations to director Ben Affleck, producers Grant Heslov and George Clooney, the cast, crew, and producers of Argo on winning the Oscar for Best Picture and for its victories in the Film Editing and Adapted Screenplay categories during the 85th Academy Awards.
February 5, 2013
American Foreign Service Association Teams Up with Semester at Sea and National Student Leadership Conference for Annual High School Essay Contest & Top Prizes
WASHINGTON—February 5, 2013—The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), in partnership with the Semester at Sea (SAS) program and the National Student Leadership Conference, is hoping to challenge and inspire the next generation of diplomats through its’ 15th annual essay contest. Launched nationwide on November 30, 2012, the contest invites high schoolers to compete for a first-place series of prizes including a trip to Washington, D.C. to meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, $2,500 award, and full scholarship for a Semester at Sea voyage. Second prize is full scholarship for tuition to the National Student Leadership Conference summer program in Washington, D.C., and New York City.
February 4, 2013
AFSA Welcomes Secretary Kerry to the Department of State
Washington, DC – The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) congratulated and extended a warm welcome to newly sworn-in Secretary of State John F. Kerry on Monday. AFSA President Susan R. Johnson participated in a welcome ceremony at the Department of State and welcomed Mr. Kerry on behalf of the members of the United States Foreign Service. In her remarks, Johnson said: “You bring with you wealth of experience and qualities of leadership that will inspire and guide us in carrying out United States foreign policy in the challenging times ahead.”
January 15, 2013
AFSA Congratulates Affleck on Argo Golden Globe Victories
Washington, DC – The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) extends its congratulations to director Ben Affleck, the cast and crew, and the producers of Argo on winning the 2013 Golden Globe Awards for best director and best picture.
January 3, 2013
AFSA Statement on the Special Report on the Terrorist Attack at Benghazi
Washington – Susan R. Johnson, president of The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) made the following statement: The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs released on December 30 a bipartisan report presenting the findings and recommendations from its investigation into the September attacks in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. AFSA welcomes the report and emphasizes that “The Benghazi attack made it clear that security for our diplomatic facilities, and especially any special missions or facilities currently classified as lock and leave need urgent and sustained attention. In Benghazi we failed to read the dangerous situation and make adequate arrangements to respond to the kind of terrorist attack that happened. We need greater clarity of purpose for diplomatic missions such as Benghazi. The report identifies gaps in anticipation and assessment of danger, in training, planning and dot-connecting, as well as in coordination, both within the Department of State and inter-agency.”
December 19, 2012
AFSA Statement on the State Department's Accountability Review Board Report on Benghazi
Washington, DC – Susan R. Johnson, President of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) said: AFSA commends the comprehensive Accountability Review Board Report on the tragic events of 9/11/12 when the United States Special Mission compound in Benghazi came under attack resulting in the loss of life of four U.S. officials including Ambassador Chris Stevens. The Report points to systemic failures and weaknesses of management, intelligence, coordination and provision of adequate security as the primary drivers contributing to the tragedy.
December 7, 2012
AFSA and Coalition Partners Win Stock Act Delay
Washington, DC – American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) President Susan R. Johnson welcomed this week's action by Congress to delay until April 15 the requirement to post personal financial information of senior executive staff in an online 'searchable, downloadable database', mandated by the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act. "The requirements in the STOCK Act that force federal employees to put their personal financial information online where anybody can access it has serious implications for both personal safety as well as for national security," she said. "We’re relieved that Congress has recognized some of these issues and is taking time to study the consequences of the online posting requirements."
December 5, 2012
AFSA Welcomes Senate Authorization of an Additional 1,000 Marines for Embassy Security
Washington, DC - Susan R. Johnson, President of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) welcomed Tuesday's action by the U.S. Senate to authorize an additional 1,000 Marines for U.S. embassy security, but noted that more Marines are part of a larger equation for ensuring the safety of Foreign Service personnel around the world.
December 3, 2012
AFSA Thanks Retiring Members of Congress for Their Sustained Support of the U.S. Foreign Service
Washington, DC – Susan R. Johnson, president of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), made the following statement: "We salute and thank retiring members of Congress who will be leaving at the end of the 112th Congress for their strong support of the U.S. Foreign Service as well as their overall contributions in sustaining all the federal foreign affairs."
November 13, 2012
AFSA Comments on Diplomatic Security Post-Benghazi
AFSA welcomed the quick establishment of the ARB under Ambassador Tom Pickering. We count on the ARB to investigate the circumstances and decisions that resulted in the tragic deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Info Management specialist Sean Smith and the two security contractors, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods who lost their lives while seeking to protect and rescue our diplomats.
September 12, 2012
AFSA Statement on the Tragic Deaths of American Diplomatic Personnel in Libya
Washington – Susan R. Johnson, president of The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) made the following statement: We are deeply saddened and mourn the tragic loss of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Foreign Service Management Specialist Sean Smith, and their colleagues in the outrageous and cowardly attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya. We extend our heartfelt condolences and sympathy to the families and loved ones of those killed. Their service and example are an inspiration to us all.
July 12, 2012
AFSA Requests Modifications of STOCK Act Provisions
The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) released a statement today indicating it is aiming to correct provisions contained in the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act so as to protect Foreign Service employees from additional risks when serving overseas, and to prevent potential national security risks. The measure became public law on April 4, 2012.
April 27, 2012
Undersecretary of State Maria Otero to Honor Fallen Foreign Service Members on Foreign Affairs Day, May 4
Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Maria Otero will give remarks during AFSA’s Memorial Plaque Ceremony at the Department of State on Friday, May 4, in the C Street (Diplomatic) lobby of the Department of State, at 10:25 a.m. The event, part of the annual Foreign Affairs Day celebration, honors members of the Foreign Service who have lost their lives while serving the United States overseas in the line of duty or under heroic or other inspirational circumstances.
November 15, 2011
AFSA Teams Up with Semester at Sea and Booz Allen Hamilton for Annual High School Essay Contest
The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), the professional association of the U.S. Foreign Service, is announcing a new partnership with the world-renowned Semester at Sea study abroad program and technology consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton to increase the scope of its international education activities for America’s students.
November 10, 2011
AFSA Responds to Governor Rick Perry's Negative Comments on the U.S. Foreign Service
Texas Governor Rick Perry's comments about members of the U.S. Foreign Service during a Nov. 7 radio interview
reflect a serious misunderstanding of their role in promoting American
interests overseas. Diplomacy is rightly recognized as the first line
of defense and a vital instrument for ensuring national security, along
with the military. Foreign Service professionals carry out their role
with exemplary dedication all over the world, including war zones and
other dangerous regions.
November 10, 2011
AFSA and Booz Allen Hamilton Partner on New Speaker Series
The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) is announcing a new partnership with Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the world’s premier global strategy and technology consulting companies. The partnership is producing a series of lectures featuring noted professional leaders and diplomatic experts throughout 2011 and into 2012 that are designed to advance discussion about America’s crucial need for “smart” diplomacy and development, especially to provide today’s Foreign Service personnel the needed essential skills required in the challenging environment in which they work.
August 2, 2011
Significant Foreign Service Pay Cuts Threaten National Security
The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), the professional association and labor union of the United States Foreign Service, expressed strong opposition today to moves in the House to cut the pay of the Foreign Service serving overseas by 16% on top of the 8% pay cut already being imposed.
July 15, 2011
AFSA President Susan R. Johnson Re-Elected for a Second Term
Susan R. Johnson was re-elected President of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) in AFSA's biennial Governing Board elections. All active and retired AFSA member worldwide (nearly 16,000) were eligible to vote in these elections. Ms. Johns and the other new Governing Board members assume their duties on July 15.
May 2, 2011
AFSA Statement on the Death of Osama bin Laden
The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), the professional association of the U.S. Foreign Service, has issued the following statement on the death of Osama bin Laden.
April 28, 2011
Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg to Honor Fallen Colleagues on Foreign Affairs Day, May 6
Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg will give remarks during AFSA’s Memorial Plaques Ceremony at the Department of State on Friday, May 6, in the C Street (Diplomatic) lobby of the Department of State, at 10:25 a.m. The event, part of the annual Foreign Affairs Day celebration, honors those colleagues who have lost their lives while serving their country overseas in the line of duty or under heroic or other inspirational circumstances.
April 22, 2011
AFSA Announces the Publication of "Inside a U.S. Embassy: Diplomacy at Work"
The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), the professional association of the U.S. Foreign Service, is proud to announce the publication of the brand-new edition of its popular book, Inside a U.S. Embassy. The book is the essential guide to the Foreign Service and an introduction to the American diplomats who serve their country abroad.
December 14, 2010
AFSA Statement on the Passing of Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke
The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), the professional association of the U.S. Foreign Service, deeply regrets the passing of Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke, the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the Department of State. Ambassador Holbrooke was a longtime supporter of the U.S. Foreign Service.
December 3, 2010
WikiLeaks Draws Attention to Our Diplomats but Undermines Diplomacy
The American Foreign Service Association concurs with the Department of State that the recent WikiLeaks disclosures are irresponsible, regrettable and damaging to U.S. national interests. AFSA President Susan R. Johnson noted that “WikiLeaks cannot justify these actions in the name of transparency.” Johnson, a veteran of the career Foreign Service, added that “confidentiality is the norm in business, law, medicine and other professions and is a particularly critical element of successful diplomacy and foreign relations.”
October 26, 2010
AFSA Book Notes Event featuring Ambassador Jack Matlock, November 4 at 11 am
The American Foreign Service Association cordially invites you to a fascinating event featuring Ambassador Jack Matlock, former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union and former Special Advisor to the president on Soviet Affairs and International Security. Amb. Matlock will be discussing his highly acclaimed latest book, Superpower Illusions: How Myths and Ideologies Led America Astray—and How to Return to Reality.
October 6 , 2010
AFSA Announces Special Oct. 28 Program on the 20th Anniversary of German Reunification
The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) is pleased to host a unique public program on October 28 at 10:00 AM, where our panel of experts will discuss the impact on the Foreign Service, foreign policy, global diplomacy, and European security of the historic events which led to the end of the Cold War.