The Office of the AFSA President

Barbara Stephenson, AFSA President

Welcome to the AFSA President’s page! The 2015-2017 AFSA Governing Board pledges to do its best to represent the 16,500 members of the association and to leave the Foreign Service as a stronger and more vital institution at the end of our term.

The Governing Board is committed to building on the work and momentum of past boards to ensure we have the 21st-century Foreign Service that our country needs. The serious challenges American diplomacy and the Foreign Service face today will deepen. We will need to be more determined, more creative and bolder in presenting the case that diplomacy and development are key instruments of national power and that allocating adequate resources for the Foreign Service is a good investment for the U.S. taxpayer, against the backdrop of a very tough fiscal environment.

We have in AFSA an important tool for the Foreign Service. We need to utilize its full potential as a professional association and as a union. For AFSA to be an effective voice of the Foreign Service, and for us to tell our story more convincingly both to the American public and to our Congress, we need your broad and sustained engagement. With this engagement and support we can continue to grow an AFSA that is a powerful advocate for diplomacy and the Foreign Service. Together we can also make AFSA a catalyst for reforms to improve service conditions and the effectiveness of our diplomacy and development policy. 

I welcome your comments and suggestions. AFSA's members are more than our eyes and ears around the world – you are a rich source of experience, insights and skills, as well as our motivation. Please feel free to contact me at stephenson@afsa.org.