Media and Press Releases

 

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 fernekes@afsa.org or (202) 944-5516.

Most Recent Press Releases

April 4, 2014

AFSA Works with White House and State Department to Increase Transparency of Ambassador Nominations

Washington, D.C. - The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) has come to an agreement with the Administration that both parties believe will increase transparency in the ambassadorial nomination process. Moving forward, the “certificates of demonstrated competence,” a document produced for each ambassadorial nominee to comply with the Foreign Service Act of 1980, will be published on the State Department’s web site when a nominee is announced.

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March 5, 2014

AFSA’s Governing Board Seeks Release of Documents on Ambassadorial Nominees

Washington, D.C. - The Governing Board of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) met on March 5 to discuss the issue of qualifications of ambassadorial nominees. This follows the Feb. 25 release of AFSA’s new Guidelines for Successful Performance as a Chief of Mission (www.afsa.org/chiefsofmission).

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February 14, 2014

AFSA Supports A Uniform Set of Qualifications for Ambassador Nominees

Washington, D.C. - The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) is closely monitoring the recent Senate confirmation hearings of President Obama’s nominees to be U.S. ambassador. The topic of the qualifications of ambassadorial nominees is of great interest to AFSA’s membership. All Americans have a vested interest in ensuring that we have the most effective leaders and managers of U.S. embassies and missions advancing U.S. interests around the globe.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.”

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