Programs, Events and Updates

January 2017

This month’s items:

  1. Nominations Sought for 2017-2019 AFSA Governing Board
  2. Webinar: “Making Time to Lead,” January 25
  3. College Financial Aid and Merit Awards for Children of AFSA Members
  4. The Year’s First FSJ Has Notes to the New Administration
  5. Sinclaire Award Deadline Is January 15
  6. Wanted: AFSA Merit Award Judges
  7. New Year’s Resolution: Write for the Journal!
  8. Seeking Judges for AFSA’s Performance Awards
  9. Happy New Year, Retiree Members!
  10. For AFSA Members: Daily Media Digest
  11. Start the New Year Off Right - Make Sure AFSA Has Your Updated Address

1) NOMINATIONS SOUGHT FOR 2017-2019 AFSA GOVERNING BOARD

The Committee on Elections would like to remind you that the Call for Nominations for the 2017-2019 AFSA Governing Board has been published in the January/February issue of The Foreign Service Journal and on the AFSA elections webpage. We encourage our colleagues to consider joining the next AFSA leadership team by running for a position or nominating a colleague. The following positions are available for nomination:

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 Representative (1)
  • BBG Representative (1)
  • APHIS Representative (1)
  • Retired Member Representatives (2)
  • Alternate FCS Representative (1)
  • Alternate FAS Representative (1)

To learn more about this opportunity, eligibility requirements, important dates and Governing Board position descriptions, please click on the links below:

Nominations are due no later than February 1, 2017 at 5 p.m. All nominations must be submitted using the online nomination form available on the AFSA elections webpage. The Committee on Election members and supporting staff members may be reached at election@afsa.org.

 

2) WEBINAR: “MAKING TIME TO LEAD,” JANUARY 25

Are you interested in sharpening your leadership skills in 2017? Would you like to engage your office colleagues in a sustained discussion on how to promote leadership and management excellence at all levels? AFSA can help! Please join iLead members and AFSA Governing Board Representatives for a webinar to discuss strategies on how to make time for professional development at post and domestically. The discussion is set for January 25, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. EST. Click here to RSVP, or email events@afsa.org.

 

3) COLLEGE FINANCIAL AID AND MERIT AWARDS FOR CHILDREN OF AFSA MEMBERS

Applications for AFSA’s need-based undergraduate financial aid as well as art and academic merit awards are now available at www.afsa.org/scholar. The deadline for merit award applications is February 6, 2017, while financial aid applications are due March 6, 2017. For additional information, visit the AFSA website or contact Scholarship Director Lori Dec at dec@afsa.org or (202) 944-5504.

 

4) THE YEAR’S FIRST FSJ HAS NOTES TO THE NEW ADMINISTRATION

The Journal’s January-February issue is out, with a large focus section containing notes to the incoming Trump Administration. Also this month: Why America needs career Ambassadors, developing “followership” at USAID, and the annual – and indispensable – AFSA Tax Guide. Click here to read the issue.

 

5) SINCLAIRE AWARD DEADLINE IS JANUARY 15

The deadline for AFSA’s Matilda W. Sinclaire Language Awards deadline is January 15. Do not pass this opportunity up to recognize and reward a career officer of the Foreign Service for outstanding accomplishment in the study of a Category III or IV language and its associated culture. Candidates may be nominated by language-training supervisors at the FSI School of Language Studies, field school language instructors or anyone at an overseas post in a position to judge the nominee’s language proficiency. AFSA encourages nominations of those who have achieved outstanding results while studying at post. Nominations by post language officers will be considered complete if they include FSI test results with a thorough nominating statement making clear how the nominee is using the language in the country. For more information, visit www.afsa.org/sinclaire.

 

6) WANTED: AFSA MERIT AWARD JUDGES

AFSA is looking for interested D.C.-area AFSA members to serve as judges for its academic, art and community service awards program. Judging takes place during the month of March, is conducted mostly online and takes about 12 hours of one’s time. There is a 90-minute lunchtime judge orientation meeting in early March that individuals would need to attend along with a 1-hour panel evaluation meeting at the end of March to select winners and finalists. Contact Lori Dec at dec@afsa.org or (202) 944-5504 to volunteer or explore this activity further.

 

7) NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: WRITE FOR THE JOURNAL!

The Foreign Service Journal welcomes your submissions on any topic of concern or interest to members of the FS community. Or choose among the focus topics for 2017 (see below for the tentative focus topic list). If you find a topic that inspires, check in with Journal Editor Shawn Dorman (dorman@afsa.org) to find out about timing and what might fit. Assume at least 8-12 weeks from submission to publication. The Editorial Board meets monthly to review and vote on which submissions to publish. Find guidance on how and what to submit at www.afsa.org/fsj-author-guidelines.

The Journal is always seeking strong Speaking Out submissions (1,500-1,800 words), as well as Reflections (700 words) and features (1,500-2,000 words). Also, please share your thoughts about articles you read in the Journal by sending a letter to the editor. Comments can also be shared on the AFSA or FSJ Facebook pages. Please send your feedback and submissions to journal@afsa.org.

Remaining 2017 FSJ Focus Topics:

  • March: Diplomatic Security at 100
  • April: The Future of Europe
  • May: Public Health and Diplomacy
  • June: Militarization of Foreign Policy
  • July-August: Science and Environmental Diplomacy
  • September: AFSA Awards + Diplomatic Tradecraft
  • October: Dealing with Iran
  • November: In Their Own Write
  • December: Best Practices in Worldwide Diplomacy
 

8) SEEKING JUDGES FOR AFSA’S PERFORMANCE AWARDS

AFSA seeks active-duty members from State, USAID, FCS, BBG and/or APHIS to serve as a judge on the Avis Bohlen, M. Juanita Guess, Nelson B. Delavan and Mark Palmer award judging panels. See criteria for each award at www.afsa.org/performance. Individuals must be available by conference call or in person to discuss and vote on a nomination at one meeting in March of 2017. The panel will be required to review all nominations, complete due diligence on their selection and discuss their decision at this meeting. Packages for judging will be sent to each judge electronically one week before that meeting. The panel’s recommendation will be forwarded to AFSA’s Awards and Plaques Committee for their review. The meeting takes place at AFSA headquarters (2101 E Street NW) during lunch and generally lasts one hour. While serving on the judging panel, members are not eligible to receive any AFSA awards. Please contact AFSA Awards Coordinator Perri Green at (202) 719-9700 or green@afsa.org to express your interest and explore this further.

 

9) HAPPY NEW YEAR, RETIREE MEMBERS!

All retired members should soon receive a copy of the 2017 Directory of Retired Members, if they haven’t already. This edition of the Directory includes names and contact information for nearly 4,000 of your colleagues! It also has updated contact information for retiree resources and new articles and guidance of particular interest to retirees. We hope you find it useful! If you were an AFSA retired member as of December 1, 2016, please review your listing to be sure we’ve captured the most current information. Any changes can be sent to our Member Services department by clicking here.

 

10) FOR AFSA MEMBERS: DAILY MEDIA DIGEST

AFSA is pleased that nearly 2,000 members subscribe to the Daily Media Digest, a daily email digest of news items (articles, opinion pieces, blogs, etc.) of interest to the Foreign Service. If you are interested in signing up to receive a list of news items each weekday, please send a request to mediadigest@afsa.org. Remember, this service is available for AFSA members only.

 

11) START THE NEW YEAR OFF RIGHT - MAKE SURE AFSA HAS YOUR UPDATED ADDRESS

Have you noticed that you’re not getting The Foreign Service Journal anymore? That probably means we don’t know where you are! Update your address now by sending an email to member@afsa.org or submitting an update via the AFSA website.