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The Burden of the BlackBerry:

AFSA Addresses Email Overload

On Nov. 4, AFSA hosted a

discussion aimed at helping

foreign a“airs agencies for-

mulate guidelines to address

a common problem: email


Titled “No Relief: The

Challenges of 24/7 Email,”

the event featured a panel of

speakers, with AFSA Govern-

ing Board member Homeyra

Mokhtarzada as emcee.

Panelists were AFSA State

Vice President Matthew

Asada, Bureau of Informa-

tion Resource Management’s

Strategic Communica-

tions Adviser Joel Wisner,

Health and Wellness Pro-

gram Manager Darrel Kniss

from the OŸce of Medical

Services, and Senior Human

Resources Specialist Jacque-

line Ridley.

Asada initiated the dis-

cussion with a presentation

on AFSA’s interest in starting

the conversation on issues

of work-life balance: “We

know that there are going to

be times when after-hours

work is necessary. But there

are ways to ameliorate the

demands and the impact on


Panel members expanded

on the various aspects of the

problem, focusing on indus-

try trends, employee well-

ness and tips for reducing

burnout. They also discussed

what steps to take next to

address the problem.

The audience shared

personal experiences and

proposed solutions in the

question-and-answer ses-

sion that followed.

To view the event, visit


—Brittany DeLong,

Assistant Editor

Panelists lead a discussion on the burden of after-hours emails. From left: Darrel Kniss, Joel Wisner, Jacqueline

Ridley, AFSA VP Matthew Asada and AFSA Governing Board member Homeyra Mokhtarzada.



AP’s Former State Correspondent Speaks at AFSA

Former AP correspondent George Gedda spoke about his 40

years on the diplomatic beat and his book on the same topic as

part of AFSA’s regular Book Notes series.

On Oct. 27, AFSA welcomed former Associated Press State Depart-

ment correspondent George Gedda to speak on his recent book,

The State Department: More Than Just Diplomacy

, published in April


Gedda shared stories from his 40 years on the diplomatic beat

and recalled his travels to 88 countries while covering nine Secre-

taries of State, from Cyrus Vance to Condoleezza Rice.

Gedda arrived in Washington, D.C., in 1968, and was assigned to

cover the State Department, with a focus on Latin America.

On his style of reporting, Gedda explained his philosophy: “I was

never that aggressive. I was supposed to cover and uncover stories,

not o“end people.”

Video of his presentation, as well as all previous Book Notes

talks, are available at


—Sarah Kay, Communications Intern