The Foreign Service Journal - January/February 2017
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ily participate regularly in

board meetings.

The Governing Board

believes it is more important

for board members to partici-

pate than to simply reside in

the Washington area.

The intent of this change

is to follow best practices

for boards and prevent

cases in which elected board

members do not take up

their obligation to serve,

regardless of where they

reside. This change ties

participation to one of the

most important activities

of the board, the monthly

board meeting required by

the bylaws. At these meet-

ings board members vote

on what actions AFSA will

take, and it is important for

board members to be fully

engaged and participating.

There is no intention to use

AFSA funds to pay for the

travel of board members to

attend board meetings from


This bylaw change

increases the pool of eligible

candidates for serving on

the Governing Board. In

the case that a vacancy is

created, the respective Sec-

tion 6 of the bylaws man-

dates that the board fill the

vacancy by appointment, so

long as the vacancy is filled

from the respective constit-

uency. These appointments

are a regular occurrence and

most often happen when

board members are trans-

ferred overseas.

3. Proposal to Require

that Active-Duty Members

Presenting Themselves as

Candidates for AFSA Presi-

dent or Vice President

Hold a Security Clearance.

At its Oct. 3, 2016, meet-

ing, the Governing Board

voted to propose to mem-

bership a bylaw amendment

to add a security clearance

requirement for an active-

duty individual presenting

themselves as a candidate

for AFSA President or AFSA

Vice President.

The Governing Board

recommends that members

support the amendment of

Article VII (Elections) Sec- tion 1 of the AFSA bylaws b


adding “active-duty mem-

bers presenting themselves

as candidates for president

or constituency vice presi-

dent must hold an active

security clearance.”

The revised section

would read as follows:

“Candidates: All regular

members of the associa-

tion in good standing are

eligible to be candidates

for the officer or repre-

sentative positions on the

board; active-duty members

presenting themselves as

candidates for president or

constituency vice president

must hold an active security



The intent of this bylaw

change is to strengthen

AFSA by preventing a

potential conflict of interest

that could arise when an

active-duty AFSA president

or one of the constituency

vice presidents—the main

AFSA officers who negotiate

with management—does not

have a valid security clear-

ance. The potential conflict

of interest arises because

the AFSA officer is reliant on

management to approve his

or her appeal to reinstate

the security clearance. The

proposed bylaw change

applies only to active-duty

members and only to the

AFSA president and vice

president positions. The

requirement for a security

clearance does not apply

to active-duty members

presenting themselves as

candidates for other posi-

tions on the board.


The complete bylaw

amendment procedure

can be found in Article IX

of the AFSA bylaws, which

are available online at www. The AFSA

Committee on Elections is

responsible for conducting

the polling on amendments.

The process of amending

the AFSA bylaws requires

notification to the AFSA

membership, with a 45-day

period for submission of

statements in opposition.

Statements opposing

the proposed bylaw amend-

ments require signatures

from no fewer than 10 AFSA

members in good standing

and must be received within

45 calendar days of publica-

tion of this article.

Statements or questions

may be sent to: Chair, AFSA

Committee on Elections,

2101 E Street NW, Wash-

ington DC 20037, by fax to

(202) 338-6820, or by email