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ighlights of AFSA’s past year include the elec-
tion of the 2011-2013 Governing Board; suc-
cess in retaining 16.52 percent Overseas
Comparability Pay; strong advocacy for the
international affairs budget in coordination
with other supporters of diplomacy and development; contin-
ued efforts to raise the profile of the American Foreign Service
Association and what we do to advance and protect U.S. inter-
ests around the world; and sustained growth in membership,
bringing us near the 16,000 mark.
The newAFSAGoverning Board, comprising both re-elected
members of the 2009-2011 board and new members from all
constituencies, took office in July. Combining continuity with
fresh ideas and energy, the board held a strategic planning re-
treat to identify five strategic priorities: governance; core advo-
cacy; image and outreach; professionalism and effectiveness; and
membership and development. I reported on the results of those
discussions, which also included AFSA professional staff, in my
November and December “President’s Views” columns.
The 2011Annual Report is designed to informyou about some
of our key activities in the five priority areas.
Governance and Internal Operations.
The goal of our focus
on governance is to increase AFSA’s effectiveness and efficiency
by clarifying the role and responsibility of the Governing Board
and its individual board members, as well as the relationship of
the board to professional staff; streamlining processes and for-
malizing standard operating procedures; and aligning programs,
services and resources with our strategic priorities.
With this overarching goal in mind, AFSA:
• Hired new professional staff
• Created new staff teams to pursue key goals
• Addressed IT weaknesses and introduced new technologies
• Enhanced financial management and budget development
• Continued capital investments in our building and equip-
These and many other changes build on the operational im-
provements AFSA initiated in 2010. In 2012, we will examine
how we can strengthen internal governance by pursuing bylaw
reform and overhauling committee structures, making better
use of professional expertise and advisers, reviewing and updat-
ing the AFSA post representative system and organizing our do-
mestic members for more effective advocacy.
Core Advocacy.
AFSA is committed to improving the reach
and the effectiveness of our advocacy for the Foreign Service and
for diplomacy and development. In 2011 we:
• Averted severe cuts to State Department and Foreign Oper-
ations budgets.
M A R C H 2 0 1 2 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L
American Foreign
Service Association
R. J
Amplifying the Voice of the Foreign Service
Then-Deputy Secretary of State James B. Steinberg and AFSA
President Susan R. Johnson head for AFSA’s annual Memorial
Plaque Ceremony held on Foreign Affairs Day, May 6.