Page 44 - Foreign Service Journal - March 2013

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MARCH 2013
and its individual members, the executive director and the
professional staf, to better align programs and resources with
strategic priorities.
The annual report that follows provides highlights from
all sections of AFSA summarizing key accomplishments and
ongoing programs that move us toward our fve strategic
goals: strengthening governance and internal operations,
core advocacy, image and outreach, growing membership and
development and supporting professionalism and ethics in
the Foreign Service.
As a professional association and union, AFSA’s mission
is to promote a strong professional career Foreign Service as
the institutional backbone of American diplomacy, protect
the professional interests and rights of our members, pro-
mote high professional standards for all American diplomats,
and promote broader understanding of the critical role of
diplomacy and development in promoting America’s national
security, economic prosperity and values. This is, however,
a continuing endeavor that calls for perspective, experi-
ence, insight, fresh ideas, courage and patient persistence to
achieve success.
2012 Highlights
• We draw satisfaction that our membership continued to grow, although at a slower rate refecting the slowdown in hiring.
• The budget grew modestly to $4.66 million with revenue principally from dues.
• Our advocacy on Capitol Hill continues to intensify as we strengthen relationships and build new ones with the 113th Con-
• We have approved a new study of congressional attitudes toward the Foreign Service to update the one done a decade ago.
• AFSA programming continued to draw sustained participation and contributed to raising the profle of the Foreign Service
and AFSA.
• Successful member mobilization on behalf of Foreign Service animal companions and their owners against United Airline’s
pet transportation and fee policies.
• The AFSA High School Essay Contest is now recognized as one of the leading contests of its kind, with a generous cash
award, meeting with the Secretary of State and a Semester at Sea educational voyage for the winner.
• The frst redesign of
The Foreign Service Journal
in 18 years was a resounding success, drawing kudos from members and
non-members alike.
• The FS book program is growing, supplementing the highly successful
Inside a U.S. Embassy
with a new book project on the
history of AFSA and, implicitly, of the Foreign Service itself.
• AFSA’s labor management team remains stretched thin with an ever-growing caseload of both grievances and requests for
advice and assistance in resolving a wide array of problems, refecting, at least in part, a diminished capacity of management to
deal with employee issues and the infux of new employees at State and USAID, in particular.
• We established a new standing committee on professionalism and ethics.
• The Governing Board governance committee developed written descriptions of the role of the GB and individual board posi-
tions, and initiated discussion on how to optimize relationships between and among board members, the executive director and
professional staf.
• For the frst time ever, AFSA has retained the services of management consultants to undertake a stafng review to better
align staf and organization with mission and goals, and of develop-
ment experts to advise us on expanding our professional fundraising
and communications objectives.
• We initiated an ongoing campaign to promote Foreign Service sup-
port for and engagement with the new United States Diplomacy Cen-
ter and Museum of American Diplomacy project, ofcially launched by
Secretary Clinton at the end of her tenure.
In the eforts described above, we have drawn on the views and con-
cerns of our elected board representatives and ofcers and on those
conveyed to us by members. We look forward to hearing more from
you throughout 2013. Sincerely, Susan R. Johnson