The Foreign Service Journal - March 2014 - page 54

MARCH 2014
AFSA Supports Volunteerism
AFSA actively encourages its
professional staff to take time
out during the year to volun-
teer for a service project. The
association firmly believes
that time spent focused on
helping others is time well-
To back up this belief,
AFSA gives each staff mem-
ber up to one week of leave
specifically for this purpose.
Last month, to celebrate
Martin Luther King Jr. Service
Day, Senior Legislative Assis-
tant David Murimi joined the
Congressional Black Associ-
ates and IMPACT for a day of
service. With direction from
the National Park Service,
the group spent the better
part of a day cleaning around
the monument and picking-
up trash.
In January,
Editor Donna Ayerst spent
a day with a group from the
reunion voyage digging post-
holes, painting signs, clearing
brush from trails and picking-
up trash in an environmen-
tally significant estuary near
Ensenada, Mexico.
AFSA staff member
David Murimi (in
the green cap)
and others from
the Congressional
Black Associates
volunteer to clean
around the Martin
Luther King Jr.
memorial, while
a National Park
Service ranger
offers assistance.
On Oct. 17 and 18, 2013, in
lovely St. Paul, Minn., family,
friends and former col-
leagues gathered at Macales-
ter College to commemorate
and celebrate the life of Amy
An alumna of Macalester,
Amy joined the State Depart-
ment in 2005 through the
Presidential Management
Fellowship program. She was
a beloved colleague in the
International Organizations
Bureau’s Office of Human
Rights and Humanitarian
Affairs, when she tragically
lost a battle with cancer in
September 2011, at the age
of 34.
Amy was a superstar: a
gifted leader and mentor;
a creative and tenacious
multilateral negotiator; and a
calm, principled and warm-
hearted colleague. Her career
at State was marked by the
rapid assumption of greater
responsibilities and deep
respect from colleagues and
Amy’s husband Jim
Rosenberg and daughter
Kira, now three years old,
were at the center of her
universe, as were her parents
Sally and David and brother
Eric. They are responsible for
ensuring that Amy’s lasting
influence on others would
be celebrated through the
launch of the Amy Oster-
meier Human Rights Educa-
tion Fund.
A small liberal arts college
that challenges its students
to be citizens of the world
(one alum, Kofi Annan, took
that especially to heart),
Macalester cultivated Amy’s
commitment to making the
world a better place. The
Oct. 17 event began with a
performance by Macalester’s
African Music Ensemble,
one of Amy’s passions when
she was on campus. Follow-
ing welcoming remarks by
acting Macalester President
Kathleen Murray, a tribute to
Amy was given by the current
Kaiser chair in international
law at the University of Okla-
homa's College of Law (and
former State Department
assistant legal advisor for
human rights and refugees)
Evelyn Aswad.
Evelyn’s moving speech
focused on Amy’s ground-
breaking diplomatic work
preserving freedom of
expression and freedom of
religion at the UN Human
Rights Council. It was also
a reminder of the things we
loved about Amy: her fear-
lessness in setting ambitious
goals, her unflagging energy
and determination, her
infectious optimism and her
loyalty to her friends.Macal-
ester’s Human Rights and
Humanitarianism Program
Director Wendy Weber then
introduced Suzanne Nossel,
Celebrating Amy Ostermeier
Continued on page 56.
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