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64

MARCH 2015

|

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

AFSA NEWS

AFSA Convenes Roundtable Discussion on Diversity

As part of its efforts to

partner with other groups

to enhance diversity in the

Foreign Service, AFSA and

representatives from 21

federal employee organiza-

tions and affinity groups from

State and USAID met for a

roundtable discussion on

Jan. 15.

Hosted by AFSA President

Robert J. Silverman, State

Vice President Matthew

Asada and Executive Direc-

tor Ian Houston, the meeting

took place at AFSA head-

quarters over lunch.

Asada opened the meet-

ing by reviewing AFSA’s

ongoing initiatives to pro-

mote diversity. He noted that

the AFSA Governing Board’s

2013-2015 Strategic Plan

includes an

explicit diver-

sity goal for

the first time

(see

http://bit

.

ly/1nFz7tl), and

that AFSA’s

professional

staff and Gov-

erning Board

is the most

diverse ever.

Participants

discussed

ideas for build-

ing coalitions

and AFSA professional and

committee staff provided an

overview of AFSA’s awards

and scholarship programs.

Asada described Man-

agement Directive 715, the

U.S. Equal Employment

Opportunity Commission’s

demographic data reporting

requirement for the federal

government. Participants

discussed how agencies

could do a better job of mak-

ing the data collected more

meaningful.

In this regard, several

affinity group representa-

tives raised concerns about

the difficulty in getting good

human resources data from

the agencies. There was

agreement that good data is

much needed, along with the

ability to “unpack” that data,

i.e., more data granularity at

the bureau and post level, to

discern meaningful insights

about trends and challenges.

Attending the discus-

sion were representatives

from Arab-Americans in

Foreign Affairs Agencies,

the Asian-American Foreign

Affairs Association, Blacks in

Government, the Thursday

Luncheon Group, Executive

Women at State, the Hispanic

Employees Council of Foreign

Affairs Agencies (known

as HECFAA), the South

Asian American Employee

Association, the Council for

Career Entry Professionals,

the Disability Action Group,

Employees with Disabilities,

Veterans at State, Returned

Peace Corps Volunteers,

the Asian-Pacific Ameri-

can Employee Committee,

American Indians and Alaska

Native Employees, Gays and

Lesbians in Foreign Affairs

Agencies (known as GLI-

FAA), the Jewish Employee

Resource Group, the USAID

Muslim Employees Resource

Group, Presidential Manage-

ment Fellows,

Women@AID,

and Young Professionals at

USAID.

For additional information

on AFSA’s diversity initiatives,

see AFSA News in the Sep-

tember and November 2014

issues of the

FSJ.

n

—Debra Blome,

Associate Editor

AFSA

ATTENDS

SOC I AL

STUD I ES

CONFERENCE

AFSA’s Coordinator

for Special Awards and

Outreach Perri Green (right)

and Publications Specialist

Brittany DeLong attended

the 2014 National Council

for the Social Studies

Conference in Boston Nov.

13-15. NCSS is the United

States’ largest association

devoted to social studies

education. Green and

DeLong were there to meet

social studies educators

and promote AFSA’s 2015

National High School Essay

Contest and best-selling

book,

Inside a U.S. Embassy:

Diplomacy at Work

. AFSA

was one of more than 150

exhibitors at the conference, which attracted more than 4,000 attendees, the

largest turnout for NCSS since 2006.

n