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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

|

MARCH 2017

63

AFSA NEWS

For 2017, the Governing Board has injected $100,000 of

funds from the operating reserve into the initial FAD bud-

get, with the objective of jump-starting a larger and more

focused set of activities to achieve the FAD mission. This

new budget, with its potential to expand our fundraising

totals, is vital to our ability to both build out and sustain our

program and mission to serve as the “Voice of the Foreign

Service.” Success will be measured by the impact we have on

advancing the understanding of the American public and key

stakeholders of the importance of diplomacy and develop-

ment, and the Foreign Service’s role in its conduct.

Our strong financial position entering 2017 allows us to con-

tinue our long-standing work in support of workforce planning

and the union, while opening up new programs and services

that advance the mission of our professional association.

In conclusion, the table above shows key data and indica-

tors that capture our current financial situation numerically.

To provide context, I also have included data that covers five-

year periods since 2000. I believe this history is important

in that it creates an awareness of our financial health and a

sense of gratitude to prior boards and AFSA leaders for their

careful stewardship of the resources of the growing AFSA

membership.

It has been my privilege and pleasure to serve as your

Treasurer in this 2013-2017 timeframe. Best wishes for a

happy, healthy and peaceful 2017.

n

—Ambassador (ret.) Charles Ford, AFSA Treasurer

AFSA DATA

2000

2005

2010

2015

2017

Membership

10,755

13,303

15,438

16,446

16,571

Operating Budget

$2,757,589

$3,471,200 $4,000,187 $4,359,386 $4,464,821

Operating Reserve

$407,111

$1,695,471

$2,933,839 $3,271,799 $2,944,237

Scholarship Reserve

$4,581,392 $4,359,903 $4,465,238 $6,696,108 $8,195,260

Professional Staff

22

25

24

34

32

(Full-time equivalent)

people attended the event.

Beginning the discussion,

Mr. Sell recalled the moment

he received the call from

the Kremlin announcing

the resignation of Mikhail

Gorbachev, then-president

of the Soviet Union, and the

“moment of euphoria” at the

end of the Cold War.

He discussed the use of

intelligence gathering to

analyze Russian media, the

Soviet governing system,

and also addressed the

expansion of NATO into for-

mer Soviet republics after

the fall of the Soviet Union.

Mr. Sell spoke about the

role played by radio in the

collapse of the Soviet Union,

noting that the BBC and

Voice of America broadcasts

were extremely influential,

with approximately 50 per-

cent of the Russian popu-

lation tuning in to Radio

Liberty during the Cold War

era.

Considering the merits

of studying Russia and

U.S.-Russia relations, Mr.

Sell said that he is “a deep

believer in specialization.”

He recommended that

Foreign Service officers

focus on language training

and that senior officials live

“outside the bubble,” engag-

ing with the local people at

their post.

An engaging Q&A session

followed, in which Mr. Sell

answered questions on a

variety of topics, including

his opinion of Boris Yeltsin,

the role of the Politburo and

the importance of so called

cyber-warfare.

Concluding the event,

Mr. Sell was asked if he had

any advice for the incoming

administration. “The first

challenge is nuclear,” he

said, noting that Russia still

has a huge nuclear arsenal.

Secondly, he advised, “Don’t

obsess over Russia; it is not

the most dangerous threat

facing the United States

today.”

Check the calendar

or

sign up for email alerts to

receive information about

the next moderated conver-

sation with

FSJ

authors.

n

—Gemma Dvorak,

Associate Editor

The New Russia

Continued from page 57