The Foreign Service Journal - March 2018

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | MARCH 2018 65 AFSA NEWS sage through these existing networks. Essay Contest and Education Programs Now in its 20th year, the essay contest received 1,001 submis- sions during its most recent round—the most ever received. USIP, Semester at Sea and the National Student Leadership Conference remained on board as supporting partners. This year’s winner was Nicholas De Parle, a student at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. For the 22nd year, AFSA continued its collaboration with the Road Scholar lifelong AFSAAwards Coordinator Perri Green speaks with students at the National Model UN Conference in February 2017. AFSA/ALLANSAUNDERS FSO Krystle Norman, AFSA President Ambassador Barbara Stephenson, and OMS Dawn Watzlavick with her children Owen and Sarah on the field during the second annual Foreign Service Night at Nationals Park in September 2017. AFSA/GEMMADVORAK Ambassador (ret.) Charles Ray speaks to participants at an AFSA/ Smithsonian Associates program in November 2017. AFSA/ALLANSAUNDERS learning organization. In addition, AFSA enhanced its work with other educational entities, such as Smithson- ian Associates (from one program day in 2016 to nine in 2017), Osher and Encore. Additional Benefits of Outreach AFSA had its busiest year ever in terms of media con- tacts, and the AFSA website had more visits than ever before—over one million. While not attributable to AFSA’s outreach programs alone, AFSA’s nationwide exposure has certainly been instrumental to getting oth- ers to pay unprecedented attention to the Foreign Service as an institution and to the contributions of the individuals who make up the most cost-effective part of the national security toolkit. And let’s not forget about one of our most successful public events of the year, the second annual Foreign Ser- vice Night at Nationals Park in September. How Did We Do? As we tallied up the outreach activities of the past year, we were pleased to discover that we had planned events in 47 states, tantaliz- ingly close to the 50-state project goal. The three states not represented were Hawaii, Louisiana and Nevada.We hope enterprising AFSAmem- bers in those states will help us to set up programs there in 2018! AFSA has plans for even further outreach this year. Thanks to a new partnership with the Cox Foundation, we plan to research and present information on the Foreign Service, create basic pre- sentations on the Foreign Service and diplomacy, and provide the most in-depth and reliable data possible on the Foreign Service workforce, deployment and the cost of maintaining our diplomatic capacity to sustain America’s global leadership. n