The Foreign Service Journal - March 2018

68 MARCH 2018 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL AFSA NEWS Call for Nominations: 2018 Constructive Dissent Awards Here at AFSA, we take great pride in our constructive dis- sent awards program, which will celebrate a milestone 50th anniversary in 2018. These awards are unique within the federal government, and the Foreign Service is similarly singular in valuing such dis- sent. The Foreign Service deploys worldwide—to protect and serve, yes, but also to understand the local context and call it like we see it. Some- timesWashington wants us to deliver something we know is not achievable in that context. Sometimes we know that even trying would cause a backlash and impede achievement of other goals. It is our obligation to point that out, to offer our best judgment and, when possible, alternatives. This is the basis for constructive dissent as we have traditionally defined it. The same obligations to speak up apply to matters related to the management of our own institution.We must all think of ourselves as stew- ards of the Foreign Service and act accordingly, working to establish and maintain well-functioning embassy platforms and healthy career paths for the next generation. The Foreign Service adds tremendous value every time we advise with preci- sion about what will work and what won’t work—in the local context at our posts, as well as in our institution more broadly. Indeed, dissent is part of the precepts for tenure and promotion in the Foreign Service. Whether it’s a group of dedicated FSOs working to effect changes in a biased assignment restrictions system or a consular officer fighting corruption in a coun- try’s adoption system, these awards single out the best of us for a deserved moment in the spotlight. We all know colleagues who have stepped up and made us proud by offering alternatives or new thinking. These are the individuals we want to honor. Please take the time to nominate these deserving friends and col- leagues. Nominations are now being accepted for the 2018 constructive dissent awards. The AFSA awards ceremony will take place in October this year; nominations will be accepted until May 25. If you are not sure about what qualifies as dissent, please read AFSA’s guidance at We welcome nominations for our four constructive dis- sent awards: • The W. Averell Harri- man Award for entry-level Foreign Service officers • The William R. Rivkin Award for mid-level Foreign Service officers • The Christian A. Herter Award for Senior Foreign Service officers • The F. Allen ‘Tex’ Harris Award for Foreign Service specialists Neither nominators nor nominees need be members of AFSA. Any member of the Foreign Service at any foreign affairs agency (State, USAID, FCS, FAS, APHIS or BBG) is eligible. For additional information and nomination forms, please visit www.afsa. org/dissent or contact AFSA Awards Coordinator Perri Green at or (202) 719-9700. n March 15 is the deadline for applications for nearly $350,000 in college funding for children of AFSA members. Financial Aid: In 2018 AFSA will award $220,500 in need-based financial aid to incoming or current college undergraduates. Last year, 98 students applied and 66 received grants. The typical recipi- ent in 2017 had a total parent income of less than $100,000. This year, AFSA expects to award grants ranging between $3,000 and $5,000 to 60 to 65 students. To apply, go to the application site: ANNOUNCEMENT Merit Scholarships: In 2018 AFSA will award $129,000 in merit scholarships to high school seniors. Last year, 108 students applied and 24 received grants. This year, AFSA has increased fund- ing and expects to give grants to 40 to 42 students. Most will be for $3,500 and distributed in four cate- gories: academic merit, art merit, community service and best essay. To apply, go to the application site: For full details, go to: If you have questions that are not answered on the AFSA website or on the scholarship application site, please contact AFSA at . n LAST CAL L FOR AFSA SCHOLARSH I P APPL I CAT I ONS