The Foreign Service Journal, March 2019

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | MARCH 2019 61 AFSA NEWS Outreach—Looking Back and Moving Forward AFSA remained commit- ted to its strategic priority of conducting vigorous and wide-ranging public outreach in 2018. From personal appear- ances by AFSA representa- tives in California, Massachu- setts, New York and Florida, to hundreds of smaller engagements in such places as Cleveland, Durango, Laramie, Tucson, Charlotte and Bethlehem, the story of the Foreign Service was told widely, frequently and with growing sophistication. AFSA particularly thanks the Una Chapman Cox Foun- dation for its partnership in 2018, which made much of this work possible. We also thank every member who stepped forward to help us in this effort. This work does not get done without you. In 2018, we estimate that AFSA outreach efforts reached close to 15,000 peo- ple, which does not include the more than 40,000 spec- tators at the third annual Foreign Service Night at Nationals Park in September, where the Foreign Service and our diplomats were fea- tured prominently. As we embark on another year of energetic outreach, we are happy to report that the Foreign Policy Asso- ciation’s nationwide Great Decisions program, which reaches thousands across the country, includes the topic “The State of the State Department and Diplomacy” as part of its 2019 series. Ambassador (ret.) Nick Burns contributed the essay and video that guide the dis- cussion for participants. With Great Decisions programs being held all over the country during large and small community events and incorporated into college courses, AFSA sees a timely and welcome opportunity to amplify our outreach mis- sion—to develop a domestic constituency for diplomacy and development by tell- ing the story of the Foreign Service. You will hear much more from us throughout the year on this topic, but if you are aware of a Great Decisions series in your area, please consider volunteering to speak. AFSA has talking points and other useful mate- rials that can help you lead a discussion. As part of the Great Decisions programming, AFSA President Ambassador Barbara Stephenson was the featured speaker for two active World Affairs Councils that use the Great Decisions curriculum. On Jan. 25, Amb. Stephenson took part in a conversation with Ambassa- dor (ret.) Mary Carlin Yates in Portland, Oregon, where she also had the opportunity to meet with retired members of the Foreign Service in the Pacific Northwest. Then, on Feb. 4 and 5, Ambassador Stephenson spoke at two events orga- nized by the World Affairs Council of Western Michi- gan in Grand Rapids, where the combined attendance exceeded 400 and thousands watched via livestream. She also met with local retirees during her visit. As always, we encourage readers to join our Speakers Bureau; email speakers@ for more informa- tion. If you are interested in participating in the Great Decisions series, please email to let us know about any local opportunities to participate. n State Vice President: It was moved that the Governing Board authorize the State vice president to inform the department that the board wishes to move forward with the cohort grievance related to Presidential Rank Awards. The motion was adopted. n AFSA Governing Board Meeting, Dec. 19, 2018 If you are aware of a Great Decisions series in your area, please consider volunteering to speak. COURTESYWORLDAFFAIRSCOUNCILOFWESTERNMICHIGAN AFSA President Amb. Barbara Stephenson at the World Affairs Council in Michigan.