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establish connections throughout State. He organized a group
of 18 ofcers (staf, as specialists then were called, were not
included) at junior, middle and senior grades from State, USIA,
and USAID to run as a slate for AFSA’s electoral college, pledging
to choose AFSA’s board from among themselves.
“I got the AFSA bylaws,” Walker said in a recent interview,
“and saw there was provision for a write-in ballot.” Among us,
“we knew at least one person in nearly every mission we had,”
which enhanced the prospects for success of a write-in cam-
paign. Walker’s fellow reformer, Charles Bray, had become staf
assistant to Deputy Under Secretary of State for Political Afairs
Foy Kohler, then serving as AFSA’s president. Bray helped to
secure Kohler’s support for the efort and his pledge to stay on
as president if the reformers were successful.
As the reformers moved from internal debate to politi-
cal action, their objectives became more concrete and more
sharply focused on the interests of AFSA members. Teir cam-
paign platform made no reference to the Foreign Service Act of
1946 or the desirability of an independent Foreign Service. It
instead called for defending the professional interests of AFSA’s
members, and advancing their personal well-being.
AFSA, the group’s platform declared, “can and should
expect to be heard” on personnel and administrative policies.
Members “should be able to bring their professional griev-
ances and problems to the association” and receive “prompt
and energetic assistance.” Employees of USAID and USIA “can
and should expect equal privileges and representation” with
employees of State.
About 200 candidates were listed on the ballot; another
46, including eight of Walker’s Group of 18, competed for
write-in votes. When the balloting ended on Sept. 10, 1967, the
entire Group of 18 had won election; even the least-supported
among them had been named on 507 of the 1,782 ballots cast.
Te group met as the electoral college on Sept. 18 and named
Lannon Walker, then an FS-5 (equivalent to today’s FS-3),
chairman of the board. Control of AFSA thereby passed to the
Building Momentum for Change
Over the next two years, AFSA pushed hard on all fronts: for
sweeping reform of the Foreign Service, notably with publi-
cation of the study
Toward a Modern Diplomacy
in 1968; for
recognition and enhancement of the Service’s professional
standing, with greater openness and protection for construc-
tive dissent from administration policy; for more generous and
equitable policies on allowances and leave, and more transpar-
ent policies on assignments and promotions; and for changes
in AFSA’s bylaws to democratize the organization, improve its
governance and strengthen its fnances.
Te new board also bought the building at 2101 E Street NW,
putting to rest the old jab that AFSA’s headquarters could not
be located.
the Foreign Service journal
April 2013
The “Bray Board,” headed by Lannon Walker’s fellow reformer, Charles W. Bray III, steered AFSA from January through December of
1970. The board participated in
Toward A Modern Diplomacy
and prepared the way for AFSA’s later victories in representation elections
and negotiations with management. Pictured here, from left to right, are: George B. Lambrakis, Alan Carter, Erland Heginbotham,
Barbara Good, Richard T. Davies III, Bray, William G. Bradford, Princeton Lyman, William Harrop and Robert Nevitt.