The Foreign Service Journal - April 2014 - page 51

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
|
APRIL 2014
51
AFSA NEWS
• Understanding of High Level Policy and Operations,
and of Key U.S. Interests and Values in the Country or
Organization of Prospective Assignment:
The nominee
possesses the knowledge and capacity to lead the opera-
tions of a diplomatic mission effectively; to participate
constructively in the formulation of policy and implement
policy in a creative manner that yields positive results
where possible; and to communicate persuasively with
government stakeholders (White House, State Department,
other executive agencies and Congress), host nation offi-
cials, political leaders and civil society. He or she demon-
strates the capacity to negotiate, and has the proven ability
to take on various challenges, including working with U.S.
and foreign business communities and other nongovern-
mental interests, and providing services to U.S. citizens.
• Management:
The nominee has relevant management
experience; and possesses a commitment to team building,
innovation, problem-solving, strategic planning, mentoring
and career development. He or she also possesses experi-
ence in setting goals and visions, managing change, and
allocating resources. He or she has the capacity to work
well with a deputy and other members of a team, and to
delegate effectively.
• Understanding of Host Country and International
Affairs, Ability to Promote and Advance U.S. Interests:
The nominee has experience in or with the host country or
other suitable international experience, and has knowledge
of the host country culture and language or of other foreign
cultures or languages. He or she has the ability to manage
relations between the U.S. and the country or organization
of assignment in order to advance U.S. interests, including
the interests of U.S. commercial firms as well as individual
U.S. citizens and nationals. The nominee skillfully interacts
with different audiences–both public and private.
n
Appendix: Members of the AFSA Working Group
Working Group Secretary Janice Weiner
On March 12, AFSA hosted
a breakfast for U.S. chiefs of
mission—those already serv-
ing, as well as nominees—
who were in Washington,
D.C., for the annual chiefs-
of-mission conference at the
State Department. Some 32
ambassadors, chargés and
designees attended, as well
as Acting Director General
Hans Klemm and Ambas-
sadorial Seminar Director
Jennifer Wicks from State.
AFSA President Bob Sil-
verman, State Vice President
Matthew Asada, USAID Vice
President Sharon Wayne and
State Representatives Chuck
Fee, Sue Saarnio and Nancy
Rios-Brooks were present on
behalf of the AFSA Governing
Board.
Acknowledging the
controversy regarding
political campaign fundraiser
nominees for ambassador,
Pres. Silverman opened the
breakfast with an introduc-
tion to AFSA’s recently
i-
fied the purpose of the AFSA
initiative.
Conversation during
the breakfast focused on
the ambassador qualifica-
tions issue and the AFSA
guidelines, which Silverman
explained are meant to help
stakeholders reform the
ambassadorial nomination
and confirmation process.
He added that AFSA does
not play a role in the process,
but has a strong interest in
making sure that the pro-
cess works and that quali-
fied chiefs of mission are
selected, whether career or
non-career. 
Attendees expressed a
range of views. While there
was no disagreement that all
chiefs of mission, whether
career or non-career diplo-
mats, should be qualified,
some took issue with AFSA’s
definition of that term. One
ambassador suggested
that AFSA be careful not to
appear to be simply protect-
ing its own people, but rather
advocate for the best ambas-
sadors to serve the American
people.
Silverman agreed, noting,
“We want the best possible
candidates, but they ahould
meet the standards.” He
reiterated that the initiative
is non-partisan and began
well before the February
and March media storm.
He noted that AFSA had
requested copies of all
Certificates of Competence
for ambassadorial nominees
from the State Department
AFSAHosts Chiefs of Mission
BY SHAWN DORMAN,
FSJ
EDITOR
Continued on page 58
Attendees at AFSA’s chief of
mission breakfast express their
opinions on qualifications for
ambassadors.
PHOTOBYÁSGEIRSIGFÚSSON
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