the Foreign Service journal
as does her proposed rem-
edy: that the judges “men-
tor, guide and nominate for
awards those who are not
like us.” Who, then, in Ms.
Schneller’s view, is “us”?
To go in the direction
she suggests would put all
of us on a slippery slope that
would distort both the ideal of diversity
and the fundamental premises on which
our country is based.
Robert M. Beecroft
Mette O. Beecroft
AFSA Support for Diversity
I would like to publicly thank Rachel
Schneller for her letter to the editor in the
December 2014 issue, “More Diversity
on FSJ Pages, Please.” AFSA enjoys a wide
range of views on all kinds of issues, and
Rachel’s letter sparked replies from other
AFSA members, also published in the
. That diversity of views is a sign of
I want to let readers know that AFSA
has taken action in response to Rachel’s
concern over the lack of diversity among
AFSA award winners, a concern I share.
This concern does not impinge on the
outstanding achievements of our dissent
winners last year. As others have noted,
the AFSA Awards Committee is depen-
dent on award nominations.
In January and February, AFSA
reached out to the different affinity
groups in the foreign affairs agencies
to talk about the association and its
programs, including the AFSA awards
program. At a meeting at AFSA head-
quarters attended by the affinity groups’
leaderships, I met one-on-one with
several affinity group heads, to ask them
to spread the word about AFSA’s award
programs and encourage nomi-
nations from their ranks.
I ask all of you to think of your
colleagues and nominate one
or more of them for an AFSA
performance or dissent award.
There is amazing work being
done everywhere by members
of the Foreign Service. I want to
encourage you to ensure all of this work is
In the January-February
FSO Carroll Brown chronicled challenges
he faced while seeking consular services
abroad in a letter to the editor. Mr. Brown
wrote that the State Department’s Ben-
elux desk was unresponsive to his queries.
Unfortunately, while AFSA in good
faith attempted to convey Mr. Brown’s
queries to the desk on his behalf, an
administrative error prevented their
proper transmission, resulting in those
concerns not being received by the Ben-
As AFSA executive director, I accept
responsibility. AFSA has apologized to
both Mr. Brown and the Benelux desk for
the miscommunication and any incon-
venience to those concerned.
AFSA Executive Director
We regret an error in the obituary for
Ambassador Robert V. Keeley in the March
print edition of the
. Though Amb.
Keeley was quoted in
Nixon and the Destruction of Cambodia
(1979), that book’s author is William
Shawcross, not Keeley.