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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

|

APRIL 2015

75

Some Good News

President Barack Obama’s

Fiscal Year 2016 budget

request came on Feb. 2. In

place of grand schemes to

double its staffing over the

next five years we now have a

proposal for a modest, nine-

officer SelectUSA foreign

direct investment increase,

plus “adjustments to base.”

The latter initiative is

designed to do a variety of

things: paying the full-year

cost of prior-year increases

(or decreases); taking into

account built-in, “sunset” or

no-new-program changes

to our budget; and fund-

ing operations at last year’s

inflation-adjusted level.

If all goes well, CS/

Global Markets won’t exactly

starve; it is still “digesting”

its FY 2015 increases for new

officers and offices in Africa

and Asia, plus additional

SelectUSA spending. All in all,

it’s a good budget for austere

times, one that will allow us

to replace retiring officers

and perhaps even grow a

little.

This year, we have two

new House and Senate

Appropriations Subcom-

mittee chairs (the folks who

control our budget) whom

we need to cultivate and

educate. Thankfully, the staff

working for these commit-

tees has not changed radi-

cally, so we have that going

for us.

AFSA has your back. We

have already reached out to

the new Congress and com-

mittee staff, and will have

more to report in the weeks

and months ahead.

Congratulations,

Ambassador Allen!

On Jan. 27, AFSA and the

Commercial Service feted

Craig Allen’s ambassadorial

appointment to Brunei. Craig

is only the fourth ambassa-

dor to come out of the Com-

mercial Service in its 35-year

history.

As Commerce’s deputy

secretary, under secretary

and deputy director general

noted at the reception, this

position requires someone

skilled both at trade promo-

tion and trade policy. Before

he left, Craig had kind words

and advice to those junior

commercial officers who

might aspire to be an ambas-

sador one day.

Craig was formally sworn

in on Jan. 30 in the State

Department’s stately Ben

Franklin Diplomatic Recep-

tion Room. Then he and his

family said their goodbyes to

Commerce Secretary Penny

Pritzker before heading off to

post. On arrival, he sent her

this message: “Thanks for

organizing and hosting the

party in 3407 last week.”

He added, “Thanks very

much for supporting me in

this immensely long and

complicated process. AFSA’s

and your personal support

were instrumental every step

of the way.”

n

LOOK FOR YOUR BAL LOT: VOTE I N THE

AFSA GOVERN I NG BOARD ELECT I ON

The 2015 elections of AFSA officers and constituency representatives is under-

way. Details about the election, including the rules, can be found at

www.afsa

.

org/elections.

Candidates’ campaign literature, along with a ballot, will be made available

to members on the AFSA website. Campaigning through employer email by any

member is prohibited (with the exception of the three pre-approved candidate

email blasts).

Ballots:

Ballots will be distributed on or about April 15 by email if you have a

valid email address on file with AFSA, or by printed ballot via the U.S. Postal Ser-

vice. If you do not receive a ballot by May 6, please contact

election@afsa.org.

Ballot Tally:

On June 4, at 9 a.m. EDT, the printed ballots will be picked up

from the post office in Washington, D.C. Printed ballots must be received at the

post office to be counted. Online voting will also be available until June 4, at 8 a.m. EDT, when the voting site will close.

Election Information:

Written requests for a duplicate ballot should be directed to

election@afsa.org

or sent to AFSA

Committee on Elections, 2101 E Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20037. Please include your full name, current address, email

address and telephone number.

n

FCS VP VOICE

| BY STEVE MORRISON AFSA NEWS

Views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the AFSA FCS VP.

Contact:

steve.morrison@trade.gov

or (202) 482-9088