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APRIL 2015





State Department retirees and Foreign Service retirees of other U.S. foreign affairs

agencies are welcome to attend the State Department’s annual homecoming event,

Foreign Affairs Day. In addition to remarks by senior State Department officials, Foreign

Affairs Day also includes the AFSAMemorial Plaque ceremony honoring Foreign Service

personnel who have died while serving abroad under circumstances distinctive to the

Foreign Service.

Invitations to the Foreign Affairs Day luncheon in the Benjamin Franklin Dip-

lomatic Reception Room were mailed in March. If you wish to reserve seats (two

seats maximum, $50 per person), please confirm by sending your RSVP and lunch

payment check as soon as possible. Seats are reserved on a first-come, first-served

basis and sell out quickly. Payments must be included with the request. If you did

not get an invitation, or if you have any questions, please email foreignaffairsday@

The AFSA Memorial Plaque ceremony will take place that morning in the Depart-

ment of State’s C Street lobby. At 3 p.m., AFSA headquarters will open its doors at

2101 E Street NW for a Foreign Affairs Day reception for all retirees.



Capitol Hill Panel Discusses Women in Diplomacy

On Jan. 21, AFSA and the

Women’s Congressional Staff

Association co-hosted a panel

discussion on “Women in

Diplomacy” on Capitol Hill.

Aimed at individuals inter-

ested in pursuing careers

in foreign affairs, the event

featured a panel of four cur-

rent or retired Foreign Service


The program began with

the panelists giving brief

descriptions of their back-

grounds, past Foreign Service

posts and language skills,

and the challenges faced by

female diplomats in public

and private life.

Ronita Macklin, an FSO

who is currently the post

management officer for South

and East Asian affairs, as

well as a member of AFSA’s

Governing Board, stressed

that being an FS employee is

a 24-hour-a-day job. Boldness

and courage are important in

every interaction, she said, so

that you are treated appro-

priately as a representative of

the United States.

During her tour in Kabul

Macklin noticed that, as a dip-

lomat, she was an “American”

first and foremost. Many of

the men she dealt with, even


chief of the Strategic Planning

and Performance Manage-

ment Division in USAID’s

Middle East bureau said the

role of an FSO is not only to

teach people about Ameri-

cans, but also to teach Ameri-

cans about others. Sarah

Budds, the country officer for

Children’s Issues, Strategy

and Operations at the State

Department, also served on

the panel.

Following their presenta-

tions, the panelists took

questions from the audience

of young women that ranged

from how to maximize lan-

guage skills and prepare for

the Foreign Service exam to

the issue of expressing of dis-

sent in the Foreign Service.


Shannon Mizzi,

Editorial Intern

in that male-domi-

nated society, looked

past her gender

because she was one

of the few Americans

they had access to.


retired from a 26-year

career in the Foreign

Service, now works

in AFSA’s Advocacy

Division as a policy

adviser. She high-

lighted the fact that in

many societies where

FSOs are posted,

women are not per-

mitted to play a role

in public life. However, this

can sometimes be an advan-

tage: women in the Foreign

Service can sometimes gain

access to meetings at which

a man might be considered a


Croshelle Harris-Hussein,

“Women in Diplomacy” panelists and others. From left: State FSO Ronita Macklin;

USAID FSO Croshelle Harris-Hussein; retired State FSO and current AFSA Policy

Adviser Janice Weiner; Theresa Vawter and Kate Raulin, from the Women’s

Congressional Staff Association; State FSO Sarah Budds and AFSA Senior Legislative

Assistant David Murimi.