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AFSA NEWS

CALENDAR

THE OFFICIAL RECORD OF THE AMERICAN FOREIGN SERVICE ASSOCIATION

Secretary Kerry on Overseas Comparability Pay

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

|

APRIL 2016

47

April 1

12-1 p.m.

Job Search Program

Graduation Ceremony at FSI

April 6

12-2 p.m.

AFSA Governing

Board Meeting

April 10-14

AFSA Road

Scholar Program:

“Diplomacy in Action:

The Middle East, South Asia

and Global Terrorism”

Washington, D.C.

May 4

12-2 p.m.

AFSA Governing

Board Meeting

May 6

Foreign Service Day/AFSA

Memorial Plaque Ceremony

May 22-26

AFSA Road

Scholar Program:

“The Middle East: Conflict

and Controversy”

Washington, D.C.

May 24

2-3:30 p.m.

AFSA Book Notes:

The Wolf of Sarajevo

by FSO Matthew Palmer

May 30

Memorial Day:

AFSA Offices Closed

June 1

12-2 p.m.

AFSA Governing

Board Meeting

June 5-10

AFSA Road Scholar

Program: “U.S. Foreign

Policy for the 21st Century”

Chautauqua, N.Y.

June 23

4-6 p.m.

AFSA Awards Ceremony

At a town hall meeting on Feb.

8 in the Department of State’s

Dean Acheson Auditorium,

Secretary of State John Kerry

discussed challenges to

achieving work-life balance

and ITmodernization, efforts

to reform the Civil Service and

the implications of the Paris

climate agreement, among

other topics.

During the Q&A period,

AFSA President Ambassador

Barbara Stephenson thanked

Secretary Kerry for his early

and strong support of full

OCP when he was on the Sen-

ate Foreign Relations Com-

mittee.

She noted that worldwide-

available members of the For-

eign Service spend two-thirds

of their careers overseas;

yet when they deploy abroad

alongside defense and intel-

ligence colleagues, they are

the only member of that trio

to take a cut in basic pay.

In conclusion, she asked

what he planned to do in his

last year as Secretary to bring

home the final tranche of

OCP.

Sec. Kerry responded: “I

will do everything in my power

to have an impact on OCP,”

and vowed to raise the mat-

ter during upcoming budget

hearings.

(Kerry did just that in

testimony before the Senate

Foreign Relations Commit-

tee on Feb. 23 and the House

Committee on Foreign Affairs

on Feb. 25. Deputy Secretary

of State for Management and

Resources Heather Higginbot-

tom and USAID Administra-

tor Gayle Smith echoed that

support in their testimony

on March 8 and March 15,

respectively.)

Kerry added that the

struggle for OCP was

emblematic of a much larger

problem—the general lack

of public awareness of what

diplomacy is and why it

matters. We must convince

Americans that an investment

in America’s foreign policy is a

smart investment, he said.

Amb. Stephenson met

privately with the Secretary

immediately prior to the town

hall to discuss the importance

of a healthy, attractive career

path to ensure the Foreign

Service recruits and retains

the top talent needed to meet

the foreign policy challenges

of today and tomorrow.

Stephenson also invited

Kerry to do an interview for

The Foreign Service Jour-

nal

, and he accepted. That

interview will be featured in an

upcoming issue.

n

—Maria C. Livingston,

Director of Professional

Policy Issues

AFSA/MARIAC.LIVINGSTON

AFSA President Ambassador Barbara Stephenson poses a question on Overseas Comparability Pay during the

Feb. 8 town hall with Secretary of State John Kerry.