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56

APRIL 2016

|

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

AFSA NEWS

Engaging High School Students: Model UN Conference

On Feb. 11, AFSA Presi-

dent Ambassador Barbara

Stephenson delivered the

keynote address at the open-

ing session of the 53rd annual North American Invitational Model United Nations confer- ence. More than 3,700 high

school students from across

the United States and 18

countries were in the audi-

ence.

One of AFSA’s strategic

goals is to increase outreach

to high school and college

students; this conference is

an ideal opportunity for such

engagement. For the third

year in a row, AFSA helped

sponsor the event, which

every year gathers thousands

of young people who are

interested in and knowledge-

able about the world.

During her speech, Amb.

Stephenson urged attendees

to remain engaged in interna-

tional affairs and diplomacy.

She explained how the skills

they learn through Model

UN would prepare them to

become the Foreign Service

of the future—a calling that

will require them to excel

at bringing together actors

from across society to forge

consensus on issues such

as climate change, migration

and corruption.

Amb. Stephenson argued

that the Foreign Service of

the 21st century must benefit

from more than just “tradi-

tional” diversity; it also needs

a diversity of skills. The For-

eign Service will always have

room for those with what

we might call the traditional

educational backgrounds:

political science, economics,

history, communications,

international relations, law.

But it will increasingly need

people who are comfort-

able talking about science,

technology, engineering,

medicine, transportation,

AFSA President Ambassador Barbara Stephenson delivers the keynote address at the 53rd annual North American

Invitational Model United Nations conference.

NAIMUN participants were eager to speak with Amb. Stephenson (center)

about their aspirations to join the Foreign Service.

More than 3,700 high school students from across the United States and

18 countries heard Stephenson’s vision of how a diverse Foreign Service

will address a new set of global challenges.

AFSA/SHAWNDORMAN

AFSA/ÁSGEIRSIGFÚSSON

AFSA/SHAWNDORMAN