Page 28 - Foreign Service Journal - May 2013

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28
MAY 2013
|
THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
The Thursday Luncheon Group, State’s oldest employee afnity group, continues to
strengthen the Foreign and Civil Service workplace through its advocacy for diversity.
BY STACY D. WI L L I AMS
TLG:
EXPANDING
OPPORTUNITIES
AT STATE
I
n 1973 William B. Davis and Roburt Dumas, African-American employees of
the U.S. Information Agency, became interested in identifying career paths
for the advancement of African-American employees of USIA, State and
other foreign afairs agencies. Te duo organized meetings over lunch with
likeminded African-American ofcers on the frst Tursday of each month,
inspiring Davis to dub the organization the “Tursday Luncheon Group.”
TLG, as the group is usually referred to, quickly began to focus on out-
reach to senior State Department ofcials, with the goal of advancing long-term
personnel and management goals. One point we consistently highlighted was the
urgent need to improve the accuracy of the department’s statistical records. As
a result of that campaign, all State Department employees can now voluntarily
select their race and ethnicity within their personnel profles.
Today, the informal mentoring program Davis and Dumas launched four
decades ago has grown into a robust organization, comprising more than 300
Stacy D. Williams is president of the Tursday Luncheon Group, the State Department’s
oldest afnity group. Since joining State as a Presidential Management Intern in 1997, he
has held a series of management and policy-related Civil Service assignments, ranging
from auditing consular programs and handling money-laundering issues to negotiating
multilateral issues in the Organization of American States. He is currently executive secre-
tary in the Ofce of the Haiti Special Coordinator.
FOCUS
DIVERSITYWITHIN THE FOREIGN SERVICE