Page 56 - Foreign Service Journal - May 2013

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56
MAY 2013
|
THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
AFSA NEWS
Anne continued from p. 53
for Anne Smedinghof, the
talented, dedicated, poised
and courageous young For-
eign Service ofcer and AFSA
member who lost her life in
a terrorist attack in southern
Afghanistan. Anne demon-
strated enormous promise
and the qualities of character
and thought that we value
highly in America’s diplo-
mats. Our heartfelt condo-
lences and prayers go to her
parents and family, as well
as to the families of those
other brave individuals who
perished or were injured.”
A memorial service was
organized by some of Anne’s
A-100 classmates at the
Foreign Service Institute on
April 13. On the same day,
her colleagues from Caracas
gathered at AFSA headquar-
RETIREE VP VOICE | BY MEG GILROY
AFSA NEWS
Views and opinions expressed in this column
are solely those of the AFSA Retiree VP.
How many of us really paid
attention to all those brief-
ings on retirement benefts
and forms? How many of us
actually know what ofce to
contact when an end-of-life
issue arises for a spouse or
parent or friend? How many
of us have up-to-date wills,
powers of attorney and medi-
cal directives?
Those of you who
answered yes to those three
questions should feel free to
move on to another article in
the
Journal
. But those who
answered no to one or more
of them might want to con-
sider reading further.
Entry-level profession-
als are overwhelmed with
information on what to
do, when to do it, whom to
contact and how to fnd all
this information on their
agency’s intranet. Active-
duty personnel, even if on
detail to another agency,
can always fnd someone
in the executive ofce or
human resources to answer a
benefts question or put you
in search of someone with
the answer. But once you’re
retired, fnding the right
person to answer your ques-
tions becomes a little more
complicated.
As an AFSA member, one
of the best sources of infor-
mation is found in the frst 30
pages of the annual
Direc-
tory of Retired Members
, a
hard-copy manual mailed
to all retiree members in
good standing at the begin-
ning of each calendar year.
Getting What You Need
And AFSA’s retiree services
page
(www.afsa.org/retiree)
contains up-to-date informa-
tion on almost every subject
of possible interest or use to
retired members.
Beyond AFSA, the depart-
ment’s Ofce of Retire-
ment’s RNET (rnet.state.
gov) provides information
and guidance for current
and future Foreign Service
retirees, not just for State
but also the Departments of
Commerce and Agriculture,
the U.S. Agency for Inter-
national Development, the
International Broadcasting
Bureau and the Peace Corps.
Everyone who receives their
annuity check electronically
should already have an ID
and password to log-in for
Employee Express at
www.
employeeexpress.gov.
And
the Thrift Savings Plan Web
site at
www.tsp.gov n
ot only
contains information about
your TSP account, but links
to the forms necessary to
make a change of address or
benefciary.
All of this information is
incredibly useful, but when
an emergency arises, it is
best to have it easily acces-
sible. Use it to prepare a list
of ofces, with phone num-
bers and e-mail addresses,
to contact when you have a
problem with your Foreign
Service annuity, an insurance
issue or need to report a
death. Update it once a year
and e-mail it to a friend or
family member. You (or they)
will need it one day.
n
AFSA Welcomes New Advocacy
Intern to the Team
AFSA recently welcomed Shaye Huggins as the
new advocacy intern. She joins our legislative and
advocacy team, working on campaigns, legislation,
grassroots eforts and stakeholder engagement
strategies.
In addition to her work at AFSA, Shaye is a mar-
keting intern for the non-proft organization, Kids
Play International, which organizes youth sports
programs and funds women’s education in Africa. In
July, she will travel to Rwanda to meet the children
in her program.
Shaye is a graduating senior at the University
of California, Santa Barbara, where she is a double
major in global studies and Spanish. She studied at
the University of Barcelona during her junior year.
Shaye can be reached at
laintern@afsa.org
or
(202) 944-5516.
ters to remember Anne and
pay tribute to her.
AFSA President Susan R.
Johnson joined others from
the department in Oak Park,
Ill., at Anne’s wake on April
16, and at her funeral in River
Forest, Ill., the next day.
Anne's name will join
seven others, including those
killed in Benghazi on Sept. 11,
on AFSA's Memorial Plaque
at a ceremony on May 3 in
the Department of State's C
Street lobby.
For information on dona-
tions to charities in Anne’s
name, the Smedinghof
family has created a Web
site, annesmedinghof.com,
in remembrance of their
daughter.
n