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50

MAY 2017

|

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

Ms. Duvvuri worked

as an economist at

Booz Allen Hamilton

and Pricewatehouse

Coopers, providing

strategy consult-

ing and transfer

pricing solutions to

corporate clients.

She holds a B.A. in

political economy

of industrial societies from

the University of California,

Berkeley, and a joint mas-

ter’s degree in quantitative

economics and urban and

environmental policy and

planning from Tufts Univer-

sity.

n

Views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the AFSA FAS VP.

Contact:

mark.petry@fas.usda.gov

or (202) 720-2502

FAS VP VOICE

| BY MARK PETRY

AFSA NEWS

WashingtonWithout FSOs

The recent list of jobs for

Foreign Agricultural Service

officers returning to Wash-

ington, D.C., is extremely

disappointing.

For the five most-senior

officers (Senior Foreign

Service and FS-1) returning

to work in Washington, D.C.,

there are only five positions

available. Moreover, there are

no positions available in four

of the six FAS program areas.

Are we facing an inten-

tional effort to create disin-

centives for officers to return

to Washington?

The answer is no, but the

result is the same. A dearth

of mid-level officers is the

fruit of poor hiring practices

AFSA’S 20 16 ANNUAL REPORT

PUBL I SHED

The 2016 AFSAAnnual Report is

now available online at

www.afsa.

org/annualreport.

AFSA President Ambassador

Barbara Stephenson introduces

the report, setting out the goals

of AFSA’s Governing Board and

sharing achievements and new

initiatives. Contributions from

the AFSA treasurer, each of the

constituency vice presidents and

AFSA Executive Director Ian Houston follow.

The report details AFSA’s 2016 activities—from out-

reach to advocacy and from publications to member

engagement—with particular attention to what AFSA does

to tell the Foreign Service story.

To reduce costs and be eco-friendly, we are making the

report available online to all members. To request a paper

copy, while supplies last, please email

saunders@afsa.org

,

with the subject line “Annual Report.”

n

NEWS BRIEF

and the mismanagement of

resources many years ago.

As a result, we are down by

one third in both the FS-1 and

FS-2 classes.

Since overseas offices

must be filled, the gap in

officers is in Washington.

Instead of 33 percent of offi-

cers serving in Washington,

we now have only 16 percent.

Those who do take positions

in Washington generally

cycle back overseas quickly.

These statistics don’t

change the fact that work in

Washington has to be done.

However, it has encouraged

parochial, short-term think-

ing on behalf of headquar-

ters staff. Rather than being

welcoming to FSOs who may

hold a position only a year or

two, they seem to prefer to

have no FSOs at all.

Instead of making extra

efforts to take advantage of

the benefits of having FSOs

on staff, managers have sim-

ply hired more civil servants.

As a result, some coveted

positions may not open up

for FSOs for a decade or

more.

Not only does this not give

returning officers any real

choice and disregards their

broad experience, it sends the

message that FAS FSOs are

not welcome and not valued

inWashington. Management

suggests they value FSO con-

tributions, but their actions

don’t match the rhetoric.

AFSA and FAS manage-

ment must develop a plan to

weather this demographic

crisis and maintain a vibrant

FSO presence in Washington.

Unfortunately, any agree-

ment will likely put even

more hardship on FSOs by

weakening our contract

language on hiring or by

offering no additional human

resources.

However, we must try.

Given both the written and

social contracts that exist

in our small agency, putting

Washington-based FSOs into

“windowless offices” is not

acceptable.

n

AFSAWelcomes New

LM Staff Member

Jaya Duvvuri is the

new executive assis-

tant to AFSA State

Vice President Angie

Bryan. A Foreign

Service spouse, she

previously served as

the Education

USA adviser at

Embassy Kigali, and

was the treasurer

for the American Employees

Association of Kigali. Prior to

that, she worked with Habitat

for Humanity Macedonia and

the United Nations Nigeria,

where she provided adminis-

trative and program support.

Before moving overseas,

Jaya Duvvuri

AFSA/GEMMADVORAK