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AFSA’s 50 States

Outreach Initiative

aims to engage

with our fellow

citizens in each

state, providing

them the oppor-

tunity to interact

personally with

a member of

the U.S. Foreign

Service to gain an understanding of what diplomats do

and why it matters.


MAY 2017




Outside the Beltway: AFSA Expands Outreach Efforts


AFSA Presi-

dent Ambassador Barbara

Stephenson visited north

and central Florida in March.

During the visit, she met with

Foreign Service retirees in

Jacksonville and with retirees

in the Sarasota/Bradenton/

Tampa/St. Petersburg area.

Amb. Stephenson used

the opportunity to inquire

about the top concerns fac-

ing Foreign Service retirees

and report on the situation in

Washington, D.C.

This was a great oppor-

tunity to gauge the groups’

interest in participating

actively in outreach efforts in

Florida, in particular by team-

ing up with some of AFSA’s

strategic partners, such as

Global Ties U.S. Participants

were highly engaged and


AFSA wishes to thank

Linda Olesen, Judy Carson

and Ambassador (ret.) Sam-

uel Hart for their assistance

and generosity in facilitating

and hosting the Florida meet-


New Jersey and New


On Feb. 14-15, Amb.

Stephenson visited New

York City and northern New

Jersey, where she spoke

to 40 students at Seton

Hall University—a private,

Catholic university with a

growing international affairs


During a lively Q&A ses-

sion, students in the School

of Diplomacy and Interna-

tional Affairs inquired about

a range of issues related

to careers in the Foreign


In New York City, Amb.

Stephenson touched base

with State Department

Diplomat in Residence Usha

Pitts as part of AFSA’s com-

mitment to work closely with

Diplomats in Residence and

to reinforce the State Depart-

ment’s efforts to recruit a

diverse and capable work-



Ambassador (ret.)

Patricia Butenis was named

this year’s Distinguished

Practitioner of International

Affairs by the Martin Institute

at the University of Idaho. In

early February, Amb. Butenis

visited UI to deliver the key-

note at the Institute’s Martin

Forum, focusing on the chal-

lenges of representing the

United States abroad.

Speakers at the Martin

Forum also have the opportu-

nity to visit classes and meet

with students in informal

settings on campus. The Mar-

tin Institute is dedicated to

understanding the causes of

war, the conditions necessary

for peace and the interna-

tional system.



Foreign Service Officer Larry

AFSA President Ambassador Barbara Stephenson (third from left) meets with AFSA

retiree members in Sarasota, Florida.


Mandel, with his wife Judy,

spoke to a group at the

Lexington, Massachusetts,

public library on the topic of

“Wanderlust—A Life of Travel.”

They spoke about life in the

Foreign Service and the many

challenges and opportuni-

ties afforded by a diplomatic


Finally, during the last

week of April, AFSA hosted

a Road Scholar program on

diplomacy, during which 12

Foreign Service speakers

lectured to 37 attendees, who

came from 16 states across

America, as well as from

Ontario, Canada.

We invite readers to keep

up with AFSA’s national

outreach efforts at



org/50states. If you live in a

state we haven’t visited this

year, we welcome your assis-

tance in bringing AFSA and

the Foreign Service to town!

—Ásgeir Sigfússon,

Director of Communications