The Foreign Service Journal - June 2014 - page 53

JUNE 2014
On April 14, AFSA leaders
met with Secretary of State
John Kerry to discuss AFSA
priorities and areas of mutual
AFSA officials began by
thanking Secretary Kerry
for his efforts to ensure that
nearly 1,800 Foreign Service
employees recommended
for promotion, tenure and
appointment were finally
confirmed by the Senate.
They noted that AFSA looks
forward to working with his
team to advance the nomina-
tions of those career officers
still awaiting Senate confir-
mation to senior positions,
AFSA Leaders Meet Secretary Kerry
between USAID and State
further exacerbate the
There were also a signifi-
cant number of complaints
from FSOs overseas that the
ICASS consolidation system
is highly unfavorable toward
USAID needs.
Looking into this issue,
we found that the worldwide
ICASS surveys do not show
USAID’s reporting of dis-
satisfaction to be significant
enough to trigger corrective
actions. However, we will
investigate further to find out
what the threshold for cor-
rective action is.
The ICASS survey is
based on a 1–5 rating scale.
Generally, State custom-
ers ranked everything 4.1
or better, whereas USAID
averages came in at 3.6,
Commerce at 3.5 and Agri-
culture at 3.8. USAID FSOs
need to keep this in mind
for the next ICASS survey. If
anyone believes the ICASS
survey needs readjusting to
ensure it captures accurate
USAID feedback, please send
suggestions to my attention
Leadership sets the tone
of any organization. As the
“Voice of the Foreign Ser-
vice,” AFSA will continue to
engage management on
these issues. It is my hope
that current leadership will
choose to accept these
results for what they are:
valuable feedback on which
to act to make this agency
–Sharon Wayne,
Finally, the
AFSA team
noted the
launch of the
2014 Quadren-
nial Diplomacy
and Develop-
ment Review;
the Secretary
said he wel-
comed AFSA’s
input into the
AFSA President Silver-
man was delighted with
what he called a positive
and productive meeting. He
added: “AFSA looks forward
to continuing our partnership
AFSA President Bob Silverman talks with Secretary of
State John Kerry.
both overseas and in the
While on the subject of
Congress, they reiterated
AFSA’s desire to achieve
permanent congressional
authorization of Overseas
Comparability Pay. Sec. Kerry
said he supported that effort.
Next, the AFSA team
stressed the importance
of fully funding language
instruction and security
awareness training, both to
enhance professionalism
and to keep Foreign Service
employees safe overseas and
protect their ability to engage
with host-country contacts.
with Sec. Kerry and his senior
leadership as we continue to
celebrate the 90th anniver-
sary of the Foreign Service
and AFSA.”
–Julian Steiner, AFSA Staff
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