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JUNE 2015




AFSA President Reaches Out to Students

As the voice of the Foreign

Service, AFSA seeks to raise

the profile of the Foreign Ser-

vice and educate the public

on the Foreign Service’s role

in advancing the nation’s

interests. Helping students

at all levels understand the

work of the diplomatic corps

is essential to that task.

This spring, AFSA Presi-

dent Robert J. Silverman took

to the road to speak to young

people about the Foreign

Service and the rewards of

a career

in public


He met

with stu-

dents at Yale


on March 27,

at Princeton


on April 8

and at the


of Tennessee

at Knoxville

on April 21. He also visited

Duke University on Dec. 4.

He explained how the For-

eign Service promotes U.S.

national interests and builds

goodwill among our allies and

potential partners, as well as

our adversaries.

There was strong interest

among students in learning

about the Foreign Service as

a career and in understand-

ing the Foreign Service exam.

At Yale, for example, he met

a young woman pursuing a

postdoctoral program in pub-

lic health. She is the daugh-

ter of Nigerian immigrants to

the United States and wants

to join the Foreign Service to

focus on medical problems in

Africa. He followed up by put-

ting several students in touch

with State recruiters.

As part of AFSA’s ongoing

Speakers Bureau program

(see p. 64)

, Silverman also

addressed several hundred

high school students from

across the country at the

National Youth Leadership

Forum in Washington, D.C.

Silverman enjoys the

exchanges with students and

finds their interest in public

service inspiring. This kind

of outreach is essential to

AFSA’s mission of building a

constituency in support of

the Foreign Service on Capi-

tol Hill and among the public

at large.

This view was reiterated

recently by Special Repre-

sentative Tom Perriello, a

former Virginia congressman

appointed by Secretary of

State John Kerry to shep-

herd the second Quadrennial

AFSA President Robert J. Silverman speaks with university students in


Robert J. Silverman hosts a roundtable discussion with Yale students.



National Youth Leadership Forum participants listen to

Robert J. Silverman speak on Foreign Service life.

Diplomacy and Development

Review. Perriello met with

the AFSA Governing Board

in February, and emphasized

the importance of telling the

Foreign Service’s story. “My

nieces and nephews know

what a soldier is. They think

As the voice of the Foreign Service, AFSA

seeks to raise the profile of the Foreign

Service and educate the public on the

Foreign Service’s role in advancing the

nations’ interests.

they know what a spy is. But

they have no idea what you

people do and why it’s valu-

able,” he said. “I think there

are a lot of great conversa-

tions to have.”


—Debra Blome,

Associate Editor