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JUNE 2015




Foreign Service Journal

Welcomes New Staff

AFSA is pleased to welcome

Maria C. Livingston to the

communications team as

the new associate editor/

writer for

The Foreign Service


, responsible for AFSA


Maria brings eight years

of Foreign Service experi-

ence with her to the job. As a

public diplomacy-coned FSO,

she served in Guatemala

City, Mexico City, the Bureau

of Economic and Business

Affairs, and was detailed to

the U.S. Executive Director’s

Office at the World Bank.

A New Mexico native,

Maria has a bachelor’s

degree from the University

of Denver and a master’s

degree in public policy from

Harvard’s John F. Kennedy

School of Government, where

AFSA Speakers Bureau Grows

In February, AFSA urged

members to join our Speak-

ers Bureau, which matches

them with universities, orga-

nizations and groups around

the country who are seeking

speakers for events.

Events can range from

college classes and World

Affairs Councils to Kiwanis

Clubs and book groups. AFSA

helps these entities connect

with an experienced member

of the Foreign Service who

can speak to a variety of

geographic and functional

topics, as well as life in the

Foreign Service.

The response to our call

for new members has been

amazing. AFSA’s Speakers

Bureau nearly doubled in size

to more than 300 members.

We’ve received new

requests for speakers to

present to high school

students, university clubs,

alumni groups, civic and

religious groups and profes-

sional associations. We are

also asking AFSA members

to proactively seek out

groups and venues, rather

than waiting for the public to

ask for speakers.

However, we need your

help to address a mismatch

in geographic representa-

tion. More than 70 percent of

Speakers Bureau volunteers

(220 members) are based in

the Washington, D.C., area.

Only 10 members are in Cali-

fornia, seven in Florida, and

the remaining are scattered

around the country. Eighteen

states have no Speakers

Bureau members.

We urge you to join the

Speakers Bureau, especially if

you live outside the Washing-

ton, D.C., area. Visit www.afsa. org/speakers to sign up. And

if you want to recommend a

venue that could use an AFSA

speaker, send an email to

with “Speak-

ers Bureau Opportunity” in

the subject line.

We’ll send speakers

an electronic information

packet with basic informa-

tion on AFSA and the Foreign

Service. In addition, we’ll mail

you a free copy of Inside a U.S. Embassy , which you c


use for personal reference or

offer to your host or as a door

prize for the event.

We look forward to con-

tinuing and growing support

from AFSA members for the

Speakers Bureau, a privilege

of AFSA membership that

builds our Foreign Service



—Todd Thurwachter,

Retiree Counselor

AFSASpeaker FSO Robin Diallo addresses high school students at the National

Youth Leadership Forum on National Security on March 26 inWashington, D.C.

Hosted by Envision, the forum gave students the chance to learn firsthand

about life as a Foreign Service officer fromAFSA speakers.

she was editor of the


Journal of Hispanic Policy


For the past year and a

half, Maria has been a valued

member of the FSJ Editorial

Board. She is married to a

Foreign Service officer whom

she met in her A-100 class,

and they live in Rockville,


We are delighted to have

Maria on board.



Maria C. Livingston