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54

JUNE 2017

|

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

AFSA NEWS

Our Story Is Important—Keep Helping Us Tell It

The 50 States

Outreach Initia-

tive, under the

banner of the

Fund for Ameri-

can Diplomacy,

continues to bring

the story of the

Foreign Service

to the public and

give our fellow

citizens the opportunity to connect with U.S. diplomats

and gain an understanding of the work they do to keep

America a global leader.

AFSA President Ambassador Barbara Stephenson speaks to internationally focused

businesses and universities at the “Global Nights” event, hosted by the World

Affairs Council of Central Florida.

AFSA/CATHERINEKANNENBERG

Florida:

AFSA President

Ambassador Barbara Ste-

phenson and Outreach Coor-

dinator Catherine Kannenberg

traveled to central Florida in

early April for several outreach

events.

AFSA, Global Ties U.S.

and theWorld Affairs Council

of Central Florida organized

a strategy session to bring

together internationally

minded Floridians to explore

opportunities to expand

outreach, advocacy and

programming at the local

level in support of U.S. global

engagement.

All three organizations

have strong networks of local

leaders in the state. Jennifer

Clinton, president of Global

Ties U.S., led the delegation of

partners.

The session produced

several proposals and encour-

aged AFSA retirees to partici-

pate in programs that engage

their communities in global

affairs—for example, speak-

ing to civic groups,

mentoring, serving on

boards, hosting inter-

national visitors or writing

op-eds for local newspapers.

The meeting was part of

a pilot initiative to energize

statewide outreach and

advocacy. If successful and,

if resources permit, AFSAwill

consider extending the model

to additional states.

“Global Nights,” a semian-

nual networking event for

internationally focused com-

munity businesses and univer-

sities hosted byWAC-Central

Florida, followed the strategy

sessions. After giving keynote

remarks, Amb. Stephenson

had a chance to talk with

many of the 150 attendees

and exhibitors.

Amb. Stephenson wrapped

up the visit at a local PBS stu-

dio for an interview with John

Bersia, a Pulitzer Prize-win-

ning journalist and educator.

Mr. Bersia hostsWUCFTV’s

popular Global Perspectives

show, with a viewership of

between four and five million

people.

In the interview, Amb. Ste-

phenson used examples from

her career to illustrate what

diplomats do—for Americans,

as well as for citizens of other

countries—and the vital role

they play in U.S. global leader-

ship by making common

cause with other nations to

advance U.S. foreign policy

priorities.We will share the

interview with members once

it runs.

Massachusetts:

In mid-

April, retired Foreign Service

Officer Lawrence Butler met

with students at Harvard Uni-

versity, where he focused on

the challenges posed by the

Islamic State group and other

militant entities to stability in

the Middle East.

Later in the month, Mr.

Butler participated in the first-

ever Skype presentation to an

AFSA Road Scholar audience,

during which he and retired

FSO James Bullock talked

about Iraq.

Texas:

In mid-April, Ambas-

sador (ret.) Robin Raphel trav-

eled to Austin, Texas, for two

speaking engagements.

She presented a talk on

“Pakistan and Its Trouble-

some Neighbors” to students

at the University of Texas

at Austin LBJ School of

Public Affairs; and she was

the featured speaker at the

bimonthly luncheon of The

Foreign Service Group, one

of the premier groups of

Foreign Service retirees in

the country.

Wisconsin:

In early May

Amb. Stephenson accepted

an invitation fromGlobal Ties,

to give the keynote speech

at the International Institute

of Wisconsin’s annual World

Citizen Awards celebration.

She focused on the