The Foreign Service Journal - July/August 2017
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Senate Foreign Service Caucus Launched

In late May, AFSA announced

the launch of the Senate

Foreign Service Caucus,

co-chaired by Senators Dan

Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Chris

Van Hollen (D-Md.).

The caucus, first pro-

posed by Sen. Sullivan, will

provide a bipartisan forum

for members to discuss the

challenges facing those who

serve in the U.S. Foreign Ser-

vice around the world, and

to collaborate and develop

policy recommendations on

how to best support them

and the U.S. diplomatic mis-

sion abroad.

AFSA has been working

closely with Sen. Sullivan’s

staff since September to

foster and develop the initia-

tive. AFSA President Barbara

Stephenson and Ambassador

Earl Anthony “Tony”Wayne

met with Sen. Sullivan on

Jan. 9 to strongly

endorse the idea

and offer AFSA’s


Senator Chris

Van Hollen was an

early supporter of

the initiative and

will co-chair the

caucus. Sen. Van

Hollen is the son of

the late Ambas-

sador Christopher

Van Hollen, a

career FSO, and

has long been

known as a sup-

porter of the work the Foreign

Service does.

Senators Chris Coons

(D-Del.) and Michael Bennet

(D-Colo.) have also joined the

group. Sen. Coons is a promi-

nent voice on the Senate

Foreign Relations Committee,

and Sen. Bennet’s father was

an aide to Ambassador Ches-

ter Bowles and later head

of USAID during the Carter


This caucus has been

launched at a time when

members of Congress are

more vocal than ever in their

support for the Foreign Ser-

vice and the importance of

the work carried out world-

wide by our diplomats and

development experts.

AFSA looks forward to

working with caucus mem-

bers to highlight and support

the work of the U.S. Foreign



Clockwise from top left: Senator Dan Sullivan,

Senator Chris Van Hollen, Senator Michael

Bennet and Senator Chris Coons

Senator Dan Sullivan (center) meets with AFSA President Ambassador

Barbara Stephenson (left) and Ambassador Tony Wayne (right) to discuss

the Senate Foreign Service Caucus.



Our strategic partnership

with the U.S. Institute of

Peace has allowed the AFSA

essay contest to hit record

submission numbers for two

consecutive years.

AFSA also has a grow-

ing network of outreach

partners. Among the most

promising relationships is

the one with 4-H. If resources

permit, AFSA’s next goal is

to connect with farm and

agricultural groups, and 4-H

is an excellent entry point

for such outreach. Other

partners include American

University, Delta Phi Epsilon,

the National Student Leader-

ship Coalition, Road Scholar,

Semester at Sea, Sister

Cities International, Smithso-

nian Associates, the National

Model UN, the United

Nations Association of the

National Capital Area and the

USAID Alumni Association.

AFSA provides these orga-

nizations with speakers—

experienced foreign affairs

professionals—to address

chapter events or participate

in education, mentoring or

advisory programs.

We also maintain close

relationships with large

lifelong-learning organiza-

tions such as Osher (at

Johns Hopkins University)

and Encore, where Foreign

Service expertise is in high


AFSA will continue to

develop these strategic out-

reach partnerships in ways

that are self-sustaining and

help build a constituency

that understands the criti-

cal role that diplomacy and

development play in advanc-

ing peace and prosperity in

our country.


—Ásgeir Sigfússon,

Director of Communications,

and Catherine Kannenberg,

Outreach Coordinator