Page 65 - Foreign Service Journal - September 2013

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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
|
SEPTEMBER 2013
65
I would like to begin my
frst column by express-
ing my appreciation for
the many years of service
my predecessor, Francisco
Zamora, dedicated to AFSA.
He is a true advocate for
the Foreign Service and has
accomplished much during
his tenure. His article in the
March 2013 issue of
The For-
eign Service Journal
ofers a
glimpse of the many avenues
of service he traveled as
AFSA vice president. I am
grateful for the opportunity
and privilege to pick up the
torch and continue to serve
my fellow Foreign Service
o cers and retirees.
My relationship with
USAID began more than 20
years ago and has taken me
to Africa, the Middle East,
Latin America, the Caribbean
and, most recently, Washing-
ton, D.C. I have worked with
USAID under various hiring
mechanisms and proudly
joined AFSA immediately
upon becoming a Foreign
Service o cer in 2004.
My respect for the Foreign
Service began in Africa in the
1990s. As I worked alongside
my USAID and other U.S.
foreign afairs agency col-
leagues, I saw frst-hand the
signifcant results our eforts
were achieving, experienced
the challenges and the
dangers and realized that
our hard work contributed
to making this world a bet-
ter place for generations to
come. I was hooked.
Whether it’s providing
administrative and logistical
support to a USAID mis-
sion or direct involvement in
programs such as improv-
ing democracy and gover-
nance, eliminating hunger,
promoting free enterprise,
or improving health and
education—the demanding
and important work we do is
more than a job, it is a way
of life.
Our dedicated and com-
mitted o cers deserve to
be supported. Having spent
much of my life in USAID, I’ve
experienced the challenges
of working overseas frst as a
single woman, then married
with children and, now, as a
divorcee with two teenagers.
As gratifying as this career
is, over the years, the lifestyle
It’s More than a Job, It’s a Way of Life
OUR DED I CATED
AND COMMI TTED
OF F I CERS
DESERVE TO BE
SUPPORTED.
Beginning this month, AFSA will be sending cop-
ies of its book,
Inside a U.S. Embassy: Diplomacy at
Work,
to 500 lower-income and charter high schools
around the country in hopes of interesting students
in a Foreign Service career. This unprecedented
outreach opportunity was made possible by a very
generous donation to AFSA’s Fund for American
Diplomacy from Embassy Risk Management, located
in Charlottesville, Va. The company provides inter-
national property and auto insurance tailored to the
unique needs Foreign Service members.
Please see the October issue of
AFSA News
for an
in-depth look at this project.
AFSA Begins Eforts to Further
Reach Underserved Schools
Views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the AFSA USAID VP.
Contact:
swayne@usaid.gov
or (202) 712-1631
USAID VP VOICE | BY SHARON WAYNE AFSA NEWS
New Director of Communications
Joins AFSA Staf
AFSAWelcomes Kristen Fernekes, our
new director of communications. Kris-
ten comes to AFSA after seven years at
the Peace Corps, working in both the
director’s o ce and the o ce of com-
munications. She most recently served
as the deputy director of communica-
tions and manager of internal communications.
Previously, Kristen worked at the Center for Folklife
and Cultural Heritage at the Smithsonian Institution
and Design Literate, Inc., a creative frm she started
with her husband. Kristen holds a degree in journalism
from the University of Alabama.
Kristen can be reached at
fernekes@afsa.org
or at
(202) 338-4045, ext. 516.
struggles can run equally
deep. Concerns over security,
insu cient entry-level sala-
ries, limited spousal employ-
ment opportunities, educa-
tion challenges, inadequate
medical care, protection/
improvement of our benefts,
budget cuts and limited train-
ing opportunities afect our
lives and our families.
We have an extremely
talented and motivated AFSA
team, and I thank the mem-
bership for its support as the
new Governing Board moves
forth. The Board relies on our
combined views and con-
cerns and on those conveyed
to us by AFSA members
when determining where to
focus our energy. Please do
not hesitate to share what is
on your mind by e-mail or a
phone call. I very much look
forward to serving you.
n