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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
|
SEPTEMBER 2013
79
AFSA NEWS
AFSA EXEMPLARY PERFORMANCE AWARDS : THE M. JUAN I TA GUESS AWARD
FOR A COMMUNI TY L I A I SON OFF ICE COORDINATOR
Elizabeth Jenkins Faced the Challenges of Caracas Head On
In the daunting and danger-
ous environment that is
Caracas, Community Liaison
O ce Coordinator Beth
Jenkins helped the embassy
community manage its secu-
rity and reduce their fear,
fnd foodstufs and pleasant
pastimes, and educate their
children and fnd day care for
them.
In 2012, Beth helped lead
the post’s eforts to respond
appropriately to the spiral-
ing number of kidnappings,
murder and violent crime.
She collaborated with the
regional security o cer to
communicate the nature and
extent of the crime threat,
organize a crisis manage-
ment exercise, train staf
and family members on how
to respond to a kidnapping,
and provide comfort to an
American staf member who
was carjacked.
“There were many days
when I thought that the chal-
lenges Caracas posed were
perhaps too great and that I
could no longer serve in such
a pivotal and important posi-
tion efectively,” refects Beth.
“It was a remarkable posting,
and one that—in my 25 years
of overseas life—was the
hardest.”
Beth’s accomplishments
are all the more remarkable
considering that post morale
was at a very low point
when she came on board.
Beth brought an analytical
approach to organizing the
o ce, defned the shared
duties of the two co-CLOs
and approached challenges
that had seemed insur-
mountable to others before
her. Thanks to her strong
advocacy and persuasive
skills, as well as a large mea-
sure of tact and diplomacy,
morale within the American
community is improving.
“As a trained teacher and
special education case man-
ager, my work experience
has led me to value direct
communication and posi-
tive, team-oriented problem
solving. I found these skills
really served me as CLO,”
concluded Beth.
“The Juanita Guess
Award bestowed on me really
belongs to many people.
Most important was my
colleague, Nancy Slack, who
has since taken up the reins
of CLO Caracas, followed by
Kelly Kostal, our customer
service employee. And we
all benefted from the sound
guidance and advice pro-
vided by Deputy Chief of
Mission Kelly Kederling.”
Beth adds that with the
support of the Family Liaison
O ce, AFSA and supportive
post management, the CLO
program can be a signifcant
beneft to an embassy com-
munity.
n
Elizabeth Jenkins recieves the M. Juanita Guess Award from Jon Clements,
CEO of Clements Worldwide. In the dangerous and difcult environment
that is Caracas, Elizabeth’s skills helped to raise morale within the mission.
AFSA is pleased to announce a new service for our
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news, we do it for you. If this service sounds interest-
ing to you, all you have to do is send a request to join
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.
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