The Foreign Service Journal - September 2016
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AFSA Celebrates Strategic Writing: 2016 Kennan Award

Every year, AFSA attends the

graduation ceremonies of the

National War College

at Fort

McNair in Washington, D.C.,

to present the George F. Ken-

nan Strategic Writing Award

to a distinguished Foreign

Service graduate.

At this year’s ceremony

on June 6, AFSA State Vice

2016 Kennan Award recipient Jennifer L. Davis (center) with AFSA State

Vice President Angie Bryan and Brig. Gen. Darren Hartford.


President Angie Bryan and

Brigadier General Darren

Hartford, the 29th Com-

mandant of the National War

College, presented the award

to AFSA member and Foreign

Service Officer Jennifer Davis

for her paper “Congress, the

Executive, and the Iran Deal:

A Modern Example of the

‘Invitation to Struggle.’”

Ms. Davis’ winning essay

focuses on the significance

of the executive and leg-

islative branches working

together when dealing with

foreign affairs. Ms. Davis not

only argues that the Found-

ing Fathers intended this

cooperation, but expresses a

desire for more Foreign Ser-

vice members to establish

relationships with Congress

to better explain the impor-

tance of their work.

Ms. Davis chose to write

about the cooperation

between the president and

Congress after working with

Secretary of State John

Kerry and former Under Sec-

retary of State for Political

Affairs Wendy Sherman. Both

emphasize the importance of

connecting with Congress to

improve foreign relations.

Thanks to these wonder-

ful mentors, Davis says,

she learned throughout her

career that collaboration,

communication, flexibility

and “a heart that wants to

learn and grow” are all impor-

tant attributes for an FSO.

Ms. Davis expressed her

gratitude to her colleagues

for choosing her essay for

the George Kennan award.

“I was surprised,” she says.

“To be given an award by my

colleagues for something I’ve

written is thrilling.”

Joining the Foreign

Service in 2003 following a

career as a corporate attor-

ney, Ms. Davis has served in

Mexico City, Brussels and

Bogota, as well as in Wash-

ington, D.C. She is married

to FSO Nick Harris and is the

proud mother of two boys.

For her thoughtful and

well-written paper, Ms. Davis

received an award of $1,000

for the purchase of scholarly

books. For more informa-

tion on the George F. Kennan

Strategic Writing Award,

please visit the AFSA website,


—Eunice Ajayi,

Awards Intern

AFSAGoverning Board Meeting, July 6, 2016

Reaffirmation of AFSA Committee Membership:

On a motion from AFSA Secretary Bill Haugh, the board

unanimously accepted the membership and reaffirmed

the mandate of the four standing committees listed in the

AFSA bylaws, namely (1) the Elections Committee, (2) the

FSJ Editorial Board, (3) the Scholarship Committee and

(4) the Constituency Standing Committees.

On a motion from AFSA Secretary Bill Haugh, the board

confirmed the membership and mandate of the Gov-

ernance Committee, the Executive Committee and the

Finance, Audit and Management Committee.

On a motion from AFSA Secretary Bill Haugh, the board

agreed to consider the requirements and membership of

the AFSA Political Action Committee at a later date.