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68

SEPTEMBER 2017

|

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

Views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the

AFSA FCS VP. Contact:

daniel.crocker@trade.gov

| (202) 482-9088

FCS VP VOICE

| BY DANIEL CROCKER

With 80 percent of Foreign

Commercial Service AFSA

members voting in the 2017

AFSA election, it’s clear that

we are keenly aware of the

unprecedented challenges that

we face. I want to thank outgo-

ing FCSVP Steve Morrison for

serving our interests at AFSA

since 2010 and for a smooth

succession.

Here are our three major pri-

orities for the next two years.

First, I will help Congress

and the administration under-

stand the importance of the

work that we do on behalf of

U.S. economic security—and

the need to fund it accordingly.

The proposal to close 35

posts overseas and a sig-

nificant number of domestic

field offices is quite simply

at odds with the administra-

tion’s desire to enforce trade

obligations that help more U.S.

companies compete on a level

playing field overseas, grow

more U.S. exports and attract

more foreign investment—all

of which contribute directly to

the creation of good jobs in the

United States.

How do we serve that

mission?With a unique global

and domestic footprint and

an unparalleled culture of

outcome-oriented assistance

that we document rigorously

for more than 28,000 U.S.

companies each year.

I plan to let members of

Congress know, both directly

and through our clients and

multipliers, what we do for their

constituents—and ask for their

support.With our FY16 results

showing that we contribute

$192 to the American econ-

omy for every $1 of taxpayer

money spent, there are better

places to cut spending.

Second, I will help the Com-

merce Department spend its

appropriations for this mission

as effectively as possible.

Commerce does so best when

it continues to fund and pri-

oritize its highest-performing

client-facing professionals.

I will work closely with

administration officials to

ensure that if any cuts do have

to be made, they will have a

minimal impact on our ability

to serve the U.S. business

community with our unparal-

leled track record of direct,

results-oriented engagement.

Third, I will work with other

members of AFSA’s Govern-

ing Board to clarify FCS’ role

at post, particularly given the

ongoing restructuring of the

State Department and USAID.

In Panama, as part of Ambas-

sador Barbara Stephenson’s

outstanding country team, I

experienced and appreciated

her collaborative approach.

I believe that our newAFSA

board will be able to inform

State’s new look and feel in a

way that maximizes its ability

to advance U.S. national inter-

ests as efficiently as possible,

with minimal role overlap.

I’ll need your assistance

to deliver on this platform.

Contact me at daniel.crocker@

trade.gov.

n

Facing Unprecedented

Challenges

Views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the

AFSA USAID VP. Contact:

aposner@usaid.gov

| (202) 712-1631

USAID VP VOICE

| BY ANN POSNER

Promoting USAID Interests

After many years overseas,

first as the spouse of a For-

eign Service officer and for

the last 20 years as a USAID

executive officer (EXO), I

am eager to use my busi-

ness management skills, my

EXO experience in overseas

missions, my exposure to

the workings of USAID’s

Washington, D.C., headquar-

ters and the knowledge I’ve

gleaned from working along-

side our immensely talented

professionals to serve as

your AFSA Vice President.

My special focus will be

on the careers, families and

lives of USAID’s Foreign

Service professionals.

My first effort will be to

reach out to all USAID FSOs

to ask what they value and

what aggravates them most

about USAID, now and at

other times during their

careers. I invite you to tell

me about the service you

would like from AFSA during

these tumultuous times.

I want to hear your ideas

and insights Your priorities

will steer my efforts. What

is most urgent to you will be

most urgent for me during

the coming months as I try

to move initiatives forward.

As you all know, some

major initiatives and policy

changes are taking place

within USAID right now. I

want to make sure that the

interests of the majority

of FSOs in the agency are

taken into account as those

changes are being made.

For example, as the

revised USAID Foreign

Service Performance

Management procedures

are implemented, I would

like to know whether you

feel the new procedures are

an improvement over the

present system. I hope that

the replacement system will

be less time consuming and

will be viewed as fair and

rational.

However, while important,

revision of performance

management procedures is

only one of the major topics

that preoccupy us about our

careers right now. I pledge

that my responses to you

will always be appropriate,

considered and prompt. I

will voice your perspectives

and represent your concerns

in USAID Washington and

with colleagues in the State

Department.

n