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Finally, in November 2016,

the Foreign Affairs Manual

was updated to include the

new regulations for an assign-

ment restriction appeals


The presidents of AAFAA

successfully advocated for

language creating an appeals

mechanism that ensures

employees receive notifica-

tion of the factual grounds

for their assignment restric-

tion, can address the security

concerns and may request a

second review.

Collectively, they showed

great dedication, patience

and passion over the years,

working respectfully within

the system to get to a positive

conclusion that will be benefi-

cial to AAFAAmembers and

other department employees.

Accepting the award, each

of the recipients acknowl-

edged that there were many

AAFAAmembers who had

bravely stepped forward to

tell their stories, even though

it may have been unpopular

to do so.

Mr.Wong said that recogni-

tion of the AAFAA presidents

confirmed that “the voices of

constructive dissent at any

level, if spoken with dignity

and respect, can resonate

with department leaders, and

can contribute toward making

State a more diverse, more

honorable, and more perfect


Mariju Bofill

joined the

Foreign Service in 2004. Cur-

rently posted to São Paulo,

she has also served in Paris,

Guayaquil, Matamoros and

Athens. In 2011, she received

the Department of State

Equal Employment Opportu-

nity Award for her leadership

and commitment to promot-

ing diversity. She is accom-

panied in São Paulo by her

husband and their two young


Cecilia Choi

serves as

the director for trade and

investment at the National

Security Council. Her most

recent overseas assignment

was in Honduras, and she has

also served in South Korea

and Turkey. InWashington,

D.C., Ms. Choi has served in

the Bureau of Western Hemi-

sphere Affairs and the Bureau

of Economic and Business


Thomas Wong

is an eco-

nomic-coned officer assigned

to the American Institute in

Taiwan in Taipei. He previously

served in Guadalajara and had

consecutive tours inWash-

ington, D.C., in the Bureau of

Western Hemisphere Affairs.

Prior to joining the Foreign

Service in 2010, Mr. Wong

served in the U.S. Army. His

wife, Suzanne, is also a For-

eign Service officer and the

couple has two children.

Christina T. Le

serves as

the special assistant to the

assistant secretary of State

for the Bureau of Intelligence

and Research. She has

previously served in Athens

and Monterrey, as well as in

Washington, D.C.