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AFSA NEWS

CALENDAR

THE OFFICIAL RECORD OF THE AMERICAN FOREIGN SERVICE ASSOCIATION

AFSA High School Essay Winner

Goes to Washington

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

|

OCTOBER 2015

49

October 7

12-2 p.m.

AFSA Governing

Board Meeting

October 8

2-4 p.m.

Retirement Planning

Seminar

October 9-19

AAFSW’s Art & BookFair

State Department

Exhibit Hall

October 12

Columbus Day:

AFSA Offices Closed

October 14

12-1 p.m.

Luncheon:

184th A-100 Class

October 18-22

AFSA Road Scholar

Program

Washington, D.C.

November 4

12-2 p.m.

AFSA Governing Board

Meeting

November 11

Veterans Day:

AFSA Offices Closed

November 15-19

AFSA Road Scholar

Program

Washington, D.C.

November 19

Second Annual

AFSA Book Market

November 26 and 27

Thanksgiving:

AFSA Offices Closed

On Sept. 3, Secretary of

State John Kerry presented

Thomas Keller, a high school

junior from Dallas, Texas, with

the 2015 American Foreign

Service Association National

High School Essay Contest

award.

The ceremony took place

in the Department of State’s

Diplomatic Reception Rooms.

During their meeting, Sec.

Kerry commended Keller on

his “well-written and well-

researched” essay, which

presented microfinance

as a critical policy tool for

addressing increasingly high

crime rates and poverty in

Honduras.

Every year, AFSA flies the

winner and his or her parents

to Washington, D.C., for a day

of discussions with policy-

makers at State and on the

Hill.

Following his appointment

with the Secretary, Keller

visited staff in the office of

his congressional representa-

tive Congressman Pete Ses-

sions (R-Texas) and toured

the Senate Foreign Relations

Committee rooms.

The trip also comes with

a cash award in the amount

of $2,500 and a Semester

at Sea scholarship, which

Keller may use to travel the

world and study once he is

accepted into an accred-

ited university. In addition,

Keller’s high school, The

Episcopal School of Dal-

las, will receive 10 copies of

COURTESYOFJAMESPAN

Continued on page 60

AFSA’s popular introduction

to the Foreign Service, Inside a U.S. Embassy: Diplomacy at Work (Foreign Service Books,

2011).

According to Keller, his

visit to Washington, D.C.,

was a whirlwind experience:

“You read about important

people in text books and you

see them on the news, but

to actually have a conversa-

tion with them is surreal.” He

added, “The fact that [Secre-

tary Kerry] took time to read

my paper was amazing; he’s

quite the busy man.”

This year’s runner-up is

Anuj Krishnamurthy, a recent

graduate of The Lawrence-

ville School in Monmouth

Junction, New Jersey.

Krishnamurthy’s essay

recommended expanding

and diversifying current ties

with Kazakhstan—the world’s

ninth largest economy—

through cultural diplomacy

and commercial connections.

He received a scholarship to

the National Student Leader-

ship Conference’s interna-

tional diplomacy program in

Washington, D.C.

AFSA created the National

High School Essay Contest in

1999 to encourage students

to learn about the work of

the Foreign Service and the

significance of diplomacy

to national security and

prosperity. The contest has

increased awareness of

the Foreign Service among

high school students across

Secretary of State John Kerry welcomes AFSA’s National High School Essay

Contest Award recipient, Thomas Keller, to the State Department. In his essay,

Keller suggested that State assemble a team of “economists, microfinance

specialists and business startup experts” to identify suitable microloan

candidates in Honduras.