The Foreign Service Journal - October 2017

56 OCTOBER 2017 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL AFSA NEWS AFSAGoverning Board Sets Its Agenda Session leader Dean Haas, a retired Foreign Service officer, leads a discussion at the AFSA Governing Board retreat on Aug. 14. AFSA/ÁSGEIRSIGFÚSSON On Aug. 14 many of the newAFSAGovern- ing Board members attended a retreat at AFSA’s headquarters. Noting that AFSA’s members voted overwhelmingly for a con- tinuity slate, AFSA President Ambassador Barbara Stephenson shared her thoughts for turning that mandate from voters into an action plan. Retired FSO and former Governing Board member Dean Haas facilitated the event, which involved a series of discus- sions and focus groups that were tasked with laying out and refining the strategic priorities for the 2017-2019 board. Attendants produced a resolution set- ting out the proposed priorities that was presented to the full Governing Board for ratification at their monthly meeting on Aug. 16. The full text of the resolution is below: Summarizing Strategic Priorities of the 2017-2019 AFSA Governing Board Whereas AFSA exists to support the United States Foreign Service, which deploys worldwide to protect and serve America’s people, interests and values; Whereas AFSA is the principal advocate for the long-term institutional well-being of the professional career Foreign Service and responsible, as well, for safeguarding the interests of Foreign Service members; Whereas members, from whom the Governing Board’s authority flows, voted overwhelmingly for a continuity slate which ran on making the Foreign Service stronger in fact and in reputation; Be it resolved that the Governing Board adopts the following priorities: Continue work begun by the previous board in the areas of: outreach to tell the story of the Foreign Service to the American people to build support across the country and in Congress; inreach to gain a nuanced understanding of the aspirations and concerns of members; and positioning AFSA as a thought leader in workforce planning in support of a strong, efficient and effective Foreign Service; Reaffirm our commitment to a Foreign Service that sustains the uniquely high standards of performance and accountability established in the Foreign Service Act and to defending the Act and its principles by all appropriate means, including the capabilities granted to AFSA by the Act; Seize every opportunity presented by the transition and redesign to make the Foreign Service stronger, including by streamlining bureaucratic processes and focusing on core diplomatic priorities, while opposing by the most effective means possible harmful measures that weaken the Foreign Service; Consolidate bipartisan congressional support for a strong, professional career Foreign Service that operates above the partisan fray and always in the national interest. n