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76
NOVEMBER 2012
|
THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
AFSA NEWS
AFSA Hosts Road Scholar Program in Washington, D.C.
BY ÁSGE I R S IGFÚSSON, DI RECTOR OF MARKET ING AND OUTREACH
During the week of Sept.
9-13, AFSA welcomed a
group of more than 40 Road
Scholar program participants
to Washington, D.C. AFSA’s
Road Scholar programs are
designed to introduce Ameri-
cans to U.S. foreign policy
through the experiences
of members of the Foreign
Service.
It is AFSA’s hope that they
will return home with a new
appreciation and under-
standing of the work carried
out by diplomats both here
and abroad. Participants
traveled from California,
New Mexico, Colorado, West
Virginia and Maine to attend
the five-day seminar.
This program’s theme
focused on the critical
foreign policy issues related
to the Middle East, Latin
America and Africa. An ambi-
tious agenda, to be sure, but
through the 12 lectures and
three field trips, participants
were able to gain a compre-
hensive understanding of
U.S. policy in those regions of
the world.
Meeting with both retired
and active-duty Foreign
Service members, the group
heard presentations on the
Arab Spring, Israel and Pales-
tine, Venezuela, Cuba, Sudan
and Somalia, among other
topics. To keep the conversa-
tion going, the group stayed
at the Savoy Suites Hotel in
northwest Washington.
Field trips included visits
to the Brazilian embassy,
where they met with the
embassy’s political coun-
selor; the Foreign Service
Institute, where they received
a consular briefing and a
Pashto language lesson; and
the DACOR Bacon House,
where they were treated to
a house and garden tour as
well as a lovely lunch.
Since 1996, AFSA has
partnered with the national
Road Scholar organization
(formerly known as Elderhos-
tel) to enhance understand-
ing of foreign policy and the
Foreign Service among the
American public. During
those 16 years, thousands of
Americans have attended our
programs, which are sched-
uled eight times a year in
Washington and twice a year
in Chautauqua, N.Y.
To learn more about the
partnership and to see a
list of upcoming programs,
please visit
www.afsa.org/
roadscholar.
AFSA members
who wish to volunteer as
speakers for future Road
Scholar programs are
encouraged to get in touch
with AFSA a
t sigfusson@afsa.
org.
Road Scholar participants enjoy
a tour of DACOR Bacon House as
Kyle Longton, DACOR’s associate
director for operations, describes
the historic house’s collection of
paintings, furniture and documents.
The group gathers in the house’s
beautiful garden, a popular venue
for weddings and other special
events.