The Foreign Service Journal - November 2014 - page 84

AFSA Salutes Congressional Fellows
and Director Jeffrey Biggs
On Sept. 22, AFSA hosted a
reception to recognize this
year’s congressional fellows
from the Department of
State, and to honor Jeffrey
R. Biggs, director of the
American Political Science
Association’s Congressional
Fellowship Program. Biggs, a
former FSO, is retiring from
his post this fall.
For more than 60 years,
members of the Foreign
Service have participated in
APSA’s Congressional Fel-
lowship Program, which was
established in 1953 and is the
oldest such program.
More than 2,000 politi-
cal scientists, journalists,
doctors, federal executives,
international scholars and
health policy experts have
gone through the selective
and nonpartisan program
since it began, and more
than 200 of them have been
Foreign Service members.
Congressional Fellows
spend nine months work-
ing on congressional staffs,
expanding their knowledge
and awareness of Congress.
Dr. Biggs, who has
directed the CFP since 1997,
retired from his post at the
end of September. Before
joining APSA’s Congressional
Fellowship Program, he was
a Foreign Service officer with
the U.S. Information Agency
for 21 years. He served in
Brazil, Portugal and Bolivia,
and was a Foreign Affairs
APSA Congressional Fellow
himself in 1985 (working
for Representative Thomas
Foley, (D-Wash.) and Senator
Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.).
Dr. Biggs says programs
such as these are important
not only because they allow
the Foreign Service to gain a
better understanding of the
legislative process, but also
because they are an oppor-
tunity for Foreign Service
officers to give the Hill a
better familiarity with what a
Foreign Service officer does.
He adds: “The better you
understand Congress and how
Congress is likely to react, the
better you can cast your for-
eign policy in light of that.”
–Debra Blome,
Associate Editor
From left: AFSA State VP Matthew Asada, retiring Director of Congressional
Fellowship Program Director Jeffrey R. Biggs and AFSA Executive Director
Ian Houston.
Voice of America Director Shares
Vision for the Future
On Sept. 9, AFSA and the Public Diplomacy Council hosted Voice of America Director David
Ensor to discuss “The Future of the Voice of America.”
Ensor gave his perspective on the role of the VOA and other U.S. international broadcast-
ing efforts in a changing media environment and why he thinks it is so important that VOA
continues to operate.
David Ensor was sworn in as the 28th director of the Voice of America on June 16, 2011.
He joined VOA after an extensive career in journalism and communications. Most recently
he served as director of communications and public diplomacy at Embassy Kabul.
In a question-and-answer session after the talk, Ensor discussed a number of issues,
from the particular growth in readership and viewership among young women to one of
VOA’s major goals moving forward: “To build support in this country for this wonderful
national treasure.”
To view Ensor’s talk, please go to
–Brittany DeLong, Assistant Editor
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