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AFSAWelcomes 143rd FS Specialist Class


Looking to the Future: AFSA Partners with UTAustin

The American Foreign Service

Association is pleased to

announce a new partner-

ship with the University of

Texas at Austin’s Lyndon

B. Johnson School of

Public Affairs to conduct

a benchmarking study

identifying best practices

in the field of diplomacy.

AFSA plans to use the

findings from the year-

long exercise to set the

agenda for its advocacy—

on the Hill and with the

new administration—of a

strong professional For-

eign Service that, for the

sake of America’s people,

interests and values,

must remain the largest and

most influential diplomatic

service in the world. Issues

being explored include how

other diplomatic services

recruit, train, assign, develop

and evaluate their people.

In September, 15 graduate

students from UTAustin’s

LBJ School started the

year-long project under the

tutelage of faculty advisers

LBJ Dean Robert Hutchings

and Professor Jeremi Suri.

Hutchings, a national secu-

rity and foreign policy expert,

served as special adviser to

Secretary of State Lawrence

Eagleburger and as dip-

lomat in residence at the

WoodrowWilson School

of Public and Interna-

tional Affairs at Princeton

University. He and Prof. Suri co-edited Foreign Policy Breakthroughs: Cases in Successful Diplomacy (Oxford Uni-

versity Press, 2015).

Students will travel

toWashington, D.C., in

December to meet with

a variety of stakeholders,

including veteran diplomats,

experts from other countries’

diplomatic services, foreign

policy practitioners and

lawmakers. These conversa-

tions will feed into the group’s

overall findings.

In addition, AFSA Presi-

dent Ambassador Barbara

Stephenson will participate

in the 2017 Austin Forum on

Diplomacy and Statecraft.

The forum is designed to

bring together policy-ori-

ented scholars in the field of

diplomacy and rising diplo-

mats from the United States

and other countries, and its

results will also feed into the


AFSA looks forward to

sharing the group’s find-

ings and will keep members

informed of our progress

throughout the year.


—Maria C. Livingston,

Director of Professional

Policy Issues

Seal of the University of Texas at Austin


On Sept. 29, the 143rd Foreign Service Specialist class

attended briefings at AFSA headquarters on policy

issues and EEO and diversity matters.

A luncheon was hosted by AFSA President Ambas-

sador Barbara Stephenson, who welcomed the 63 class

members and shared her experiences of the Foreign


While many of the class completed membership

paperwork, State Vice President Angie Bryan

(pictured speaking) gave a presentation to the group

about AFSA’s functions as a professional association

and labor union and explained the many ways that

AFSA assists, protects and advocates for its mem-