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48

DECEMBER 2014

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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

AFSA NEWS

Reflecting on AFSA’s Good

Stewardship in Its 90th Year

BY IAN HOUSTON, AFSA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Ringing in a new year is

conducive to goal setting, but

there must be a clear moment

of reflection just as a year

comes to a close. As I reflect

over the 90th anniversary

year, I see an organization

that continued to be a good

steward of financial and sta’-

ing resources.

AFSA remained commit-

ted to promoting innovation,

deepening services and

advancing issues of direct

interest to the membership.

Of course, there is always

room for improvement, and

a healthy organization must

always seek to identify weak-

nesses so as to strengthen

those areas. It was not

unusual for the great golfer

Ben Hogan to go out and

practice at the driving range

only hours after winning

major championships.

In reality there are many

demands on AFSA, and,

consequently, there can be

constant pull to reach beyond

the fundamentals of who we

are and why we exist. What

the 90th year allowed me to

do was to reconnect with our

past and the many individuals

who have committed so much

energy to building the organi-

zation we know today.

Both the history of AFSA

and the Foreign Service must

inform the mission going

forward. We cannot e’ectively

achieve goals if we are not

willing to defend and honor

our past and those on whose

shoulders it rests. And so

for me there is great joy and

inspiration in being able to

listen to firsthand accounts of

those early days when AFSA

became the ožcial represen-

tative of the Foreign Service.

Especially during this

season, allow me to express

devout thanks and gratitude

to the many who have built

AFSA and have protected

the integrity of the Foreign

Service over decades. It is a

pleasure to serve you and play

a modest role in building on

your vision.

n

Please Join AFSA for its

Holiday Open House

at the Department of State

Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014 • 2 to 5 p.m.

Harry S Truman Building, Room 1251

ANNOUNCEMENT

CAL L FOR NOMI NAT I ONS :

S I NCLA I RE AWARDS

We are now accepting nominations for the 2014

MatildaW. Sinclaire Language Award, which recog-

nizes outstanding accomplishment in the study of

Category III or IV languages and their associated

cultures. Nomination deadline is Dec. 24.

AFSA is proud to recognize Foreign Service

employees for dedication and hard work in the study

of foreign languages.

Candidates may be nominated by their language-

training supervisors at FSI, instructors in the field

schools or post language ožcers. Recipients receive

a $1,000 prize and certificate of recognition.

For further information, please contact AFSA’s

Coordinator for Special Awards and Outreach Perri

Green at

green@afsa.org

or (202) 719-9700. Go to

www.afsa.org/sinclaire

for more information.

AFSA LAUNCHES THE

20 1 5 ESSAY CONTEST

AFSA is pleased to announce the 2015 National High

School Essay Contest. The contest was established in

1999 and encourages students to think critically about

the key role diplomacy plays in the world.

AFSA sees the contest as a way to inspire and

empower the next generation of diplomats and devel-

opment professionals.

Students who are U.S. citizens and whose parents

are

not

in the Foreign Service are eligible to partici-

pate if they are in grades 9 through 12 in any of the 50

states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. territories, or if

they are attending high school overseas.

The winner will receive $2,500, a trip toWashing-

ton, D.C., to meet the Secretary of State and a full-

tuition scholarship for a Semester at Sea voyage. The

runner-up will receive a full scholarship to participate

in the International Diplomacy program of the National

Student Leadership Conference.

The deadline for entry is 11:59 p.m. EST on March 15,

2015. Details and this year’s essay topic can be found

at

www.afsa.org/essaycontest.

For more information,

please contact AFSA’s Coordinator for Special Awards

and Outreach Perri Green at

green@afsa.org

or (202)

719-9700.

ANNOUNCEMENT