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AFSA NEWS

CALENDAR

THE OFFICIAL RECORD OF THE AMERICAN FOREIGN SERVICE ASSOCIATION

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

|

DECEMBER 2016

61

December 2

12-1:30 p.m.

AFSA Book Notes: “From

Washington to Moscow”

December 5

12-1:30 p.m.

AFSA/Public Diplomacy

Council: “Media, Conflict

and Security”

December 7

12-1:30 p.m.

AFSA Governing

Board Meeting

December 26

Christmas: AFSA

Offices Closed

January 2

New Years Day: AFSA

Offices Closed

January 4

12-1:30 p.m.

AFSA Governing

Board Meeting

January 15

Deadline: Sinclaire

Language Award

Nominations

CAL L FOR NOMI NAT I ONS

2017 Constructive Dissent Awards

AFSA is pleased to issue this

call for nominations for our

2017 awards for constructive

dissent. Following our June 2016 ceremony, during whic

h

only one of the four dissent

awards was given out, AFSA

pledged to produce a more

robust definition of what con-

stitutes dissent in the Foreign

Service.

At its Nov. 2 meeting,

the AFSA Governing Board

approved that new guidance,

which we invite you to read in

full at

www.afsa.org/dissent.

Why Is Dissent

Important?

In 1968, Foreign Service

Officers John Bushnell and

Stacy Lloyd became the very

first recipients of an AFSA

award for constructive dis-

sent. In the intervening 48

years, AFSA has had the privi-

lege of honoring more than

150 members of the Foreign

Service with awards that are

unique in the federal govern-

ment: Recognition of those

who dare to go against the

accepted wisdom and offer

constructive dissent within

the system on a foreign policy

or management issue.

Members of the Foreign

Service typically understand

the local context better

than anyone else in the U.S.

government and are often the

first to see that a long-shot

goal might just be achievable

if arguments are framed in a

certain way.

We know how to avoid that

third rail and garner support

from this key group while not

alerting another too early.

Delivering on those long-shot

goals may show admirable ini-

tiative and innovation. It may

be outstanding performance,

but it’s not dissent.

The Foreign Service adds

tremendous value every time

its members advise with

precision about what will

work and what won’t work

in the local context at our

posts. This is a core role of the

Foreign Service, and it is often

the basis for well-founded

constructive dissent.

Dissent as a duty flows

from the Foreign Service oath

of office, which swears “to

support and defend the Con-

stitution of the United States.”

Our loyalty must be first and

foremost to the national inter-

est, and that means giving

political leadership our best

analysis and advice, whether

it is welcome or not.

It is our obligation to offer

our best judgment and, when

possible, alternatives. This is

the basis for constructive dis-

sent as we have traditionally

defined it.

With this in mind, we wel-

come nominations for our four

constructive dissent awards:

• The F. Allen ‘Tex’ Harris

Award for Foreign Service

specialists.

• The W. Averell Harri-

man Award for entry-level

Foreign Service officers.

• The William R. Rivkin

Award for mid-level Foreign

Service officers.

• The Christian A. Herter

for Senior Foreign Service

officers.

The deadline for nomina-

tions is Feb. 28, 2017. Neither

nominators nor nominees

need to be members of AFSA.

For additional information

and nomination forms, please

visit

www.afsa.org/dissent

or

contact AFSAAwards Coordi-

nator Perri Green at green@

afsa.org or (202) 719-9700.

n

From left: The Hon.

Robert Rivkin, 2016

William R. Rivkin Award

winner Jefferson Smith

and AFSA President

Barbara Stephenson at

the 2016 AFSA Awards

ceremony.

AFSA/JOAQUINSOSA