54 DECEMBER 2017 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL AFSA NEWS Sharing the Story of the Foreign Service with Lifelong Learners Following a successful four- week educational program this fall focused on the Foreign Service and foreign policy in Asia, AFSA and the Smithson- ian Associates are working on plans for spring 2018. The fall program, which began on Oct. 11 and contin- ued into November, featured four Foreign Service Asia experts who addressed a full house of enthusiastic and appreciative participants. Ambassador (ret.) J. Stapleton Roy kicked off the series with a discussion on China. He was followed by retired senior FSO James Pierce on Japan, Ambas- sador (ret.) Charles Ray on Vietnam and retired Senior FSO Mark Tokola on Korea. We appreciate their par- ticipation and willingness to enhance this excellent outreach partnership. The AFSA-Smithsonian Associates collaboration will continue next spring with another four-week series. American Diplomacy from the Inside In a new initiative this year, AFSA collaborated with Encore Learning, a non- profit educational organiza- tion offering college-level courses to anyone over 50 years old, to design a semester-long course, “American Diplomacy from the Inside,” at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia. Beginning in October and running through Decem- ber, the course features seven lectures from retired members of the Foreign Service. Each session has been designed to cover a fundamental area man- aged by diplomatic person- nel at overseas missions: economic policy; public diplomacy; agriculture and trade; arms control; conflict resolution; and development and foreign aid. Members of the Foreign Service can and do share their professional skills and expertise—and spread understanding of the For- eign Service—by meeting with students individually and in groups, including undergraduates, graduate students and participants in community and lifelong learning programs. We find that sharing first- hand experience not only enhances the academic pre- sentation of foreign policy and diplomacy, but it plays an important role in expand- ing the audience’s under- standing of the complex role and critical function of members of the Foreign Service in promoting peace and protecting and advanc- ing U.S. interests around the world. We hope you will consider participating in classroom outreach efforts—there are many opportunities out there! For more information, please email speakers@afsa. org. Going Home? Let Us Know! An important part of Foreign Service life is going home to reconnect with friends and family. Such hometown visits—for exam- ple with a local high school class or Rotary group—are excellent opportunities to engage in outreach. AFSA welcomes the opportunity to set up events for any mem- bers of the Foreign Service who are heading home for a few days. Contact our outreach team (www.afsa.org/ outreach), and we can provide you with materials and information to ensure that you make an effective case for a strong, profes- sional Foreign Service to remain deployed around the world protecting and serving America’s people, interests and values. n Ambassador (ret.) Charles Ray addresses a capacity crowd during the AFSA Smithsonian Associates course “Looking Toward Asia.” AFSA/ALLANSAUNDERS The AFSA-Smithsonian Associates collaboration will continue next spring.