Annual Report 2013 | American Foreign Service Association
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AFSA Annual Report 2013

8

Throughout the American Foreign Service Association’s

90 years of existence, we have taken to heart our calling to

advocate on behalf of all members, whether active-duty

or retired; entry-level, mid-level or senior; specialists or

generalists; in Washington or overseas; and working for the

Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Develop-

ment, Foreign Commercial Service, Foreign Agricultural

Service, International Broadcasting Bureau or the Animal

and Plant Health Inspection Service.

During 2013, AFSA worked diligently to respond to

the needs of members and keep them informed about the

work being done on their behalf, whether it took place on

Capitol Hill or within the six foreign affairs agencies. We

also educated the public about the important contributions

of the Foreign Service and sought new ways to support and

recognize AFSA members.

ADVOCACY

DEPARTMENT

Progress on Multiple Fronts

In 2013, AFSA’s advocacy department developed an issue-

driven strategic outreach plan to educate key stakeholders—

on Capitol Hill, administration officials, senior management

at the foreign affairs agencies and third-party influenc-

ers—on how the Foreign Service consistently contributes to

national security, economic prosperity and job creation. By

increasing AFSA’s presence on Capitol Hill through meet-

ings and educational events, we have been able to present

AFSA as an attractive partner to congressional offices seek-

ing new and innovative ways to inform their constituents

about American diplomacy and development efforts. We

also initiated a regular column in the

AFSA News

section of

The Foreign Service Journal

dedicated to legislative updates

and advocacy tips and, in November, held AFSA’s first-ever

congressional reception to build relationships with Hill staff

and members of Congress.

In October, the advocacy and communications depart-

ments collaborated to provide almost-daily, detailed legisla-

tive updates to AFSA members during the federal govern-

ment shutdown.

HEARINGS AND MARKUPS

In 2013, we covered a record number of hearings and mark-

ups and, working with AFSA’s communications depart-

ment, issued more than 30 customized electronic alerts to

members on each hearing’s subject, witnesses, time, related

links and, where useful, a call to action.

COALITIONS

As part of efforts to raise awareness about the needs and

challenges of Foreign Service employees and their families,

AFSA increased its presence in the Federal-Postal Coali-

tion and the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. With the

Federal-Postal Coalition, AFSA took a leading role during

the 2013 federal government shutdown, coordinating rallies

and mobilizing members to ensure that active-duty federal

employees were able to go back to work and were given

retroactive pay.

On the Issues

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS BUDGET

AFSA worked closely with the foreign affairs agencies and

members of Congress in the authorization and appropria-

tions committees to ensure that the final version of any new

bill or continuing resolution did not have a negative impact

on the pay and benefits of Foreign Service employees, their

ability to carry out their duties or their working conditions.

Although the House Committee on Foreign Affairs passed

H.R. 2848, the Department of State Operations and Embassy

Security Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2014, on Sept. 29,

the Senate went home without acting on it. The Senate con-

centrated on S. 1386, the Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone

Woods and Glen Doherty Embassy Security, Threat Mitiga-

tion and Personnel Protection Act of 2013. The two bills are

expected to go to conference if S. 1386 passes the Senate.

AFSA has also been monitoring H.R. 2855, the Department

of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appro-

priations Act of 2014, and its Senate version, S. 1372.

On January 17, 2014, President Barack Obama signed the

$1.1 trillion omnibus appropriations bill. The bill includes

language similar to H.R. 2848.

A Look at 2013: Working on Behalf of Members

AFSA President Bob Silverman addresses the crowd at an October

Federal-Postal Coalition rally against cuts to federal benefits.

AFSA’s Senior Legislative Assistant David Murimi meets with Sen. Tim

Scott, R-S.C. on Capitol Hill in June 2013.