AFSA Annual Report 2013
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.
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
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-
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.
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
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.