AFSA Annual Report 2013
AFSA hosted 10 new member lunches in 2013, which signed
up 527 new AFSA members (an 80.9-percent join rate). We
also held four events in our Federal Benefits Speaker Series
in 2013: a seminar on the Thrift Savings Plan and presenta-
tions on geriatric care, divorce in the Foreign Service and
Social Security. All seminars are recorded and available
Each year AFSA co-hosts the Job Search Program
Reception at FSI with DACOR. This year’s receptions for
the March, August and October classes resulted in 55 new
retiree members. AFSA also hosted its first-ever happy hour,
drawing more than 150 members and guests. Rock Bottom
Brewery donated beer, wine, non-alcoholic beverages and
hors d’oeuvres were served.
During 2013 we assisted more than 1,000 active-duty mem-
bers on issues ranging from renewing membership or joining
AFSA to updating addresses, certifying post representatives
and many more. AFSA retiree counselors counseled more
than 400 members on their benefits and other concerns.
The markers were introduced in 2011 as a way of honor-
ing members of the Foreign Service. AFSA sold 78 Foreign
Service Commemorative Markers during 2013.
Telling Our Story
In 2013, AFSA was pleased to consolidate its outreach
efforts in a new communications department under the
guidance of Kristen Fernekes, who became AFSA’s new
communications director in August. The new department
encompasses AFSA’s website, social media, events, Foreign
The Foreign Service Journal
Speakers Bureau, Road Scholar, editing, marketing and
development, and press. The new department also works
closely with member services and advocacy to enhance
outreach to members and stakeholders.
We have already seen a marked increase in efficiency
and use of content across all our communications chan-
nels, benefiting AFSA members and enhancing the public’s
understanding of the important work the Foreign Service
THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
After the excitement of launching the rebranded
in October 2012, the past year was largely
devoted to exploring the full potential of the magazine’s new
design, both in print and online. Reflecting an increased
emphasis on social media, by year’s end the
Facebook page had received nearly 5,300 likes. An upgraded
mobile app is under development, and the
of AFSA’s website saw several upgrades during the year to
make content more accessible and easier to share. We have
ramped up efforts to identify ancillary audiences for specific
articles using suggestions from members of the FSJ Editorial
Board and others.
, the union’s newsletter, is the platform for
AFSA’s constituency vice presidents, who used their
columns to highlight the difficulties, joys, frustrations and
issues each foreign affairs agency and its employees face. It
also presented timely articles on outreach efforts, cover-
age of the many events we offer our members and features
on Foreign Service life. The column, “Active After Active-
Duty,” gave retirees an outlet for their stories, while a new
column, “AFSA on the Hill,” provided readers with a look at
the efforts made by our advocacy department.
FOREIGN SERVICE BOOKS
On the Foreign Service Books front, we have exciting news
to report. By the end of 2013, author and former FSO Harry
Kopp had completed drafts of the first seven (out of nine)
chapters of the first-ever history of AFSA. We expect to
publish the book in the fall of 2014 as part of AFSA’s 90th-
Sales for the 2011 third edition of
Inside a U.S. Embassy:
Diplomacy at Work
remained strong, totaling approximately
10,000 copies in 2013, including hard copies and digital
editions. An audiobook edition will be introduced in 2014.
Expansion of the use of
Inside a U.S. Embassy
by the U.S.
military continued, as well, with its adoption as part of a
pilot interagency course at the U.S. European Command in
Stuttgart, Germany. At EUCOM’s invitation, Editor/Pub-
lisher Shawn Dorman presented “Embassy 101” as part of
the course in July.
Inside a U.S. Embassy
was also excerpted as a reference for
an April issue of
The Mini Page
educational newspaper for
Ed Zurndorfer’s presentation to members on Social Security draws a
record crowd to AFSA.
FS Books Publisher Shawn Dorman visits European Command in
Inside a U.S. Embassy
is used in the “Embassy
101”course for members of the military.