AFSA Annual Report 2013
Traffic to the AFSA website(www.afsa.org
) grew by 23
percent last year, much of it coming from outside the AFSA
membership. Our High School Essay Contest,
Inside a U.S. Embassy
, our ambassador
tracker and AFSA’s internship page drew the most visitors.
, in particular, has seen a jump in traffic after AFSA
began making articles available in an HTML format, making
them easier to read and share via social media.
We also created several new sections on the website to
increase the variety of resources available to our members.
For instance, we created an archive of “Foreign Service
Know-How” columns from
The Foreign Service Journal
ing back to 2003, which provides advice on unique Foreign
Service challenges ranging from dealing with dietary restric-
tions overseas to retirement planning.
One of AFSA’s most effective outreach elements is our
Speakers Bureau. In 2013 the Bureau deployed nearly
400 Foreign Service speakers to explain the critical impor-
tance of U.S. diplomacy in advancing vital American
interests around the globe to more than 23,000 professional
and academic opinion leader attendees in 44 states and
Washington. Audiences ranged from leading universities
and think-tanks, to civic organizations, town meetings,
adult education and high schools.
AFSA also developed
partnerships with the
international studies fac-
ulties of several universi-
ties, beginning in March
with St. Thomas Univer-
sity in Houston. Former
Deputy Secretary of
State John Negroponte’s
addressed an audience of
more than 300.
AFSA National High School
This unique program encourages
students to think critically about
a topic of global significance and
the key role diplomacy plays in
connecting people and ideas.
The 2013 contest drew some
500 entries from 42 states and
The 2013 winner, Kailee
Marie Pedersen of Lincoln, Neb.,
received $2,500, an all-expenses-
paid trip to Washington, D.C., and
the opportunity to meet Secretary
of State John Kerry—and thanks to AFSA’s partnership with Semester
at Sea, a free semester-long educational voyage.
We also welcomed a new partner, the National Student Leader-
ship Conference, which provides a free International Diplomacy sum-
mer program for the runner-up.
AFSA significantly increased our outreach on this program, con-
necting with educators and students at conferences, via social media,
direct mail and in-person meetings. Our large increase in submissions
over the last two years is in many ways attributable to those addi-
The AFSA Memorial Plaques
The AFSA Memorial Plaques,
housed in the C Street Lobby
of the Department of State,
honor Foreign Service members
who gave their lives in the line
of duty. The 2013 Memorial
Plaque Ceremony, AFSA’s 80th,
honored eight fallen Foreign
Service personnel, bringing
the number of names inscribed
to 244. Vice President Joseph
Biden and Secretary of State
John Kerry attended this cer-
emony and delivered eloquent
tributes to those honored
AFSA Scholarship Program
In 2013, the AFSA Scholarship Program
disbursed $240,375 in academic and art
merit awards as well as financial aid schol-
arships and other awards to 93 children
of AFSA members. Friends and family
members established two new memorial
perpetual financial aid scholarships in the
names of Omar Sykes and Christopher and
Eliza Van Hollen.
The AFSA Scholarship Committee’s chairman, Ambas-
sador Lange Schermerhorn, agreed to serve for a second
year, and the committee also added representatives from the
four largest Foreign Service agencies: State, USAID, FAS and
FCS. A total of 21 Foreign Service employees (active-duty
and retirees) served as merit award judges, adjudicating 128
Former Deputy Secretary of State John
Negroponte (right) is introduced at
St. Thomas University in Houston.
AFSA merit award winners jump for joy.
Secretary of State John Kerry and
AFSA President Bob Silverman
congratulate the 2013 winner,
Vice President Biden and Secretary
of State Kerry at the Memorial Plaque
Ceremony in May 2013.