Annual Report 2014 | American Foreign Service Association
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17

Communications:

Telling Our Story

T

his year the communications department made a number of

significant changes to better engage and inform our members

and raise the profile of the Foreign Service among legislators, the

foreign affairs agencies, the American public and those consider-

ing careers in diplomacy or development.

The Foreign Service Journal

& FS Books

In early 2014, Shawn Dorman took over as editor of

The Foreign

Service Journal

and publications manager, bringing together the

Foreign Service books program and the association’s flagship pub-

lication as part of the communications reorganization that began

in late 2013. A former FSO, Dorman had

previously served as associate editor of

the

Journal

and editor of AFSA News and

had pioneered AFSA’s books program,

producing the bestselling

Inside a U.S.

Embassy

.

Publications capabilities were further

enhanced with the addition of an edito-

rial and book publishing specialist, Brit-

tany DeLong, as well as a new associate

editor, Debra Blome, with primary re-

sponsibility for AFSA News. As the asso-

ciation’s official record and platform for

its constituency vice presidents, AFSA

News reflected the increased density of

AFSA projects and activities in 2014.

The

Journal

continued to break new

ground during the year. The magazine

marked the 90th anniversary year in May

with a special edition containing an AFSA timeline, a com-

memoration of the Rogers Act and a collection of member’s

stories sharing their proudest moments in the Foreign Service.

In November, AFSA capitalized on the popularity of the

Journal

’s annual “In Their Own Write,” featuring recent books

by members of the Foreign Service community, by hosting its

first “Book Market.” Seventeen FS authors gathered at AFSA

headquarters for an afternoon of meeting, greeting and book-

selling.

This year

Journal

content was made much more acces-

sible—and shareable—on AFSA’s website, allowing individual

articles to be distributed to target audiences. Innovative out-

reach through social media and other online and offline chan-

nels has expanded the

Journal

’s exposure and readership.

Another vital outreach tool continues to be

Inside a U.S.

Embassy

, published by FS Books. During 2014 more than 5,000

copies of the book were sold or distributed for outreach and

education events, including print and digital versions. Use of

the book continues in the military and federal agencies, with

several hundred books purchased by the State Department’s

Bureau of Political Military Affairs for use by political advisers to

the military.

In addition, several hundred copies were purchased by other

U.S. government agencies and divisions of the U.S. military. The

State Department outreach and recruitment division continues to

share the book widely with Foreign Service prospects. The book

has been adopted for more than 60 college courses and is cur-

rently on the shelves in 708 libraries, including 182 outside the

United States.

The manuscript for the next AFSA book, a history of the asso-

ciation, was completed in 2014 by former FSO and author Harry

Kopp. The book will be published by FS Books in 2015.

Communications Staff:

(from left)

FSJ

Senior Editor Susan Maitra,

AFSA News

and Associate Editor Debra Blome,

FSJ

Editor-in-Chief

Shawn Dorman, Online Communications Specialist Jeff Lau, Editorial/

Publications Specialist Brittany DeLong, Director of New Media Ásgeir

Sigfússon, Director of Communications Kristen Fernekes.

The

Foreign Service Journal

Editorial Board:

(from left) Richard McKee, James DeHart, John

G. Rendeiro, Jr., Tracy Whittington, Beth Payne, Amb. Gordon Brown, Maria Livingston, Steve

Buck, Clayton Bond. (

Not pictured:

Ruth Hall, Duncan Walker, Chuck Fee.)