commissioning, tenure and promotion into, and within, the Se-
nior Foreign Service. Senate staff had raised concerns about the
adequacy of vetting done prior to nomination. We addressed these
concerns, in close collaboration with the State Department. There
is ongoing work to ensure that future lists of names continue to re-
ceive expeditious treatment, but our Hill relationships are working.
Also in April, the AFSA Board approved a series of issue pa-
pers and provided them to the State Department as input to the
2014 Quadrennial Diplomacy and
Development Review. These papers
cover issues ranging from security
overseas, the economic and public
diplomacy cones, use of technology,
career paths and other issues. AFSA
working groups composed of a mix
of active-duty and retiree members
drafted and refined the papers. They
were a down payment on AFSA’s con-
tinuing engagement with the QDDR
office. I believe this engagement is
paying off in terms of a new QDDR that recognizes and supports
the critical role played by the Foreign Service in our diplomacy.
And I won’t be surprised if some of the ideas in our papers appear
in the final QDDR.
As we start 2015, renewing our commitment to the profession of
diplomacy on behalf of our country, we can take a certain amount
of comfort in the vitality of our professional association and union.
We should not, however, be complacent. Career development re-
mains a priority concern, as promotions slow and the expansion
of political appointees at mid levels of our agencies continues
apace. For all of us and especially our retiree members, we must
remain vigilant in opposition to efforts to cut federal pensions.
We at AFSA will look to our four pillars of strength in making the
case to the American public that a professional Foreign Service is a
critical asset to our country, needed now more than ever. I believe
this advocacy will resonate and become an issue in the 2016 presi-
dential campaign. Let’s work together and stand up collectively for
the Foreign Service.
to the President
Governing Board Members:
(from left) Neeru Lal, Amb. Ed Marks, Marshall Adair, Chuck Fee, Homeyra Mokhtarzada, Jeri Dible,
Sharon Wayne, David Mergen, Matthew Asada, Larry Cohen, Robert Silverman, F. Allen ‘Tex’ Harris, Angela Dickey, Ken Kero-Mentz,
Todd Crawford, Mark Prescott, Nancy Rios-Brooks, Clayton Bond, Ronnie Catipon, William Kutson, Steve Morrison. (
Sue Saarnio, Jeffrey Cochrane, Dan Spokojny, Amb. Charles Ford, Alex Copher, Andre De Nesnera, Barbara Farrar, Amb. David Greenlee,
Andrew Levin, Ronita Macklin, Elise Mellinger, Rachel Nelson, Mark Petry, Jason Singer, Michael Thomas, Lillian Wahl-Tuco, David Zwach.)