On the congressional side, AFSA’s Advocacy Department expanded
its network once again. Through a series of initiatives, the asso-
ciation progressed from tapping into a small, targeted network on
Capitol Hill to having access to more than 250 offices and
committees in the House and Senate.
AFSA started the year with a bang when it began anew tradition
January by sending
a team to the Hill to welcome 31 newly elected
members of the 114th Congress on their first day in office.
During AFSA’s2nd Annual Advocacy Day
on April 15, the association
visited nine Senate and House offices and hosted more than 100
congressional offices at an evening networking reception. We were
pleased to be able to feature an impressive lineup of keynote speak-
ers: member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State,
Foreign Operations and Related Programs Representative Barbara Lee
(D-Calif.), Career Ambassador and Principal Deputy Assistant Secre-
tary of State in the Bureau of Near East Affairs Gerald Feierstein and
Edith Bartley, whose father, FSO Julian Bartley Sr., and brother Julian
Jr. were killed in the 1998 attack on Embassy Nairobi.
AFSA raised the profile of the Foreign Service in other ways, as well.
Foreign Commercial Service Vice President Steve Morrison partici-
pated in the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute’s 4th AnnualTrade and International Affairs Symposium and the Association of Government Relations Professionals’ Congressional Trade Panel. In
October, AFSA partnered with the Foreign Affairs Congressional StaffAssociation to sponsor a panel titled “Strong Diplomacy in Today’s World: U.S. Foreign Service 101.” Roughly 100 congressional staffe
fellows and interns attended.
In 2015, AFSA enhanced its outreach explaining who the Foreign Service
is and why what it does is in the interest of every single U.S. citizen.
We focused on two primary audiences: Congress and the American public.
The association’s advocacy efforts also target
decision-makers at the state level. For exam-
ple, AFSA participated in Virginia Governor
Terry McAuliffe’s Latino Summit and the Vir-
ginia Public Access Project’s Ethics Seminar.
In Wisconsin, we helped one of our members
introduce legislation that would provide
active-duty Foreign Service members the same
vehicle registration and motor vehicle-
operator licensing privileges enjoyed by our
active-duty colleagues in the U.S. Armed
Forces. And in Maryland, we connected with
civic and business leaders at the Montgomery
County Executive Hispanic Gala.
Connolly (D-Va.) speaks on
the future of international
development and transpar-
ency and accountability in
foreign aid during a Feb. 9
members-only town hall at
AFSA headquarters. (AFSA/