Annual Report 2016 | American Foreign Service Association
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FORE I GN AGR I CULTURAL SERV I CE V I CE PRES I DENT ’ S REPORT

Mark Petry

and likely irrevocable adoption of a new competitive

officer intake system that now includes outside hires.

However, FAS still faces many challenges in the medium

term as the large new officer class slowly moves up. In

the meantime, our middle and senior officer ranks will

suffer from too few officers to fill all the available slots.

While it will present opportunities for those looking for

challenging stretch assignments, many officers will see

constant overseas assignments and be stretched to

the limit. Continuous engagement on succession plan-

ning and resource allocation will remain critical.

AFSA still has a lot to do on behalf of FAS FSOs in

2017. Meaningful succession planning for all levels and

advances in training and education opportunities will

remain top priories. The second priority will be to make

progress with management in negotiating new and

robust performance management standards.

Overall, I remain optimistic about FAS’s prospects for

2017. Regardless of the change in leadership with the

new Administration, FAS’s focus on the American econ-

omy, strengthening the contribution of exports to rural

income, and close collaboration with a broad range of

U.S. agricultural interests should continue to make for

a winning combination.

Positive budget environments in 2015 and 2016 allowed

the American Foreign Service Association to positively

engage FAS management about addressing long-term

staffing challenges caused by years of short-term

personnel fixes used to weather temporary budget

constraints. Specifically, AFSA redoubled efforts to raise

awareness of the critical need for succession planning.

Our push led management to take concrete and mea-

surable steps, yielding the largest incoming classes of

officers ever. This process also led to the successful

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140

Foreign Service officers

(and counting)

93

assigned to

171

in more than

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The Foreign Agricultural Service is

growing stronger and strengthening

our footprint overseas with:

overseas offices helping to link

U.S. agriculture to markets

countries

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