Annual Report 2016 | American Foreign Service Association
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Page Background

In 2016, AFSA met with numerous members of Con-

gress and their staffs in both the House and Senate,

and were encouraged to find robust support on both

sides of the aisle for maintaining strong American

global leadership and appreciation for the critical role

that the Foreign Service plays in that effort. AFSA’s top

legislative priorities included protecting the integrity of

the Foreign Service personnel system, supporting

Foreign Service families, ensuring members of the

Foreign Service have the resources and support to

carry out their duties in a reasonably safe and secure

manner, and preserving a balanced and fair system of

payment and benefits.

For the first time since 2002, the Congress passed a

State authorization bill, the FY17 Department of State

Authorities Act, which contained many provisions on

which AFSA had direct input. While there were some

items that we would have preferred to have more time

and a better process to work out with Congress, there

were many positive elements, including, among many,

provisions related to diversity and inclusion, challenges

to career opportunities pertaining to tandem couples

as well as couples for whom only one spouse is in the

Foreign Service, and best value contracting for local

security guard forces.

AFSA also endeavored to work with the Senate and

House Subcommittees on State, Foreign Operations

and Related Programs on workforce issues, such as

maintaining a healthy flow through of Foreign Service

personnel by ensuring stable and predictable hiring,

protecting due process rights, and improving security

processes.

To aid us in our advocacy outreach, AFSA established

the Ambassadorial Advisory Council—a group comprised

of well-regarded, retired career ambassadors who are

the face of AFSA’s advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill and

serve as a sounding board for AFSA in its development

of policy positions.

The AAC is supported by the AFSA professional staff,

who track legislative developments and prepare briefing

papers on AFSA’s advocacy positions. Those positions

are shaped by member feedback gathered in AFSA’s new

structured conversations initiative (see page 30).

We’ve also sought to fortify our partnerships with

champions of the U.S. foreign affairs budget, foreign

assistance and international exchanges, including with

the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, Global Ties U.S. and

their affiliates across the U.S. These efforts will continue

to be a focus in 2017.

CONGRESSIONAL OUTREACH

23

(Top) Ambassador

Stephenson with Denver

Mayor Michael Hancock.

(Bottom) Ambassador

Stephenson with Rep.

Lois Frankel.