Annual Report 2016 | American Foreign Service Association
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preserve and strengthen the Foreign Service career path through targeted FSO

hiring and training and eliminate unnecessary damaging ad hoc hiring from outside

the Agency. In that spirit, AFSA co-authored a letter to the

Administrator with AFGE seeking an agreed framework for hiring decisions.

BEST PRACTICES BENCHMARKING STUDY

Over the summer, AFSA entered into a new partnership with the University of Tex-

as at Austin’s Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs to conduct a benchmark-

ing study identifying best practices in the field of diplomacy. AFSA plans to use the

findings from the year-long exercise to inform the agenda for its advocacy—on the

Hill and with the Administration—of a strong professional Foreign Service that, for

the sake of America’s people, interests and values, must remain the most effec-

tive and influential diplomatic service in the world. Issues being explored include

how other diplomatic services recruit, train, assign, develop and evaluate their

people. The results of the study are expected in the spring of 2017.

ENSURING QUICK CONGRESSIONAL ACTION

One of AFSA’s continued areas of concern is that the Senate Foreign

Relations Committee schedule hearings for career Foreign Service nominees in an

expeditious manner, and send those nominees and all Foreign Service tenure and

promotion lists for a quick confirmation on the Senate floor. We are pleased to

report that the progress on this in 2016 was excellent. Foreign Service lists flowed

through the system smoothly with few exceptions, and career nominees for Am-

bassadorships and other senior positions rarely faced lengthy delays. AFSA values

the positive relations with committee and personal staff members on the Hill that

are important for this to continue.

WORKFORCE PLANNING IN FOCUS

Each issue of The Foreign Service Journal features articles that address career

issues for AFSA members, and AFSA President Ambassador Barbara Stephenson

has used her monthly column to zero in on the priorities for advancing workforce

planning and soliciting input from AFSA members.

AFSA POST REPRESENTATIVES

Post Reps play a significant role not only in disseminating AFSA messaging at

post, but also in bringing potential areas of concern to our attention. When we

hear rumors of major problems at a specific post, the first person we turn to for

more information is our Post Rep. Post Reps also serve as a conduit for mem-

bers who prefer not to contact us directly, obtaining clarification for them from

the Labor-Management office on Department policies such as compensatory and

overtime pay.

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