Annual Report 2016 | American Foreign Service Association
Previous Page  7 / 48 Next Page
Basic version Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 7 / 48 Next Page
Page Background

The Governing Board is increasingly able to delegate complex,

time-consuming tasks to properly constituted committees that

report back to the Governing Board with recommendations to

be debated and approved or rejected. As AFSA hews ever more

closely to our bylaws, we reduce risk and increase accountability,

which, as the bylaws make clear, rests with the Governing Board

elected by the membership.

Establishing a Professional Policy Issues directorate charged with

leading the association’s analysis, development and articulation

of policies; conducting research on workforce issues affecting the

Foreign Service; and fortifying AFSA’s reputation in policy circles.

With the creation of PPI, we established a home base at AFSA for

workforce planning, enabling the organization to respond instant-

ly and authoritatively to proposals that affect the institutional

strength of the Foreign Service. Examples include marshaling

arguments against lateral entry into the (already full) Foreign

Service mid-ranks at State and working to expand the Consular

Fellows Program to address the current consular adjudicator gap

while providing entry-level officers greater opportunity for in-cone

experience early in their careers.

PPI also laid the foundations for AFSA to shape a longer-term

agenda driven by a nuanced understanding of members’ aspira-

tions and concerns. One key new initiative: Structured conversa-

tions to allow us to hear directly from members. Over the course

of 18 lunches with small groups, I heard members describe their

careers in the Foreign Service. The good: the mission of the For-

eign Service and the caliber of colleagues. The bad—and even the

ugly: bureaucratic processes that make even harder the wear and

tear of packing everything and everyone up every few years to

deploy globally, as our mission requires.

As we have worked internally at AFSA to improve governance and

clean up our processes, so AFSA has worked on behalf of mem-

bers to improve the processes that affect them, their ability to do

their jobs well, and, crucially, their families.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Now that we have established a

continuous feedback loop to talk to a

broad swath of members, AFSA is in a

strong position as the Voice of the

Foreign Service to identify pain points

and work constructively to address them

so that the Foreign Service, operating

at the top of its game, can deliver the

strong global leadership that Americans

want and the world needs.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

5