Ambassador Christopher R. Hill visited AFSA on January 8, 2015 to discuss his book, "Outpost: Life on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy."
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On Thursday, May 12, AFSA hosted Paula Jakub of the American Foreign Service Protective Association for a discussion on "The Coordination of FEHB and Medicare"
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AFSA presents the latest installment of our Federal Benefits Speakers Series. This presentation, led by former director of the Department of State’s Office of Retirement John Naland, summarizes steps that mid- and late-career employees should take to position themselves to enjoy life after the Foreign Service. Resources discussed in the video can be found at www.afsa.org/retiree
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Panel discussion at the American Foreign Service Association discussing raising children in the Foreign Service.
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When is the best time to start Social Security benefits? Is there a “marriage penalty”? Death benefits for survivors? Reasons to suspend benefits even after “file and suspend” has been ended? Maximizing benefits by maximizing earnings? Early collection of widow or widower benefits? Legal protections from creditors? How much of Social Security is taxable? Spousal benefits after divorce? Delayed filing for benefit? The answer to these and other questions will help you develop the best Social Security strategy for you and your family. On Tuesday, November 6, Ed Zurndorfer of EZ Accounting and Financial Services, an expert on Social Security, presented his updated strategies to help you maximize your Social Security benefits.
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The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) hosts the Foreign Affairs Day AFSA Memorial Plaque Ceremony in the C Street lobby of the U.S. Department of State honoring Foreign Service personnel who have lost their lives while serving our country. AFSA President Susan R. Johnson presides over the May 4, 2012 ceremony, reading a message from President Barack Obama, with remarks by Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Maria Otero. This year Sharon S. Clark was memorialized.
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The information presented in this recording was accurate as of February 11, 2013. "Getting the Most Out of Your TSP" is the fourth program in the AFSA Federal Benefits Speaker Series. Randy Urban of the Thrift Savings Program discussed TSP issues of concern to those nearing retirement and to retirees. The event took place at AFSA headquarters (2101 E Street NW) on February 11, 2013.
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AFSA presents our second retiree webinar at held on Thursday, March 22 with the presentation “Reviewing your Retirement Plan”. This presentation, led by former director of the Department of State’s Office of Retirement John Naland, reviewed the topics listed below to help determine if any mid-course corrections are needed in your retirement plans: Beneficiary designations Divorce and FS retirement benefits Survivor benefits Life insurance after retirement Estate planning documents Medicare Part B TSP: stocks vs bonds Social Security: when to start Long-term care insurance Federal re-employment after retirement Updating your annuity records Retirement information resources AFSA member assistance Threats to future retirement benefits
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An Amazon Best Book of 2016, The Earth is Weeping, by former FSO Peter Cozzens, is an exciting history of the American Indians and their fight for survival after the American Civil War. Cozzens spends much of his talk giving a taste of what readers can expect from his book by identifying and dispelling three myths many of us hold about American expansion in the west. In doing so, Cozzens sets the stage for what is a fascinating look at an often-overlooked part of American history. Follow along with his presentation at http://bit.ly/2lDYHqb
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On Thursday, June 2, 2016 AFSA hosted Canadian FSO Daryl Copeland as he discussed The New Threat Set: Science Diplomacy in the Age of Globalization.
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On Thursday, June 23, 2016, the American Foreign Service Association held its Annual Awards Ceremony in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the headquarters of the Department of State. Video credit and special thanks to the Video Production Staff, Media Services Division, GSM, Bureau of Administration.
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On Thursday, August 23 at 12:00 p.m., AFSA was pleased to welcome Paula Jakub of the American Foreign Service Protective Association to speak about “The Coordination of FEHB and Medicare.” Paula Jakub is Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President of the American Foreign Service Protective Association (AFSPA). The Association administers the Foreign Service Benefit Plan. She is formally recognized as a Subject Matter Expert in Federal Health Benefits by the Foreign Service Institute, where she serves on the adjunct faculty. She is also the Executive Director of the Senior Living Foundation of the American Foreign Service, an organization solely devoted to helping elderly Foreign Service retirees and surviving spouses.
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This event at AFSA headquarters focused on the book "China Hand: An Autobiography," by John Paton Davies, Jr, which was recently published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. Mr. Davies passed away in 1999; his daughter Tiki Davies and Vanity Fair National Editor Todd Purdum discussed the book, Mr. Davies's life and career, and took questions from the audience.
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AFSA presented Ambassador Laurence Pope in a discussion of his new book, The Demilitarization of American Diplomacy: Two Cheers for Striped Pants. April 29, 2014
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AFSA Book Notes "Mongolia and the U.S. - A Diplomatic History" Author Ambassador Jonathan S. Addleton discusses the book. Monday, October 21, 2013 "Mongolia and the United States" provides a pioneering firsthand look at the remarkable growth in ties between two countries separated by vast distances that yet share a growing list of interests and values. While maintaining positive ties with its two powerful neighbors, China and Russia, Mongolia has sought "third neighbors" to help provide balance. For its part, the United States responded by supporting Mongolia as an emerging democracy while strengthening development and commercial relations. People-to-people ties have also expanded, as has a security partnership that supports Mongolia's emergence as a provider of military peacekeepers in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Darfur, and elsewhere. A magnet for foreign investment, Mongolia is one of the world's fastest-growing economies. Against this backdrop, partnerships developed between the United States and Mongolia since 1987 reflect the variety of ways in which diplomatic engagement can help set the stage for more dramatic and far-reaching changes. Jonathan S. Addleton served as a U.S. Foreign Service officer in Mongolia twice, first as USAID mission director (2001--04) and then as ambassador (2009--12). Other assignments include development counselor at the US Mission to the European Union in Brussels; USAID mission director in Pakistan and Cambodia; and USAID program officer in Jordan, Kazakhstan, South Africa, and Yemen. He has written a number of articles on Asia as well as two previous books, Undermining the Center (Oxford University Press, 1992) and Some Far and Distant Place (University of Georgia Press, 1997). In 2012, he was awarded the Polar Star, Mongolia's highest civilian honor for foreign citizens, for his role in strengthening ties between the United States and Mongolia.
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On Tuesday, May 24, AFSA hosted author and FSO Matthew Palmer to discuss his newest book "The Wolf of Sarajevo" Learn more and purcahse the book at : http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/318279/the-wolf-of-sarajevo-by-matthew-palmer/9780399175015/
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May 26, 2011: A panel discussion held at AFSA headquarters on work-life balance in the foreign service. Panelists are Margot Carrington, Steve Morrison, Kathie Lingle, Judy Ikels, and moderator Faye Barnes.
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On Thursday June 27, 2013 the American Foreign Service Association's annual awards ceremony in the Benjamin Franklin Diplomatic Reception Room at the Department of State took place. Awards were given in three categories: (1) Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy, (2) awards for exemplary performance, and (3) awards for constructive dissent.
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2012 AFSA Annual Award Ceremony The American Foreign Service Association held the ceremony for the 2012 winners of AFSA's awards on Tuesday, June 26 in the Benjamin Franklin Diplomatic Reception Room at the Department of State. Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy Ambassador William Lacy Swing will receive the American Foreign Service Association's Award for Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy, in recognition of a distinguished Foreign Service career and a lifetime of public service. Past recipients of the award inlude U. Alexis Johnson, Frank Carlucci, George H.W. Bush, Lawrence Eagleburger, Cyrus Vance, David Newsom, Lee Hamilton, Thomas Pickering, George Shultz, Richard Parker, Richard Lugar, Morton Abramowitz, Joan Clark, Tom Boyatt, Sam Nunn, Bruce Laingen and Rozanne Ridgway. Constructive Dissent The winner of the 2012 William R. Rivkin Award for constructive dissent by a mid-level Foreign Service officer is Joshua Polacheck. Mr. Polacheck consistently and over some time made well-reasoned arguments against the U.S. security posture as it related to U.S. embassies, consulates and missions abroad. He submitted a highly cogent dissent channel cable, raising concerns that "consistently erring on the side of caution" when it comes to security choices sends "a message of distrust to the people of our host nations" and makes it difficult to roll back enhanced security measures should the need arise. Mr. Polacheck came to this conclusion after serving in Iraq, Pakistan and Lebanon. The judges were impressed with his willingness to raise a well-argued concern on an issue that often complicates U.S. policy and the carrying out of diplomatic and development work abroad. Exemplary Performance The Avis Bohlen Award is given to an eligible family member of a Foreign Service employee whose relations with the American and foreign communities at a Foreign Service post have done the most to advance American interests. This year's winner is Leila Gupta, Embassy Nairobi. Leila used her professional skills and personal resources to assist children/youth exposed to civil warfare in Rwanda and Sierra Leone; HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia and Chad; and natural disasters in Sri Lanka and Haiti. She is the wife of Jay Zimmerman (Kabul). The Nelson B. Delavan Award is given to a Foreign Service Office Management Specialist who has made extraordinary contributions to effectiveness, professionalism and morale. This year's winner is James Velez, at the German-led Regional Command-North (RC-N) Headquarters platform, in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan. Jim's outgoing nature and willingness to engage both U.S. and German military colleagues translated into an enormous increase in the level of support from both the U.S. and German offices responsible for addressing Chief of Mission (COM) life support issues. The M. Juanita Guess Award is given to a Community Liaison Officer who has demonstrated outstanding dedication and energy assisting the families serving at an overseas post. This year's winner is Sara Hurst Butler, Embassy Port-Au-Prince. One of her noteworthy efforts is the CLO Yellow Pages. Sara also created a video showing Haiti before and after the 2010 earthquake. In addition, Jeff Jacob of U.S. Embassy Kabul will receive this year's AFSA Post Representative of the Year Award for his contributions at post. The AFSA Awards and Plaques Committee chose Mr. Jacob for his effectiveness in communicating with AFSA and members at post, his willingness to assist colleagues, and his visibility as AFSA rep at a difficult post. AFSA appreciates the efforts of all individuals who sent in nominations for these awards. We also thank all judges who served on panels this year. We place great importance on these awards, which serve to recognize the intellectual courage and outstanding achievements of Foreign Service personnel. We thank Director General Linda Thomas-Greenfield for co-sponsoring our annual awards ceremony, which is open to any employee wishing to attend. The July/August Foreign Service Journal and AFSA News will carry more details on the achievements of this year's award winners, and full coverage of the June 26 awards ceremony will appears in the September issue.
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The Champagne Conspiracy is available for purchase through these retailers: Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s/?index=books&keywords=9781250076557&tag=macmillan-20 Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-champagne-conspiracy-ellen-crosby/1123132834?ean=9781250076557 Books-a-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/product/9781250076557
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On Thursday, March 10, 2016, AFSA hosted a discussion by Dr. Terry Newell on "Spotting and Solving Ethical Dilemmas at Work." For material referenced in the presentation above, as well as a copy of the Slideshow please visit: http://bit.ly/1XxzycY http://bit.ly/1pq7sVO http://bit.ly/1SVw70C
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Author Peter Spiers presented his new book, "Master Class: Living Longer, Stronger, and Happier." Mr. Spiers is a Senior Vice President at Road Scholar, a Boston-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to educational travel. AFSA has offered Road Scholar programs since 1996. Mr. Spiers is Foreign Service child; his father, Ronald Spiers, served as U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, Pakistan and the Bahamas, Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, and Under Secretary of State for Management. Through inspirational stories from active seniors, supported by the latest research in the fields of psychology and neuro-science, "Master Class" shows how to build an enriching lifestyle on the foundation of favorite activities. Spiers provides easy-to-follow charts that allow readers to break out of their daily routines into Moving-Thinking-Socializing-Creating. By filling the gaps with a selection from 25 "Master Activities," such as learning a musical instrument, playing tennis, volunteering and more, they'll create a happy, holistic, brain-healthy lifestyle that's rich and meaningful. This program took place at AFSA headquarters, 2101 E Street NW at 2:00 pm on May 22.
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On Wednesday, October 12, AFSA hosted Dr. Beth Fisher-Yoshida for a discussion on the use and utility of 360 reviews in the Foreign Service.
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The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) and the Commemoration Committee for the 25th Anniversary of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty signing are jointly sponsoring a symposium to discuss the historical context of the INF Treaty negotiations as a major factor in the end-game resulting in the collapse of the Soviet Union. The 25th anniversary of President Reagan's and Soviet President Gorbachev's signing of the INF Treaty was on 8 December, signed in the White House on December 8, 1987. We believe taking formal note of this seminal event and the extended U.S. diplomatic effort leading to the success is appropriate. The analytical panel will be another in the series of AFSA's reviews of the diplomacy involved in significant events of modern U.S. foreign relations. The panel was held on Friday, December 7, 2012, at the AFSA Headquarters at 2101 E Street, NW (corner of 21st and E Streets), Washington, DC. All of the distinguished panelists have confirmed their participation, including: Amb. Jack Matlock, U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union during that period; Amb. Rozanne Ridgway, former Assistant Secretary for European Affairs; Amb. Richard Burt, former Assistant Secretary for European Affairs, and Marvin Kalb, former NBC diplomatic correspondent, who will moderate the event.
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On July 13th, 2017, AFSA was pleased to welcome back Foreign Service officer and bestselling author Matthew Palmer to discuss his brand-new thriller, Enemy of the Good. Matthew Palmer is a twenty-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service, currently serving as Director of the Office of South Central Europe in the Bureau of European Affairs. A life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Palmer has worked as a diplomat all around the world. Penguin Random House: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/318280/enemy-of-the-good-by-matthew-palmer/9780399175022/ Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Enemy-Good-Matthew-Palmer/dp/0399175024
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If a loved one has experienced a long term care event, you’ve probably seen how paying for assistance with the most basic daily activities, such as bathing and dressing, can impact savings and assets. Maybe you’ve also witnessed the sacrifices of time, energy, and money that friends and family members have been asked to make when a loved one develops a cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer's disease. As a result, you may be wondering what you can do to avoid these financial and emotional consequences should you ever need long term care. Join Jeannie Singleton of LTC Partners as she reviews the impacts of long term care and how the FLTCIP can help protect your financial plan in retirement
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On Friday, May 4th, AFSA welcomed Ambassador (ret.) Vicki Huddleston to discuss her new book, Our Woman in Havana: A Diplomat's Chronicle of America's Long Struggle with Castro's Cuba. Our Woman in Havana chronicles the past several decades of U.S.-Cuba relations from the bird’s-eye view of State Department veteran and longtime Cuba hand Vicki Huddleston, our top diplomat in Havana under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush. After the U.S. embassy in Havana was closed in 1961, relations between the two countries broke off. A thaw came in 1977, with the opening of a de facto embassy in Havana, the U.S. Interests Section, where Huddleston would later serve. In her compelling memoir of a diplomat at work, she tells gripping stories of face-to-face encounters with Fidel Castro and the initiatives she undertook, like the transistor radios she furnished to ordinary Cubans. With inside accounts of many dramatic episodes, like the tumultuous Elián González custody battle, Huddleston also evokes the charm of the island country, and her warm affection for the Cuban people. Uniquely qualified to explain the inner workings of U.S.-Cuba relations, Huddleston examines the Obama administration's diplomatic opening of 2014, the mysterious “sonic” brain and hearing injuries suffered by U.S. and Canadian diplomats who were serving in Havana, and the rescinding of the diplomatic opening under the Trump administration. Huddleston recounts missed opportunities for détente, and the myths, misconceptions, and lies that have long pervaded U.S.-Cuba relations. With Raúl Castro scheduled to step down this year, she also peers into the future, when for the first time in more than six decades no one named Castro will be Cuba's leader.
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For more than a decade, Ron Capps, serving as both a senior military intelligence officer and as a Foreign Service officer for the U.S. Department of State, was witness to war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and genocide. From government atrocities in Kosovo, to the brutal cruelties perpetrated in several conflicts in central Africa, the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and culminating in genocide in Darfur, Ron acted as an intelligence collector and reporter but was diplomatically restrained from taking preventative action in these conflicts. The cumulative effect of these experiences, combined with the helplessness of his role as an observer, propelled him into a deep depression and a long bout with PTSD, which nearly caused him to take his own life. Seriously Not All Right: Five Wars in Ten Years is a memoir that provides a unique perspective of a professional military officer and diplomat who suffered (and continues to suffer) from PTSD. Capps visited AFSA headquarters on July 24, 2014 to discuss the book and his experiences.
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September 23, 2014
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On Monday, January 9, 2017, the Public Diplomacy Council launched the publication of Nontraditional U.S. Public Diplomacy: Past, Present, and Future with a panel discussion at at the American Foreign Service Association.
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