The Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide, AAFSW, established in 1960, is the oldest nongovernmental organization supporting the American diplomatic community.
AAFSW is a primary advocate and support network for family members of Foreign Service employees. AAFSW advocacy was responsible for the creation of the Family Liaison Office, Overseas Briefing Center, and the Foreign Service Youth Foundation.
AAFSW membership extends to all of the foreign affairs agencies. We participate in the InterAgency Roundtable (quarterly informationsharing events for family member support offices from all foreign affairs agencies) and the Foreign Affairs Council (a forum for nongovernmental organizations related to the Foreign Service).
Furthermore, AAFSW is unique in expressly serving all segments of the Foreign Service community: employees; spouses, partners and other members of household; children of Foreign Service employees; divorced or widowed spouses; as well as retired officers and their partners.
AAFSW is very active in social media, beginning with the Yahoo! Group Livelines in 1998, which now has over 4,700 members and continues to serve as a key forum for the Foreign Service community. Other members of this growing online family are groups for specific subsets of our community such as foreign-born spouses and parents of special needs children.
AAFSW’s website and Global Link and Global Link Express newsletters further connect our community and provide news and information that help with the challenges and opportunities of Foreign Service life.
AAFSW’s other programs and initiatives include:
● Frequent social and informational events, with speakers ranging from family member panels to Tony Mendez of ARGO fame.
● The Secretary of State Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad (SOSA) honoring family members and employees.
● Scholarships for Foreign Service youth, including current college students.
● AAFSW’s Spouse/Partner Mentoring Program.