AAFSW’s Honorary President, Mrs. Susan Pompeo, has actively supported the Foreign Service family, not only as a regular participant in SOSA ceremonies and other signature events since her husband became Secretary of State. Susan also frequently has visited posts and met with EFMs and FS children while accompanying Secretary Pompeo, logging her own “Miles with Mike,” as the Secretary’s regular internal Department newsletter has chronicled.
Shortly before COVID-19 curtailed travels and gatherings, Susan made a return visit to Oman with Mike to meet the country’s new Sultan and his wife. Enriching diplomatic relations by building parallel ties to spouses of Heads of State and senior government officials is an unsung but vital role many Foreign Service family members have championed throughout our careers. Susan’s embrace of this duty is exemplary.
With equal gusto, Susan advocates for family members of all agencies under Chief of Mission, including FS, CS, military and other civilian departments. With very limited time on the ground in Oman, Susan insisted on squeezing in a meeting with a group of 20 Embassy Muscat EFMs across the inter-agency, assembled on short notice in a moderated discussion hosted by the DCM’s spouse and AAFSW EFM Employment Committee member Bob Castro.
Even though the year prior she was able to meet with a larger group of EFMs and join the Secretary in a Town Hall at the same post, the importance of greeting recent arrivals and engaging in two-way conversation with some of the newest to join the Foreign Service made this gathering a priority — and a welcome show of support. Susan was familiar with the impressive and varied bios of all the participants and listened to concerns expressed by those new to embassy life and seasoned veterans with equal measure.
Lending her perspective after visiting various posts, plus her time supporting Secretary Pompeo previously as a Member of Congress, CIA Director, and former U.S. Army officer, Susan’s attentiveness to her new constituency of Foreign Service family members has boosted morale.
Knowing we have an advocate at the top and someone whom the Secretary relies upon for feedback and input on the issues facing our community has not been taken for granted. We are fortunate to have Mrs. Susan Pompeo as an ongoing resource and force-multiplier — both in the conduct of diplomacy and as a member of our AAFSW Foreign Service family.
AAFSW EFM Employment Committee Member
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