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AAFSW’s Advocacy History



Through advocacy within the State Department and Congress, we established the Family Liaison Office, supported the establishment of the Overseas Briefing Center (now known as the The Transition Center), Around the World in a Lifetime (AWAL), and the Foreign Service Youth Foundation, among other organizations.

In the Department of State staff a housing referral office, operate a bookstore, and host periodic speakers at programs in the diplomatic reception rooms of the State Department. AAFSW was the original source of many of the publications now commonly updated and in the tool kits of mobile families.With our unique ability to lobby Congress on behalf of family members, we succeeded in gaining groundbreaking pension sharing provisions for divorcing spouses along with other benefits.

AAFSW also supports outreach and charities. Money is provided for scholarships for Foreign Service youth, loans for adult family members continuing their education, awards for outstanding volunteer contributions abroad, and we support local Washington, D.C. non-profit organizations that focus on the improvement of family issues. For a more detailed look at the history of AAFSW please see the President’s remarks on A Century of Women in the Foreign Service.


Established the Family Liaison Office, which guaranteed the Family Liaison Office permanent legitimacy through the Foreign Service Act of 1980

Opened the Overseas Briefing Center.

Created the AAFSW Housing Desk,  AAFSW Bookroom, and the Foreign Service Youth Foundation

AAFSW/Secretary of State Awards for Outstanding Volunteerism

First Bilateral Work Agreement

Revolving Adult Education Loan Fund

Foreign Service Associates proposal accepted by Congress

Divorced spouses legislation

Congressional testimony on the importance of Foreign Service family concerns

Numerous publications and symposia

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