General Information and Duties


Board Members and Committee Chairs

These Policy Guidelines have been developed to establish certain general precepts and to give the AAFSW Board Members and Committee Chairs a description of their general functions and responsibilities. The Guidelines should be used as well by the Nominating Committee in soliciting candidates for Board positions. A review of these Policy Guidelines shall take place every four (4) years.

Eligibility for membership is set forth in the AAFSW By-laws, Article IV, Sections 1 and 2. Membership is open to all employees and adult family members of the U. S. Foreign Affairs agencies who have served, or are subject to serve, at a U. S. diplomatic mission, and of other U. S. government agencies abroad under the jurisdiction of an Ambassador, Consul General, or other Chief of Mission.

Board meetings are held monthly. Special sessions may be called by the President at any time. Attendance is required for all elected Board Members. Committee Chairs or members of the Media Team are welcome and should attend when they feel it useful to report directly to the Board on developments within their jurisdiction. Board Members may designate a proxy for voting purposes if they are unable to attend, by contacting the secretary or the Office Manager. REPORTS TO THE BOARD SHALL BE SUBMITTED IN WRITING TO THE SECRETARY. Board Minutes are emailed to the Officers and Committee Chairs, using mail if email is not possible, for their approval or correction at the next Board meeting. The approved minutes of Board meetings appear in the member’s only section of the website. Approved minutes may be sent to all Committee Chairs.

Board Members and Committee Chairs are welcome to attend any of the Special Interest Group meetings.
All Board Members and Committee Chairs should keep careful files which should include the Board Minutes, the AAFSW Bylaws and Policy Guidelines, reports, notes, records, accounts of expenditures and any other information which would be helpful to a successor. An estimate of annual expenditures should be submitted to the Treasurer in the spring. ALL ARE REQUIRED TO LEAVE A JOB DESCRIPTION AND WRITTEN REPORT ON THEIR ACTIVITIES IS STRONGLY SUGGESTED FOR THEIR SUCCESSORS. Where applicable, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPS) should be drafted. Announcements for the Global Link or the website must have a direct connection to AAFSW, either by virtue of an AAFSW interest in the organization or historical close link to AAFSW. Based on these guidelines the Media Director has the
final say with regard to an announcement. Other than newsletter or website announcements, approval of the Board is required to advertise, promote, publicize events, sales, shows or requests for volunteers for other organizations and/or individuals, including AAFSW members, or sell tickets or items for other organizations and/or individuals, including AAFSW members. Names, addresses and phone numbers of
AAFSW members are available on our website, in the password protected Members Only section of the website.

The President shall preside at all meetings of the Association and of the Board of Directors,
Shall prepare agendas for said meetings,
Shall appoint Committee Chairs with the approval of the Board,
Shall sign and execute all documents in the name of the Association when so authorized by the Board of Directors,
Shall interact with Board members and staff as needed,
Shall represent AAFSW at external meetings and functions,
Shall perform all other duties incident to the office of President.

On major policy questions the President shall consult the Board; on current operating questions the President may act without prior consultation.

The office is held for two years, with re-elections taking place every other year. The President may not hold office for more than two (2) terms (4 years).

Retiring Presidents may take the position of President Emerita/us during the term of a subsequent President in order to provide historical background and continuity. Presidents Emerita are welcome at Board meetings and shall have voting rights.

First Vice President
Shall assume the duties of the President in the President's absence,
Shall be fully informed about Association business and issues in order to assist or represent the President at any time,
Shall act as the Chair of the Finance Committee,
Shall clear any ideas for special projects,
Shall chair the Adult Education Committee and bring any recommendations to the Finance Committee,
Shall take on any additional responsibilities at the request of the President.

Second Vice President
Shall assume the duties of the First Vice President in the absence of same.
Shall maintain contact with the non-standing Committee Chairs and report to the Board on their behalf as necessary,
Shall act as Chair of the Nominating Committee,
Shall act as Chair of Fundraising activities,
Shall take on any additional responsibilities at the request of the President.
Secretary to the Board
Shall act as Parliamentarian at Board Meetings (All meetings are conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order),
Shall record the minutes of the Board Meetings,
Shall check back with members regarding fact and wording to assure accuracy as necessary,
Shall email draft minutes to office manager for distribution to all Board Members upon production.
Shall inform the Office Manager of all designated changes to the draft minutes at the end of the Board meeting in which they are approved, and ensure that the Office Manager sends the completed document to Committee Chairs, Board Members and Media Director, by email if possible.

Shall prepare monthly and cumulative reports of expenditures and receipts and present them to the Board,
Shall oversee the financial records of AAFSW including deposit receipts of all monies and all disbursement receipts,
Shall supervise the investment of all AAFSW funds,
Shall have the discretion to seek financial advice when necessary,
Shall file reports as required by the IRS, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Virginia concerning the
Association's tax-exempt status,
Shall prepare the annual budget after consultation with the President and the Finance Committee,
Shall once a year send a copy of approved budget to be published in the Global Link and in the members section of the
Shall oversee the duties of the BOOKFAIR/Bookroom Treasurer and assume responsibility in the absence of same,
Shall assist the BOOKFAIR/Bookroom Treasurer at the BOOKFAIR to every extent possible,
Shall be a member of the Finance Committee.
Assistant Treasurer
Shall keep all financial records for BOOKFAIR and BookPlace, as reported by the Book Operations Manager.

During BOOKFAIR, shall be responsible for the collection of receipts, for counting and depositing same.
Shall prepare a monthly report of the BOOKFAIR/BookPlace accounts, based in part on figures supplied by the Book
Operations Manager, for inclusion in the Treasure’s monthly financial report,
Shall prepare a fiscal year annual accounting of receipts and expenditures from BOOKFAIR/BookPlace,
Shall pay various taxes to federal, state and D.C. governments as required, and maintain the records thereof,
Shall be a member of the Bookroom Oversight Committee and of the Finance Committee,
Shall assume the duties of the Treasurer in the Treasurer’s absence.


Office Manager
Shall interact and communicate closely with President, Officers and Committee Chairs, informing them of any actions needed.
Shall send out any special notices to Board Members and Committee Chairs as may be necessary.
Shall ensure that an up-to-date binder be kept, containing all the Association’s official documents and changes thereto (Certificate of Incorporation, Bylaws, Policy Guidelines, D.C. Tax-exempt Certificate, IRS Tax-Exemption
Notifications, etc.).
Shall maintain AAFSW database with current address/phone list of all Board Members and Committee Chairs.
Shall provide the Housing Desk, BookPlace, Employee Services Center, OBC, FLO, and other Foreign Affairs
Agencies with membership brochures and make the same available at AAFSW meetings and AAFSW events such as BOOKFAIR.
Shall receive money and pay outstanding bills and vouchers within a period of two weeks or inform the Finance Committee Chair if there are reasons not to do so.
Shall work closely with Program chair to process attendance responses and ensure Programs run smoothly.
Shall work closely with Membership chair to maintain database of membership, providing periodic updated databases via ZIP disk. Office Manager is only person allowed to change data in the membership database.
Shall enroll new members at any time during the membership year. Membership shall be prorated after January 1 to $20.
Shall inform Membership Chair of new members so the chair can send welcoming letters on behalf of organization.
Shall provide the Media Director with a periodic list of new members for publication in the newsletter and website.
Shall provide a calendar year list of contributors to the Scholarship Fund and to any other fund, and shall ensure that individual contributions are acknowledged in a timely manner.
Shall sign a renewable contract for one year, beginning July 1 of each year and ending June 31.

AAFSW Photographer
Shall be responsible for attending and taking photographs at all AAFSW events including monthly
programs, BookFair, promotions and other events as directed by the Board.

Media Director
Shall coordinate the communications team of Webmaster, Livelines Administrator, Advertising Manager, and Newsletter Production Manager.
Shall solicit, write, and edit the content of the website, the newsletter, brochures, and articles in other media outlets.
Shall ensure the timely receipt of each Global Link issue (in coordination with the Production Manager).
Shall supervise the Livelines online conversation, responding when necessary to maintain established rules of behavior and correct information.
Shall remain objective unless stating opinion and labeling it as such.
Shall attempt to address varying interests of members, active and retired, domestic and abroad.
Shall obtain approval from the Board for all media content, particularly proposed additions or changes, prior to the public appearance of said content.
Shall provide a monthly report to the Board of all media efforts, suggesting policies and procedures as appropriate.
Shall liaise with the Office Manager frequently to assure accuracy and understanding.

Website Manager
Shall maintain the website using content provided by the Media Director, updating the design, creating new sections, and reorganizing content as required.
Shall format and upload all material following editing and forwarding by the Media Director, including AAFSW- related material, State Department-related material, book reviews, housing reviews, and any other content of interest.
Shall format and upload all classified advertising forwarded by the Office Manager, deleting outdated ads.
Shall manage the technical aspects of AAFSW’s online relationships with PayPal, Hostway, search engines,, Going Global, Points of Light, etc.
Shall manage and troubleshoot all AAFSW email accounts provided by Hostway.
Shall place and remove advertising on the website as directed by the Advertising Manager and the Office Manager.

Newsletter Production Manager
Shall be responsible for covering all AAFSW meetings and relevant events.
Shall not accept paid advertising, nor give free advertising, without the consent of the board.
Shall print a standard 8-page newsletter. Longer issues require prior approval of the Editorial Board.
May print obituaries of past AAFSW Presidents, Board Members and immediate family thereof, and Committee Chairs. All others must have Board approval.
Shall be responsible for the publication of the Global Link, ten issues yearly. This shall include the securing of material, editing, and layout design, as well as arranging for printing and bulk mailing.
Shall attend all Board Meetings, General Meetings, and the Annual Meeting.
Shall coordinate with the Office Manager regarding mailing labels and numbers to be printed.
Shall ensure that the April newsletter contains the ballot of nominations for Board positions for the following year.

Advertising Coordinator
Shall develop advertising relationships with organizations of interest to the Foreign Service population.
Shall solicit new appropriate advertising, and create contracts, preferably of at least one year’s length.
Shall acquire graphics and text from the advertiser and forward same to the web designer.
Shall keep track of expiration dates, notifying advertisers and the webmistress when renewal dates approach.
Shall submit all contracts and advertising records to the Office Manager in a timely fashion.

Book Room Manager

All standing committee chairs are invited to attend Board meetings, contribute to discussions, and vote on all matters before the Board.

AAFSW State Liaison
Shall ensure yearly reservations are made for 8th floor Programs.
Shall make contacts with State Department offices to ensure smooth operation with AAFSW, including the Housing Office, Bookfair, BookPlace, FLO, AFSA, State Management and Operations offices, and any others necessary.

Shall alert AAFSW of changes in Department procedures that affect the organization.

Membership Chair
Shall consider ways to increase membership,
Shall be responsible for welcoming new members,
Shall work closely with Media Director to update membership brochures and materials,
Shall prepare and send out annual renewal notices in a timely manner,
Shall prepare late renewal reminders to be sent to the appropriate members,
Shall send yearly donation reminders to multi-year memberships,
Shall observe the following guidelines with regard to membership renewals: renewal forms will be sent out between June 1 and July 15; a second reminder (oops letter) will be sent between September 1 and 30; members rejoining for a consecutive year must pay dues by November 1; those not renewing by the deadline will be dropped from the mailing list. Those renewing late will be reinstated, but will be required to pay the full year’s dues.
Shall prepare publication of Membership Directory for Board members, Committee Chairs, and those members who have requested one through advertisements in the newsletter and on the website,
Send membership information to Media Director as needed,
Shall communicate with new members and (if possible) invite them to events.

AAFSW Housing Desk Chair
Shall supervise the daily operation of the Housing Desk,
Shall refer all policy matters and requests for unusual expenditures to the Board,
Shall provide housing and other information to employees of the Department of State, USAID, and Foreign Service employees of the Department of Commerce and Agriculture as we;; as tp ptjer USG employees who served abroad under COM authority.
Shall maintain good relations with appropriate State Department offices such as the Employee Services Center, FLO, Employee Consultation Service, Office of Diplomatic Security and the Medical Division,
Shall submit monthly and annual reports to the Board,
Shall assure that the Desk is staffed by two volunteers who are members of AAFSW and who are not real estate agents or affiliated with any real estate firm or agency,
Shall recommend as a successor for Chair only a volunteer who has worked on the Desk for at least one year.

Shall coordinate with the Book Operations Manager the operation of the Bookroom (BookPlace) and BOOKFAIR,
Shall prepare publicity releases and materials for local publications,
Shall conduct the annual BOOKFAIR,
Shall appoint and oversee the activities of the various BOOKFAIR Committee Chairs,
Shall initiate and maintain contact with employees of the Department of State at the operational level,
Shall bring matters of policy and requests for unusual expenditures to the Board,
Shall keep the Board fully informed about the progress of BOOKFAIR preparations and needs,
Shall interface with Book operations, Art Corner and Bookfair personnel.
Community Relations Chair
Shall maintain liaison with community organizations to which the Associations donates funds,
Shall investigate all requests for help from the community and direct them to the Finance Committee,
Shall be a member of the Finance Committee,
Shall work with the PR Chair to generate publicity regarding AAFSW donations,
Shall arrange appropriate photo and text displays on the use of AAFSW donations to be used at BOOKFAIR and at other locations where AAFSW may do presentations.
FORUM Committee Chair

Shall form a committee to study and identify problem areas in the Foreign Service and seek their solutions,
Shall hold Open Forum meetings to discuss issues of concern to members of the Foreign Service community,
Shall form committees as necessary to explore selected issues,
Shall study government policy and regulations as they pertain to Foreign Service life,
Shall coordinate with the Legislative Liaison in monitoring Congressional legislation pertaining to the Foreign Service.
Fundraising Chair
Shall be responsible for generating ideas for fundraising projects and/or events, exclusive of BOOKFAIR,
Shall promote and advertise AAFSW publications and other fundraising items sold by AAFSW. As appropriate, shall make them available at the Housing Desk, BOOKFAIR, Bookroom, General Meetings, and Headquarters,
Shall forward all monies received to the Treasurer in a timely manner,
Shall investigate the availability of appropriate grant and/or other funds for AAFSW Headquarters and coordinate the writing of proposals for same.

Legislative Liaison Chair
Shall monitor Congressional legislation pertaining to the Foreign Service and report such matters to the Board,
Shall coordinate these activities with the FORUM Chair,
Shall promote legislation in the interest of the Foreign Service at the direction of the Board,
Shall coordinate with the President and FORUM Chair the drafting of testimony for Congress.

Program Chair
Shall be responsible for arranging six programs per year in September, October, December, March, April and May,
Shall work with AAFSW State Liaison to ensure that State Department 8th floor reservations are made,
Shall be responsible for writing the program publicity notice for the newsletter,
Shall be responsible for making all arrangements for the equipment needs for each Program meeting
Shall work with Office Manager as reservations coordinator, who is responsible for taking reservations and forwarding the list to State Security,
Shall work with an AAFSW volunteer to admit people to the meetings via the State Department C Street entrance,
Shall arrange for trips, tours and other special events throughout the year as opportunities present themselves.
Shall ensure the presence of an AAFSW photographer at every program.

Public Relations Chair
Shall be responsible for promoting the Association through State Magazine, Foreign Service Journal, and other Foreign Affairs publications through USAID, FAS and FCA, as well as in any other print publication or news media deemed necessary,
Shall be in charge of issuing press releases,
Shall handle all public relations required by the Board, including promotion of AAFSW publications in the absence of a fundraising Chair.
Shall contact radio and television stations by telephone for BOOKFAIR and SOSA publicity and follow up with written material, including, if needed, announcements in Spanish or other languages,
Shall work closely with the BOOKFAIR Publicity Chair and SOSA Chair to stay informed on PR pertaining to these events.
Shall work closely with other Board Members to keep informed on current issues.

Secretary of State Volunteer Award Chair (SOSA)
Shall be responsible for drafting and sending announcement cable to posts working through FLO, the DG’s office and the Regional Bureaus
Shall coordinate with the Office Manager and Regional Bureau on nominations received

Shall coordinate with the State Liaison to ensure that the Benjamin Franklin Room is booked for the event, that the
Secretary will sign the awards and ensure high level DOS representative for presentation
Shall coordinate SOSA selection committee and dates
Shall work with HR and Publicity chair to ensure publicity for winners, including placement of articles in hometown newspapers
Shall contact donors and send annual letter requesting donations
Shall prepare and send thank you letters


AFSA Liaison
Shall attend regular meetings of the AFSA Board.
Shall report to the AAFSW Board matters of mutual interest.
Shall be responsible for the organization and retention of the Association's archives, including photo albums, audio/visual material, and library material.
Shall consult with Board Members, as appropriate, regarding the disposition of excess material.
Shall keep an up-to-date file on all awards given by AAFSW, with the exception of the AAFSW/Secretary of State Awards for Outstanding Volunteerism.
Shall actively seek nominations from Board Members and AAFSW members regarding persons to be honored.
Shall be responsible for obtaining suitable awards (plaques, certificates, pins, etc.) and have them available at awards ceremonies and at other times as directed by the President.

CLO Association
Shall organize and coordinate activities of former Community Liaison Office Coordinators in the Washington metro

Evacuee Support Network and Support for Unaccompanied Tours
Shall organize the network to ensure that it functions smoothly whenever the need arises.
Shall coordinate, and maintain contact, with FLO, ECS, and the Medical Division regarding evacuee matters, and shall ensure confidentiality when appropriate.
Shall publicize the existence of the ESN among the employees and families of the Foreign Service.
Shall ensure, to the extent possible, that ESN volunteers are identified as AAFSW volunteers.

Foreign-Born Spouses
Shall coordinate the activities of a group of U.S. and foreign-born spouses to interact and provide information for living in the D.C. area.
Shall ensure that the needs of foreign-born spouses are addressed by AAFSW.

French Group
Shall ensure that regular meetings take place where members can practice the French language.

Overseas Representative Liaison (Post Representative)
Shall maintain liaison with all AAFSW Overseas Representatives.
Shall prepare information packets and guidance for Overseas Representatives.
Shall keep Overseas Representatives informed of significant AAFSW Board proceedings and issues of particular interest to our overseas members.
Shall coordinate these efforts with appropriate Board Members (e.g., Membership, Legislative Liaison, Publicity, etc.)

Shall maintain liaison with, and follow developments in, the AFSA Committee on Education and ensure that AAFSW interests are well served.
Shall report to the Board as necessary.
Shall be a member of the Finance Committee.

Senior Living

Writers Groups
Shall organize informal gatherings of those interested in writing and journalism.
Shall from time to time see that members' works are offered for publication in the AAFSW NEWS.
Shall, when necessary, appoint members to write special articles or research projects for the Association.


Bookroom Oversight Committee
Shall consist of the President (as Chair), BOOKFAIR Chair, BOOKFAIR/Bookroom Treasurer, and two Bookroom volunteers, who must be AAFSW members. The volunteers shall serve for one calendar year.
Shall review all operations of the Bookroom on a regular basis.
Shall make recommendations to the Finance Committee with regard to the Bookroom Manager's salary, and any major purchases.
Shall make recommendations to the Board regarding hiring and retention of Bookroom employees.
Executive Committee
Shall consist of the President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Secretary to the Board, and Treasurer.

Shall consider requests, proposals, and issues for presentation, with or without recommendation, to the Board.
Shall pass on items of a routine nature but will not make major decisions without Board concurrence except on an emergency basis and at the discretion of the President. The President will report such action at the next Board Meeting.
Shall leave with the President a point-of-contact telephone number when out of town on extended vacation.
Finance Committee
Shall consist of the First Vice President (as Chair), Treasurer, BOOKFAIR/Bookroom Treasurer, Community Relations Chair, Scholarship Chair and two AAFSW members-at-large.
Shall review the financial status of the Association.
Shall review the distribution of BOOKFAIR Funds and make recommendations to the Board with regard to their distribution.
Shall receive requests from the Community Relations Chair with regard to financial needs in the community and make specific recommendations to the Board.
Shall review requests for expenditures above the President's limit ($300) and the Executive Board’s limit ($500) and make recommendations to the Board.
Shall review all employee contracts and recommendations for raises.
Shall perform an annual review of AAFSW investments.

Nominating Committee
Shall consist of a minimum of four members; vacancies shall be filled as occasion demands.
Shall be responsible for nominating candidates for elected Board positions in accordance with the By-Laws, Article X, giving priority whenever possible to spouses of active-duty employees of the Foreign Affairs agencies.
Shall use the Policy Guidelines as reference in describing duties to prospective candidates.
Shall call on the Membership Chair as necessary for references.
Shall provide the AAFSW newsletter editor with a ballot for publication in the April Global Link .
Shall remain in existence until the appointment of the next Nominating Committee in order to fill unexpected vacancies. Nominating Committee members may be Board Members and Nominating Committee members may be presented as candidates for office. Nominating Committee members will be, insofar as possible, representative of the various agencies represented in the membership of AAFSW.