AAFSW organizes speaker programs and events of interest to members and to the Foreign Service community in general. The organization is privileged to have access to the Benjamin Franklin Rooms at the Department of State as an elegant venue for hosting four speaker events annually. The programs are open to members and guests, with a social coffee time prior to the meeting.
“Argo” author Tony Mendez, his wife Jonna Mendez, and AAFSW member Kathleen Stafford, one of the Embassy employees held hostage in 1979, at an AAFSW program in May 2013.
The programs are normally held on the third Tuesday in the months of March, May, September and December. Programs are open to members and guests for a fee of $15.00 to cover the catering costs. Specific program and reservation information is always provided in the Global Link newsletter and on our website at least one month prior to the program.
AAFSW endeavors to provide programs that are of current international, political, cultural or local interest. For example, in 2011, we hosted programs with a political and international focus featuring speakers such as the Ambassadors of Iraq and India to the United States, discussing issues of bilateral interest. Generally the March program focuses on Women’s History Month, usually in collaboration with the Women’s National Democratic Club (WNDC.) December is the annual holiday celebration with the presentation of the Secretary of State’s Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Overseas (SOSA.)
For variety, AAFSW also presents cultural programs with speakers from the Washington D.C. museum scene, as well as talented musicians who entertain from the popular and classical music genre.
In addition to the programs at the Department of State, AAFSW features special tours and events of interest during the year. Our goal is to provide our members with access to some of the hidden gems in the Washington, DC area. We have been privileged to have a special tour of the Society of the Cincinnati headquarters, Anderson House, in Washington. If you missed this tour or don’t know this impressive house, you need to Google and visit it!
We have also organized a visit to the Japanese Embassy Tea House and enjoyed a special guided tour of the Freer-Sackler Gallery. In addition, generous AAFSW members have hosted special events in their homes including a presentation of the Japanese tea ceremony and an adult Halloween party, complete with costumes and prizes.