2022 AAFSW Dorman Award Recipient — Joanna Athanasopoulos Owen, PhD

Congratulations to Dr. Joanna Athanasopoulos Owen for receiving the 2022 AAFSW Dorman Award. An active AAFSW Art and Book Fair Volunteer since 2014, Dr. Joanna Athanasopoulos Owen served as the elected AAFSW President from 2016 to 2020. As a trained geophysicist, gemologist, and environmental management consultant who seeks collaboration with local universities at post, Joanna appreciates the importance of eligible family member (EFM) employment and, in 2017-2018, she successfully advocated for a sound solution to safeguard EFM and EPAP work opportunities. In 2018, Joanna conceived and implemented AAFSW’s “Twice Exceptional” Merit Scholarship, designed to reward academic excellence annually to two Foreign Affairs’ students who, despite special needs, have overcome adversity.… Read More

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Director General Bernicat on Her Goals as Director General of the State Department, the Future, and More

AAFSW recently had the pleasure of learning more about the newest Director General of the Foreign Service, Marcia Bernicat, her goals for her tenure as Director General, where she sees the State Department in the future, and more. Check out our interview with her, below. AAFSW: How have you found your first months as Director General?  Director General Bernicat: A whirlwind of activity and very rewarding. I feel privileged to be able to serve as Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Global Talent for the Department of State at this critical time. It’s truly my dream job, helping lead the Department’s efforts to recruit, retain, develop, and empower our greatest resource —… Read More

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The 2022 AAFSW Awards Ceremony, Including the 32nd Annual Secretary of State Awards for Outstanding Volunteering Abroad

On November 17, 2022, The Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide (AAFSW) hosted the 32nd Annual Secretary of State Awards (SOSA) Ceremony for Outstanding Volunteering Abroad in the sumptuous Benjamin Franklin Room. Deputy Secretary of State Brian P. McKeon commended the winners’ exemplary service and presented the awards at the ceremony, saying: “SOSA awards recognize U.S. government employees, family members, and other members of household at embassies and consulates who performed exceptional volunteer service to their communities, mission, or host country, or rendered outstanding assistance in emergencies. I stand in awe of those of you who sign up for this life and undertake it. Those of you who are doing this volunteer work, you’re creating a community or contributing to… Read More

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A Cultural Event to Celebrate 30 years of U.S. and Azerbaijan Diplomatic Relations

Ms. Kahazar Ibrahim, the wife of His Excellency Ambassador Khazar Ibrahim, hosteda cultural event at the residence of Azerbaijan, in Washington, DC, on December 2,2022. This event marked the 30th anniversary of Azerbaijan establishing diplomaticrelations with the United States, a “relationship built on trust and friendship.” SheilaSwitzer, AAFSW Program Chair, cordially invited AAFSW’s members to join Ms. Ibrahimand WtoW guests for this special celebration. One of the world’s most ancient nations — the nation of Azerbaijan — has a proudcultural heritage, its rich history, cultural monuments, literature, arts, and musicheritage. This event was about exploring the cuisine and the music of the country.The Azerbaijani people created and developed a rich Transcaucasus cuisine,encompassing the… Read More

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Martine’s Must-Reads for December 2022

Curl up with a good book this holiday season! Enjoy the final selection of Martine’s Must-Reads:   1. What Child is This?: Inspired by Conan Doyle’s ‘The Blue Carbuncle’, Sherlock Holmes solves two brand new Christmas mysteries in Victorian London (A Sherlock Holmes Adventure) (Book 5) By Bonnie Macbird It’s Christmas time in London, and Sherlock Holmes takes on two cases. The angelic three-year-old child of a wealthy couple is the target of a vicious kidnapper, and a country aristocrat worries that his handsome, favorite son has mysteriously vanished from his London pied à terre. Holmes and Watson, aided by the colourful Heffie O’Malley, slip slide in the ice to… Read More

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Martine’s Must-Reads for November 2022

1. Finding Me by Viola Davis In my book, you will meet a little girl named Viola who ran from her past until she made a life-changing decision to stop running forever. This is my story, from a crumbling apartment in Central Falls, Rhode Island, to the stage in New York City, and beyond. This is the path I took to finding my purpose but also my voice in a world that didn’t always see me. As I wrote Finding Me, my eyes were open to the truth of how our stories are often not given close examination. We are forced to reinvent them to fit into a crazy, competitive, judgmental… Read More

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