AAFSW Awarded Two Exciting Grants from the Una Chapman Cox Foundation

Foreign Service Dashboard

Thanks to the Cox Foundation and our AAFSW development team, Foreign Service community members will soon have access to an exciting new resource: an online “dashboard” providing a clear overview of the many organizations, groups and websites that serve our community.

The site will include non-profits such as AAFSW and the Foreign Service Youth Foundation; governmental offices such as the Global Community Liaison Office and Transition Center; and many independent resources such as PROPS on LinkedIn and Trailing Houses on Facebook.

The team is currently developing a survey to identify what kinds of information people in the Foreign Service community are looking for online, so that the Dashboard can be developed accordingly. The survey will be sent soon to all members and shared widely. We’ll also ask for members’ help in identifying all of the relevant resources to be included on the Dashboard.

Congratulations to Nicole Schaefer-McDaniel, Lara Center, Nicole Spiridakis, Lauren Ketchum and Trena Bolden on this successful proposal!

SOSA 25th Anniversary Video

The second successful proposal resulted in a grant for the production of a video to promote and commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Secretary of State Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad (SOSA) in November, 2015.

There will be three different versions of the video, with different aims:

(1) An approximately 30-second “mini-spot,” designed to increase awareness of the SOSA awards within the Foreign Service community and to encourage people to submit volunteer nominations.

(2) An approximately 2-minute “commercial” or promotional video, aimed at the broader public in the U.S. and around the world. This version will highlight the fascinating projects and outstanding volunteer work carried out by Foreign Service employees and family members. It will be designed to inspire people to share it with friends and family outside the Foreign Service on social media.

(3) A longer, approximately 3-minute version, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the award. This video will be shown on at the award ceremony in the Benjamin Franklin Room, Department of State in November, and it will also remain permanently accessible on this website for those interested in learning more about the SOSA program.

AAFSW is currently looking for former SOSA winners who are willing to provide photos or video footage of their projects and/or to be interviewed in the DC area. If you are a former SOSA winner, please contact Lara Center at sosa@aafsw.org.  We also hope to interview former Secretary of State James Baker and Susan Baker, who originally suggested the SOSA Award 25 years ago and who continue to financially contribute to the program. Congratulations to Lara and her contracted filmmakers on this exciting project!

The Una Chapman Cox Foundation is “dedicated to a strong, professional Foreign Service. In collaboration with the Department of State and foreign affairs non-governmental organizations, it supports excellence in recruitment, professional development and public awareness.”

AAFSW believes that the Dashboard will help strengthen the Foreign Service by helping employees and family members to find support resources more easily. The SOSA video will certainly raise public awareness of the selfless volunteer contributions abroad of so many in our community.

We also hope that both projects will help raise the profile of AAFSW and make more people aware of our terrific organization! Congratulations to all!

Patricia Linderman
AAFSW President