Learn About AAFSW

The Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide is the oldest non­governmental organization supporting the American diplomatic community. Established in 1960, AAFSW is a primary advocate and support network for family members of Foreign Service employees.

AAFSW advocacy was responsible for the creation of the Family Liaison OfficeOverseas Briefing Center, and the Foreign Service Youth Foundation.

AAFSW membership extends to all of the foreign affairs agencies. We participate in the Inter­Agency Roundtable (quarterly information­sharing events for family member support offices from all foreign affairs agencies) and the Foreign Affairs Council (a forum for non­governmental organizations related to the Foreign Service).

Furthermore, AAFSW is unique in expressly serving all segments of the Foreign Service community: employees; spouses, partners and other members of household; children of Foreign Service employees; divorced or widowed spouses; as well as retired officers and their partners.

AAFSW is very active in social media, beginning with the Yahoo! Group Livelines in 1998, which now has over 4,700 members and continues to serve as a key forum for the Foreign Service community. Other members of this growing online family are groups for specific subsets of our community such as foreign­-born spouses and parents of special ­needs children.

AAFSW’s website and Global Link and Global Link Express newsletters further connect our community and provide news and information that help with the challenges and opportunities of Foreign Service life.

AAFSW’s other programs and initiatives include:

● Frequent social and informational events, with speakers ranging from family member panels to Tony Mendez of ARGO fame.

● The Secretary of State Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad (SOSA) honoring family members and employees.

Scholarships for Foreign Service youth, including current college students.

Books and articles specific to the Foreign Service community, such as the “Realities of Foreign Service Life” series and “Moving Your Household Without Losing Your Mind.”

Evacuee and crisis support.

● AAFSW’s Spouse/Partner Mentoring Program.

● The very active Foreign­-Born Spouses Group and the Washington DC­ Area Playgroup for young children and their parents.

● Resources for entrepreneurial family members including the EFM Business Owners’ Group, the EFM Business Directory and Real Business Owners Reports.

● Our annual Art&Book Fair, held each October at the Department of State. Our BookRoom, located at the Department of State, offers second-­hand and collectible books.