Letter from the President

Dear Fellow AAFSW Volunteers and Members,

I would like to wish all your families and you a very happy and prosperous New Year!

The last year has been simply fantastic! I got to know many of you even better and interacted with many of AAFSW’s remarkable members. I am grateful and thankful for
all your help throughout the year and your support in achieving AAFSW’s annual goals.

We are getting ready to embark on an even more special year for AAFSW! The year 2020 marks the 60th anniversary of AAFSW since its inception. We have asked our wonderful AAFSW members and volunteers and, together, we have decided to commemorate AAFSW’s 60th anniversary by holding a celebration at the Department of State, most likely on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 (11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.) during Foreign Affairs Week, and another celebration at the Westwood Country Club on the evening of Saturday, May 9, 2020 (7:00 p.m.-12:00 midnight)!

We hope to see you at both events: all our AAFSW members and their guests are welcome! In 2020, besides its own 60th anniversary, AAFSW will also be celebrating the 60th Art and BookFair anniversary and the 30th anniversary since AAFSW established the annual Awards Ceremony, including the Secretary of State Awards for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad! Once again, for 2020, AAFSW encourages all six geographical bureaus to nominate incredible volunteers and emphasize with all of us at AAFSW the outstanding volunteer spirit of the American Foreign Service Community.

For standing by me, I would like to thank AAFSW’s current Executive Board and Board of Directors for all their hard work and selfless volunteer spirit throughout 2019. Together, with all of you as partners, we work to help AAFSW attain even more successes and present even more stimulating events and interesting information to our members.

In 2019, in addition to AAFSW Awards Ceremony and the 59th Art and BookFair, which supported our annual educational scholarship awards, AAFSW held many cultural events throughout the year to meet our membership’s diverse interests. AAFSW and its Program Chair, Sheila Switzer, have planned even more amazing programs for 2020! We sincerely hope that all of you plan to attend, learn new things, and meet diplomats and other people from the American and international diplomatic communities.

As we are starting a new year, let me also remind you that AAFSW exists due to its members’ support! Please, do not forget to renew your membership and, where it is possible, please, consider AAFSW as your tax-deductible charity organization. Please, support AAFSW so that AAFSW can give back to you. AAFSW is YOUR Foreign Service Community.

I will conclude by letting you know how truly humbled, delighted, and privileged I am to lead AAFSW’s impressive group of members and volunteers. We are all vital ingredients in making AAFSW’s community vibrant, rich, and energetic as we continue to engage our group’s diverse interests.

May 2020 be a productive year for our great organization, the Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide, your families, and you all!

Thank you all for your volunteer service to AAFSW and happy New Year!

Joanna Athanasopoulos Owen, PhD
AAFSW President