Sheila M. Switzer

Sheila M. Switzer
AAFSW Program Chair
AAFSW Foreign Born Spouses State Liaison
Founder and Chair of the AAFSW Family Crisis Fund

Sheila Switzer has been the Program Chair of the Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide (AAFSW) since 1998. She is also AAFSW’s Foreign-Born Spouses State Liaison (Spouses of American Foreign Service Officers, State Department) and Founder and Chair of the AAFSW Family Crisis Fund. Sheila also was chair of the Foreign Born Spouses Group for several years as well as Chair of the Women in Transition.

Ms. Switzer was a diplomatic spouse for 28+ years, during which time she and her family served in posts throughout Europe and Latin America. She is an international leader and diplomatic liaison who has dedicated her life to promoting cross-cultural understanding, appreciation, and respect between people around the world. 

Throughout her career, she has been a liaison between various embassies and has organized impactful programs that are of international, political, cultural, and local interest most notably the Ambassador Speaker Series and cultural events at the U.S. Department of State, embassies, Library of Congress, museums, and other special venues. She has also taught Etiquette and Protocol courses at FSI for several years as well as Georgetown University, and other Institutions in Europe and Latin America.

Sheila has received many honors for her accomplishments:

  • 2019:  AAFSW Lifetime Achievement Award for her remarkable contributions and volunteer service
  • 2018:  AAFSW Volunteer Award for supporting and leading AAFSW Women in Transition
  • 2018:  AAFSW Award for Exceptional Leadership to the Foreign-Born Spouses
  • 2015: Tragen Award from DACOR for having done the most to advance the interests of American Foreign Service family members
  • 2009:  Lesley Dorman Award for sustained outstanding service to AAFSW
  • 1992:  Avis Bohlen Award for improving relations between the American and foreign communities in Madrid, Spain
  • 1992: “Special Recognition” from The Association of the Diplomatic World, in Madrid, Spain
  • 1991:  The Secretary of State’s Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad (SOSA)