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Published on October 5th, 2009 | by Editor

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What Others are Saying about Us

Foreign Service Officers, IFSA values the support of Foreign Service Officers in its quest for worldwide representation for all FSNs. You are most welcome to share comments regarding the FSNs on this page. Please also visit our FaceBook page FSOs for FSNs on Facebook and become a fan of IFSA.

Smiling employees standing together and showing unity signRichard L. Armitage, Deputy Secretary of State (Remarks at the National Council for International Visitors Annual Conference, February 26, 2004.

[But] there is also a very special group of people here: 18 of the Foreign Service Nationals, FSNs we call them, who work in our embassies overseas.

I think it can be difficult to grasp just what it means to us to have these folks here with us. But I’m going to try to give you an idea. Recently, I heard the story of one FSN, Chea Sokha, who works at our Embassy in Cambodia, and who, over 20 years ago, was a victim of the “killing fields.” The Khmer Rouge imprisoned and tortured him and his wife and left them for dead, all because Mr. Chea was overheard speaking a few words of English.

Now Mr. Chea not only speaks English whenever he wishes as the senior FSN in our Embassy’s Political Section, his main job at the Embassy is to promote political and human rights in Cambodia. And that is what is at stake for all our FSNs. (Applause.) What’s at stake is better relations between the United States and their home nations, to be quite sure, but also a better future for their people. So thank you, the 18 of you, for being here today with us and for being with us every day. Read more

Michael Bricker, FS-1 information management officer in London (“The Movement to Empower Locally Engaged Staff,” Foreign Service Journal, June 2008).
IFSA values the support of Foreign Service Officers in its quest for worldwide representation for all FSNs.IFSA values the support of Foreign Service Officers in its quest for worldwide representation for all FSNs.
[In closing,] let me be clear: Locally engaged staff are the backbone of the Foreign Service. The vast majority of them are outstanding, dependable, conscientious, reliable, responsible and honorable. Many of them have risked (and lost) their lives trying to protect our embassies, both the people and property. But we should repay their exceptional service by protecting them from being placed in the awkward position in which LES Empowerment will put them. We owe them, at the very least, that much. Read more

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