Urgent and Critical Assistance Needed

Over at FedBiz, State has posted a Special Notice for Solicitation Number: 110909-DOS:

Added: Nov 09, 2009 3:31 pm

The purpose of this notice is to communicate the Department of State’s intent to sole source business support services to The Albright-Stonebridge Group. The scope of the support services is to provide urgent and critical assistance to a Department of State dignitary. The estimated value is $25,000 and the period of performance is 30 days.

You don’t happen to know which dignitary needed this urgent and critical assistance, do you?

The Secretary of State’s SOSA Awardees 2009

GlobeImage by _fLeMmA__ via Flickr

The annual AAFSW/Secretary of State’s Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad (SOSA) recognizes the outstanding volunteer activities of U.S. Government employees, spouses, family members over the age of 18, and members of household who are living and working overseas.

A recipient is chosen from each of the Department of State’s six geographical bureaus. Each winner receives:

  • A cash award of $2,500.
  • A pin commemorating the annual AAFSW awards ceremony.
  • A certificate signed by the Secretary of State.

2009 SOSA Award Winners

Read more about the 2009 SOSA Award winners and see photos and slide shows of their projects at the Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide

The 2008 winners are here.

Peace Corps to Return to Indonesia

John F. Kennedy greets volunteers on August 28...Image via Wikipedia

The US Embassy in Jakarta released a statement on the return of the US Peace Corps to Indonesia:

U.S. President Barack Obama and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono have announced their intent to re-establish a Peace Corps program in Indonesia following their November 15 bilateral discussions at the APEC conference in Singapore.

Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams issued the following statement after the announcement. “We are honored that Indonesia will host the next generation of Peace Corps volunteers inspired by President Kennedy’s legacy of service. Over the last 48 years, the Peace Corps has captured the imagination of nearly 200,000 Americans committed to public service abroad.” Director Williams continued, “I look forward to working in collaboration with the government and communities of Indonesia. This partnership will encourage Americans and Indonesians to work side by side on Indonesia’s education initiatives while advancing a greater understanding of both countries on the part of all involved with the program.”

The statement says that the first group of Peace Corps volunteers is expected to arrive in Indonesia by mid-2010. They will work as English teachers in high schools and teacher training institutions.

The return of the Peace Corps to Indonesia has been previously reported during Secretary Clinton’s visit there this past February. At that time Paul Watson of LAT recalled that the last time Indonesia allowed Peace Corps volunteers to work there, they weren’t sent into villages to teach English or build schools; they were assigned to whip athletes into shape for the 1964 Olympics. The country ended up boycotting the Tokyo Games, and “thugs from the Indonesian Communist Party, which accused the American coaches of being CIA agents, ran them out of the country in 1965, less than three years after they had arrived.”

Perhaps things will be different this time. The report quoted Dewi Fortuna Anwar an expert on U.S.-Indonesian relations and a former presidential spokeswoman:

“Regional neighbors such as Australia and Singapore send aid workers to do community development work in Indonesia. So it shouldn’t be a problem if Americans come too, as long as they stay clear of politics, said Dewi Fortuna Anwar.”

Read Indonesia still touchy about Peace Corps.

Quote: Married to the Service in the 50’s

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Whitehall...Image via Wikipedia

‘For the male officer, marriage presents no Service problem. Convention allows that his wife need have no profession of her own. Moreover, she probably should have none, seeing that in the higher grades of the Service she will have an important social role which is likely to keep her fully employed. Indeed, it is very nearly true that she can properly have none; since, quite apart from the question of social demands on her time, there are extremely few professions the following of which would not conflict in some degree with the interests of the Service.’

Sir William Strang
The Foreign Office, 1954

from Women in Diplomacy: The FCO, 1782-1999