2011 AFSA Election Results, a Disappointing Turn Out

The AFSA Committee on Elections announced the results of the 2011-2013 AFSA Governing Board Election without much fanfare. I actually had to write to AFSA to inquire about the public release of the results since I could not locate them in the AFSA website. I was told that the results were released to the membership; and can be found here (see in archives dated June 10). I am told it will also be printed in the September issue of the Foreign Service Journal.

According to AFSA, a total of 2,523 ballot envelopes were received of which 2,510 were valid ballots (13 were voided due to ballot irregularities). For comparison, there were 3,326 ballots cast in the 2009 elections. So some 800 AFSA members who voted in 2009, did not vote in the 2011 elections.

AFSA represents over 28,000 active and retired Foreign Service employees of the Department of State and Agency for International Development (AID), as well as smaller groups in the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service (FCS), and International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB). The AFSA website indicates that its has over 15,000 dues-paying members. This means that approximately 17% of the members voted in this election, down by 7% from the number of voters in the 2009 election. A disappointing turn out but not totally unexpected.

The following AFSA members have been elected:

Officer Positions on the Board


Susan Johnson (elected), 1,479 votes
Tex Harris, 986 votes

Treasurer: Andrew Winter, 2,066 votes

Secretary: Susan Shultz, 2,001 votes

Retiree Vice President: Robert Houdek, 1,139 votes

State Vice President: Daniel Hirsch, 622 votes.

USAID Vice President: Francisco Zamora, 113 votes

FCS Vice President: Keith Curtis, 34 votes.

FAS Vice President: David Mergen, 27 votes.

Constituency Representatives of the Board

Retiree Representatives (4 vacancies):

Molly Williamson (elected), 855 votes
Edward Marks (elected), 798 votes
Hugh Neighbour (elected), 752 votes
Mary Ellen Gilroy (elected), 749 votes

State Representatives (10 vacancies):

Matthew Asada, 688 votes
Kenneth Kero-Mentz, 675 votes
Kimberly Krhounek, 667 votes
David Zwach, 663 votes
Elise Mellinger, 661 votes
Les Hickman, 657 votes
Mary Glantz, 18 write-ins
Joyce Namde, 13 write-ins
William Bent, 6 write-ins
Grace Choi, 3 write-ins

USAID Representatives(2 vacancies):

Michael Henning, 117 votes
Dennis M. Fuentes, 1 write-in

FCS Representative: Steve Morrison, 34 votes

FAS Representative:
Andrew Burst, 1 write-in (determined by coin-toss)

IBB Representative: Zero votes.

See the full list here.

State VP Daniel Hirsh who was reelected for his second term and who has pledged not to run again in 2013 writes: ” I am committed to advancing the reforms to AFSA’s elections process which were stymied by our opponents during the past two years.  This includes, first and foremost, a bylaws amendment regarding term limits. […] Somewhere along the way, AFSA has lost your trust. We will do better – I will do more – to make AFSA relevant to you.”