Stephenson, President of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA),
will discuss the role of the nation’s diplomats as the most cost-effective
tool in our national security toolkit. She will highlight how diplomatic
engagement, whether through international exchange programs, helping U.S.
businesses compete and win, or working with international law enforcement
partners, helps the United States maintain global leadership and keep America
secure and prosperous.
was elected President of AFSA in 2015 and re-elected in 2017. Her
remarkable Foreign Service career includes service as Ambassador to Panama,
Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge’ d’affaires (acting Ambassador) for
the U.S. Mission to the United Kingdom, and Consul General in Northern
Ireland. In Washington, Ambassador Stephenson served as Dean of the
Leadership and Management School at the Foreign Service Institute where she
launched and co-chaired the department-wide Culture of Leadership
Initiative. As Deputy Senior Adviser to the Secretary and Deputy
Coordinator for Iraq (2006-2008), she won the State Department’s
Distinguished Honor Award for developing and implementing the “civilian
surge” that helped improve governance and reduce violence in Iraq’s
The event is
co-sponsored by the Charles Hostler Institute on World Affairs at SDSU, the
World Trade Center, and the City of San Diego's International Affairs Board.