Category Archives: FLO Weekly

Unaccompanied Tours Support Newsletter

FLO stuff FLO stuff2 FLO stuff3

Shipping Holiday Packages? What You Need to Know . . .

October through January is the busiest time of the year for pouch and DPO mail. To ensure all your holiday packages arrive on time, the Diplomatic Pouch and Mail (DPM) recommends that mail and parcels arrive at their facility (SA-32) by Friday, November 22. The U.S.

Postal Service also wants DPO mail by the dates listed at:  Please keep in mind that DPO is for personal use only — no official use. Continue reading

Government Travel Charge Card and Evacuations

Government Travel Charge Card and Evacuations
Are you financially prepared in the event of an evacuation?  Evacuations can be a very stressful time both personally and professionally.  Having a government credit card can help you simplify and manage the cost of a sudden departure from post.  For example, the Department of State’s Government Charge Card can help alleviate the need to charge thousands of dollars in official expenses to your personal credit card while waiting to be reimbursed.  Some of the card features include: Continue reading

FLO Weekly: Consider Home-Based Business Options

Want to make your own hours, get paid and work at every post?  Many family members are able to do this through home-based businesses or freelance work. The Family Liaison Office (FLO) Home-Based Business Guide ( makes it easy for you to get started.  Inside are the relevant State Department regulations, advice for planning your business, consulting guidelines, resources, and success stories.  Reminder:  Always make sure you get permission from post before launching your business.

If you are not sure what kind of work you could do, check with FLO for a list of the types of home-based businesses managed by family members around the world. Included are film producers, Japanese tutors, IT consultants, CPAs, jewelry designers, speech therapist, caterers, and authors and many, many more. You are sure to find yourself on this list. Please send an email to for a copy.


FLO Weekly: Bidding Resources Available through OBC

Bidding Resources Available through OBC
The Overseas Briefing Center (OBC), a division of the Transition Center at FSI, makes several bidding tools available on its intranet website, including Post Info To Go, Personal Post Insights and the Pet Import and Quarantine Restrictions
database: Employees can use the “one-click” email capacity to send documents to their family members who do not have Intranet access from home. Continue reading

USCIS to Adjudicate Naturalization for ALL Legally Married Couples

As a result of the recent Supreme Court ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) can now adjudicate naturalization cases equally for both same-sex couples and opposite sex couples. The most current information regarding same-sex marriages is available on the USCIS public website:; click on Same-Sex Marriages under the Family section. Continue reading

Learn a New Language with Distance Learning Courses (FLO)

FSI’s School of Language Studies will be offering online distance language courses for the Fall 2013 semester starting September 9, 2013. These are 12- or 14-week courses involving multimedia activities and the guidance of a mentor, and can be a great way to learn languages outside of the classroom. This semester they are offering courses in 15 different languages, at a variety of levels. Details of the courses are in the ALDAC (STATE 111318). Enroll now as some courses fill up quickly.

Enrollment is available and free to direct-hire Department of State employees, their EFMs and MOHs while on orders. Other agency personnel and their family members may enroll through their Washington offices on a reimbursable and space-available basis.

Students can enroll directly via their CDO, or by visiting the FSI Registrar’s Course Catalog on OpenNet at EFMs/MOHs can enroll through the CDO of their employee sponsor.

Contact for more information

New Guidance Resources in CLO

FLO has sent a number of new or replacement brochures to CLO. We have multiple copies of some and only single copies of others. Please check the brochure holder outside of the CLO office if you see something on the list below which interests you.  If you don’t find it, please just ask CLO.

  • FLO Services Brochure
  • FLO: Education and Youth
  • Foreign Service Youth Foundation Brochures
  • Unaccompanied Tour Information Postcards
  • FLO Business Cards
  • InfoQuest Brochures
  • MED/Employee Consultation Service Brochures
  • Alcohol and Drug Awareness Program Materials
  • Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training Brochures
  • PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) Materials

FLO Weekly: May 2013 Worldwide Family Member Employment Overview Available from FLO


Curious about trends in family member employment overseas?  The Family Liaison Office (FLO) has published its May 2013 Worldwide Family Member Employment Overview showing trends in adult family member population overseas and growth rates for family member employment both inside and outside the mission. The overview is based on FLO’s full May 2013 Family Member Employment Report (FAMER), which provides a snapshot of the family employment situation for each post overseas. Visit FLO’s website: to view and download the overview document.

Highlights of the May 2013 Worldwide Family Member Employment Overview:

  • The surge in adult family member population overseas that began in 2010 has leveled off from ~700 new family members/year to just 153 family members since last April.
  • The population surge also increased the percentage of male spouses. This reporting cycle the percentage of males rose to 22%, a substantial change from the traditional 20-80 M/F ratio that was constant prior to 2010.

Inside the mission employment trends

  • The Inside the Mission employment rate has remained unchanged at 26% since Nov 2011.
  • Over the past five years, the average growth rate of Inside the Mission employment has averaged 130 new positions/year. This growth rate has slowed only slightly this past year to 119 new positions.

Outside the mission employment trends

  • Worldwide, the Outside the Mission employment rate remained unchanged.
  • Telework is now the 3rd leading employment field.

To view an individual Family Member Employment Report (FAMER) for a specific post, check the Department’s intranet site (Type in FAMER in OpenNet) or email to request an individual report.

FLO Weekly Update is a compilation of news and information from the Family Liaison Office  of the Department of State for U.S. government employees, their family members, and Members of Household (MOH) who are serving, have served, or will be serving at U.S.    Missions overseas. Visit FLO on the Internet at: For questions or information, email:; or call (800) 440-0397 or (202) 647-1076.

 FLO: Advocacy, Programs, and Services.  We’re here for you.


Recipients of 2013 AFSA Awards Announced

The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) announced recipients of its 2013 awards and honored them at an awards ceremony on June 27 at the Department of State. These include:

Award for Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy (in recognition of a distinguished Foreign Service career and a lifetime of public service)
Ambassador George W. Landau
William R. Rivkin Award for Constructive Dissent (mid-level Foreign Service officer) Theodore Lyng
W. Averell Harriman Award for Constructive Dissent (entry level Foreign Service officer) James T. Rider

Awards for Exemplary Performance: Avis Bohlen Award (for Eligible Family Member) Leah Evans, Embassy Kyiv
Nelson B. Delavan Award (for Office Management Specialist)
Mikkela Thompson, Embassy Dhaka

M. Juanita Guess Award (for Community Liaison Officer)
Elizabeth Jenkins, Embassy Caracas
Jessica McVay, Embassy Khartoum


FLO: Accredit Foreign Education Before Applying for Federal Job

flologoAccredit Foreign Education Before Applying for Federal Job
If you plan to apply for a federal job, get a head start now in putting together your application. In addition to perfecting your resume, consider having your education formally accredited if it was completed outside of the United States. Completing this now means you won’t risk missing the application deadline for your dream job.

Continue reading

FLO: June Courses at FSI’s Transition Center

flologoJune Courses at FSI’s Transition Center:
06/01: Transition to Washington, DC for Foreign-Born Spouses (MQ302) (Saturday Course)
06/03 – 06/04; 06/17 – 06/18, and 06/24 – 06/25: Security Overseas Seminar (MQ911)
06/10: Communicating Across Cultures (MQ802) (Saturday Course)
06/13 – 06/14: Study Abroad Administrators SOS (MQ918)
06/13 – 06/14: Regulations, Allowances, and Finances in the Foreign Service Context (MQ104)
06/19: Maintaining Long Distance Relationships (MQ801) (Evening Course)
06/22: Protocol and U.S. Representation Abroad** (MQ116) (Saturday Course)
06/24 – 06/25: Young Diplomats Overseas Preparation (MQ250)
06/27: Basics for Overseas Employment (MQ703)

For further information, email the FSI Transition Center at or visit the FSI Transition Center website at

Thinking About an Unaccompanied Tour?

Resources Available to Help Prepare for an Unaccompanied Tour

If you are considering or preparing for an unaccompanied assignment, there are many support resources for employees and their families. Visit FLO’s Internet site ( for a wealth of information and links, including:


FLO Weekly: Get That Next Job

 Many people are wrapping up their tours and are looking forward to their new posts. If you are a family member interested in working, you may want to get a jump start on your job search by updating your résumé. Contact the Global Employment Advisor (GEA) covering your post to start the process and/or reach out to the GEA at your next post to begin strategizing your job search. Continue reading


FLO: Professional Development Fellowship