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FSYF Board of Directors

The Foreign Service Youth Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors. By mandate, at least two-thirds of the members of the Board have worked for or been associated with U.S. diplomatic missions abroad.

To the extent possible, the Board has a balanced representation of different groups, organizations and governmental offices concerned with issues relating to Foreign Service youth. At least one member of the Board is a young adult who grew up in the Foreign Service.
All members of the Board are volunteers who serve two-year terms and do not receive compensation from FSYF.

Current Board Members

John Naland, President

John served for 29 years in the Foreign Service, and is retiring in 2015.  He is married and the father of two teenage daughters.  He served in Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico (as Principle Officer at U.S. Consulate in Matamoros), and Iraq (as leader of the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Basra from 2009 - 2010).  Washington assignments included the Secretary's Policy Planning Staff, the White House Situation Room, and the Bureau of Human Resources.  He served twice as President of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) and had detail assignments at the Atlantic Council and the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training.  A former U.S. Army officer, he is a graduate of the Army War College.

Tim Sears, Treasurer

A thirty year veteran of the Foreign Service, Tim is married and the father of three school-aged children. He has served in Islamabad, Lome, Belize, Asuncion and La Paz as well as Washington. Most recently, Tim served as Financial Management Officer in the Bureau of International narcotics and law Enforcement Affairs. He retired in April 2013.

Peter Wood, Chair Fundraising Committee

Pete was a Peace Corps volunteer and trainer, a high school teacher, coach of various sports and scout leader before joining the Department of State.  He recently retired from the Senior Foreign Service after a 38-year career that took his family and him to Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Ethiopia, Mali, Honduras and Mexico. Pete is the proud father of two global nomads.  He served on several school boards while stationed overseas.  He was an FSYF Board member from 2002 - 2013 and served as the fund-raising chair during a period that saw the organization triple its annual budget and expand its programs. 

Dale Dean

Dale Dean was a political officer and Arabist who served the first half of his Foreign Service career in the Arab World (Cairo, Kuwait, Jeddah and Riyadh) and was later the West Bank/Gaza desk officer in the Office of Israel Affairs. Other assignments were in the Africa Bureau (East African Affairs--Somalia Desk), in the PM Bureau as Deputy Director of the Office of International Security Operations, and later in EUR as Deputy Director for Strategy and Security, Office of European Security and Political Affairs. His last oversees post was in the Political Section of Embassy Ankara. After retirement in 1999, Dale earned a Master of Arts in Arab Studies from Georgetown University.

Dale was married to the late Michael Ann Hughes Dean, who had been an FSYF Board member, the CLO in Riyadh and Ankara, and the Publications Coordinator for the Family Liaison Office. Their children, Cat and Phil, spent much of their childhood in the Arab World. Cat served for a time as a youth representative on the FSYF Board. 

Kim DeBlauw

Kim DeBlauw joined the Foreign Service in 1986 and has served in Nuevo Laredo, Lome, Lisbon, Brussels, La Paz, Ankara and Madrid as well as in Washington.  Kim is married to Juan Ramirez; they have three children (ages 21,19, and 15).  She previously served on the FSYF board and on multiple school boards overseas.  Kim is a graduate of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. 

Kristin Grasso

Kristin is a TCK (third-culture kid) whose father served as a Foreign Service Officer for the Department of State. Kristin grew up in the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Russia and Mexico. She is the mother of three daughters, one attending the University of Virginia and two in high school. Kristin graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Foreign Affairs (and quite often finds herself wishing she majored in child psychology). She has been a stay-at-home mother and worked for the Department of State in the Office of Overseas Schools.

Sarah Koczot

Sarah Koczot grew up as the daughter of a Foreign Service Officer overseas in DR Congo, India, Egypt and Bangladesh. She knows first hand the difficulty associated with re-entry into the United States and attended an FSYF event as a high school student which helped her adjust. Since then she has remained interested in helping other FS children make the most of their unique experiences. Sarah continues to travel the world and aspires to live overseas once again.

Alexandra Lena Pomeroy

Alexandra is a program officer in the Office of Europe and Asia Programs in the Department of State's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). She is a former TCK, FSYF participant, and the daughter of a retired Foreign Agricultural Officer. Alexandra was born in London. She has attended international schools in Tunis, Lagos, New Delhi, and Cairo. She has a B.A. in International Relations from the College of William and Mary and is a Public Policy Masters candidate at Georgetown University. She also attended the Institut Politque d'Etudes in Lyon from 2006-2007.

Jo Ellen Powell

Ambassador (ret) Jo Ellen Powell is a career member of the U.S. Foreign Service.  She was appointed Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Human Resources in August 2016, a position she held until June 2017.  Prior to that, she served as a senior adviser to the Director General of the Foreign Service.  Ms. Powell served as ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania from November 2010 to December 2013.   She also served as the U.S. Consul General in Frankfurt, Germany, and as Executive Director of the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.

Ambassador Powell joined the Foreign Service in January 1980.  Her other postings in the Foreign Service include Amman, Jordan, the Department of State’s Operations Center, Beirut, Lebanon, Rome, Italy, Paris, France, and Canberra, Australia.  Ms. Powell also served as deputy executive director of the Executive Secretariat, Office of the Secretary, and as director of the Office of Employee Relations in the Bureau of Human Resources.

Ambassador Powell grew up in a Foreign Service family, living in Panama, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, India, Iran, and Laos.  She is the recipient of numerous Department awards, including the Luther Replogle Award for Management Improvement, for which she was a co-recipient in 2005.  Ms. Powell speaks French, German, and Italian, and has studied Arabic.

Paul Sutphin

Mr. Sutphin is a Senior Advisor with C&O Resources, a foreign affairs consulting group.  He recently retired from the Department of State as a career member of the Senior Foreign Service Officer, Minister-Counselor rank.  He most recently served as a Senior Advisor in State’s Bureau of Administration, Office of Global Information Systems. He has had postings overseas in Jerusalem, Denmark, Kenya and Guyana, as well as in a variety of positions in Department of State offices dealing with Iraq, Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, terrorism, Pakistan/South Asia and Human Resources. He speaks Danish and French, and some Arabic.  Born in Syracuse, NY, Mr. Sutphin is an honors graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and has a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the National War College at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.; he is the recipient of multiple Department of State Superior Honor and senior performance awards.  He is married and has two children.

Stuart Symington

Born in St. Joseph, Missouri, Stuart grew up as the son of a Foreign Service Officer in Honduras, Spain, Mexico, Ecuador, and Niger, West Africa. In college, Stuart studied abroad at Kyoto University in Kyoto, Japan and worked at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, Japan. He was also awarded grants to increase access to markets for women's cooperatives and build wells in rural Djibouti. Stuart was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and received a BA in East Asian Studies, magna cum laude, from Yale University. He worked for the Rwandan Government's Development Board to market investment opportunities in Kigali, Rwanda while conducting research on the post-genocide legal system. He was an active member of the FSYF in high school and a recipient of the FSYF Award from former Secretary Colin Powell for his work in Niger. Currently, he runs online marketing and revenue strategy for, a company that teaches over 50 million annual visitors Spanish and English online for free.

Xenia Wilkinson

Xenia Wilkinson is a retired Foreign Service officer. She served in Mexico, Honduras, Brazil, and the U.S. Missions to the United Nations and the Organization of American States. Her daughter Julia, and stepchildren T, Rebecca, and Jennifer grew up in the foreign service. Xenia earned a PhD. in Latin American history at Georgetown University in 2010. She has taught history at Georgetown University and the University of Mary Washington.Xenia is married to Ted Wilkinson, also a retired FSO, who served as AFSA president (1989-1991) and has remained active in the organization.

How to Join the Board

Any employee or family member who has served under chief of mission authority and/or has a connection to the Foreign Affairs community by employment, marriage or upbringing is eligible to be nominated for the Board of Directors. 

Ideal candidates are committed to the mission of FSYF and to Foreign Service families and young people, are able to work collaboratively as members of a team, and have adequate time to contribute to FSYF. 

First priority shall be given to individuals representing groups that directly or indirectly deal with Foreign Service youth issues as well as organizations or offices not currently represented on the Board.

Interested?  Review the following information then email

Read the job description

Roles & Duties of the President of the Board of Directors

 Foreign Service Youth Foundation (FSYF)

PO Box 50663   Arlington, VA   22205


 © 2014 Foreign Service Youth Foundation

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