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FSYF Board of Directors

The Foreign Service Youth Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors.  Board members take an active role in developing and implementing FSYF programs and events – for example, by serving on the Program Committee, volunteering at an FSYF event, or being a contest or scholarship judge.  Board members who are not committee chairs are expected to attend the annual full Board meeting and are welcome to attend bi-monthly Executive Committee meetings.  All members of the Board are volunteers who serve two-year terms and do not receive compensation from FSYF.

Current Board Members

John Naland


John served for 29 years in the Foreign Service, retiring in 2015.  He is married and the father of two adult daughters.  He served in Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico (as Principal 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


A thirty year veteran of the Foreign Service, Tim is married and the father of three 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

Fundraising Committee Chair

Pete graduated from Arizona State University (Mathematics) and also has a masters degrees from Syracuse Univ. in Public Administration and from the National Defense University in Management. He 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 has been a FSYF board member since 2002 and served as the fund-raising chair during a period that saw the organization triple its annual budget and expand its programs. 

Kim DeBlauw

Programs Chair

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.  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. 

Jennifer Jafari

Contest Chair

Jennifer Jafari previously served as the Executive Director of FSYF. Her husband joined the Foreign Service in 2008 and they have been posted overseas in Nairobi, Kenya; Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania and are currently based in London, United Kingdom. She has worked as a Community Liaison Officer in two previous posts. She has a Masters of Arts in International Development from American University in Washington, D.C. Her two kids have grown up mostly overseas and she is committed to helping them (and other FS kids) navigate the opportunities and challenges of this lifestyle. 

Susan Symington

Nominating Committee Chair

Susan, an alumna of Barnard College and Columbia’s Architecture and Planning School with an MS degree in Historic Preservation, worked for the Historic Kansas City Foundation, and the landmarks and historic preservation commissions of New York City, and her hometown of St. Joseph Missouri, before she and her family began 35 years of service as a diplomatic team in Honduras, Spain, Mexico, Ecuador, and more recently in Djibouti, Rwanda and Nigeria, where her husband served as Ambassador.   They have two children, a son, Stuart,  who is a longtime fellow FSYF Board member, and a daughter, Janey, both of whom received FSYF scholarships in recognition of all the amazing work they have done at our missions abroad, just like so many Foreign Service youth living and serving at our diplomatic posts around the world.

Dale Dean

Board Member

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. 

Laura Garcia Olson

Board Member

Laura Garcia Olson is a mother of two fabulous children, a Foreign Service spouse, a volunteer, and an attorney by training.  Since her husband joined the State Department in 2001, her family has lived in: Islamabad, Pakistan; Washington, DC; Georgetown, Guyana; Caracas, Venezuela; Lagos, Nigeria; and most recently, La Paz, Bolivia.  

In recent years, she has been actively involved in volunteer pursuits, serving in La Paz on the board of the American-British International Association as its newsletter editor and as an English instructor and library volunteer with a local foundation.  While last in Arlington, she served as a vice president of her children's PTA and as a volunteer for the Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment (ACE) Energy Masters program (participants help retrofit low-income residences to make them more energy efficient).   

Her professional pursuits include time with the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law and Partners of the Americas.  Prior to her life as a State spouse, she worked in the general counsel's office at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and with the Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation.  She and her children currently are spending a year in the US while her husband is on an unaccompanied tour.  

Alexandra Lena Pomeroy

Board Member

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.

Paul Sutphin

Board Member

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

Board Member

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.

Interested in Joining 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. 

Interested?  Send us an email at!

 Foreign Service Youth Foundation (FSYF)

PO Box 50663   Arlington, VA   22205


 © 2014 Foreign Service Youth Foundation

Foreign Service Youth Foundation

P.O. Box 50663

Arlington, VA  22205


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