I am running for President for GLIFAA for 2016-2017. I have been in the FS since 2001 and am currently the Vice President for State. Under the leadership of the current board, I have seen GLIFAA continue to move the agenda forward and support LGBTI members around the world. I was also VP in 2007-2009 and am amazed how much we have accomplished since that time.
This past year I worked on the LGBT 101 course design with FSI and HR which is now available online, coordinated with HR and regional bureaus on diplomatic accreditation and potential work around-options in hostile environments, and worked to bring attention to important issues, including speaking at the Atlantic Council on the importance of visible LGBT leadership on diplomacy. I also worked to advocate for members in need of SSDP hardship exemptions.
I will be at FSI for the coming year studying language before departing for Post in 2017 and want to continue our work on key issues for all foreign and civil service employees, contractors and LE Staff. I look forward to working to support our GLIFAA members and LGBTI employees across the foreign affairs agencies as well as partnering broadly to continue to support our efforts.
Vice President – State
I am extremely happy to continue to be involved with the GLIFAA Board a second year in a row. I previously served as Social Director from 2015-16 cultivating many new partnerships and continuing to ensure new and fun activities for our membership here in Washington and connecting the dots to amazing events ongoing throughout our embassies thanks to our amazing Post Reps. Although I serve at State as a Civil Service Officer I do get to travel on TDY and also welcome many LE Staff (Locally Employed Staff) and others to the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator and Health Diplomacy. In that role, I have seen firsthand and heard from word of mouth the issues and discrepancies in policies that overseas colleagues and LE staff face in their jobs. I want to continue serving on the GLIFAA Board as your Vice President for State in order to ensure that those key issues remain on the forefront of our agenda while advocating to our State principals here in Washington on policies. I look forward to working with the 2016-17 GLIFAA Board.
I have been a public servant since 2006 and began in the foreign affairs and international development fields in 2012. I served with USAID for almost 3 years and currently with Department of State for one year. I worked in the Policy bureau at USAID as well as Bureau for Global Health and currently serving as a Multilateral Program Officer for the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator and Health Diplomacy (S/GAC or PEPFAR). I look forward to advancing our agenda and working to ensure we seek action and change for the betterment of LGBT+ staff in Washington, overseas, and for our LE staff and to address key challenges faced by our members from all agencies.
Vice President – USAID, FCS, FAS, MCC, Peace Corps, APHIS
I have been with USAID since 2012 and served as the post rep during my tour in Guatemala. While serving as your representative in GLIFAA, I intend to work on gaining full access to the LGBTI Bidder’s Resource, construction of inclusive bathroom facilities, and benefits for our FSN and LES staff.
If you don’t know about the LGBTI Bidder’s Resource, it provides a summary for each post in regards to LGBTI friendly laws, culture, local attitudes, and, most importantly, whether your same-sex partner will be granted a visa and Ps and Is. Given the rapidly changing environment around acceptance of LGBTI identified persons, this resource is updated each year based on responses from a global call to missions to update their country’s submission. Our STATE colleagues have full access to this resource and USAID FSOs should be provided the same courtesy. If you will be bidding this fall, I encourage you to contact Charles Morgan, the LGBTI point person in HCTM. Charles can walk you through the steps needed to access this year’s Bidder’s Resource.
Over the last year, GLIFAA President Regina Jun and USAID VP Vy Lam have made tremendous progress with the USAID administration in the area of inclusive bathrooms. Unfortunately the current bathroom remodel in RRB was planned and procured prior to discussion of this need. I will work with GLIFAA and USAID to make sure that future renovations, here in DC and abroad, will include bathrooms that all people can be comfortable using.
The third focus area I will work on is to push the administration and State department to provide equitable benefits to our FSN and LES LGBTI colleagues. Currently, the US Government only complies with the minimum standards in regards to marital status. In countries where LGBTI people are banned from marrying their same-sex partner, this creates an uneven burden on our co-workers. I will work to see that health and retirement benefits can be provided to same-sex family members without putting them in danger.
Secretary & Treasurer
I joined the GLIFAA Board in September after joining the Governing Committee in early 2015.
During my tenure, I have overseen GLIFAA’s transition to MemberPlanet. This has consolidated our membership database and dues collection system from three different applications into one. I have also overseen GLIFAA’s Small Grants fund which has awarded grants to our Post Representatives in China, Israel, and Kazakhstan this year. I have continued to manage GLIFAA’s finances and hope to again close the year on budget or with a surplus.
My agenda for the next term would be to work on digitizing GLIFAA’s historical records to make them as well as the financial records more accessible to the membership.
Thank you for considering my candidacy as Policy Director for GLIFAA. Like many of you, I have benefited from GLIFAA’s steadfast advocacy on behalf of LGBT+ employees within the foreign affairs agencies and I am thrilled to finally be in position to give back.
For those of you I have not met, my name is Lucia Piazza. I am an FO-01 Foreign Service Officer at the Department of State. I joined the Department in 2001 and have served in Africa and the Middle East, and in Washington, D.C. What I can bring to GLIFAA is years of experience working on LGBT issues, both domestically and abroad. In Washington I have worked with AFSA, the Bureau of Human Resources, the Office of Civil Rights, the Office of the Ombudsman, and recently as the as a Special Assistant to the Undersecretary for Management with responsibility for all HR, LGBT, EEOC and Diversity, and Legal and Legislative Affairs. I have access to decision makers within State and the interagency (DOJ, CIA, DOD, the White House) from my work during the post-Windsor implementation phase. I spent the past year at the National War College where I developed contacts within the broader interagency, and as of the end of this month (June 2015) I will once again be on the seventh floor where I hope to use that access to further GLIFAA’s agenda.
LGBT+ employees in Foreign Affairs Agencies face a number of unique challenges within the federal workforce. These challenges include: ensuring LGBT+ families receive the same treatment as all families; that all family members receive the same level of accredidation by foreign governments; that LGBT+ employees are not disadvantaged when it comes to assignments and promotions when we (or our family members) cannot safely serve in certain countries. To have our issues heard we need a seat at the table. As such, I believe we should continue our aggressive advocacy for greater LGBT+ representation within the senior leadership ranks of our respective agencies, in particular from within the career ranks. That representation should be more diverse and broadly representative of the LGBT+ community. Advocating for these issues is where GLIFAA is most effective and where I believe my skill set and unique contacts could be brought to bear. I look forward to the opportunity to join the GLIFAA team and to be of service to an organization that has already given me and my family so much.
Outreach and Communications Director
I am excited to increase my involvement in GLIFAA, and think the position of Communications and Outreach Director would best suit my interests and abilities. I previously served on the board of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, so I have experience with non-profit management and fundraising for national LGBT organizations working to improve policies for LGBT employees.
I benefit directly from the work of previous GLIFAA boards and am highly motivated to continue their work. I am particularly interested in visa accreditation and parenting concerns. Especially as disparities affecting LGBT employees become more complex and subtle, since so many goals have been achieved, communication with GLIFAA members will become more important to advocate on their behalf. I look forward to using the Web site, listserv, and Globetrotter e-newsletter, among other tools, to boost information flows and make GLIFAA more effective.
I have strong Web site and editing skills, developed from years of pre-State online journalism experience at AllAfrica.com and WashingtonPost.com. I have previously managed writing assignments and layout, which will be useful in producing the Globetrotter e-newsletter. While a relatively junior mid-level officer, I have had a variety of Department experiences and connections, which I am prepared to leverage on behalf of the organization. Finally, I am prepared to assist with fundraising and events to support GLIFAA members and the organization’s broader goals. I am grateful for GLIFAA’s previous efforts and look forward to carrying on its finest traditions.
As the former Community Liaison Office Coordinator (CLO) for the U.S. Embassy, London, U.K. I was responsible in the creation, direct, and coordination of various events, programs, and services to improve the morale and quality of life for 1800 Embassy and Consulate employees and their families.
I am currently working for the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), Office of Counterintelligence and Consular Support (CCS) at the HST building and live in College Park, Maryland.
I am proud to say, my wife and I were the first same-sex couple to be recognized by an “outside agency” the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI) and to be sent to post/London with the equal rights given to all other Attaché representing the U.S. Mission abroad. As much as I am honored, I also believe this has taken years in the making and believe the rights of the LGBT community are still very much under-served.