Congresswoman: “The Men & Women of The U.S. Foreign Service — Many of Whom Have Called Virginia Home — Work Tirelessly Around the World to Safeguard American Interests”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today introduced the United States Foreign Service Commemorative Coin Act, bipartisan and bicameral legislation to create a commemorative coin celebrating 100 years of the U.S. Foreign Service.
Spanberger’s bill would direct the U.S. Mint to release a commemorative coin in 2025 marking 100 years since the passage and enactment of the legislation that created the modern-day Foreign Service. The proceeds from the coin sales would benefit the Association for Diplomatic Study and Training (ADST), a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history and sharing the experiences of generations of U.S. Foreign Service members.
“Over the past century, the men and women of the U.S. Foreign Service — many of whom have called Virginia home — work tirelessly around the world to safeguard American interests,” said Spanberger. “Throughout my career, I’ve had the privilege of working alongside numerous foreign service members, and they’ve always displayed an unwavering commitment to our national security, our diplomacy, and the critical role of U.S. global leadership. This coin would honor their work and the sacrifices they’ve made to serve our country.”
“The upcoming centennial anniversary of the modern U.S. Foreign Service, and of AFSA itself, offers a chance to recognize and salute the contributions of tens of thousands of patriotic Americans who have served their country abroad and at home through times of war, crisis and challenge. It also is an opportunity to commemorate the ultimate sacrifice made by the hundreds of members of our Foreign Service who gave their lives in service abroad. AFSA strongly supports this legislation as a way of marking the hundredth anniversary of a small but essential part of our country’s first line of defense, and of the dedicated public servants who have committed their lives to the work of diplomacy and international development,” said Ambassador Eric Rubin, President, American Foreign Service Association (AFSA).
“In honoring this important centennial, the coin will recognize a century of Foreign Service contributions to American diplomacy. This is an important and unique opportunity for visible and lasting recognition that is more than deserved. A United States Foreign Service 100th anniversary commemorative coin is deeply meaningful to those who have served and to their families as visible and public recognition of their decades-long dedicated service overseas for the American people, often in hazardous and dangerous duty locations,” said Ambassador Anne Patterson, Chair of the Board of Directors, ADST.
“The sale of United States Foreign Service Commemorative coins will support the modernization of the seminal Foreign Affairs Oral History Program of the ADST. This program, established in 1986, captures the experiences of America’s diplomats in their own voice and is the largest publicly accessible collection of diplomatic oral histories available on the Library of Congress and ADST websites. It is praised by Secretary of State George Shultz for the lessons it contains and by Senator Sam Nunn and others as a ‘national treasure.’ Tens of thousands of Americans in the broader foreign affairs community will welcome this legislation and the overdue recognition it embodies,” said Susan R. Johnson (SFS, ret), President, ADST.
“This legislation, which is revenue neutral, would authorize the Treasury Department to mint a special coin to honor the 100th anniversary of the Rogers Act, which when enacted in 1924 established the modern Foreign Service to represent the United States around the globe. Based on their sacrifices, the dangers they have faced, and the thousands of Americans they have protected and assisted, these non-partisan, career Foreign Service employees who have served and continue to serve as the professional staff in multiple foreign affairs agencies, are especially deserving of recognition,” said Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn, President Emeritus, World Food Prize.
Spanberger’s legislation is cosponsored in the U.S. House by U.S. Representatives Ami Bera (D-CA), Maria Salazar (R-FL), Dean Phillips (D-MN), and Zach Nunn (R-IA).
Companion legislation is led in the U.S. Senate by U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK).
The Foreign Service as it is organized today was established through the Rogers Act of 1924, which in that year consolidated and reorganized the existing Diplomatic and Consular Services into a single entity, with the first class of the combined Foreign Service graduating in 1925. Since then, the Foreign Service has been the primary cadre of professionals charged with conducting United States diplomacy. Operating under the Department of State, today the Foreign Service consists of over 15,000 career professionals carrying out American foreign policy and aiding U.S. citizens in more than 250 posts abroad.
The U.S. Mint’s commemorative coin program honors American people, places, events, and institutions. Congress may authorize no more than two commemorative coins per year. Although they are legal tender, they are not minted for general circulation; they are produced in limited quantity available only for a limited time. In addition to their sentimental value, all of these coins help raise money for important causes. Part of the price paid by a coin’s purchaser is a surcharge that goes to non-profit organizations for community benefit.