TFSG, founded in 1994, is a group of 90 people who have spent time outside of America with America's Foreign Service, academia, or business, or as an accompanying family member.
TFSG presents four luncheons with speakers and one members-only luncheon each year. This website lists the speakers with bibliographies that TFSG members write to accompany each speech. It also features links to international databases, publications, think tanks, and published works by members and speakers

-- Texas --

April 2017 Luncheon Meeting
Mimi’s Café
10515 N. Mopac Expy Nb., #O, Austin, TX 78758
11:30 a.m.; Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Ambassador Robin L. Raphel
“Pakistan and its Troublesome Neighbors”

April Menu:

Tomato basil soup
Caesar salad
Iced or hot tea, coffee, soft drinks, juices, hot chocolate, lemonade

Choice of:
A – Walnut and blue cheese salad  (Walnuts, crumbled blue cheese, tomatoes, and dried cranberries tossed with mixed greens in balsamic vinaigrette.  Topped with fresh strawberries.)
B – Five-Cheese Grilled Sandwich  (With cheddar, jack, Swiss, and mozzarella cheese on a grilled garlic-parmesan sourdough.  Served with fresh thin-cut russet fries.)
C – Fire-Grilled Shrimp Brochette  (Ten fire-grilled shrimp with a classic salt and pepper rub.  With roasted potatoes.)
D – Roasted Chicken Crepes  (French crepes with slow-roasted chicken, sautéed spinach and mushrooms, and sliced cherry tomatoes topped with Dijon Chardonnay sauce.  With roasted potatoes.)

Dessert:  Tiramisu

RSVP: Please confirm your attendance and menu choices by noon on Tuesday, April 4.

  • By mail to TFSG, P.O. Box 50246, Austin, TX 78763-0246, or
  • By e-mail to Joe McLean at
  • By phone to Karen Jacks at 512-238-1909
  • Or by phone to 512-345-6878 or 512-797-0538

Lunch begins at noon.  Members $24, guests accompanied by members $30.  No new reservations after 12 noon on Tuesday, April 4.  No-shows or cancellations after this date will be billed for their lunch.  AFSA and DACOR members are welcome to attend one luncheon per year, except for the December luncheon, at the member price. 

Driving directions to Mimi’s Café are attached.

Checks made out to TFSG and mailed in advance is our preferred payment method (P.O. Box 50246, Austin, TX 78763-0246).  Please include your menu choices, your name, and a phone number or email address so we can confirm your reservation.  All reservations are confirmed, so if you do not get a confirmation, please contact us.

Memberships are $30 per person for three years or $12 per person per year.  The three-year membership price for those who live more than 50 miles from Austin or are over 90 years of age is $20 for one person and a spouse/partner living at the same address.  Memberships make excellent gifts for people who have spent years overseas and their family members.

About our Speaker
Ambassador Robin Raphel is an expert in political, security, and economic development issues in South Asia and the Middle East.  She served nearly 40 years in U.S. foreign affairs agencies, including the Department of State, DoD, USAID and CIA.  She was the first Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, Ambassador to Tunisia, and Vice President of the National Defense University, and Deputy Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.  She managed the sharp increase in development assistance to Pakistan under the late Ambassador Holbrooke, and deployed to Iraq with the first civilian contingent after the 2003 invasion to help restore the critical  food ration system throughout the country.  Earlier in her career she served in Pakistan, India, South Africa, and the UK, and taught history at a women's college in Iran.

Ambassador Raphel holds a BA in History and Economics from the University of Washington, and Master's degrees in Economics from the University of Maryland and in History from Cambridge University in the UK.

2017 Events of Interest
Friday, May 5
Foreign Service Day.  Please talk it up with friends and acquaintances.  Few Americans know that America has a Diplomatic Corps with offices around the world to represent our nation and help Americans.  Event suggestions will be appreciated.

Tuesday, June 13
TFSG luncheon.  Speaker to be announced.

Friday, June 16
Our annual gala buffet dinner with the cast of the Gilbert & Sullivan production of the "The Pirates of Penzance." Tickets should be available at our February and April luncheons for TFSG members at a substantial discount, because of the generosity of an anonymous donor.

Tuesday, October 3
National Night Out in Texas. The major supporter of this day locally is the Austin Police Department, which promotes the 911 service.

Tuesday, October 10
TFSG luncheon.  Speaker to be announced.

Tuesday, December 12
TFSG “members only” luncheon, with the funniest TV and cinema advertisements of 2017.

TFSG Information:
2017 luncheons are on the second Tuesday of even-numbered months:  February 14, April 11, June 13, October 10, December 12 (members-only Fun Festival Luncheon)

Doris Scott appreciates receiving autobiographies, photos, member updates, and notices of members’ deaths.  Updates for our memorial book are also appreciated.       

Our group depends on great volunteers.  Please talk to Doris, Joe, Jerry, or John if you have ideas for our group and/or would like to volunteer.  

At our October 2016 luncheon there were some mike problems.  Mikes and amplifier are now in top shape.
TFSG has bought a 90-inch diagonal screen for use at our luncheons.  It is also available for rental for by other nonprofits for $40, with a refundable deposit of $300.

Our speakers send us suggestions for the bibliographies we prepare to accompany their speech.  We post the bibliographies on our website,, and mail copies to members with U.S. addresses but without access to email.  The website contains all past bibliographies.  Several members share our website with family and friends and we encourage all members to do so.  The website also lists publications, writings, and speeches by past speakers and present TFSG members.  We review the “Links” page on the website several times per year for needed additions or deletions, and suggestions are always welcomed.  Send corrections for any page on the website to John at

Members are encouraged to invite guests to any of our first four luncheons of the year.  There are always door prizes, such as books, coupons for free meals, lottery tickets, chocolates, and prizes tied to special days such as Valentine’s Day.

If you are a member and have been published or have produced a film, we would like to list your published books, articles, essays, and other works in the Members section of the Publications page on our website.  According to the AFSA members-only limited-access community website, our TFSG website is often viewed more than 10 times a day.  

If you have spoken to one of our meetings, we would like to list your published works in the Speakers section of our website. 

If you have had a change in your street or mailing address, internet address, phone number, or outside-your-home emergency contact, please email this information to Doris Scott at  (Note:  We do not share, loan, rent, or sell this information to anyone.)

Our membership fees are modest and our membership numbers are important.  Please talk to your friends who have spent time outside of the USA and invite them to one of our luncheons – and then to join TFSG.

Most of our luncheons cost about $200 more than the luncheon fees bring in.  We do not solicit donations, but neither do we refuse them. 

Information of Interest:
Few American know that when an American gets in trouble while outside the USA, he/she should call the nearest United States Embassy or Consulate. TFSG has cards to distribute with phone numbers for when in trouble overseas, the 911 number for use here, and the SOS symbol for use everywhere.

Austin is home to several groups who bring in experts on various aspects of national and international affairs, and some of their upcoming major speakers/events are listed on their websites.  Please share this list with your friends.

Clements Center Events (University of Texas at Austin):

Strauss Center Events (University of Texas at Austin):

Kozmetsky Center Events (St. Edward’s University):

LBJ Library:



TFSG Officers
President, John S. Wood,
Treasurer, Joe McLean,
Editor, Sandy Wilder,  
Webmaster, Jane Dunham,
Transportation Coordinator, Florita Sheppard,
Contact Coordinator, Doris Scott,