President's Report to AFLSE Members for 2010


2010 was a banner year for the AFLSE. Read a summary report about events, membership news, relations with LSE and more.

President's Report to AFLSE Members for 2010

2010 was a banner year for the AFLSE, with more than 200 activities held across the nation, including Bon Voyage parties for new students, exciting visits from LSE faculty, and the successful introduction of a new category of AFLSE membership, the Premier League.  We also conducted a membership survey to identify how we can best serve the needs of our alumni.

Chapters, Special Interest Groups and Events

More than 200 events held by 16 chapters were publicized on our website this year. Most of these events were organized by the AFLSE but we also publicized many events organized by the LSE or co-sponsored with other groups. The events included happy hours, holiday parties, cultural activities, picnics, lectures and seminars.

Several of our events featured speakers from the LSE, alumni, and other leaders in their fields. The highlight event of the year was a reception for LSE Director Howard Davies, hosted by Nicolas Hailey, Counselor, Politics, Economics and Communications Group, at the British Embassy on July 21, 2010. The sell-out event drew more than 130 AFLSE members and their guests.

Other events included:

  • In Denver, a guest lecture by retired Ambassador Marc Grossman, an LSE alumnus, co-hosted by the Denver Chapter in conjunction with the Denver World Affairs Council.   
  • In Los Angeles, a discussion of international approaches to corporate liability following the BP Gulf crisis by LSE alumnus Gerard Forlin, QC, and prominent Southern California attorneys.
  • In Houston, a speech by Robert W. Gillmer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas on regional economic issues and the outlook for the Houston economy.
  • In New York and Washington, DC, discussions by LSE Professor Mary Kaldor, Director of the Centre for the Study of Global Governance, and Lt. Col. Shannon Beebe about their book, The Ultimate Weapon is No Weapon: Human Security and the New Rules of War and Peace.
  • In Chicago and New York, receptions for Professor Stuart Corbridge, Pro Director for Research and External Relations and Professor of International Development. 
  • In Washington, a roundtable discussion entitled "Health Care Reform: Patients or Consumers?" featuring LSE's Julian Le Grand, Richard Titmus Professor of Social Policy and Chair of the LSE Health Committee; a discussion featuring Dr. Daniela Gressani, Deputy to the Director General of the World Bank Group (WBG), on the WBG's role in the Global Financial Crisis; and a discussion on Dutch foreign policy with Her Excellency Renee Jones-Bos, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United States.

The AFLSE summer Bon Voyage program for students enrolling at the LSE in the fall was a great success, with 349 students attending events hosted by 16 chapters. The tradition is greatly appreciated, both by LSE Admissions Office and the new students with whom it establishes excellent rapport for when they return to the US after their studies.

If you would like to join a chapter or Special Interest Groups, please register at the group’s web page under "Chapters and Groups" on the AFLSE website, www.aflse.org/groups.html.

Membership

In 2010, we conducted a survey of more than 9,000 alumni, including current and past members of the AFLSE. The survey generated a terrific response rate of 12% and volumes of helpful data on the services and benefits alumni appreciate from the AFLSE and would like us to offer.  We are using this information to tailor our benefits and activities to alumni interests.

Our total membership has held steady and we successfully launched a new category of membership, the AFLSE Premier League.  More than 60 alumni attained this higher membership status could be attained by becoming a Life Member or a Three-Year Contributing member, or, if already a Life Member, providing a donation of $100 or more.  We continue to aim for increased numbers of members, and we encourage all alumni to join the AFLSE by visiting the Membership page at www.aflse.org/membership. Memberships start at just $35 per year, or $20 for current LSE students.

Web Site and Social Media

We revised the website in 2010 to respond to comments from our membership survey, including providing a more prominent link to the US Alumni Directory on the home page.  The AFLSE website, www.aflse.org, provides the latest news on AFLSE activities in all of our chapters and Special Interest Groups, AFLSE member benefits, and news and lectures from the LSE.  We have continued our outreach efforts by encouraging alumni and chapter leaders to join AFLSE groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Relations with LSE

In 2009, the AFLSE earned a challenge grant from the LSE by meeting and exceeding a target for donors to the Centennial Fund.  We received these funds in 2010 and are making them available to support additional chapter activities and outreach to the alumni community.  The AFLSE continues to benefit from the support of the LSE’s Office of Development and Alumni Relations and the Centennial Fund office, located in New York. 

Scholarship Program

We have now awarded over 130 full or partial scholarships over the 30 years that the program has existed. The endowment continues to be actively invested to grow along with capital markets. In 2010 we awarded a full scholarship to Samantha Parson, who is studying for an M.Sc. in Environmental Policy and Regulation at the LSE. 

Volunteers

The AFLSE could not function without a significant effort from a large group of volunteers. We have a Board of 30 thoughtful and active members including significant chapter leadership. We count at least another 50 volunteers who work hard to make a success of our events held by chapters and groups as well as our regional representatives. We thank everyone who has contributed to making AFLSE a strong and vibrant group.

With best wishes for a happy and successful 2011.

Beth Halpern
AFLSE President