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FSLRB Biographies

Colleen Duffy Kiko

FLRA Chairman Colleen Duffy Kiko serves as the Chairperson of the FSLRB.

Ambassador Dennis K. Hays (ret.)

Dennis Hays joined the Foreign Service fresh out of university and was first assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Jamaica as a vice consul and management officer. Mr. Hays then returned to Washington where he was an Advance Man for Presidential and Vice Presidential visits overseas.  After a year at the John F. Kennedy School at Harvard, where he received a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, Mr. Hays was twice elected President of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), the professional voice and exclusive bargaining agent of all Foreign Service agencies. Mr. Hays subsequently served as Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) at our Embassy in Bujumbura, Burundi and then first as DCM and then for two years as Charge d'Affaires at the Embassy in Georgetown, Guyana.  At this time the Inspector General formally recognized Mr. Hays as having the best managed mid-sized Embassy worldwide.   After a year at the National War College at Ft. McNair, Mr. Hays became the Coordinator for Cuban Affairs during the time of the Cuban Rafter Crisis.  He resigned from that position in the wake of a policy shift he felt he couldn't support and was reassigned as Director of Mexican Affairs where he focused on NAFTA implementation.  Mr. Hays completed his service as Ambassador to the Republic of Suriname.  Mr. Hays was awarded the Meritorious Honor Award in 1979 and the Superior Honor Award in 1982, 1987, 1992 and 1995.  He was presented the Christian Herter Award for Intellectual Courage and Creative Dissent in 1996 for his actions as Cuba Coordinator.

After retiring from the Foreign Service, Mr. Hays served as the executive vice president of a major foreign policy organization, as an advocate for domestic and foreign technology concerns, including an advanced nuclear fuel technology company and traveled extensively overseas promoting rule of law, anti-corruption and police reform.  In all of these positions he has had direct and ongoing contact with our Embassies and members of the Foreign Service. Mr. Hays is currently a senior fellow of the Joint Forces Staff College and a senior adviser on political risk for the international oil industry.

Ambassador Hays is also President of the Reston Citizens Association and Chairman of the Fairfax Library Advocates.

Madelyn E. Spirnak

A career diplomat, Madelyn E. Spirnak retired from the Foreign Service in 2006, receiving the Secretary of State’s Career Achievement Award.  During her 26-year career, and in overseas and domestic assignments following her retirement, Ms. Spirnak specialized in Middle East and European affairs with particular focus on trade and investment issues.  Ms. Spirnak began her career as a Consular officer in Berlin on the western side of the Wall.  She served as Trade and Investment Officer in Ankara, Turkey from 1988-91 and in Cairo, Egypt from 1991-1995, where she finalized negotiations on the U.S-Egypt Bilateral Investment Treaty.  From 1995-1996, Ms. Spirnak attended Scotland’s University of Edinburgh, and obtained a Master of Laws (LLM) degree with distinction in European Community Law.  At the U.S. Embassy in Dublin, Ireland, she served as Chief of the Political-Economic Section, coordinating U.S. engagement during Ireland’s EU presidency, and as Deputy Chief of Mission during intense peace talks with Northern Ireland.  In 1996, Ms. Spirnak was detailed to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, where she served as Director for the Middle East and the Mediterranean, directing negotiations on trade agreements with Egypt and Jordan.  She returned to Ankara as Economic Counselor in 1999, negotiating the U.S.-Turkey Trade and Investment Framework Agreement and participating in Caspian Energy Corridor multilateral talks.

Returning to Washington in 2001, Ms. Spirnak served as Director for Energy, Middle East and Development in the International Economic Affairs Directorate of the National Security Council, and Senior Economic Advisor in the State Department Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.  From 2003-2004, Ms. Spirnak served in New York as Deputy U.S. Representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, overseeing negotiations on a wide range of issues, including human rights and international development assistance.  Her final assignment before retirement was as Senior Advisor for Agricultural Biotechnology in the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs.

After retirement, Ms. Spirnak continued to serve in State Department domestic and overseas assignments, including: Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs; Senior Economic Advisor in the Bureau of South Asian Affairs; Acting Deputy Chief of Mission in Amman, Jordan; and Deputy Coordinator for Foreign Affairs Day and the Secretary’s Annual Retirement Ceremony.  During her State Department career, Ms. Spirnak has served on Selection Boards reviewing employees for promotion and with the Bureau of Examiners reviewing applicants for entry into the Foreign Service.  She has been a member of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) since she joined the Foreign Service in 1981.  She began her first term as a Member of the Foreign Service Labor Relations Board on October 7, 2018.

Ms. Spirnak has volunteered  her service on various boards during and following her Foreign Service career, including: the Fulbright Scholarship Board in Dublin, Ireland; the Turkish-American Association in Ankara, Turkey; HasNa, a U.S. non-profit organization working to resolve disputes across cultures, ethnicities, and borders; and the McLean Gardens Condominium Association, where she served as President from 2016-2017.