TFSG, founded in 1994, is a group of 40 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 --

December 2018 Luncheon Meeting
11:30 a.m.; Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Mimi’s Café
10515 N. Mopac Expy Northbound, #O, Austin, TX  78758

Tenth Annual Fun Festival Luncheon

December Menu
Iced or hot tea, coffee, soft drinks, juices, hot chocolate, lemonade

Caesar Salad

Entrée:  Choice of
(A) Shrimp Brochette (Ten fire-grilled shrimp served with rice and garlic spinach)
(B) Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwich (Hand-breaded Parmesan chicken, thick-cut ham, melted Swiss cheese, Dijon mayo, lettuce and tomato on ciabatta bread, served with fries)
(C)  Beef Pot Roast  (Slowly braised in a red wine shallot sauce, served with house made mashed potatoes and broccoli)
(D)  Quiche Florentine (Vegetarian quiche served with fresh fruit)

Dessert:  Strawberry cheesecake parfait


RSVP:  Please confirm your attendance and menu choices by Thursday, December 6.

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

Lunch begins at noon.  Members $24, guests of members $30.  No new reservations after Thursday, December 6.  No-shows or cancellations after this date will be billed for their lunch.

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


Tuesday, December 11, is a great day to invite friends to visit Austin.

The tenth annual Fun Festival Luncheon for TFSG members and guests is at Mimi’s Café at 11:30 a.m.  The luncheon includes some of the funniest advertisements of the last decade or two, an invitation from the regional manager of Austin’s Ten Thousand Villages store to their holiday party, and the possibility of winning door prizes of $5 gift cards to Ten Thousand Villages and/or some truly unique door prizes.

The State Capitol is decorated for the 2018 holiday season.  If it is a nice day there may be musicians strolling the grounds.  The Visitor's Center in the far southeast corner of the grounds is really a museum and is worth a visit.  Because the Legislature is not in session, the Capitol shouldn’t be crowded.

Ten Thousand Villages Holiday Party and Benefit Night
Ten Thousand Villages store, 4803 Burnet Road; 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Every year Ten Thousand Villages partners with TFSG to celebrate the season and support Ten Thousand Villages.  Enjoy friends, light appetizers, and shopping unique wares from global artisans.  There is ample free parking behind the store.  If you win a Ten Thousand Villages gift card during the TFSG luncheon, consider spending it at the party.

Holiday sound and light show
Mozart’s Coffee Roasters, 3825 Lake Austin Blvd. (on the banks of Lake Austin)
The free sound-and-light show begins at dusk and runs periodically until midnight.  Several years ago Gourmet Magazine named Mozart’s one of the top 20 coffee shops in the country.


Information of Interest
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 Presidential Library events

GlobalAustin events


TFSG Information
2019 Luncheons
Tuesday, February 12 (speaker TBA)
Tuesday, April 9 (speaker TBA)
Tuesday, June 11 (speaker TBA)
Tuesday, August 13 (speaker TBA)
Tuesday, October 15 (speaker TBA)
Tuesday, December 10 – 11th Annual Fun Festival Luncheon

Luncheons are on the second Tuesday of even-numbered months.  The December luncheon is the annual Fun Festival Luncheon. 

Members are encouraged to invite guests to any of our luncheons.  There are always unique door prizes, from gigantic to very small, and even chocolates.

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, two, or three adults living at the same address.  A three-year membership gift for a retired FS family or family member is only $20 and is a great reminder of interesting times.

New members are always welcome.  We have recently placed a half-page ad in the 2019 AFSA Retiree Directory, at a cost of $250.  We will have copies of the ad for you at the December luncheon and we welcome assistance with the cost.

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.  We need members who can find new members, can arrive early to help us set up for luncheons, can help us take down after luncheons, and can store our electronics and supplies in between luncheons.  We always welcome suggestions for speakers and assistance with speakers’ expenses.  Our honorarium for speakers plus a meal for the speaker and a guest costs us $150, plus transportation and hotel bills, if necessary.

Please share our website, WWW.TFSG.ORG, with your friends, acquaintances, colleagues, and family regardless of where they live.  If you have American friends traveling overseas, ask for one of our small free travel cards to give to them. 

For the four-page bibliographies we prepare to accompany each speech, The Foreign Service Journal, Barnes & Noble at the Arboretum in Austin, the speaker, and our members each provide a page.  We post the bibliographies on our website,, and mail copies to members with U.S. addresses but without access to email.  Our website contains all past bibliographies and an interesting “Links” page.  We encourage members to share our website with family and friends.  The website also lists publications, writings, and speeches by past speakers and present TFSG members.  We review the website annually for needed additions or deletions, and suggestions are always welcomed.  Send corrections for any page on the website to John at


TFSG Officers
Chair:  Jerry Mitchell,
President:  John S. Wood,
Treasurer:  Joe McLean,
Editor:  Sandy Wilder,
Webmaster:  Jane Dunham,
Transportation Coordinator:  vacant
Contact Coordinator:  Doris Scott,