The American Liaison Network (ALN), previously known as the Warden System, is a key component of U.S. Embassies’ and Consulates’ efforts to share information and render assistance to U.S. citizens living and traveling abroad. Citizen Liaison Volunteers (CLVs) are key liaisons between the Embassy and U.S. citizens in Bulgaria.
What does it mean to be a Citizen Liaison Volunteer (CLV)?
As part of the ALN, a community of U.S. citizen (and occasionally some non-citizen) volunteers known as CLVs partner with the Embassy to address security, safety, and health issues affecting U.S. citizens overseas. CLVs are assigned to one of several ALN zones throughout Bulgaria. The Embassy looks for CLVs from a variety of professional backgrounds, who can bring a range of skills, knowledge, and contacts to the position. They are usually long term residents in Bulgaria, who preferably, but are not required to, speak Bulgarian. Ideally they have strong ties to the expatriate community in their zone, and are familiar with local contacts and resources that would be useful in emergency situations.
CLVs typically serve a one-year voluntary (non-paid) term and must annually sign a Memorandum of Agreement that outlines their roles and responsibilities.
CLVs are not U.S. Embassy official representatives, employees, spokespersons, consular officers, or consular agents.
What are the roles and responsibilities of the CLVs?
- CLVs are key liaisons between the Embassy and U.S. citizens in Bulgaria. As a CLV, you will be an important point of contact for the Embassy with the private U.S. citizen community, providing a window into the concerns, interests, and needs of U.S. citizens in your ALN zone.
- As a CLV you may be asked to:
- Disseminate information as directed by the Embassy to the U.S. citizen community in your ALN zone;
- Be an on-the-ground resource to help the Embassy understand issues of concern to U.S. citizens and share information that might support the Embassy’s consular operations;
- Report on available local resources for U.S. citizens in your ALN zone, identify gaps, and when possible, seek solutions to fill those gaps;
- Identify risks for potential crises and security issues in your ALN zone, identify gaps in preparedness for the U.S. citizen community;
- In exigent situations only, at post’s explicit direction, help the Embassy provide emergency services to U.S. citizens;
- Maintain local contacts in your ALN zone, including U.S. citizen and non-U.S. citizen expatriates, which might be of use to the Embassy consular operations;
- Engage with other CLVs to share experiences through the Embassy’s ALN online forum, by email, by meeting in person, or other appropriate means;
- Encourage U.S. citizens to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP);
- Identify, for the Embassy’s consideration, individuals who may be willing to serve as an alternate CLV for your ALN zone or as a CLV in another part of the country.
- You are not a representative of the U.S. government or U.S. Embassy Sofia.
- You are not compensated for performing this role.
- You are not a government employee, a spokesperson, a consular officer or consular agent.
- You must refer all media or legal inquiries to the Embassy.
- You must also refer to the Embassy all general requests to explain policies, procedures, or services beyond what is publicly available.
- You must safeguard the privacy of personal information that is provided to you in the course of your duties. Some of the information that you will receive from the U.S. Department of State in your role as a CLV is subject to the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, when it is maintained by the Department. You must not use or disseminate this information to others, except as necessary, to perform your duties as a CLV.