American Liaison Network (ALN) of Citizen Liaison Volunteers (CLV) Information
The American Citizen Services unit is in the process of building our American Liaison Network (ALN) of Citizen Liaison Volunteers (CLV) to ensure that we can communicate as effectively as possible with U.S. citizens in the event of an emergency. We are looking for volunteers to serve as CLVs in various regions of China. If you or someone you know may be interested, or you just want to learn more – let us know!
CLVs are private citizens who help the Embassy help U.S. citizens in need. They assist travelers in distress, help us track down missing U.S. citizens, and, in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency, help us locate other American citizens so we can help get them to safety. Most often, however, CLVs are called on to be our ‘eyes and ears’ in the community, providing valuable feedback on what life is like for ordinary U.S. citizens living in China. CLVs are usually American citizens who are longer-term residents of China and, ideally, speak some Chinese. Please note that this is a voluntary position that does not imply financial reimbursement.
CLVs in smaller cities and rural areas are uniquely important because those can be the hardest places for us to reach in an emergency. We are also looking for CLVs in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces.
What does it mean to be a Citizen Liaison Volunteer?
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 China. 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 China, who preferably, but are not required to, speak Chinese. 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 a CLV?
- CLVs are key liaisons between the Embassy and U.S. citizens in China. 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 Beijing.
- 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.
Interested in becoming a CLV?
If you would like to be a CLV, please provide us with your full name, date of birth passport number and your contact details via email at BeijingACS@State.gov Once you notify us of your interest, we’ll get back to you with more information and further instructions.