Sunday, May 20, 2018 – UAA Spring Reception – Alex and Pat Shakow are again hosting the annual Spring Reception. We hope you will join us for this special social occasion in a lovely garden setting. Plenty of food and drinks for all. This event is free of charge to Alumni and their spouses or partners. See below for details. Respond today!!
Monday, May 21, 2018 – 10:00 to Noon – UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue – Retired USAID Mission Director Larry Heilman will launch his long-awaited book USAID in Bolivia: Partner or Patron? as part of the USAID bibliography series led by John Pielemeier.
Monday, June 11, 2018 – 10:00 to Noon–UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue – World Bank Vice-President for Development Finance Axel van Trotsenburg will speak on “Financing Development: The Catalytic Role of the World Bank.”
Saturday, September 8 UAA Annual Picnic at Fort Hunt in Alexandria, Virginia
Friday, October 26 UAA Annual General Meeting at the Center for Global Development (CGD) in Washington, D.C.
UAA Spring Reception
Sunday, May 20, 2018
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
The Home of Alex and Pat Shakow
4001 Dresden St. – Chevy Chase View
Kensington, Maryland 20895
Alex and Pat Shakow are again hosting the annual Spring Reception. We hope you will join us for this special social occasion in a lovely garden setting. Plenty of food and drinks for all. This event is free of charge to Alumni and their spouse or partner.
USAID HISTORY PROJECT UPDATE
New! As reported at the AGM and in monthly UAA Newsletters, the USAID History Project is well underway. Our author John Norris has now completed six of the eighteen months needed to prepare a finished manuscript. He has done vast amounts of research and collected many hundreds of pages of valuable material. He has read every one of the more than a hundred oral histories of retired USAID staff, perused the relevant documents available online in USAID’s Development Experience Clearinghouse (DEC), read all the relevant USAID-related news clippings he could find, read many – but not yet all – of the many published books on aspects of USAID’s work, and drawn on many other sources as well. He has now begin to refine the material, starting to turn it into chapters while also working on a book proposal to shop to publishers.
As noted last month, Presidential libraries are important repository of key documents. Two UAA members in the Boston area have done valuable research for John in the JFK Library, and Carol Peasley has been in Texas recently to dig into the LBJ and Bush presidential libraries. We repeat our request – if you live near a Presidential library and would like to help John’s research, please let us know (email@example.com).
Once again, we want to thank our generous UAA members for their tremendous support for the project. About $210,000 has been received from more than 150 donors. We continue to encourage contributions to be sure the project can be completed and to promote various post-publication educational activities drawing on the book. Moreover, we believe that the widest possible UAA member participation – at whatever dollar level – in this important project is a key to its ultimate success.
If you have not contributed, please do so now by sending a check payable to the “UAA/USAID History Project” to the UAA/USAID History Project, c/o DACOR, 4th Floor, 1801 F St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20006. You will receive a grateful acknowledgment from the UAA co-chairs and a receipt for tax purposes.
This year’s Winterfest on February 11 was a great success. Frank and Antoinette Almaguer graciously hosted at their lovely home the afternoon get-together for 52 UAA members and spouses. We enjoyed food, drinks, and lively conversation with other alumni, including some old and new or renewed friends. Frank lived up to his promise to hold off the expected inclement weather and provided gentle weather to enhance our pleasure for the afternoon. For those of you who were unable to join us, we encourage you to come to the Spring reception to be hosted by Alex and Patricia Shakow on May 20.
Announcing the 2018 UAA Alumni of the Year Awards
In 2018, the UAA will continue to recognize significant contributions by USAID alumni. Since the inception of the Awards Program in 2014, the UAA has recognized and celebrated new paths taken by USAID alumni to provide service to their communities and make lasting contributions to others at home and abroad.
In response to the many comments and suggestions by the members in the 2016 and 2017 evaluations following the annual general meeting (AGM), we are pleased to make the following change in this year’s awards program. We have expanded the signature Alumni of the Year award criteria to include leadership excellence, including contributions to intellectual development and implementation, and to clarify that both retirees and spouses or partners, who are members of the UAA, are eligible recipients for the award.
We also appreciate the members’ AGM evaluation comments concerning the need to recognize outstanding performance and commitment to furthering the goals of the USAID Alumni Association. Many of our members have served over several years with dedication, passion and commitment to the association through design, establishment, and management of UAA systems, programs and social events. Separately from the Awards Program, we plan to periodically acknowledge these extraordinary efforts by some of our members.
For the Alumni of the Year award, your help is requested in identifying individuals whose post-USAID activities are truly exemplary and highlight the quality of our alumni community. We ask everyone to consider nominating (or self-nominating) someone you know who is deserving of this recognition.
The Awards Committee will accept nominations for Alumni of the Year, beginning now until July 31, 2018. Send nominations electronically to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The award winners will be announced at the Annual General Meeting on October 26.
The 2018 UAA Awards Program guidance is provided here.
2018 UAA Membership Survey Results
There was a 52% increase in participation of UAA registered members in the 2018 survey, compared to 2017. Participation continued to be about evenly divided between DC area and outside of DC area residents.
The results show a stable organization: the same features of the newsletter and the Website continue to be the most popular; the same events continue to be the most popular; and the reasons for attending events or not are also similar year over year. Comments also show a continuing interest in activities outside the DC area.
A new question was asked this year about our process for electing Board members. Among those who answered, the current process was overwhelmingly supported.
We also inquired about member interest in participating in public speaking, mentoring, committee activities related to our six goals, the Annual General Meeting committee, and the Board. Those working with each of these groups are reviewing these expressions of interest and will be contacting respondents directly. The full report on this survey may be found here.
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is the UAA’s most important event each year. Accordingly, the Executive Committee greatly values your feedback on the event. The results of our inquiries on the AGM are available here for your review. To see them, click on the report title: 2017 AGM Evaluation Summary and 2017 AGM Non-Attendee Summary.
Annual Survey of the UAA Membership
As it does every year, in January, the UAA sent a survey document to all of its members. The purpose of the survey was to understand better how well the organization is serving the needs and interests of its member constituents. By clicking here, you can read a summary of the survey results, as brilliantly composed by Carol Dabbs.
UAA 2017-19 Strategic Plan
Strategic Goals and Implementation Plan: The UAA Board approved an updated Statement of UAA Strategic Goals and Implementation Plan for 2017-2019. This statement provides a medium-term guide for the work of the UAA. It is intended to be a working document that will be reviewed and revised from time to time to reflect evolving circumstances. Members are invited to provide comments and suggestions on the goals and implementing actions at any time.
Bibliography of USAID Authors
August Update of USAID Bibliography of USAID Authors: A number of new (and older) books have come to our attention and have been added to the Bibliography, bringing to 218 the total entries thus far. Of particular interest is Barry Riley’s new “The Political History of American Food Aid: An Uneasy Benevolence”, described by one reviewer as ““without doubt the most comprehensive history of US food assistance ever written”, which explores the influences of humanitarian, domestic agricultural policy, foreign policy, and national security goals that have created the uneasy relationship between benevolent instincts and the realpolitik of national interests.
Other new entries include Larry Heilman’s USAID in Bolivia: Partner or Patron, Terry Myer’s chapter on USAID in The National Security Enterprise, Lu Rudel’s Memoirs of an Agent of Change, the Struggle for Iraq by Thomas Renahan and several others (all identified by baby blue ink).
Please send info on any additional USAID-authored books that you identify to John Pielemeier at Jpielemeie@aol.com.
UAA/DACOR Development Dialogues:
The UAA/DACOR Development Dialogues is a series of interactive conversations on a broad range of topics relevant to the interests of international development professionals.
Below are summaries of the most recent events. Each includes a link either to an audio or video of the event. Being able to listen or watch an event should be of particular interest to Association members who live outside the DC area.
New! On March 28, 2018, Relief International’s CEO Nancy Wilson focused a highly appreciative UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue audience on the challenges of working on relief and development efforts at the ground level in some of the world’s most fragile settings. Listen to the audio of her presentation and the Q&A period and see her slides.
New! On April 16, 2018, Ambassador Jim Michel, former USAID Counselor and Assistant Administrator for Latin America (and much more), discussed “Fragility – Implications for Peace, Security and Sustainable Development”, based on his recent report prepared for CSIS. He stressed the importance of not defining states simply as “fragile” or “non-fragile”, instead highlighting the importance of assessing the priority needs of countries individually, arrayed on a broad continuum. Hear the full audio of Jim’s talk here and see his slides here.
On Monday, February 12, 2018, John Mellor, former USAID Chief Economist, Director-General of IFPRI and Emeritus Professor at Cornell, spoke to a large and appreciative UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue audience about key themes in his new book Agricultural Development and Economic Transformation: Promoting Growth with Poverty Reduction. Hear the audio of John’s talk and the Q&As here and see his slides here.
UAA has learned of the recent deaths of the following members of our USAID alumni community: Juan Buttari, William Stedman, Lloyd Pierson, Betty Sturtevant, Dana Dalrymple,, Jerome Hulehan, Joseph Guardiano, and Gartini Isa Griffin. A full listing of alumni obituaries may be seen in the In Memoriam section.
If you would like to provide a brief obituary or personal tribute for these former colleagues and friends to be posted on this website or if you know of other people who have passed way and have not been noted here, please send the information to: email@example.com Attn: Memorials.
UAA is your organization. Your getting involved in Association activities will make us stronger, more interesting and – definitely – more fun. Below are just some of the ways you can participate:
- UAA Speakers Roster
The UAA has a roster of some 65 alumni around the country who regularly speak to community groups, universities and others about a range of international development and foreign affairs issues, and who are available for additional engagements. Further information about the UAA Speakers Bureau can be found in the attached brochure. To become a member of the Speakers’ Roster is simple. Just fill in the information here and press the “send” button. If you are interested in finding USAID alumni in your area to speak at an event or to consult about a future program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- UAA Committees
UAA has five committees. These include: Membership Services, Public Outreach, Strengthening USAID, Development Issues and Finance and Administration. You can find descriptions of the committees here. Your ideas, involvement and energy would be very welcomed in any one of these.
- Alumni Groupings
In several regions around the country (and, perhaps, eventually abroad), people have organized local USAID alumni groups. Find out about these and get contact information about them here.
Do you belong to a local alumni group not posted here? Please share it with all of us. Send information to email@example.com Attn: Alumni Groupings.
- Job and Volunteer Opportunities
Alumni looking for work? On request, UAA vets and posts USAID-related jobs and volunteer opportunities. For a full listing, see: Job Opportunities.
Also, from time to time, the AFSA Job Board may have employment or volunteer opportunities of relevance to USAID alums.
If you wish to post a job or volunteer opportunity, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, Attn: Jobs/Volunteers.
Below are the most recent postings:
The Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) is hiring individuals to serve as Personal Services Contractors (PSCs). USAID/OFDA is responsible for providing emergency non-food humanitarian assistance in response to international crisis and disasters, and leads the USG’s humanitarian assistance efforts overseas, responding to an average of 70 disasters in over 50 countries a year. OFDA is looking for qualified humanitarian professionals to serve in Washington, DC and Internationally as Regional Advisors, Policy Advisors, Program Officers, Training Specialists, Administrative Specialists, Communication Specialists, and Team Leaders. Full announcements of open positions can be found at www.ofdajobs.net. PSC positions are open to U.S. Citizens only.
– Peace Corp Response Program: The Peace Corps Response Program complements the traditional 2-year Peace Corps tour by providing volunteers to do short term (3-12 months), high impact projects to address critical needs in host countries. Many of these volunteer slots have been opened recently to professionals with at least 10 years of experience. Although many USAID alumni are returned Peace Corps Volunteers, even those who are not possess exactly the kind of skills needed as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer. These positions come with the same benefits as the 2-year program, including travel to and from the country of service, full medical benefits, and a living stipend. To learn more about the program and view open positions, visit: peacecorps.gov/response. New positions are posted on this website as they are requested by the host country, so please check back regularly. For additional information and response to any questions, please contact Allison McReynolds at email@example.com.
(NOTE: Inclusion of any given article or web link does not constitute endorsement by UAA.)
Articles and Videos
Below are recent articles on development happenings, issues, etc. If you have comments on them, please share them with us in the Forum. If you have articles that you believe would be of general interest to the UAA membership, please submit them here or feel free to post or link them in the Forum.
Over time, this list of articles has grown. To keep this page at a manageable size, older articles have been removed. To see and access the full list of articles, please click here.
- New! Development Finance Bill Moves Forward in Legislative Process (Devex) – The BUILD Act, the bill that would create a new United States development finance corporation, has moved closer to passage.
- New! Bipartisan Advances in International Development Defy Conventional Wisdom (Center for American Progress) – Congressional Republicans and Democrats have collaborated on significant pieces of legislation that have made international development one of the most fruitful areas of agreement and reform in American public policy over the past several years.
- New! Worrisome Trends for Democracy in Latin America (Foreign Service Journal) – Widespread corruption, crime and a lack of security, education, employment and basic services are driving a loss of faith in democracy throughout the continent. A thoughtful piece from USAID alum Alexi Panehal.
- New! House Democrats Say They Have Proof State Dept. Staff Was Pushed Out Over Disloyalty to Trump (Washington Post)– Two top House Democrats said they have proof the Trump administration engaged in an intentional effort to rid the State Department of career officials they suspected of being “disloyal” to President Trump.
- New! A First Look at USAID’s Redesign Plan (Brookings) – George Ingram’s take on USAID’s realigned structure. His bottom line: Administrator . Green and his USAID colleagues should be commended for producing a restructuring plan that is rational and innovative, and for making it public before it is finalized.*
- New! The USAID Reorganization in Power Point (USAID) – This will provide some of the detail and background that are in in the Devex articles below.
- New! Rightsizing the Relationship Between the State Department and USAID (Brookings) – The core of the problem is the lack of agreement on the respective roles of the two agencies. The differences are stark at a conceptual level, but clouded when confronting practical decision making involving influence and power.
- New! USAID Chief Unveils Major Organizational Shakeup (Devex) – The new organizational chart calls for the consolidation of a number of Agency offices and functions, and a more unified approach to budgeting and management.
- New! Russia’s Nefarious Meddling Is Nothing Like Democracy Assistance (Washington Post) – With revelations of Russia’s attempts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election, a specious narrative has come back into circulation: that Moscow’s campaign of political warfare is no different from U.S.-supported democracy assistance.
- New! USAID to Unveil New Organizational Chart (Devex) – The restructuring will aim to strengthen and elevate humanitarian assistance, consolidate and elevate resilience, connect budget and strategy, and have a more field-focused presence.
- How Bangladesh Vanquished Diarrhoea (The Economist) – Its GDP per person is barely half India’s, but it has a lower child-mortality rate.
- John Bolton: The Essential Profile (Lobe Log) – From PPC head to National Security Advisor, learn more about the latest Trump nominee.
- Head of USAID Defends Big Cuts in Foreign Aid Budget (Washington Post) – Even the harshest critics of Trump’s budget proposal expressed admiration for Green as he struggled to put a good face on what he could do with a third of his funding gone.
- Last, Best Chance for Food Aid Reform? (CGD) – A new bill offers legislation that would reform US international food aid to deliver more help and faster to more people in crisis.
- Congress again rejects steep cuts to US foreign Assistance in New Budget (Devex) – Congress released a budget that largely maintains U.S. foreign aid funding at fiscal year 2017 levels, rejecting the steep cuts proposed by the Trump administration.
- At the State Department, Diplomats Prepare for a Dramatic Shift in Style (Washington Post) – Diplomats and civil servants at State expressed relief and trepidation after the stunning firing of Rex Tillerson, whose tenure as Secretary was one of the most contentious in recent memory.
- China Sets Up New Foreign Aid Agency to Better Project Influence Abroad (The Economist) – The move is designed to give full play to foreign aid as a key means of major-country diplomacy, enhance its coordination and better serve the nation’s diplomatic strategy.
- Debt Is Creeping Up in Sub-Saharan Africa (Economist) – The median debt-to-GDP ratio in the region is back over 50%.
- What a New US Development Finance Institution Needs to Succeed (Devex) – A bipartisan group of senators and representatives introduced the Better Utilization of Investment Leading to Development (BUILD) Act, which, if enacted, would create a new agency called the United States International Development Finance Corporation. The IDFC would absorb OPIC and several functions performed by USAID.
- Lucky That Time: Escapes from Animals (Foreign Service Journal) – Over the course of a Foreign Service lifetime, alum John Pielemeier has had dangerous encounters with at least seven different species of animal—and survived them all. This entertaining article describes a few of those.
- The Olympics of Foreign Assistance (GLC) – An easily absorbed presentation of some remarkable stories about how our overseas programs are a win for America and the world.
These are links of general interest to folks involved in the development “arts. If you have links you would like to submit, please send them here. Over time, this list of articles has grown. To keep this page at a manageable size, older articles have been removed. To see and access the full list of articles, please click here.
- A new blog, Craftofdevelopment.com, by alum Jose Garzon, responds to requests by students and young professionals for more “straight talk” about the development profession. It attempts to cultivate informal learning and information sharing on topics that are not normally covered in other sites, such as how to dissent, personnel evaluations, and dealing with political transitions.
- USAID Leads (USAID) – USAID Leads is a new podcast that features A/AID Mark Green and specialists across the Agency. The podcast informs employees about Agency updates and priorities. Each episode highlights important elements of USAID’s work.
- USAID Development Experience Clearinghouse (USAID) – Search 50 years of development history.
- CGD Commitment to Development Index (CGD) – This very interesting database ranks 27 of the world’s richest countries in how well their policies help to spread global prosperity to the developing world.
- August 2017 USAID Impact Newsletter: The latest edition covers a variety of topics.
- September/October 2017 Frontlines – This link will take you to the most recent edition.
- Rule of Law Index (World Justice Institute) – The Index’s scores are built from the assessments of local residents and legal experts, reflecting the conditions experienced by the population, including marginalized sectors of society.
- The World Poverty Clock – The World Poverty Clock provides real-time poverty estimates until 2030 for almost every country in the world. It monitors progress toward eliminating Extreme Poverty, the first of the UNs Sustainable Development Goals.
- Infographic on Attacks on AID Workers (Dept. of State) – Maps, tables and graphs clearly demonstrate elevated risk levels.
- The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index 167 countries scored on a scale of 0 to 10 based on 60 indicators. The US slips to the category of “flawed democracy.”
- January 2017 Update! Transparency International Corruption Perception Index – Transparency International is a non-governmental organization dedicated to increasing government accountability and curbing both international and national corruption. The Corruption Perception Index scores the perceptions of business people.
- Update Fragile States Index (Fund for Peace) – This index uses 12 social, economic, political, and military indicators and ranks 60 states in order of their vulnerability to violent internal conflict.
- USAID Map – Find a country and click on its USAID stories and results.
- NGO Aid Map This an InterAction initiative that provides detailed information on members’ work around the world through a web-based mapping platform.
- The Good Country Index – This is an index that measures what each country contributes to the common good of humanity and to the planet.
- OneVote16.org asked each candidate to go “on the record” with a video statement to say what they’d do to fight extreme poverty, if elected. There are short videos for each of the candidates that have responded.
- The new USAID International Data & Economic Analysis website (IDEA) is the Agency’s comprehensive source of economic and social data and analysis.
- Mindless Foreign Aid is a new development blog by Tom Dichter. It addresses how foreign aid for development has become mindless. Dichter has nearly 50 years of experience promoting development in over sixty developing countries on four continents.
- Telling USAID’s Story – This is a new web page put together by LPA, the Agency’s public affairs office.
- Foreign Service Oral Histories (Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training) – Included are more than 1900 searchable oral histories completed over the past thirty years by individuals from USAID, State, USDA and Labor.
- Development Talk – A World Bank Blog – Interesting reading hosted by the Bank’s Chief Economist.
- The Foreign Assistance Dashboard – The goal of the Dashboard is to enable a wide variety of stakeholders to examine, research, and track U.S. Government foreign assistance investments in an accessible and easy-to-understand format. As it evolves, the Dashboard will incorporate budget, financial, program, and performance data from all U.S. Government agencies implementing foreign assistance, humanitarian, and development funds.
If you have articles and/or links you would like to share with the rest of us, please send your suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org, Attn: Development Issues.
Suggestion Box – Your Ideas for UAA
Some of you may have noticed the many changes that have been made to this, the UAA website. The objective is to provide a site that members will find useful and interesting – a place you will want to return to on a regular basis.
We would greatly appreciate your feedback and ideas about usaidalumni.org. We also would like to have any news, articles or anything else you would like to share with your fellow alumni. Please send them to us at: email@example.com Attn: Website.