RESCHEDULED! On Tuesday, March 5, 2019 12-2 pm at DACOR, the UAA and DACOR will honor the prestigious Service to America Medal (Sammies) 2018 winner for National Security and International Affairs- USAID’sAndrew M. Herscowitz and the Power Africa team. Please join us for lunch to meet Andy and hear about this important USAID program.
Monday, March 11, 2019 – 10:00 to Noon – Tony Barclay, widely admired former DAI CEO and Board Member/Chair of several Washington area development organizations, will speak at DACOR on the future of USAID from the contractors’ viewpoint. Barclay is also the author of “How USAID and the Contractor Community Should Adapt to a Changing Development Ecosystem”.
Monday, April 1, 2019 – 10:00 to Noon at DACOR – Dr. Alex Dehgan, former USAID Chief Scientist and founder of its Global Development Lab, will describe the efforts of his Wildlife Conservation Society Team to preserve and protect Afghanistan’s wildlife as chronicled in his recent well-reviewed book “The Snow Leopard Project – and Other Adventures in War Zone Conservation.”
NEW DATE – Monday, May 20, 2019 10:00 – Noon George Ingram, Senior Fellow at Brookings and former Capitol Hill staff and USAID official, and Kristen Lord, President and CEO of IREX, have recently interviewed 88 development experts on “What the Future of Development Holds”. Please come to this UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue to hear (and argue with) their assessment of what the experts said and why.
UAA Annual General Meeting
The Ninth UAA Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on October 26, 2018, at the Center for Global Development in Washington, DC. The meeting was organized around four topics:
1) USAID’s role in the United States government’s response to fragile situations with a panel discussion by Senior Advisor to the USAID Administrator Tom Staal; Brigadier General (Ret.) Tim McAfee, former Deputy Director of J5 Strategy and Plans at United States Africa Command (AFRICOM); Patricia Haslach, former Ambassador and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State; and panel moderator Ambassador James Michel, UAA;
2) The UAA-sponsored history of USAID’s 60 years of development experience, with a conversation between John Norris, author, and Charles Kenny, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD);
3) The UAA’s future with a discussion among the membership;
4) USAID reform remarks by USAID Assistant to the Administrator for Policy Planning and Learning, Jim Richardson. USAID Administrator
Mark Green also delivered brief remarks.
140 people attended the meeting, including UAA members, speakers, and guests. Attendees enjoyed the opportunity to meet with friends and former colleagues and to interact with speakers and guests from USAID, CGD and other collaborating organizations.
USAID HISTORY PROJECT UPDATE
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.
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
November ’18 Update!
After the October, 2018 edition of the Bibliography of USAID Authors was announced in the prior UAA newsletter, John P received suggestions to add a rash of new (and old) books. Hence, this November, 2018 edition includes 7 books about Asia by David Sternberg, 3 books about the effect of culture on development by former LAC mission director Larry Harrison, 2 books by Theodore (Ted) Weihe (coops and chocolate), a new book of fiction set in Somalia by Mark Wentling, a new book on CORDS by Stephen Young. and a history of USAID development aid in Nepal from 1951-1991. Perhaps most interestingly, we have a new piece of fiction, Two Lies and a Diamond, set in Ireland and written by Hazel Kevlihan, the teenage daughter of FSO Laurel Fain.
To view the updated bibliography, click here.
Please send information on any other new (or older) books by USAID authors to 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 February 4, 2019, at a UAA Development Dialogue at DACOR, recently retired long-time President of the National Democratic Institute Ken Wollack gave a wide-ranging review of the state of democracy across the globe in his talk on “U.S. Foreign Policy and Assistance: Interests and Values”. Hear the audio of his presentation and the Q&A here and read the text of his remarks here.
On Monday, December 3, 2018, at a UAA Development Dialogue at DACOR, former senior USAID staff member Larry Garber offered a presentation on “Zimbabwe Deja Vu: An International Observer Returns after 33 Years“. Garber was the co-leader of the International Republican Institute/National Democratic Institute Zimbabwe International Election Observer Mission. Hear the audio of his presentation and the Q&A.
On November 5, 2018, Larry Cooley, highly respected long-time leader of the development community, founder and emeritus president of the consulting firm MSI and also current President of the Society for International Development, spoke about The Changing Role of International Development in Achieving Sustainable Outcomes at Scale. Hear the presentation and the following discussion here.
UAA has learned of the recent deaths of the following members of our USAID alumni community: Stafford Mousky, Alan Foose, Scott Spangler,Tom Nickle, Sam LaFoy, Bill Hagelman, Mac Thompson, Rick Ernst, and Bob Halligan. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
(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! Trump Picks World Bank Skeptic Malpass to Lead Institution (Politico) – Nominating someone who has been so openly critical of the Bank could intensify resistance to U.S. dominance of its presidency.
- New! USAID Assistance in the West Bank and Gaza Has Ceased: U.S. Official (Reuters) – The decision was linked to a Jan. 31 deadline set by new U.S. legislation under which foreign aid recipients would be more exposed to anti-terrorism lawsuits.*
- New! Why Do We Need Foreign Assistance Evaluations? (MFAN) – High-quality, rigorous evaluations produce knowledge that can help donors increase value for money and help partners maximize impact.
- New! Reform Clouds Darken the Future of the UN Development Program (Pass Blue) – As the first effects of Secretary-General António Guerres’s organizational reform plans become apparent, former and current officials of the UNDP see the future of the agency as uncertain if not in peril.
- New! What is Effective U.S. Foreign Assistance? (MFAN) – MFAN has released a one-pager pointing out fundamental principles of aid, demonstrating modern assistance, and highlighting opportunities for reform this year.
- New! State Department May Ask Trump to Overturn Obama Climate Order Related to Development Programs (Reuters) – Such a move would deepen the Trump administration’s already broad rejection of former Obama policies on global warming, which Trump has repeatedly suggested is not as serious as scientists claim.
- New! Shutdown Hits US Diplomats Overseas, Even As State Department Calls Employees Back (ABC News) – A growing number of U.S. diplomats are frustrated by the partial government shutdown and the damage it’s inflicting on their jobs and America’s standing abroad.
- New! The Demise Of USAID Efforts In The West Bank And Gaza (Lobe Log) – Some history and thoughts from ex-West Bank/Gaza Mission Director Larry Garber.
- New! Growth and inequality: To celebrate or not to celebrate? That is the question. (Brookings) – The statistics show significant improvements; but many still are distracted by the empty part of the half-full glass.
- New! The World Bank Presidential Race Heats Up (DevEx) – Kim’s surprise resignation has ignited a frenzied race to replace him. Names and scenarios, including one that could transform the campaign, are beginning to emerge.
- New! Foreign Aid Under President Trump (How Much) – This visualization lays out a snapshot that reveals the handful of countries with most at stake in Trump’s threats to overseas aid.
- New! Will Trump Go After Foreign Aid to Pay for His Border Wall? (Washington Post) – President Trump and other top officials are singling out foreign aid funding and arguing that money would be better spent on the southern border. If he does this, he would be undermining security both at home and abroad.
- New! World Bank President Resigns to Join Investment Firm (Wall St. Journal) – With 3 years remaining in his term, Kim plans to resign effective Feb. 1 to join a firm focused on infrastructure investments. Kim’s unexpected resignation will potentially set off a fight between the Trump administration and critics of U.S. control at the World Bank.
- The Global Food Problem Isn’t What You Think (Washington Post) – While a large part of the agricultural research establishment is focused on one aspect of the challenge — calories — another part of the scientific community is focused on a one: adequate nutrient consumption.
- World Bank Year in Review: 2018 in 14 Charts (World Bank) – Extreme poverty is at the lowest level in recorded history but is expected to become increasingly concentrated in one region. A record number of people have been forcibly displaced from their homes.
- U.S. Pledges Billions in Aid To Develop Central America, Curb Migration (Reuters) The United States is committing billions of dollars toward development in Central America and Mexico, as part of a plan to strengthen economic growth in the region and curb illegal immigration,
- Bolton Says ‘Predatory’ China is Outpacing the U.S. in Africa (Washington Post) – He indicated that a full review of U.S. foreign aid is near completion, and will evaluate aid on factors including whether recipients oppose or work against U.S. policies and interests.
- USAID’s Proposed Transformation Highlights & Questions (MFAN) – A summary of the aid effectiveness elements of USAID’s proposal, and questions for Congress and stakeholders to consider.
- Guidance Warning Feds Not to Discuss ‘Resistance’ or ‘Impeachment’ at Work Sparks Uproar (Government Executive) – the USG’s enforcer of the Hatch Act issued new guidance this week that moves the ball on several political issues, cautioning federal employees in their use of such slogans as “resistance” and “impeachment.”
- Development Agencies: Fit for the Future? (CGD) – Development agencies today are facing complex, unprecedented challenges—rising nationalism, declining multilateralism, and increased risks. How should they proceed?
- In a Twist, Trump Fights to Keep Some Palestinian Aid Alive (Associated Press) – Amid signs it may finally roll out its long-awaited Middle East peace plan, the administration is scrambling to save what little remaining Palestinian assistance it provides. Without action, all aid to the region could end in January.
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.
- ForeignAssistance.gov (USG) – ForeignAssistance.gov provides a view of U.S. Government foreign assistance funds across agencies and enables users to explore, analyze, and review aid.
- Democracy Index (Economist Intelligence Unit) – Around the world, democratic governance appears to be on the decline.
- ADST (The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training) is dedicated to capturing, preserving, and sharing the experiences of America’s diplomats to enrich the professional knowledge of practitioners and strengthen public appreciation of diplomacy’s contribution to America’s national interests. This link will take you the website’s oral history page, which contains an increasingly large number of histories from USAID officers.
- 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.
- 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: email@example.com, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Attn: Website.