New! Wednesday, December 2, 12-1pm, Ambassador Jonathan Addleton, USAID Mission Director in India, will kick off a new series of talks by USAID Authors as he talks about “The Challenges of Writing Books While a USAID FSO.” Please join us for this discussion at the USAID Learning Center in Crystal City.
Friday, December 4, 2015, 11:30-2:00 – UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue – Steven Radelet will speak about his new book “The Great Surge:The Ascent of the Developing World.” Radelet, former Chief Economist of USAID and currently Director of the Global Human Development Program at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, highlights the great progress made by the poor in recent decades and how to maintain the momentum.
Annual General Meeting
On October 23, the UAA held its seventh Annual General Meeting. Over one hundred USAID alumni and guests, 18 discussion panelists, including three former Members of Congress, two former Administrators, as well as current and past Hill staffers and USAID senior officials, made this year’s AGM one of the best attended and most successful of the annual gatherings of the UAA community. This year’s AGM focused on “building a new consensus for development and the role of foreign assistance.” The theme was chosen to learn from past experience and current realities in promoting and managing foreign aid initiatives. The theme was considered timely as the 2016 election year approaches.
The event also gave participants an opportunity to reconnect with fellow alumni, engage in lively discussions on development issues and catch up on UAA activities and future plans.
The AGM also included the announcement of the election of five Board members: Franklin Moore, Tish Butler, John Heard, Carol Peasley and George Hill. These, along with Nancy Pielemeier and David Cohen, will constitute the UAA Board for 2015-16.
A detailed report on the 2015 AGM proceedings and additional photos can be found by following this link.
Listen to the audio of the full AGM:
- Opening and plenary panel on “Bridging the Congressional-Executive Chasm”
- Breakout Panel on Poverty
- Breakout Panel on Dealing with Disaster
- Panel on Issues for the next Administration; Alumni of the Year Award; Election Results, Comments of USAID Chief of Staff
Next year’s AGM is tentatively set for Friday, October 21, 2016. Mark your calendars and plan on being there!
Bibliography of USAID Authors
Updated 11/15 The Bibliography of USAID Authors has been updated. New “additions” are identified in blue.
This bibliography has been prepared by members of the UAA with assistance from the USAID Knowledge Resource Center. It contains over 165 books written by current and former Agency employees and their family members with descriptions of the book content and the author’s relationship to USAID. To access the bibliography, click here.
New Interactive Development Issues Page: Perspectives
USAID alumni often have informed views on various development issues, based on their experience. PERSPECTIVES is a platform where alumni can express their views on development issues and anyone can offer comments on the views they express. Alumni are invited to submit perspectives in essays not exceeding 2,500 words, accompanied by a brief paragraph summarizing their views.
Alumni are invited to share their perspectives by submitting them by e-mail addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
USAID History Proposal – Pledge Request
For those of you who have not already made a pledge, we need your support. Please make a generous pledge to help us make this independent history of USAID a reality. Without your personal help it will not happen. We are already losing many of the firsthand accounts of USAID’s earlier work and there are nearly 55 years of learning to capture before it is too late. Please read about the project here and make a pledge now.
UAA Development Conversations
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.
– UAA/DACOR Development Dialogues:
Ed Abel and Suneeta Sharma
New! On November 9, 2015, Mr. Ed Abel and Dr. Suneeta Sharma, leading figures in Palladium (formerly The Futures Group), spoke at a UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue. They addressed the question “Is Family Planning Assistance Still Needed in the 21st Century?” and described the impact of innovative software and computer models (including RAPID) they use in advising government leaders around the world about setting priorities and addressing trade-offs in development investments. See the PowerPoint presentation the speakers used (click here) and hear the audio here.
New! On October 9, 2015, distinguished environmental pioneer Lester Brown spoke to the largest ever crowd at a UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue about his newest book The Great Transition: Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy. To learn why Brown is so optimistic that solar and wind will soon be the dominant source for the globe’s energy needs, click here for Brown’s talk and the Q&A with the audience.
On September 14, 2015, former USAID Assistant Administrator Emmy Simmons led a large group of alumni and other friends at a UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue in a spirited discussion of why US food and agriculture policy needs to be transformed into a national priority. The often dramatic slides she used to tell the story may be found here. Listen to her talk and the subsequent interaction with the audience here.
UAA/USAID Mentoring Program – A Call For Mentor Volunteers
New! UAA, in collaboration with USAID partners, is preparing for the launch of a 5th cohort of our mentoring program, which matches alumni members with USAID field officers who have applied for this assistance. Alumni with experience in the full range of USAID backstops and interest in strengthening the current generation are requested to send expressions of interest to the addresses below. We welcome a return of alumni who had successful mentoring relationships through participation in the early cohorts as well as those for whom it will be a new experience. Many of those who have participated in the program to date report that the experience was as fulfilling for them as they hope it was for their mentees.
The program calls for a six-month commitment, extendable as desired by both parties. Mentor/mentee pairs communicate primarily by phone and skype, supported by e-mail as needed. Our experience is that development of successful, trusting relationships requires a regular schedule for contact. Each relationship will be different, but a common characteristic is that it is mentee driven, with joint responsibility for taking initiative and building trust.
In its first three years the program has responded to over 50 requests from officers serving in missions worldwide. At latest count there are 24 active pairs in the program.
We will confirm receipt of expressions of interest with a brief profile form, which we ask be completed and returned to us not later than October 1. Communications should be directed to co-chairs of the Strengthening USAID Committee:
Marilynn Schmidt – email@example.com or Jerry Wood – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where in the World
Updated Thru 9/15 Remember the good old days when the first thing many of us turned to in a new Front Lines was the “Where in the World?” page where we found out who was promoted, who was transferred and who retired? Well, it is back here now on the UAA website. Hopefully, we will be able to do regular updates in the future. To view the most recent update and our WITW archive, click here.
UAA has learned of the recent deaths of the following members of our USAID alumni community: Norman Brown, Robert McClusky, Frederic Thomas, Thomas Donnelly, Anita Lanigan, Jerry Pagano, and Bauduin de Marcken. A full listing of alumni obituaries may be seen in the Tributes 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:
Dexis Consulting Group seeks qualified candidates to provide overall management services to the Management and Administrative Support Services (MASS) contract with the USAID) Tanzania Mission. This full-time, key personnel position will oversee the MASS contract and collaborate closely with the Supervisory Executive Officer to enhance Executive Office (EXO) function and strengthen its ability to meet the demands of a growing Mission, improving and streamlining administrative management policies and procedures while supporting their operationalization. The start date for this position is on/about October 30 2015. The ideal candidate should possess a bachelor’s degree and 7 years of relevant work experience in a combination of management and administration, finance, accounting, IT, program and contract management, organizational development, knowledge management and/or related fields with USAID. Former EXO experience is strongly preferred. Fluency in English is required. Please submit your CV and cover letter here. (11/15/15)
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.
The DCHA Bureau has newly launched the Crisis Surge Staff. The Crisis Surge Staff is somewhat similar to OTI’s Bullpen or the OFDA DART except that they provide the skills needed by the rest of a USAID mission. The “Firehouse,” as it is called, is comprised of intermittent PSCs that would be deployed to Missions for 2-10 months on an as needed basis. DCHA is looking for people with the full range of skills including: Senior Development Advisors, General Development Officers, Democracy and Governance Officers, Elections Specialists, Program Officers, Strategic Communication Officers, Contracting Officers, and Executive Officers. Here is the link for the full program description: http://www.usaid.gov/who-we-are/organization/bureaus/bureau-democracy-conflict-and-humanitarian-assistance/office-2.
– The State Department Office of Inspector General is seeking recently retired senior USAID management officers, project managers, security officers and IT officers to serve on OIG inspection teams as WAE employees (when actually employed). Applicants should be familiar with operations at embassies and domestic bureaus, including grants management, social media and supporting interagency initiatives. Positions are available on domestic inspection teams (Washington-based, normally 10 weeks duration) and overseas inspection teams (normally, four weeks in Washington and eight weeks overseas). Applicants should have a valid top secret security clearance. Superior interviewing and writing skills are a plus. WAE inspectors can normally expect to work between three and six months a year. Interested applicants should contact Patricia Murphy at OIGISPRecruitment@state.gov
– 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! USAID Contractor Killed in Mali (Washington Post): Anita Datar is the only known U.S. fatality from the Bamako hotel siege.
- New! Cardin Calls for Confirmation of State Department, USAID Nominees (Senate Press Release) – Prominent among these is Gayle Smith, who is proposed to be USAID Administrator.
- New! Africa’s Middle Class: Few and Far Between (The Economist) – Africans are mainly rich or poor, but not middle class. That should worry democrats.
- New! World Hunger in Decline (Washington Post) – Nearly one in nine people worldwide are chronically undernourished, and 3.1 million children younger than 5 die of malnutrition each year. As terrible as that problem is, however, there are signs that things may be getting better.*
- New! Aid Agency ex-Staff are a Huge Wasted Asset (Oxfam Blog) – Why don’t aid organizations do more with their alumni?
- New! What Angus Deaton, the Latest Nobel Winner, Says About Foreign Aid (New York Times) The Prize winner argues that foreign aid is not a good answer to the needs of the poor in developing countries and says that, in fact, aid can grievously hurt the countries that receive it.
- New! How the Quality of Mercy is Strained (The Economist) – Even if they have enough money, it is hard for aid agencies to be effective in conflict areas.
- New! How USAID’s Secret Think Tank Funding Hurts the Poor (Huffington Post) – Support by USAID and other donors has led to an explosion in the number of think tanks in developing countries. However, much of this money is being given and taken behind closed doors, threatening to hurt rather than help the world’s poor.
- New! Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (The Economist) – China’s new infrastructure bank has gained wide support. Lending will be tougher.
- New! Hard-Nosed Compassion (The Economist) – Cash transfers, rather than handouts in kind, would help aid to refugees go further.
- New! U.S. Global Development Policy and Agenda 2030 – This White House fact sheet lays out USG global development objectives for the next fifteen years.
- USAID Vision for Ending Extreme Poverty – This document articulates how USAID defines extreme poverty, how we can achieve a world without extreme poverty and what USAID’s role in this global effort will be.
- Partisan Tussle Keeps Top U.S. Aid Job Vacant (New York Times) – Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, announced this summer that he would object to considering any nominees for State Department posts because of his opposition to the nuclear deal with Iran.
- Foreign Aid in Crisis (Huffington Post) – Written by USAID alumnus Ben Barber, this article focuses on comments by former Administrator Andrew Natsios concerning the counterproductivity of too much oversight of overseas development programs.
- In Pakistan, U.S. Aid Agency’s Efforts Produce Dubious Results (New York Times) – Critics accuse the United States Agency for International Development of, among other things, taking on projects with little concern for local priorities.
- Sowing self-sufficiency in Africa with ‘Hello Tractor’ (Washington Post) – With a little start-up money, a small Anacostia-based company has a plan to solve a big agriculture problem half a world away. A “Smart Tractor” can be delivered with the tap of a cellphone.
- CIA May Have Missed Opportunity to Identify Weinstein (Washington Post) – Agency may have missed an opportunity to protect or possibly rescue the hostage.
- A 100 Percent Effective AIDS Prevention Pill (Washington Post) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that PrEP (commercial name Truvada) has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection by up to 92 percent when taken consistently but is much less effective when taken inconsistently.
- 6 Leadership Lessons from USAID (Government Executive) – Though it has its problems, the author sees USAID as a laboratory for effectively getting meaningful work done. Who knew?
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.
- 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.
- July/August 2015 Front Lines – This link will take you to the most recent edition.
- The Good Country Index offers a measure what each country on earth contributes to the common good of humanity. For a TED Talk that discuss the Index, click here.
- Fragile States Index (Foreign Policy) – This index uses 12 social, economic, political, and military indicators and ranks 60 states in order of their vulnerability to violent internal conflict.
- World Bank Group Strategy – The new strategy says there will be shift from a focus on stand-alone projects to a “development solutions culture embedded in widely disseminated knowledge of what works and how to deliver it.”
- The Global Gender Gap Report, introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2006, provides a framework for capturing the magnitude and scope of gender-based disparities around the world.
- The Global Peace Index is produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace and the Economist Intelligence Unit. It ranks countries on their level of peace by measuring the level of safety and security, the extent of domestic or foreign conflicts and the degree of militarization. This snapshot focuses on the 91 low- and middle-income countries that received at least $2 million USAID funding in fiscal year 2011.
- Current USAID Mission Directors – This is a list maintained by the Agency.
- USAID 101 – USAID has put together an on-line “course” that will explain what the Agency does and how and why it does it. This course is principally directed at university students. New material will be added each month.
- The World Bank Atlas of Global Development – The Atlas of Global Development is a comprehensive guide to the most critical issues facing our changing world today.
- IFC Doing Business Table – Economies are ranked by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation on their ease of doing business. A high ranking on the ease of doing business index means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm, a vital factor in economic growth and development.
- Development Aid and Governance Indicators The Brookings Global Economy and Development Program has launched a new interactive featuring data on development, aid and governance. Information include trends in foreign assistance, governance, and global poverty and middle class populations.
- 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.