Saturday, September 8 (Noon-3pm) – UAA Annual Picnic at Fort Hunt in Alexandria, Virginia
Friday, September 14 (11:30 -2:00) – Development Dialogue at DACOR – Ambassador Rick Barton in conversation with Aaron Williams (UAA-founder and former Director of the U.S. Peace Corps) about Rick’s book Peace Works: America’s Unifying Role in a Turbulent World.
New! Monday, October 15, 2018, 10:00 to Noon – Development Dialogue at DACOR “Zimbabwe Deja Vu: An International Observer Returns After 33 Years“. Larry Garber was the co-leader of the International Republican Institute/National Democratic Institute Zimbabwe International Election Observer Mission. Garber has worked on and written extensively about human rights, democracy and election monitoring for several decades.
Friday, October 26 UAA Annual General Meeting at the Center for Global Development (CGD) in Washington, D.C.
New! Monday, November 5, 2018 – 10:00 – Noon – UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue at DACOR. Larry Cooley – highly respected leader of the development community, MSI’s founder and now President Emeritus, and current President of the Society for International Development – will speak on “The Changing Role of International Development in Achieving Sustainable Outcomes at Scale.”
7th Annual UAA Summer Picnic
Fort Hunt Park Site B-001
8999 Fort Hunt Road (off George Washington Memorial Parkway)
Alexandria, VA 22308
Saturday, September 8, 2018
Noon – 3:00 pm
The UAA will have its annual picnic on Saturday, September 8 at Fort Hunt picnic area. Our get together is scheduled from noon until 3:00pm. We hope everyone will come and bring other alumni, children, guitars, games, etc. The parking lot is a very short stroll to the sheltered picnic area, so we will proceed rain or shine.
Based on the enthusiastic response the last three years, we decided to repeat our successful pot luck so that people can bring dishes to share. We will provide non-alcoholic beverages and water, table covers, paper goods, cups and plastic flatware. Please bring your own wine and beer – and some to share. The area has a liquor license, but for wine and beer only.
Please bring one dish sufficient for 6 to 8 people. If you have a special dish that would be great. Otherwise, bring a dish according to the following categories:
People with last names beginning A through D please bring a salad or side dish.
People with last names beginning E through M please bring a main dish.
People with last names beginning N through R please bring an appetizer.
People with last names beginning S through Z please bring a dessert.
-Fort Hunt is South of Alexandria and just north of Mount Vernon.
-From I-395, take exit 10B for the southbound George Washington Memorial Parkway.
-Merge onto the parkway and continue for about 12 miles.
-Turn right onto Fort Hunt Road.
-Continue to Fort Hunt Park.
-Follow signs to Site B-001
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.
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
May ’18 Update! The May 2018 Update of the Bibliography of USAID Authors includes about 20 new titles (highlighted in blue), some of them hot off the presses and others written by officers who worked for ECA (the Marshall Plan) and other predecessor agencies.
The new books include Our Woman in Havana by Amb. Vicki Huddleston, spouse of retired USAID officer Robert (Bob) Huddleston and Learning to Salsa, written by Vicki (who we knew in Rio de Janeiro in the early 70s) and Carlos Pascual, a former USAID officer who also finished his illustrious career at the State Department.
Kathleen and Paul Vitale have completed their final video on ancient Maya Weaving, entitled Sheer Elegance. It can be accessed free of charge at https://youtu.be/mYHXLLg8fkM.
Another female author is Louise Winfield, a USAID spouse whose 1962 Advice for American Families Going Overseas, especially for USAID was cited by legendary USAID mission director, Sam Butterfield as “essential reading for our family”.
Other NEW titles include: Ray Malley’s Cold Waters, My Ship Adventures in the Arctic, Antartica and the North Atlantic“, Larry Heilman’s USAID in Bolivia: Partner or Patron, and a final publication of Eric Chetwynd and Bill Miner’s Pioneering in International Urban Development.
Some older titles, uncovered by accessing A Bibliography of Foreign Service Authors (1972) written by Richard and Katherine Boyce, a State Dept couple, include books by Marshall Plan officials such as Averell Harriman, Rep. Jonathan Bingham (Shirt-Sleeve Diplomacy: Point 4 in Action), and Edgar Johnson, American Imperialism in the Image of Peer Gynt: Memoir of a Professor and Bureaucrat.
Please send 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.
Axel van Trotsenburg
On June 11, 2018, World Bank Vice-President for Development Finance Axel van Trotsenburg shared a fascinating analysis of how the recent World Bank Capital Increase and 18th IDA Replenishment negotiations were successfully negotiated. These important agreements represent major accomplishments for multilateral cooperation and greatly strengthen the Bank Group’s catalytic role. Listen to the audio of his presentation and the Q&A period.
On Monday, May 21, 2018 retired USAID FSO Larry Heilman engaged in a lively two hour Development Dialogue session at DACOR about his recently published book USAID in Bolivia: Partner or Patron? Listen to Larry’s presentation and the Q&A period here and view his slides.
UAA has learned of the recent deaths of the following members of our USAID alumni community: Peter Askin, Stephen Wallace, Mary Mudge, Melvin Shuweiler, Robert Dubinsky, Elena Brineman, Douglas Bennet, Dennis Barrett, John Hoskins, and Juan Buttari. 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:
Write for American Diplomacy: American Diplomacy (americandiplomacy.org), an online quarterly, welcomes submissions on a wide variety of issues related to foreign affairs. Published through the University of North Carolina, the journal incorporates commentary and analysis, scholarly research, feature stories, book reviews and Foreign Service memoirs. Target audience includes foreign affairs professionals, scholars, educators, students, and others interested in international relations. Articles are peer reviewed by experts in the relevant field. Authors include both practitioners and academics. New material is posted with each issue; original material remains permanently available under the Archives tab on the home page. Contributors are free to pick a topic of choice. Articles generally range from 800-2000 words, but we accept longer pieces as well. The deadline for our upcoming fall issue is August 15. Send questions or draft submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. To subscribe or find us on Facebook or Twitter, go to http://www.unc.edu/depts/diplomat/static/subscribe.html. 8-22
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! Pentagon, State Alumni Join Brennan Clearance Outcry (Axios) – More than 175 additional alumni of top national security jobs are joining the bipartisan outcry against President Trump’s stripping of former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance.
- New! Trump Administration Is Considering Pulling Back $3 Billion in Foreign Aid (Washington Post) – Senators from both parties are calling questionably legal and promising to resist. To date, no specific programs have been identified as targets.
- New! Appointed leader Resigns From Foreign Aid Agency Used to Give Jobs to Trump Supporters (Washington Post) – The resignation follows reports that the White House had assumed control over hiring at the MCC.
- New! The case against a US retreat from international development (Brookings) – Gen. John Allen makes the case for the strategic importance of U.S. foreign assistance.
- New! Record Number of Forcibly Displaced People Lived in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2017 (Pew Research Center) – The number of people living in sub-Saharan Africa who were forced to leave their homes due to conflict reached a new high of 18.4 million in 2017, up sharply from 14.1 million in 2016 – the largest regional increase of forcibly displaced people in the world.
- New! USAID in Afghanistan: What Have We Learned? (afsa.org) Alumnus Bill Hammink presents lessons from the largest USAID program since Vietnam, a 17-year engagement that has pushed the agency’s capacity to the hilt.
- New! The White House Is Turning a Nonpartisan Agency Into a Playpen for Trump Loyalists (Washington Post) – A Post editorial on the politicization of the MCC.
- New! Opposition For Trump’s USAID Alumnus Nominee as State Refugee Chief Gets Louder (Diplopundit) – The White House announced the nomination of former FSO Ronald Mortensen to be the Assistant Secretary of State for the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.
- New! White House Uses MCC to Give Jobs to Trump Loyalists (Washington Post) –The White House has assumed control over hiring at the MCC, installing political allies and loyalists in appointed jobs intended for development experts.
- New! Help Is On the Way for Christian Iraquis (Washington Post) – USAID is finalizing plans for 10 modest reconstruction projects for Christian communities in the Nineveh Plains and for Yazidi villages around Sinjar in northern Iraq.
- New! What It Will Take to be a Next Generation Development Professional (Devex) – How can today’s development professionals make sure they’re equipped for tomorrow, and what does the next generation of development professionals look like?*
- New! USG, Inc. Attempts to Derail World Health Assembly’s Nonbinding Resolution on Breastfeeding (Diplopundit) – The United States Government attempted to derail a nonbinding resolution on breastfeeding at the World Health Assembly in Geneva.
- New! As USAID Thinks about Procurement and Program Design, It Should Keep Evidence in Mind (CGD) – Some thoughts about how procurement and program design can help ensure USAID’s interventions are informed by evidence and/or build in opportunities to generate evidence.
- New! Can Petronia Avoid the Resource Curse? It’s All Up to You in a New Interactive Online Course (Natural Resource Governance Institute) – This “game” enables learners to “play” at influencing resource governance outcomes in a simulated context.
- New! USAID Self-Reliance Metrics (USAID) – These metrics have been established to assess the sustainable progress countries have made toward lasting development.
- New! USAID History On Line (USAID) – This website provides a brief overview of the Agency’s history, goals and accomplishments.
- New! FY19 Foreign Affairs Funding (AFSA) – Take particular note of the comments of Senator Lindsay Graham in para 3.
- New! US Aid to Fragile States: Where Does the Money Go? (CGD) – This article takes stock of the current landscape of US foreign aid to fragile states and gives an overview of where the money is going, what agencies are involved, and for what purpose(s) the money is given.
- New! Suffocation in Gaza: UN’s Refugee Agency for Palestinians is Running Out of Cash (The Economist) – You may think that after a dozen years of blockade by Israel, three wars and the rule of a harsh Islamist government, life in Gaza could hardly get worse. But the prospect of another war and a dire shortage of cash to pay for the UN’s Relief and Works Agency mean that it can.
- New! Under Pressure From Pence, U.S. Aid is Directed to Christian, Yazidi Communities in Iraq (Washington Post) – USAID is poised to send millions of dollars directly to Christians and Yazidis under a rarely used, streamlined funding arrangement pressure from Vice President Pence.
- New! The Future is African — and the United States Is Not Prepared (Washington Post) – Instead of preparing to build a relationship that can grow with the continent, based upon diplomatic cooperation, the United States is doubling down on more than a decade of reliance on its military as the primary vehicle of engaging with Africa.
- New! The Grand Bargain: Development Aid in an “Age of Choice” (Borgen) – An important aspect in making sure that development aid is truly improving conditions in recipient countries is tying its distribution to certain political conditions, such as the recipient country adhering to human rights norms and democratic governance.
- Lessons Learned From the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan (Brookings) – This is an overview of the fourth lessons-learned report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan. It examines the U.S. stabilization effort in Afghanistan from 2002 through 2017.
- 5 Takeaways From the USAID Supply Chain Hearings (Devex) – Following the issuance of the largest USAID contract ever, Lawmakers asked the Agency to provide more information about the contracting process, the consequences of delayed delivery, and to clarify what options are available to hold the implementer accountable.
- Former Acting USAID Administrator Warren Shares His Insights on the Agency’s Evolving Role (Devex) – Wade’s observations as he retires from the Agency.
- CRS Report on US Foreign Aid (Congressional Research Service) – This report provides an overview of the U.S. foreign assistance program by answering frequently asked questions. It is intended to provide a broad view of foreign assistance over time.
- USAID/OIG Takes First Stab in Autopsy of Tillerson’s State/USAID Redesign (Diplopundit) – USAID/OIG reviewed the Agency’s process in developing reform plans and compliance with congressional notification requirements. This is the first official accounting available on what transpired during the Tillerson redesign project.
- MFAN Co-Chair George Ingram Testifies on Modernizing Development Finance (MFAN) – More re. the BUILD Act.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- New! 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: 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.