Latest News from UAA

UAA Calendar

 Mark your calendars and watch for emails announcing further details of the following events!

Friday, March 10 – 11:30-2:00 – Development Dialogue at DACOR – “2017 Prospects – New Challenges – Corruption, Foreign Aid and Security.”   A co-founder of Transparency International, Frank Vogl has been engaged with global economics, banking, governance and anti-corruption efforts for more than 40 years, as a journalist (London Times, Reuters), World Bank Director of Public Affairs, an anti-corruption civil society leader, and a top level adviser to financial institutions.

Sunday, May 21  5-7 pmUAA Spring Reception will take place at the home of Alex and Pat Shakow who have graciously agreed to host again this year.

Saturday, July 22, 2017 – Fifth Annual UAA Summer Picnic will be held again this year at Fort Hunt in Alexandria, Virginia.



October 21, 2016 – Center for Global Development, Washington, DC


This report is intended to provide the many UAA members who were not able to attend the annual meeting a sense of the outstanding presentations and discussions that marked this day-long gathering focused on Learning from History. The day’s focus on the history of American foreign assistance programs was designed to highlight that many of the principles and objectives of today’s USAID programs are rooted in beliefs, policies and actions dating back to the early days of this nation. The morning program opened with a focus on the pre-USAID period and the afternoon closed with three former USAID Administrators and the current Administrator, Gayle Smith, offering their guidance for the next Administration.

This summary can neither do justice to the richness of the discussion nor capture another primary objective of this gathering – the opportunity for friends and former colleagues to see each other again and to meet a number of the younger generation of USAID staff who were invited to attend.

The following paragraphs will guide you through the day’s events.  Follow the links to the appropriate document or see a video presentation of the event. 

The Agenda for the day and the speakers’ bio-data are attached.

Co-Chair Introduction The AGM provides a brief opportunity to bring members up-to-date on organizational developments. Carol Peasley announced that contributing members now number over 300. Attendees were asked to help ensure that more former colleagues, including FSNs, were made aware of the UAA and its many activities.  The UAA depends entirely on volunteers. Accordingly, members were urged to become more active participants in the various committees.  (See a full summary of Carol’s remarks here.)  Members were urged to review and comment on the formal Report to Members and 2017-19 Strategic Plan. View the Video (section begins at 15 minutes/0 seconds)


First Panel – “Learning from the History of U.S. Foreign Assistance 1790-1950” In a panel moderated by USAID’s Jim Bever, John Sanbrailo, Julia Irwin and Curt Tarnoff described a stimulating array of illustrations of over two centuries’ of foreign assistance initiatives, both public and private, culminating in the Marshall Plan. (See a summary of their remarks here.) View the Video (section begins at 25 minutes/15 seconds)


Second Panel“Lessons from USAID Country Experience” This panel, moderated by CGD’s Casey Dunning, featured consideration of lessons learned from four country cases by Michael Pillsbury (Taiwan/Korea), Jim Fox (Costa Rica) and Larry Heilman (Bolivia). (See a summary here.) View the Video (section begins at 0 minutes/0 seconds)

Board Election Results The re-election to the Board of Tish Butler and the election for first terms of Juan Buttari and Barbara Seligman were announced; they were succeeding Nancy Pielemeier and David Cohen who had completed their second two-year terms.







Annual Alumni Awards Frank Almaguer, Chairman of the Awards Committee, announced that Kathleen and Paul Vitale and David Garms were this year’s awardees. (See the text of the presentations here.)  View the Video (section begins at 11 minutes/0 seconds)


USAID Administrator Gayle Smith In a wide ranging talk, the Administrator emphasized the many positive changes within USAID over the past few years, the greater bipartisan support for foreign assistance and the increased respect for USAID in interagency fora. She stressed the importance to the Agency of the career staff and of learning from their experience, and she expressed the hope that in the new Administration there would be continuation of major multi-year efforts to strengthen the Agency’s human resources and procurement systems. (See a full summary of her talk here.) View the Video (section begins at 46 minutes/05 seconds)


Panel of USAID Administrators – The Center for American Progress’ John Norris moderated a panel of three former USAID Administrators – Peter McPherson (1981-87), Brian Atwood (1993-1999) and Henrietta Holsman Fore (2007-2009) – and the current Administrator. Their broad topic was “Lessons from the Past for the Next Administration”.  They reflected on what they wish they had known in advance when they first became head of USAID and on what advice they would have for a new Administrator.  It was a great treat for all to see and hear these four great USAID leaders interacting and largely agreeing on a range of important policy and practical suggestions about USAID and its future.  (See a summary of their discussion here. Read the CGD blog – Four Recommendations from Four Generations of USAID Leadership here.) View the Video (section begins at 1 hr., 20 minutes/10 seconds)

Attendance Total – about 160: UAA Members –120; Speakers – 14; Guests and USAID Young Professionals – 26.

Report on UAA Activities

Please click here to read the 2016 UAA Progress Report and Preliminary Plans for 2017.  

Amendment to the UAA Bylaws

New! The UAA is very pleased to announce that its Board, at the October 13 meeting, approved an amendment to the Bylaws to establish an Associate Membership category.  The Board also approved a related proposal that widows, widowers, and former spouses or partners of USAID Alumni who were eligible for UAA membership will now be eligible to apply for Associate Membership. The annual Associate membership fee will be $25.

The amended Bylaws now read,Associate Membership is an eligibility category established to include individuals who do not meet the specific criteria for full UAA membership but who otherwise have provided service and support to USAID, remunerated or not, over a period of time which indicates commitment to the Agency’s objectives. Associate Members do not have voting privileges and are not eligible to serve on the UAA Board, but may directly participate on any of the established committees.” To view the bylaws in their entirety, click here.

We hope that many others will join our ranks as Associate Members in the coming months and actively participate in the UAA.  Please share this information with those who are eligible to take advantage of this new category and encourage their participation in the UAA.

2016 UAA Membership Survey

The USAID Alumni Association sent an email to all 905 registered members in its member database in late January 2016 with links to the Annual Membership Survey.  There were responses from 94 members, a 10.3% response rate.

Questions focused on the UAA newsletter; UAA website; UAA 2015 events; opportunities outside the DC area; public speaking on international development; interest in participation in UAA activities related to our goals; and other ideas for UAA activities. This report is organized according to these categories.

Overall, the tenor of comments was positive and constructive, reflecting a high level of participation by those who are engaged with the organization.

To see the final survey report, click here.

UAA 2016-18 Strategic Plan

Strategic Goals and Implementation Plan: The UAA Board approved an updated Statement of UAA Strategic Goals and Implementation Plan for 2016-2018. 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

Updated 12/16 This update contains several new items (highlighted in blue) that readers will want to check out.  It includes several new books from the Foreign Service Journal and 5 from a former USAID chief economist, Constantine Michelolopoulos.

This bibliography has been prepared by members of the UAA with assistance from the USAID Knowledge Resource Center. It contains 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.

The bibliography will be updated quarterly. To add titles, email John Pielemeier at, with a copy to

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/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.

For a full archive of all events that have audio or video availability, please click here.

Jonathan Addleton

New! At a UAA Development Dialogue at DACOR on February 10, five-time USAID Mission Director and Ambassador Jonathan Addleton described in very moving terms the story of his period as the Senior Civilian Representative for Southern Afghanistan in Kandahar.  He has compiled these experiences in his latest book The Dust of Kandahar: A Diplomat Among Warriors in Afghanistan (six of his books are in the USAID Authors Bibliography).  Hear the audio of his talk and the Q&As.

Ishrat Husain

New! In a Development Dialogue at DACOR on January 25, 2017Ishrat Husain, formerly Pakistan’s Central Bank Governor, made a masterful presentation describing how and why governance weaknesses lie at the root of his country’s economic malaise. Hear the audio of his talk and the extensive Q and A session that followed here.

Alumni News

In Memoriam:

UAA has learned of the recent deaths of the following members of our USAID alumni community: Jerry KnollJerry JordanMike McLindonMarvin WeissmanMitzi Likar, and Gary Mansavage 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: Attn: Memorials.

Get Involved!

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

  • 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 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, Attn: Jobs/Volunteers.

Below are the most recent postings:

New! The American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) is seeking a qualified USAID expert consultant to support and guide AUAF with its interactions with USAID and its mission in Kabul.   The consultant will assist and guide the University in the interpretation of USAID requirements, the preparation of communications with USAID, and the formulation of official documents among other duties. The incumbent must have the willingness to travel to Afghanistan, although much work can be done from the United States or from consultant’s residence. A minimum 10 years of senior level responsibilities with USAID or USAID funded programs is required. For further details about the position please email David Sedney at and/or see 6/15

New! The Smithsonian is currently recruiting volunteers to fill multiple vacancies in positions that work directly with the public. Volunteers offer information about Smithsonian exhibitions, activities, services, and more. The positions are: 1) Information Desk Volunteers , who provide a warm welcome and useful information to our visitors on site at various museums and galleries and 2) Call Center Volunteers , who engage with the public through the main information line of the Smithsonian and help the public with various questions related to Smithsonian visits and services.If you’re looking for a volunteer role that allows you to meet with people from around the world and learn about new and exciting things happening at the Smithsonian, this position is for you! Click on the links above to see details of the specific opportunities and learn how to apply. Contact Abbey Earich at or 202.633.5260 for additional questions. 2/14

New! USAID Mission Support Consultant – Global Health Program Cycle Improvement Project Apply by October 1st, 2017. Roles & Responsibilities: For an interim period, the Mission Support Consultant will be responsible for providing technical and management support to USAID Missions’ health programs and managing the day-to-day activities on specified Health Office needs. Qualifications: Master’s or Doctorate in public health or related field; familiarity with USAID health programs and policies; experience working at USAID; technical expertise in one of the following areas: MNCH, FP/RH, nutrition, health systems strengthening, HIV, TB, malaria, or related field; strong leadership and communications skills; experience working in a developing country settings; and proficient in English. This is a 1-6-month contract; location will vary. If interested, e-mail your CV and cover letter to, with “Mission Support” on the subject line.

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 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:

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: 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

Articles, Videos & Links for Development Professionals

(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.

  • Web Links

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! 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.
  • December 2016  USAID Impact Newsletter: The latest edition covers a variety of topics.
  • New! January/February 2017  Front Lines – This link will take you to the most recent edition.
  • 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.
  • 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:, 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 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: Attn: Website.


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