Saturday, February 7 - UAA Winterfest – a new social event to dissipate the gloom of the winter months.
Friday, February 20, 2015 – 10:00 to Noon – Pauline Baker, President Emeritus, The Fund for Peace – “Assessing the Potential for Resiliency in Fragile States”. This event will be held at the USAID Learning Center in Crystal City.
Friday, March 6, 2015, 11:30 am to 2:00 pm – UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue – “International Family Planning: Where we have been and where we are going” Presentation by Scott Radloff, now Senior Scientist at the Gates Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and former Director of USAID’s Office of Population and Reproductive Health.
New! Friday, May 15 – 11:30 – 2:00 – UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue – “Reassessing United States’ Leadership of the Global Economy.” Javed Burki, former Finance Minister of Pakistan and long time senior World Bank official, believes that the deep concern of some prominent economists for the decline of U.S. economy is very misleading. He will discuss why the future development of technology and new corporation types gives the U.S. enormous advantages which will lead the global economy in an entirely different – and positive – direction.
October 23 - UAA Annual General Meeting. This year’s theme: “Building a new consensus for development and the role of foreign assistance.”
For the past several years, obituaries of deceased alumni have appeared in two locations on this website, the pages titled Forum and Tributes. From now on, they will only be in the Tributes section.
When it was created, the Forum was intended to be the virtual “town square” of the UAA, a place where alumni could have the opportunity to engage with one another in dialogues on relevant subjects of mutual interest. In that regard, we thought that alumni might want to share remembrances of the deceased; thus death notices were included in the Forum to provide an easily accessed opportunity.
As it turned out, almost no one has commented on obituaries. Meanwhile, the unfortunately large number of obituaries has come to overtake the other material on the Forum. Thus, from this point forward, obituaries will only be posted on the Tributes page of this website. The most recent obituaries, i.e. those received since the last UAA Newsletter, will be labeled “New.” Note that down the right hand column of the Tributes you will find a chronological listing of alumni obituaries received since earliest days of usaidalumni.org.
Please note: Should you wish to comment on an obituary, you are still very welcomed to do that in the Forum section.
New Website Page: Books and Papers Recently Published by USAID Alumni
Over the past year, several alumni have published books and papers that they wished to share with their former colleagues and friends. Until now, these notices have been included in the Forum. To provide greater visibility, we have decided to give these publications their own page. You can check that out here. If you have a book or paper that you have written and would like to have included on this website, please send a brief, descriptive notice about it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2014 UAA Annual General Meeting
The 2014 USAID Alumni Association Annual General Meeting, held on Friday, October 24, 2014 at the Center for Global Development, was a great success. The meeting drew together over 100 alumni with panelists from USAID and CGD, among other development organizations, for an engaging series of
panels centered on the theme of Innovation and development at USAID. Programming also included remarks from Former USAID Administrator Peter McPherson, Current USAID Deputy Administrator Alfonso E. Lenhardt, and USAID Counselor Susan Reichle.You can read more about the 2014 Annual General Meeting, including summaries of panel discussions and remarks, in the Report on the 2014 USAID Alumni Association Annual Meeting.
The UAA awarded its 1st Annual Alumni Award(s) to three inspiring alumni and wishes to congratulate:
In the primarily international category: Anne Dammarell
In the primarily domestic category: Mary Kilgour and Satish Shah
Profiles for the winners will be included in the November 2014 Newsletter.
The UAA also announced that David Cohen, Nancy Pielemeier, and Denise Rollins were elected to serve on the 2014-2016 UAA Board.
The UAA has accomplished a great deal over the past year and has exciting plans for the future. You can read about this in the Report to Members on Activities in 2014 and on Proposed Activities in 2015-16 to Achieve Progress Toward UAA Strategic Goals.
Additional Media: To view a photo gallery of AGM highlights, click here. Listen here to the AGM opening plenary, including Peter McPherson’s keynote presentation. To hear the closing plenary, including the presentation of the Alumni of the Year awards, click here. To read a special report by John Sanbrailo on the history of USAID involvement with the private sector, click here.
Alumni are encouraged to contact the UAA Executive Committee with thoughts and feedback on proposed activities via email to email@example.com
UAA Quadrennial Diplomacy and Develpment Review (QDDR) Recommendations
On July 25, UAA submitted to USAID and the Department of State recommendations for the 2014 QDDR. Those recommendations were keyed to the development issues we had suggested for consideration in June, which were shared with USAID and State and published on the UAA Forum with an invitation for member input.
The recommendations now submitted address the need to adapt US practice in development cooperation to the changing global environment, with leadership roles for both State and USAID. Particular recommendations deal with coordination in the field and in Washington, the division of labor between State and USAID, and compatibility in program management and training. For the text of the UAA recommendations click here.
On December 19, the UAA Board has sent the following letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah: (Want to show your own support for efforts to free Warren Weinstein? Tweet #bringwarrenhome, join the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BringWarrenHome, or sign up for letters to the White House at http://www.bringwarrenhome.com/.)
Dear Secretary Kerry and Administrator Shah:
As you may recall, the USAID Alumni Association wrote to you on June 14, 2012 expressing special concern for two former colleagues doing development work abroad whose early release by their captors we hoped would be achieved by our government. We join the rest of the country in congratulating President Obama and you on the successful return of Alan Gross to the United States. That is a wonderful accomplishment.
In our great enthusiasm for Gross’ release, however, we cannot forget that Warren Weinstein, kidnapped by terrorists in Pakistan in 2011, is still being held. When taken, he was completing an assignment on a USAID-financed agro-business program. Weinstein, an employee of the USAID contractor implementing the program, spent many years in government service, including with USAID and Peace Corps.
We urge the Administration to give his release high priority now that Alan Gross has been successfully reunited with his family.
Thank you once again for all you are doing to help support and protect our development colleagues and their families.
Carol Peasley and Alexander Shakow,
Co-Chairs, USAID Alumni Association Board
UAA Development Conversations
The UAA currently is operating two series of interactive conversations on a broad range of topics relevant to the interests of international development professionals. These are the UAA/DACOR Development Dialogues and the Friday Morning series.
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:
New! On January 16, George Ingram led a discussion on “The Priorities for US Foreign Aid Reform for 2017 and Beyond” at a UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue. Now a senior fellow at Brookings, George has long been a leader in the foreign assistance community. He asked participants to vote for the reforms of highest priority. You can see and vote on his list here and hear the discussion in full here.
Ambassador Carlos Pascual
New! On December 17, Ambassador Carlos Pascual spoke on “The New Geopolitics of Energy” before a large and attentive group at a UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue. His most recent assignment in a distinguished and diverse career in government was as the senior advisor to the Secretary of State on global energy diplomacy. His presentation wove together with great clarity the complex interrelationships of energy to many pressing global foreign policy and economic issues. You can see his slides here and hear the discussion in full here.
- UAA Friday Mornings
As many will have noted, there is a new excitement to Friday mornings. Taking advantage of USAID’s generous offer of its new Crystal City Training Center, UAA been able to offer presentations and dialogues of interest to its member alumni. In this space, usaidalumni.org will provide summaries of our speakers have presented so that a broader audience may share in them.
Do you have an idea for a person or topic that you believe would be of interest to your alumni colleagues? If so, please send them to Alex Shakow at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Overview of Recently Completed Events:
New! On January 23, 2015, John Sanbrailo, Executive Director of the Pan American Development Foundation, regaled a large UAA group with his “History of US Foreign Assistance:1950 – 2015”. (In January 2014 John had led a UAA discussion on the 1789-1950 period.) John has over 40 years of experience managing international development programs. His talk was based on that extensive experience and additional research he has been doing for nearly two decades on the history of US foreign assistance. To see slides of an outline of his presentation, click here. For audio of the entire session, click here.
New! On December 5, alumni met at the USAID Learning Center for a discussion of “Local Capacity Development: Is It Local Enough”. The session on a fundamental tenet of USAID policy was moderated by UAA member Diane Ponasik, and featured a presentation by Tom Dichter, the leader of a recently completed nine-country study for USAID that examined donor progress in implementing the “Paris Declaration” and its successors, especially country ownership and local capacity development. Liz Warfield, USAID’s first Local Solutions Coordinator and advisor to Counselor Susan Reichle, responded and, inter alia, described the array of actions underway to try to strengthen the capacity of USAID staff to address the sorts of concerns Tom flagged. You can hear the whole conversation by clicking here, and also read the full text of Dichter’s talk by clicking here.
UAA/USAID Mentoring Program
(January 2015 Update) In early 2015, the USAID/UAA Mentoring Program completed the training and launch of a fourth cohort of matched mentor/mentee partnerships. This brought the number of matched pairs to 61 since initiation of the program in early 2013. Looking ahead, in anticipation of new requests from our cooperating bureaus in the early fall, we will recruit a fifth cohort of alums over the summer of 2015. To that end, we need to hear from alumni who have an interest in mentoring a current USAID field officer. If you would like to participate in this interesting and important program or to become a mentor, please contact either Jerry Wood (email@example.com) or Marilynn Schmidt (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Where in the World
Updated Thru 12/14 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..
Join the Alumni Directory
The Association strives to build a roster of alumni (USDH, FSN, PSC, etc. – see eligibility information under “Join” on the sidebar) and freely share it among us, whether you choose to become a financially contributing, voting member of the UAA or not. Your registration for the Directory will be followed by receipt of log-on information that that will give you access to the Directory. Contributing member or not, add your name and contact information now, You also can update your contact info at this same location, if needed.
For those of you already registered and have the password, please click here to access the Directory. If you have registered, but have lost the password, please send an email to email@example.com and request that it be sent you
UAA has learned of the recent deaths of the following members of our USAID alumni community: Roma Knee, Blaine Jensen, Larry Rosen, Roger Ernst, Lyle Dean Bernius, Al Bisset, Carol Lancaster, Sandi Severn, Karl Mathiasen, Robert Gaul, Jean Pinder, and Jeremiah Parson. 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: 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:
New! USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) has Personal Services Contract (PSC) positions open! OFDA is the office within USAID responsible for providing emergency non-food humanitarian assistance in response to international crises and disasters. USAID/OFDA is looking for individuals with a broad range of humanitarian experience to serve in Washington, DC and various locations overseas. Individuals interested in opportunities with USAID/OFDA should visit www.ofdajobs.net for full information regarding open positions and instructions on how to apply. Positions currently open include: Disaster Operations Specialist closing 1/23/15, Senior Humanitarian Advisor closing 1/21/15 and 1/22/15, Regional Advisor closing 1/30/15, Support Relief Group Generalist first closing round 2/6/15, Logistics Specialist second closing round 2/23/15, and Humanitarian Assistance Advisor to the Military second closing round 3/3/15. All positions close at 5:00pm Eastern Time on the specified date.
New! 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 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! The Economics of Optimism (The Economist) – As the UN discusses the establishment of new “Sustainable Development Goals,” the debate increases on the risks of having too many goals and on prioritizing those which offer greater returns on development investment.*
- New! In Defense of Britain’s Oveseas Aid Program (CGD) – Tim Lankester, a former senior British aid official, provides an informed view of the positive value of aid and results in UK assistance programs.
- New! Who Will be the Next USAID Administrator? (DevEx) – This list includes ten names, including that of Aaron Williams!
- New! CIDA and AusAID Folded into Foreign Affairs Ministries (DevEx) -This almost happened to USAID. For additional thoughts, click here.
- New! Warren Weinstein Abductor Sentenced – USAID alumnus Weinstein is still missing, with no proof of life since late 2012.
- New! USAID Pays $3.2m Settlement to Alan Gross/DAI (Washington Post) - Result was the product of pre-trial mediation.
- New! Shortchanging Democracy Assistance (Washington Post) – Thomas Carothers discusses the harm recent DRG funding and program cutbacks have done to the cause of development that is sustainable.
- New! The Senate’s Back Channel on the Cuba Deal (Politico) – The role of staffer Tim Rieser in the deal to free Alan Gross and advance the US/Cuban relationship.
- New! Devex on Aid Plans in Cuba - There are some possibilities, but the involvement of USAID would appear to be unlikely.
- New! How USAID’s Growing Relevance Could Destroy It - The U.S. government needs civilian tools to advance its short-term interests in difficult environments, but continuing to retrofit or cannibalize long-term USAID programs may do more harm than good.
- New! Behavioral Economics Applied (New York Times) – New ways of getting people to send their kids to school, save money, etc.
- New! Deputy IG to Retire Amid Flap at USAID (Washington Post) - Carroll says that decision has nothing to do with whistleblower allegations.
- New! Stop Trying to Save the World (The New Republic) – A very comprehensive look at the conundrum of what works and what does not in international development.
- New! UN: Most African Nations to Miss 2015 MDG Goals - A main issue is the gap between human development and economic progress.
- USAID Motivates Innovation in Ebola Fight (Washington Post) - New, effective and more economic materials are already available for testing.
- Apply the Rigors of Investing to Foreign Aid (Foreign Policy) – A useful look on the real returns to foreign aid and how this might be applied in QDDR 2.
- USAID’s Nancy Lindborg Select to Head U.S> Institute for Peace – Lindborg, who has devoted most of her career to issues of transition, democracy and civil society, conflict and humanitarian response, will be the fifth president in the organization’s 30-year history.
- International Development Programs Are Hampered by Oversight (TheHill.com) – The views of a former ambassador.
- Ebola – An Interview with Raj Shah (Washington Post) - The Ebola crisis has incited a global response. USAID is leading the U.S. effort.
- A Prisoner Swap with Cuba? (New York Times): -An editorial explores the pros and cons of a prisoner exchange that potentially would free USAID contractor Alan Gross.
- USAID “Poor” Morale Goes From 37% to 47%, Administrator Approval Rating Plummets From 78% to 58% (DiploPundit) – Based on a recent AFSA/USAID survey.
- Whistleblowers Say USAID’s IG Removed Critical Details From Public Reports (Washington Post) – Report says that negative findings in USAID OIG’s reports were being stricken from audits between 2011 and 2013. The Acting IG has withdrawn his name from consideration for the position.
- How the US Did on The Aid Transparency Index - Despite making several international transparency commitments, US donors still struggle to share useful information about their aid spending.
- Who is Actually Leading the Ebola Crisis? (BuzzFeed) – USAID is currently in charge of the international effort. A key senator says that’s not enough — the White House should appoint a single, high-level official to lead the fight against Ebola.
- Fifty Years of Global Health – In its 50-year history, USAID has had an important hand in numerous crucial advances in global health. USAID’s new book is a record of this work and a catalog of lessons.
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.
- December 2014 - USAID Impact Newsletter: Subjects include Haiti five years after the earthquake and Ebola.
- (December 2014) 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: email@example.com, Attn: Development Issues.
New: Alumni Profile Archive
A membership favorite of the UAA newsletter has long been the Alumni Profile section. This section shares the widely varied stories of what we have been doing in our post-USAID afterlives. Now, you can see the full collection of these profiles under the “Alumni” tab of the navigation bar at the top of this page. Another option is to click here.
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.