Latest News from UAA


UAA Calendar

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

Friday, January 16, 2015 11:30 am to 2:00 pm – UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue – “What Are the Priorities for US Foreign Aid Reform?” George Ingram, long-time aid expert on Capitol Hill and USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator, is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. His talk is designed to spark a conversation and elicit additional ideas from the participants on a renewed development aid reform agenda. (For further background see his recent blog post.)

Friday, January 23, 2015 – 10:00 to 12 noon - John Sanbrailo – “History of Foreign Assistance – 1950 – 2015″. Part 2 of John’s in depth study of aid history. Gabriela Mistral Conference Room,Terrace Level of the OAS Building at 1889 “F” Street, NW, Washington, D.C.

Saturday, February 7 - UAA Winterfest – a new social event to dissipate the gloom of the winter months.


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

Keynote Speaker McPherson

Keynote Speaker McPherson

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.

Alumni of the Year: Kilgour, Shah, Dammerell

Alumni of the Year: Kilgour, Shah, Dammerell

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

 Request for New Volunteers for the UAA/USAID Mentoring Program

The UAA/USAID Mentoring Program has been expanded over the past year to include partnering arrangements with five of the Agency’s bureaus. The program is demand driven, having at its core the needs, objectives and specific requests for mentors from field-based FSOs. We need to hear from members who have an interest in being paired as mentor with a current USAID field officer, indicating availability for the October cohort or a future cohort. For more details, click here.

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.

UAA Letter on Captive U.S. Development Workers

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, or sign up for letters to the White House at

As representatives of the association of USAID alumni we have a special concern for our current and former colleagues still active in carrying out our development work abroad. We are well aware of how dangerous it now is in many countries to do this vital work. We were reminded of this most vividly because of the welcome release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after five years of captivity in Afghanistan. We know of at least two American workers engaged in official development programs who have long been held by their captors whose release we hope also will be achieved by our government.

The first of these is Warren Weinstein, who was kidnapped by terrorists in Pakistan in 2011. 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. He is 74 years old and reported to be in a precarious state of health. His release should be a high priority for the Obama Administration. The other is Alan Gross, who was arrested and sent to a Cuban jail when he went to Havana working on a USAID project for the United States Government. He also is reportedly in poor health.

President Obama has stressed that Bowe Bergdahl “was not forgotten by his country.” Just as it is established U.S. practice to leave no soldier behind, so too should we prioritize the return to freedom of civilian workers engaged in US Government supported development activities abroad.

We understand that these are not simple challenges, but the principle is clear. We urge you to do everything you can to ensure that Messrs Weinstein and Gross are returned safely to their families in the very near future – just as has been achieved in Sergeant Bergdahl’s case.

Thank you for all you are doing to help support and protect our development colleagues and their families.

Sincerely yours,

Nancy Pielemeier, Carol Peasley
Co-Chairs, USAID Alumni Association

New UAA Logo!

After much consideration, artistic consideration and intellectual searching, the UAA is pleased to announce the selection of its organizational logo. It is now being used in the masthead of this website and soon will be deployed elsewhere. In the meantime, take an admiring look at our newest creation:

UAALogo Reduced jpeg

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.

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

- UAA/DACOR Development Dialogues:

Ambassador Frederick “Rick” Barton

New! On November 25, Ambassador Frederick “Rick” Barton spoke at a UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue on “Managing Foreign Policy in a Messy World”. Barton retired on October 3, 2014 after 30 months as the State Department’s Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations; he was also the founding director of USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives in the 1990s. In a wide-ranging discussion with a big crowd of USAID and State retirees, Barton noted the challenges of starting a new office with such a cross-cutting mandate in State and the importance of reaching a better balance in US foreign policy between “American ingenuity” and “natural caution”, the latter being far more dominant today. You can hear the discussion in full here.

Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki

DSCF1605-DACOR3On Friday, August 1, Dr. Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) spoke to a full house at the DACOR-Bacon House on “Development in Africa – Whose Agenda?” This Development Dialogue talk was a key feature of the series of meetings organized by the Africa Development Forum initiated by the UAA’s Development Assistance Committee to take advantage of President Obama’s August 6-7 Summit with nearly 50 African heads of state. Dr. Mayaki’s much appreciated talk highlighted the important positive changes taking place in Africa as well as the significant challenges created by, inter alia, a population whose average age is only 19. Hear the entire 45 minutes of his talk and answers to questions 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, 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

Overview of Recently Completed Events:

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.

On  September 26, Eric Postel, USAID Assistant Administrator for E3 (Economic Growth, Education and Environment) spoke on “So What is USAID Doing These Days on Economic Growth?” He noted that USAID field missions had identified five key economic growth issues of highest priority – enabling environment, SMEs/entrepreneurship, value chains, access to finance and private sector/public private partnerships – illustrating important USAID initiatives in several of these areas. However, he also noted that due to scarce budgetary resources, a number of important areas – e.g. trade assistance – have had to be cut back sharply. This broad-ranging presentation was highly informative and very interesting. You can hear it in full here.

UAA/USAID Mentoring Program

(June 2014) The UAA/USAID Mentoring Program now has been operational for more than 18 months. The total number of mentoring relationships has nearly tripled to more than 30 pairs. Following the successful pilot program with E&E, the Program now works with five of the Agency’s Bureaus. To find out more about the program, read the recently completed one-page program overview.

There is a pressing need for more Strengthening USAID Committee members to help monitor more closely the expanded mentoring program.  Optimally, the Committee would like to have at least one of its members for each participating bureau – Africa, LAC, E&E, etc. If you would like to participate in this interesting and important program or to become a mentor, please contact either Jerry Wood ( or Marilynn Schmidt (

Where in the World

Updated Thru 9/14  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 and request that it be sent you

Alumni News

In Memoriam:

UAA has learned of the recent deaths of the following members of our USAID alumni community: Lyle Dean Bernius, Al Bisset, Carol Lancaster, Sandi Severn, Karl Mathiasen, Robert Gaul, Jean Pinder, Jeremiah Parson, Jan Stromsen, Willard Boynton, Neil Dimick, Robert ThompsonRoy Carlson, Thomas Luche, Henrietta Preston, Tibor Nagy, F. Brett Miller, and Phyllis Drohat (click on the links to see their obituaries, which are located in the Forum). Other obituaries and personal tributes 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: 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! Plan International seeks a Director of Grants, Contracts & Compliance. The incumbent serves as an expert on contracts and compliance with contracts, grants and other award provisions and audit requirements for all Plan institutional contracts, grants and awards including US Government, multilateral, corporate, and foundation awards. In this role, the Director, Grants, Contracts & Compliance is responsible for developing, implementing, and sustaining efficient and transparent internal controls to ensure compliance with government and private grants/contracts. S/he is responsible for the organizational processes for award administration from proposal to close-out, ensuring full compliance with local laws, Plan USA and Plan Global policies, and donor rules and regulations. She/he will lead the revision of the organizational guidance documents and training materials in line with the new OMB “Super Circular.” This position reports to the CFO, and is based in Washington, DC. For a detailed job description and how to apply, please visit Closing date is December 24, 2014.

New!  The USAID/Office of Crisis Surge Support Staff (CS3) has opened a new position for an General Development Officer – Health (multiple positions) located overseas. This is an intermittent Personal Services Contract (PSC) position at the GS-15 equivalent level. The position is open to U.S. citizens only due to security clearance requirements. Applications for this position are due no later than December 20, 2014 at 5:00 pm EST. For full information about this position, as well as instructions on how to apply, visit

New! The USAID/Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) has opened Personal Services Contract (PSC) positions for the following: Regional Advisor (GS-14 Equivalent) closing 12/16/14 (Deadline Extended), Program Operations Specialist – Finance Unit (GS-12 Equivalent) closing 12/4/14, Military Liaison Team Training Coordinator (GS-11/12 Equivalent) closing 12/16/14, Senior Regional Advisor South Asia (GS-15 Equivalent) closing 12/16/14, Senior Regional Advisor East Asia/Pacific (GS-15 Equivalent) closing 12/16/14, Syria Response Information Officer (GS-11 Equivalent) closing 12/15/14, Program Operations Specialist – Resources Team (Multiple Positions) (GS-12/13 Equivalent) closing 1/5/15, Logistics Specialist (GS-13 Equivalent) second round closing 2/23/15, Humanitarian Assistance Advisor to the Military (Multiple Positions) (GS-13 Equivalent) second round closing 3/3/15, and Support Relief Group (SRG) – Humanitarian Assistance Advisor to the Military (Multiple Positions) (GS-13 Equivalent) second round closing 3/3/15. . All positions close at 5:00 pm EST on the specified date. For full information regarding these positions, including instructions on how to apply, please visit

New! The USAID/Office of Crisis Surge Support Staff (CS3) has opened a new position for an Executive Officer located overseas. This is an intermittent Personal Services Contract (PSC) position at the GS-15 equivalent level. The position is open to U.S. citizens only due to security clearance requirements. Applications for this position are due no later than December 3, 2014 at 5:00 pm EST. For full information about this position, as well as instructions on how to apply, please click here.

New!  The USAID/Office of Crisis Surge Support Staff (CS3) has opened a new position for an General Development Officer – Health (multiple positions) located overseas. This is an intermittent Personal Services Contract (PSC) position at the GS-15 equivalent level. The position is open to U.S. citizens only due to security clearance requirements. Applications for this position are due no later than December 20, 2014 at 5:00 pm EST. For full information about this position, as well as instructions on how to apply, visit

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:

- New! 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

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.

  • 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.
  • Update (July 2014) – 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.
  • Interactive Map of Global RemittancesInternational migrants sent $529 billion in remittances back to their home countries in 2012. Such funds are fundamental to development in many countries. This map shows where the money came from and went to.
  • (October 2014)  Front Lines – This link will take you to the most recent edition.
  • Multilateral Development Banks: Overview and Issues for Congress -A Congressional Research Service report prepared for the Congress.
  • 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 Center for Global Development (CGD) works to reduce global poverty and inequality through rigorous research and active engagement with the policy community to make the world a more prosperous, just, and safe place.  CGD combines world-class research with policy analysis and innovative communications to turn ideas into action.
  • Freedom in the World 2011 Survey – Freedom House released its 2011 annual survey of global political rights and civil liberties. According to the findings, 2010 was the fifth consecutive year in which global freedom suffered a decline—the longest period of setbacks for freedom in the nearly 40-year history of the report. If you would prefer to visit just the free/not free map, you may see it here.
  • 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.

  • Foreign Aid Reform

Find articles and links on the topic of foreign aid reform here.

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 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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