Wednesday, March 28, 2018 – 11:30 – 2:00 – UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue Nancy Wilson, President and CEO of Relief International will speak on “Practicing Development in Fragile Locations – Experiences from the Field”.
Monday, April 16, 2018 – 10:00 to Noon – UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue – Ambassador and former USAID Counselor Jim Michel will discuss “Fragility – Implications for Peace, Security, and Sustainable Development”, based on his recent CSIS report.
Sunday, May 20 UAA Spring Reception at the residence of Alex and Pat Shakow
Saturday, September 8 UAA Annual Picnic at Fort Hunt in Alexandria, Virginia
Friday, October 26 UAA Annual General Meeting at the Center for Global Development (CGD) in Washington, D.C.
THE USAID HISTORY PROJECT NEEDS YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT!
PLEASE MAKE A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE CONTRIBUTION NOW!
As reported at the UAA Annual General Meeting, in our recent Newsletter and on the UAA website, John Norris has begun work on the independent history of USAID’s nearly sixty years of development experience. He will have a manuscript ready to publish in 18 months. Over 130 generous alumni (see a list of contributors) have provided about $190,000 to get this project underway. However, we still need additional contributions to compile, publish and disseminate the book widely and to use it to develop effective educational materials and social media to reach the largest possible audience.
We want to see the USAID story told objectively and well. If you agree this is important, and we certainly hope you do, please make your tax-deductible contribution to this ambitious USAID alumni effort now. Make your check payable to the “UAA/USAID History Project” and mail it 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 and a receipt for tax purposes. Unless you specify otherwise, your name will be listed among contributors in our Newsletter and on the UAA website.
This year’s Winterfest on February 11 was a great success. Frank and Antoinette Almaguer graciously hosted at their lovely home the afternoon get-together for 52 UAA members and spouses. We enjoyed food, drinks, and lively conversation with other alumni, including some old and new or renewed friends. Frank lived up to his promise to hold off the expected inclement weather and provided gentle weather to enhance our pleasure for the afternoon. For those of you who were unable to join us, we encourage you to come to the Spring reception to be hosted by Alex and Patricia Shakow on May 20.
2017 UAA Annual General Meeting
Theme: USAID’S Commercial and Intellectual Partnerships
On November 3, USAID alumni, youngAgency professionals and CGD staff gathered to hear distinguished panelists speak about USAID’s commercial and intellectual partnerships. The 140 participants learned about USAID’s past and current partnerships, including perspectives on the opportunities and challenges of brokering and sustaining partnerships with commercial actors and with U.S. and international universities. Dr. Gebisa Ejeta gave a moving account of how USAID investments in higher education offered him—and many others—a path out of poverty. USAID Administrator Ambassador Mark Green and aid reform panelists agreed on the need for a “strategic transition” in USAID bilateral relationships from “aid” to “trade and investment,” a reform supported by the executive branch and legislative branches agree. Click here for a full summary of the 2017 AGM and here (morning session) and here (afternoon session) for videos of the full event.
In other AGM topics: Announcement was made of the re-election to the UAA Board of Franklin Moore and John Heard and the election for first terms of Nancy Tumavick and Christopher Crowley. The Alumni of the Year Awards went to Marcy Bernbaum and Ray Martin.
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.
Call for Mentor Volunteers
It is time to initiate recruitment of mentors for the 7th Cohort of the USAID/UAA Mentoring Program that will commence in December. The program, which has been operational for six years, matches interested field-based officers with alumni mentors. From the outset of this activity, the Agency saw and capitalized on the opportunity to tap the collective experience and wisdom of the USAID Alumni Association.
The prime purpose of the program is to provide overseas USAID FSOs with professional and career guidance. UAA’s interest in supporting the program is to help the Agency build and retain a solid officer corps, one that is essential to the achievement of its goals and objectives now and in the future.
Successes to date correlate directly with a strong commitment to keep the program demand driven, having at its core the needs, objectives and specific requests of our mentees. At the outset of their participation in the Mentoring Program, mentors and mentees will receive orientation training. In general, mentors and mentees speak weekly (usually via Skype or phone). Alumni who have already served as mentors have found the experience both gratifying and a meaningful way to continue to connect to the important work USAID has always done.
The continued success of this program depends on the continued high quality participation of USAID alumni mentors. Please indicate your interest in being involved by responding to us by October13. Forward your expression of interest by clicking here.
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
August Update of USAID Bibliography of USAID Authors: A number of new (and older) books have come to our attention and have been added to the Bibliography, bringing to 218 the total entries thus far. Of particular interest is Barry Riley’s new “The Political History of American Food Aid: An Uneasy Benevolence”, described by one reviewer as ““without doubt the most comprehensive history of US food assistance ever written”, which explores the influences of humanitarian, domestic agricultural policy, foreign policy, and national security goals that have created the uneasy relationship between benevolent instincts and the realpolitik of national interests.
Other new entries include Larry Heilman’s USAID in Bolivia: Partner or Patron, Terry Myer’s chapter on USAID in The National Security Enterprise, Lu Rudel’s Memoirs of an Agent of Change, the Struggle for Iraq by Thomas Renahan and several others (all identified by baby blue ink).
Please send info on any additional USAID-authored books that you identify to John Pielemeier at 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.
On Monday, February 12, 2018, John Mellor, former USAID Chief Economist, Director-General of IFPRI and Emeritus Professor at Cornell, spoke to a large and appreciative UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue audience about key themes in his new book Agricultural Development and Economic Transformation: Promoting Growth with Poverty Reduction. Hear the audio of John’s talk and the Q&As here and see his slides here.
On December 15, Steve Young, who worked for USAID in the CORDS program in Vietnam, presented some of his related experiences and thoughts that are included in his recently published book: The Theory and Practice of Associative Power: CORDS in the Villages of Vietnam 1967-72. Through this experience, he has developed a concept called “Associative Power,” which mobilizes military and civilian resources for collaborative application in limited wars, state building, and, now, in sustainable development. Listen to his presentation here.
UAA has learned of the recent deaths of the following members of our USAID alumni community: Jerome Hulehan, Joseph Guardiano, Gartini Isa Griffin, John Wainwright, Verne Newton, Paul Shields, John Craig, Robert Kanchuger, Francoise Brown, George Coleman, Lindsay Elmendorf, and Ruth Sorensen Singer. 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:
The USAID Global Development Lab is launching a new service, Innovation Matchmaking, to assist field Missions and their partners to more easily identify and integrate new innovations into their programs, as well as to access technical advisory support to help pilot, replicate, and/or scale helpful innovations. To support this service, GDL is recruiting a network of volunteer technical experts who can serve as Applied Innovation Expert Advisers to be listed in a Brain Trust Roster. These experts would advise Missions and GDL on innovations related to their sector expertise. The expectation is that maximum effort for participating would be 1-3 requests per quarter or roughly 1-2 hours of effort per request.
Requests to network experts are likely to include: • Identifying current innovations in their fields of expertise • Sharing lessons learned regarding innovations with which they have knowledge/experience • Reviewing and providing feedback on summaries of innovations • Participating in networking activities with innovators in their sector. For the full version of this notice, click here.
Anyone interested in volunteering for this service, please contact Shelie Miller, LAB/CDI, (202) 712-0297, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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! Debt Is Creeping Up in Sub-Saharan Africa (Economist) – The median debt-to-GDP ratio in the region is back over 50%.
- New! What a New US Development Finance Institution Needs to Succeed (Devex) – A bipartisan group of senators and representatives introduced the Better Utilization of Investment Leading to Development (BUILD) Act, which, if enacted, would create a new agency called the United States International Development Finance Corporation. The IDFC would absorb OPIC and several functions performed by USAID.
- New! Lucky That Time: Escapes from Animals (Foreign Service Journal) – Over the course of a Foreign Service lifetime, alum John Pielemeier has had dangerous encounters with at least seven different species of animal—and survived them all. This entertaining article describes a few of those.
- New! The Olympics of Foreign Assistance (GLC) – An easily absorbed presentation of some remarkable stories about how our overseas programs are a win for America and the world.*
- New! Why the Marshall Plan Spooked the Soviets and Sparked the Cold War (Washington Post) – A new book tells the story of not just the development of the Marshall Plan but also the division of Germany and the founding of NATO.
- New! President Trump’s FY19 Budget Repeats Reckless Cuts to Foreign Aid Effectiveness (MFAN) – Trump’s proposed 30 percent cut from FY17 levels to the International Affairs Budget is out of step with global needs and U.S. interests. These deep and disproportionate cuts would threaten our national security and diminish America’s standing in the world.
- New! StateDept’s Mandatory Harassment Training (Diplopundit) – A training video.
- New! Tillerson Scales Back State Department Restructuring Plan (Politico) – After resistance from diplomats and lawmakers, the Secretary of State is lowering expectations for his new “Impact Initiative.” Far from swinging a wrecking ball, Tillerson looks ready to tap with a hammer and chisel.
- New! Airborne Lifeline’s Johnathan Miller to be Asst Administrator For USAIDAfrica (Diplopundit) – Airborne has provided scheduled air transport of medical personnel to remote medical facilities in several Southern African countries. Miller also served in the Peace Corps, NSC and State.
- New! The Link Between Foreign Aid and Domestic Social Spending (Brookings) – Do countries that spend more on their own domestic social priorities spend less on ODA? This article makes the case for the opposite.
- New! Why pegging US Foreign Assistance to Countries’ UN Votes is a Bad Deal (Brookings) – In his State of the Union, Trump asked Congress for legislation to ensure that “American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests, and only go to friends of America, not enemies of America.”
- State/OIG “Looking Into” Reported Political Targeting of Career Employees (Diplopundit) – Members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, have called on State OIG to look into reports of violations of personnel policies and political retribution against Department employees.
- StateDept Launches New System of Records to Capture All Emails (Diplopundit) – The purpose of doing this is to be better able to search records and to reveal leakers.
- For US Aid Groups, Shutdowns Are Just One Piece of a Bigger Problem (Devex) – Unpredictable budgets have hobbled long-term planning, and U.S. country offices have responded in different ways, creating inconsistency and incoherence that humanitarian and development organizations still have to cope with.
- Senators Seek Review/Analysis of @StateDept and @USAID Sexual Harassment and Assault Data (Diplopundit) – This is an action that has widespread support.
- U.S. Withholds Millions of Dollars in Promised Palestinian Food Aid (Foreign Policy) – As a result, the U.N. Relief and Works Agency is now confronted with a massive unpaid bill at a time when it is facing huge cuts from the Trump administration for its education and health care programs.
- MFAN Recommendations Embedded in New Accountability Guidance for U.S. Aid Agencies (MFAN) – These suggestions set standards pertaining to monitoring, evaluation, and learning for all U.S. foreign assistance agencies.
- Tillerson’s State Overhaul Faces Mutiny as USAID Weighs Role (Bloomberg) – USAIDs participation in the Tillerson reorganization group has been suspended. There been broad frustration about communication with the Secretary over the redesign and confusion about its goals.
- USAID Transforms (State Dept. Blog) – Some notes from USAID Administrator Mark Green.
- How Can USAID Work Itself Out of a Job? Ideas for Smart Strategic Transitions (CGD) – There is now renewed attention on the question of how to responsibly and sustainably transition countries away from traditional, grant-based development assistance.
- U.S. Ambassador to Panama John Feeley Resigns From the Foreign Service Over Trump Policies (Diplopundit) – U.S. Ambassador to Panama John Feeley, a 28-year veteran of the Foreign Service, tendered his resignation over Administration policies he is no longer able to support and defend.
- Former A/AID Henrietta Holsman Fore Named UNICEF Executive Director (Devex) – Fore will take over for Anthony Lake, whose term as UNICEF executive director ends on Dec. 31.
- USAID in Afghanistan: Challenges and Successes (Relief Web) Cogent analysis from alumnus Bill Hammink.
- #MeToo in Aid Agencies (Tufts Now) – A new report suggests that sexual assault is pervasive within the ranks of humanitarian groups.
- Tillerson Announces “Immediate Changes” From Redesign (Diplopundit) – State and USAID email addressbooks to be combined and other administrivial changes.
- Gayle Smith’s Blueprint for an Activist Humanitarian Community (Devex) – Such a community will empower aid workers to convince politicians that the humanitarian sector needs their support more so than ever.
- USAID Anticipates @StateDept Hiring Freeze Will Last At Least Through End of FY2018 (Diplopundit) – It also has told Congress that it is considering whether to seek waivers from the Secretary of State to fill several additional positions
- USAID Reinstates Pre-Employment Status of FSO Candidates After Congressional Interest (Diplopundit) – Several USAID FSO candidates have received the message that supersedes the job cancellation notification issued in October:
- USAID Announces a New Development Impact Bond (Devex) – USAID Administrator Mark Green, will announce a new development impact bond aimed at reducing maternal and newborn deaths in India.
- Much of the Money Donated After Disasters Is Stolen (Economist) – To make theft less common, governments and donors must admit its scale.
- Foreign Service Grievance Board: Members as of November 3, 2017 (Diplopundit) – After a long delay in filling vacancies, the Administration has moved forward.
- USAID’s Job Cancellations Raise Questions About Its Staffing Future and Operations (Diplopundit) – Questions include the future of the Agency, its ability to perform its mission, and the great expense that is the consequence of not moving forward.
- Curing USAID (The American Interest) – Alum Jeffrey Cochrane tells us that USAID needs to reclaim its original mission and stop trying to do everything at once. This would be better for the bureaucracy and better for those it’s trying to help..
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! 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.
- 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.
- 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.