Latest News from UAA

 

UAA Calendar

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

Monday, September 15, 2014“Grading the Administrators: A Look Back at USAID’s Leadership over the Years” – John Norris (Center for American Progress) speaks about the DEVEX series on USAID Administrators from 1961 to the present (see link). This event will be held from 10:00 am to noon at the Organization of American States Building, 1889 “F” Street, NW, Washington, D.C. (next to DACOR House), in the Gabriela Mistral Conference Room, Terrace Level.

Friday, September 26, 2014 - USAID AA/E3 Eric Postel –  “So What Is USAID Doing These Days on Economic Growth?” 10:00am to 12 noon,  USAID Learning Center, Crystal City, VA

October 24, 2014: UAA Annual General Meeting, Location - the Washington headquarters of the Center for Global Development; Theme: USAID Innovation Past and Future.


UAA Board Election

A seven-member Board of Directors governs the affairs of the UAA. Each position on the Board is filled by election from among the UAA membership for two-year terms. Incumbents may serve for up to two consecutive terms. UAA members who have made a financial contribution for the current year are eligible to run for a seat on the Board and to vote. Elections are conducted electronically beginning several weeks before the Annual General Meeting (AGM) or by ballot deposited no later than the morning of the AGM. Results are announced at the conclusion of the AGM.

This coming October 24, three UAA Board members will be completing the terms for which they were elected: David Cohen, Jim Michel and Nancy Pielemeier. David and Nancy are completing their first term and, thus, are eligible for re-election. Jim will be leaving the Board after the upcoming AGM.

The four remaining Board members, Frank Almaguer, David Eckerson, Carol Peasley and Alex Shakow, were elected or re-elected in 2013 and their terms expire in October 2015.

The UAA Board’s Nominating Committee is looking for eligible UAA contributing members who are interested in running for the 2014-2016 Board term.

After the names are submitted, the UAA Nominating Committee and the Executive Committee (Board members and Committee co-chairs) will review the list of contributing members who have expressed an interest in serving on the Board for the next two years. We anticipate that all candidates will be qualified to serve. Nevertheless, in accordance with Article IV, Section 4 of the UAA By-laws, the Board will review the needs and planned activities of the UAA for the coming cycle (2014-16) and identify the three candidates it considers the best fit for the current needs of the Association.

A proposed slate of candidates, along with all others who have expressed an interest in serving on the Board, will be submitted to the membership no later than Wednesday, September 24, a month before the AGM, for the members’ consideration and vote.

The ballots cast electronically by COB Thursday, October 23, as well as those submitted in person at the beginning of the Friday, October 24 Annual General Meeting, will be counted and the results announced at that the end of that General Meeting.

Please let us know if you would be interested in running for a position on the UAA Board, or if you have ideas for other UAA members who would be good candidates. We need to hear from you by no later than COB Wednesday, September 15 so that we can prepare and send out the ballots by September 24.

Please contact Frank Almaguer, Chair of the 2014 Nominating Committee at falmaguer@usaidalumni.org to express your interest in running and/or to share your suggestions.


 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  https://www.facebook.com/BringWarrenHome, or sign up for letters to the White House at http://www.bringwarrenhome.com/.)

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 Annual Picnic

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The Hadley family enjoying the day and each other.

For the third year in a row, UAA enjoyed excellent weather for our summer picnic which was held at Ft Hunt in Alexandria on August 9. This year we were pleased that family members including children and grandchildren joined the outing.  UAA is always searching for new venues for our events. If you have any suggestions for next year’s picnic site send them along to office@usaidalumni.org.

 

 


UAA Annual Spring Event

Administrator Shah Addresses Alumni and Directors

Administrator Shah Addresses Alumni and Directors

UAA Co-Chair Carol Peasley and Dominican Republic Director Alexi Panehal

UAA Co-Chair Carol Peasley and Dominican Republic Director Alexi Panehal

On May 18, against the backdrop of the historic DACOR Bacon House in DC, the UAA held its annual Spring Reception. The weather fully cooperated for the group of over 100 attendees, who enjoyed the beautiful spring afternoon on the DACOR patio. In addition to USAID Alumni and spouses, almost 20 current USAID Mission Directors and senior Agency official attending the annual worldwide conference joined the event. We were grateful that Administrator Shah took time from his weekend schedule to informally address the group, praising the work of the UAA in collaborating with USAID. Alumni included several from out of town such as Priscilla del Bosque and Bastiaan Schouten from California and Nancy and David Piet up from North Carolina.

Click here to view a gallery of event photos. Use “slideshow” mode to view identification of photo subjects.


Annual Membership Survey Results

In early January, the UAA sent an email to all registered members with links to the Annual Membership Survey. Questions focused on the UAA newsletter; UAA website; UAA events; opportunities outside the DC area; participation in UAA priority activities; and general recommendations. To view a summary of the results of the survey, click here.


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:

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 Board Member Alex Shakow and Sen. Tim Wirth

UAA Board Member Alex Shakow and Sen. Tim Wirth

Senator Tim Wirth

On Friday, June 13, Senator Tim Wirth spoke to over fifty members at the most recent UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue on the topic of “The Politics of Climate Change”. Uniquely qualified to address this issue given his long experience as a Member of the US Congress and Senate, as Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs and as the Founding President of the United Nations Foundation, Wirth kept the audience highly engaged as he spelled out the urgency of confronting the growing global climate crisis as well as the challenging political constraints to making the necessary tough decisions. The new, more interactive arrangements for the lunch permitted about 75 minutes for Wirth’s presentation and the question period. Hear the full discussion here.

Charles Kenny

On Tuesday, May 13, Charles Kenny inaugurated an experimental format for the Development Dialogue series at DACOR. Kenny, a Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development, spoke eloquently about his optimistic view that “the rise of the rest is good for the west”, which is also the sub-title of his latest book The Upside of Down. The new format featured a buffet lunch followed by 90 minutes for presentation and discussion, doubling the usual time available for this purpose. Here the full audio here.

- UAA Friday Mornings

Note: The Friday morning sessions are on vacation during the summer and will resume in September.

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 ashakow@usaidalumni.org.

Overview of Recently Completed Events:

On April 25, Beth Cole, USAID’s Director of the Office of Civilian-Military Cooperation, opened what we hope will be a series of discussions focused on the ever-growing links between USAID and the military.  Her talk – “Two to Tango: USAID – DOD Cooperation in a Complex World” – outlined the various ways in which USAID staff seek to “….leverage the unique capabilities of USAID and DOD to achieve better development outcomes in pursuit of national security goals and national values.”  Her office leads efforts to align policies, plans and programs to this end while strengthening the military’s understanding of USAID’s development role and responsibilities. Ms. Cole was accompanied by her colleagues Navy Capt. Colleen Gallagher and Dale Skoric who also described their respective coordination responsibilities.  Hear the full discussion by clicking here.


UAA/USAID Mentoring Program

New! (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 (jerryjwood@gmail.com) or Marilynn Schmidt (schmidtmarilynn@aol.com).


Where in the World

Updated Thru 5/14  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 office@usaidalumni.org 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: Jan Stromsen, Willard Boynton, Neil Dimick, Robert ThompsonRoy Carlson, Thomas Luche, Henrietta Preston, Tibor Nagy, F. Brett Miller, Phyllis DrohatWalter “Nick” Farr, James Robinson, Lisa Chiles, Art Mudge, Vernon Johnson, Ray Sternfeld, Frank Ruddy, Martin StollerGudrun HudenDan Creedon,  Michael Lippe, Paul Crowe, Gerald Schwab, David Guardella, Sidney Weintraub, Nuran Kolan, Mabel Clarkand Hugh Dwelley (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: office@usaidalumni.org Attn: Memorials.


UAA Board News

Strategic Goals and Implementation Plan: At its February meeting, the UAA Board approved an updated Statement of UAA Strategic Goals and Implementation Plan for 2014-2016. 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.


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 speakers@usaidalumni.org.

  • 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 office@usaidalumni.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 office@usaidalumni.org, Attn: Jobs/Volunteers.

Below are the most recent postings:

New!  The USAID/Office of Crisis Surge Support Staff (CS3), has opened a new position for a Contracting and Agreement 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 October 1, 2014 at 5:00 pm EDT. For full information about this position, as well as instructions on how to apply, please visit www.globalcorps.com.

New!  World Council of Credit Unions seeks a Chief of Party to lead a Housing Finance Initiative in Haiti. Responsibilities: provide technical direction for the project; monitor program activities against USAID strategic objectives; and develop mortgage guarantee facility. Qualifications: knowledge of microfinance, mobile financial services; remittances, financial literacy; advanced degree in financial management or related field; minimum of ten years’ experience in progressively more responsible positions in affordable housing; and minimum of fifteen years’ experience overseeing development projects in Haiti or other similar contexts. Fluency in English and French required, Haitian Creole preferred. To apply: Please email your CV to Vanessa Knecht at vknecht@woccu.org and for more information on the World Council, please visit www.woccu.org

New! The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International in Washington, DC is seeking an experienced financial manager with strong knowledge of USAID contracting rules to serve as Chief Financial Officer. This individual will oversee financial operations and to be part of the senior team of a nonprofit organization that has a budget of $36 million and a staff of 750. A solid understanding of NICRA is essential. A degree in accounting is highly desirable. Please click here to see complete job announcement, including application instructions

New! IREX, which is based in Washington, DC, and promotes positive and lasting change globally, is seeking candidates to be its next President and CEO. This is an exceptional opportunity for a person with experience in international development and strong fundraising and management skills to lead an organization with a budget of $73 million and a staff of 435, spread among the DC headquarters and 20 field offices. Please click here to see complete job announcement, including application instructions.

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.

- 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 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 amcreynolds@peacecorps.gov.


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 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.
  • (April 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: office@usaidalumni.org, 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 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: office@usaidalumni.org Attn: Website.


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