Wednesday, January 25, 2017 – UAA Development Dialogue at DACOR will feature Ishrat Husain, currently a Public Policy Fellow at the Wilson Center, formerly Pakistan’s Central Bank Governor, Chair of the National Commission for Government Reforms and long-time World Bank economist, who will speak on “Governing the Ungovernable” – how to bring about improved governance in societies’ with entrenched bureaucracies and rigid social structures.
New! Friday, February 10, 2017 – Newly retired Ambassador Jonathan Addleton will speak at a UAA/DACOR lunch meeting about his new book The Dust of Kandahar: A Diplomat Among Warriors in Afghanistan. This Development Dialogue is the latest in the series of talks by USAID authors featured in the Bibliography of USAID Authors.
USAID ALUMNI ASSOCIATION ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
October 21, 2016 – Center for Global Development, Washington, DC
“LEARNING FROM HISTORY”
This report is intended to provide the many UAA members who were not able to attend the annual meeting a sense of the outstanding presentations and discussions that marked this day-long gathering focused on Learning from History. The day’s focus on the history of American foreign assistance programs was designed to highlight that many of the principles and objectives of today’s USAID programs are rooted in beliefs, policies and actions dating back to the early days of this nation. The morning program opened with a focus on the pre-USAID period and the afternoon closed with three former USAID Administrators and the current Administrator, Gayle Smith, offering their guidance for the next Administration.
This summary can neither do justice to the richness of the discussion nor capture another primary objective of this gathering – the opportunity for friends and former colleagues to see each other again and to meet a number of the younger generation of USAID staff who were invited to attend.
The following paragraphs will guide you through the day’s events. Follow the links to the appropriate document or see a video presentation of the event.
The Agenda for the day and the speakers’ bio-data are attached.
Co-Chair Introduction The AGM provides a brief opportunity to bring members up-to-date on organizational developments. Carol Peasley announced that contributing members now number over 300. Attendees were asked to help ensure that more former colleagues, including FSNs, were made aware of the UAA and its many activities. The UAA depends entirely on volunteers. Accordingly, members were urged to become more active participants in the various committees. (See a full summary of Carol’s remarks here.) Members were urged to review and comment on the formal Report to Members and 2017-19 Strategic Plan. View the Video (section begins at 15 minutes/0 seconds)
First Panel – “Learning from the History of U.S. Foreign Assistance 1790-1950” In a panel moderated by USAID’s Jim Bever, John Sanbrailo, Julia Irwin and Curt Tarnoff described a stimulating array of illustrations of over two centuries’ of foreign assistance initiatives, both public and private, culminating in the Marshall Plan. (See a summary of their remarks here.) View the Video (section begins at 25 minutes/15 seconds)
Second Panel – “Lessons from USAID Country Experience” This panel, moderated by CGD’s Casey Dunning, featured consideration of lessons learned from four country cases by Michael Pillsbury (Taiwan/Korea), Jim Fox (Costa Rica) and Larry Heilman (Bolivia). (See a summary here.) View the Video (section begins at 0 minutes/0 seconds)
Board Election Results The re-election to the Board of Tish Butler and the election for first terms of Juan Buttari and Barbara Seligman were announced; they were succeeding Nancy Pielemeier and David Cohen who had completed their second two-year terms.
Annual Alumni Awards Frank Almaguer, Chairman of the Awards Committee, announced that Kathleen and Paul Vitale and David Garms were this year’s awardees. (See the text of the presentations here.) View the Video (section begins at 11 minutes/0 seconds)
USAID Administrator Gayle Smith In a wide ranging talk, the Administrator emphasized the many positive changes within USAID over the past few years, the greater bipartisan support for foreign assistance and the increased respect for USAID in interagency fora. She stressed the importance to the Agency of the career staff and of learning from their experience, and she expressed the hope that in the new Administration there would be continuation of major multi-year efforts to strengthen the Agency’s human resources and procurement systems. (See a full summary of her talk here.) View the Video (section begins at 46 minutes/05 seconds)
Panel of USAID Administrators – The Center for American Progress’ John Norris moderated a panel of three former USAID Administrators – Peter McPherson (1981-87), Brian Atwood (1993-1999) and Henrietta Holsman Fore (2007-2009) – and the current Administrator. Their broad topic was “Lessons from the Past for the Next Administration”. They reflected on what they wish they had known in advance when they first became head of USAID and on what advice they would have for a new Administrator. It was a great treat for all to see and hear these four great USAID leaders interacting and largely agreeing on a range of important policy and practical suggestions about USAID and its future. (See a summary of their discussion here. Read the CGD blog – Four Recommendations from Four Generations of USAID Leadership here.) View the Video (section begins at 1 hr., 20 minutes/10 seconds)
Attendance – Total – about 160: UAA Members –120; Speakers – 14; Guests and USAID Young Professionals – 26.
Report on UAA Activities
Please click here to read the 2016 UAA Progress Report and Preliminary Plans for 2017.
Amendment to the UAA Bylaws
New! The UAA is very pleased to announce that its Board, at the October 13 meeting, approved an amendment to the Bylaws to establish an Associate Membership category. The Board also approved a related proposal that widows, widowers, and former spouses or partners of USAID Alumni who were eligible for UAA membership will now be eligible to apply for Associate Membership. The annual Associate membership fee will be $25.
The amended Bylaws now read, “Associate Membership is an eligibility category established to include individuals who do not meet the specific criteria for full UAA membership but who otherwise have provided service and support to USAID, remunerated or not, over a period of time which indicates commitment to the Agency’s objectives. Associate Members do not have voting privileges and are not eligible to serve on the UAA Board, but may directly participate on any of the established committees.” To view the bylaws in their entirety, click here.
We hope that many others will join our ranks as Associate Members in the coming months and actively participate in the UAA. Please share this information with those who are eligible to take advantage of this new category and encourage their participation in the UAA.
2016 UAA Membership Survey
The USAID Alumni Association sent an email to all 905 registered members in its member database in late January 2016 with links to the Annual Membership Survey. There were responses from 94 members, a 10.3% response rate.
Questions focused on the UAA newsletter; UAA website; UAA 2015 events; opportunities outside the DC area; public speaking on international development; interest in participation in UAA activities related to our goals; and other ideas for UAA activities. This report is organized according to these categories.
Overall, the tenor of comments was positive and constructive, reflecting a high level of participation by those who are engaged with the organization.
To see the final survey report, click here.
UAA 2016-18 Strategic Plan
Strategic Goals and Implementation Plan: The UAA Board approved an updated Statement of UAA Strategic Goals and Implementation Plan for 2016-2018. This statement provides a medium-term guide for the work of the UAA. It is intended to be a working document that will be reviewed and revised from time to time to reflect evolving circumstances. Members are invited to provide comments and suggestions on the goals and implementing actions at any time.
Bibliography of USAID Authors
Updated 12/16 This update contains several new items (highlighted in blue) that readers will want to check out. It includes several new books from the Foreign Service Journal and 5 from a former USAID chief economist, Constantine Michelolopoulos.
This bibliography has been prepared by members of the UAA with assistance from the USAID Knowledge Resource Center. It contains books written by current and former Agency employees and their family members with descriptions of the book content and the author’s relationship to USAID. To access the bibliography, click here.
USAID History Proposal – Pledge Request
For those of you who have not already made a pledge, we need your support. Please make a generous pledge to help us make this independent history of USAID a reality. Without your personal help it will not happen. We are already losing many of the firsthand accounts of USAID’s earlier work and there are nearly 55 years of learning to capture before it is too late. Please read about the project here and make a pledge now.
UAA/DACOR Development Dialogues:
The UAA/DACOR Development Dialogues is a series of interactive conversations on a broad range of topics relevant to the interests of international development professionals.
Below are summaries of the most recent events. Each includes a link either to an audio or video of the event. Being able to listen or watch an event should be of particular interest to Association members who live outside the DC area.
Kathleen and Paul Vitale
On October 24, Kathleen and Paul Vitale (retired Peace Corps and USAID FSO) fascinated their large DACOR audience with a vivid description of their retirement work in difficult-to-reach parts of Guatemala and Mexico in a determined effort to help save the Maya textile tradition through creation of their Endangered Threads Documentaries. The UAA recognized their special contributions by selecting them for the 2016 Alumni of the Year Award. Hear their presentation and the discussion here.
Sir Gordon Conway
On September 20, Sir Gordon Conway, Former President of the Rockefeller Foundation and Chief Scientist for the UK aid program, spoke at the International Food Policy Research Institute in a program jointly sponsored by the UAA and IFPRI. At this first such collaboration between IFPRI and the UAA, Sir Gordon laid out a comprehensive case for why “Sustainable Intensification is the Answer to Global Food Insecurity“. See his presentation here.
On August 1, Sam Worthington, CEO of InterAction, the largest US alliance of international NGOs, gave a far-reaching presentation about “The Change We Seek: The Evolving Role of U.S. NGOs in a Shifting AID Landscape”, bringing his audience up to date on major changes affecting this ever more important and diverse group of development partners. Hear Sam’s talk and Q&As here and read his talking points here.
Where in the World
Updated Thru 3/16 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.
UAA has learned of the recent deaths of the following members of our USAID alumni community: Ellen Dragotto, John Daly, Ed Dragon, and Manny Marroquin. 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:
New! UAA is seeking a Manager of the UAA LinkedIn Account. This is an excellent volunteer opportunity for a member to become more actively engaged in the work of the Association whether or not you live in the D.C. area. UAA established its LinkedIn account about 5 years ago and has attracted more than 1,000 current and former USAID staff, including many FSNs. This volunteer work, which is neither labor intensive nor requires geek skills, can be done remotely. The incumbent manager is available to train and assist. For further information please contact Nancy Tumavick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New! Uptima Group is seeking an Evaluation Data Analyst. The analyst will work closely with the Foreign Service Institute’s Curriculum and Evaluation Team, and serve as an agency-wide resource on data analysis matters. The evaluation data analyst will coordinate agency’s schools and training center evaluations, and analyze evaluation feedback. Applicants must possess: a Bachelor’s Degree, an Active Secret Level Clearance or higher and experience with the Kirkpatrick Method (preferred). To apply, please email current resume to email@example.com. 1/1/16
New! USAID’s Bureau for Food Security is seeking candidates to support monitoring and evaluation work related to Feed the Future and the new Global Food Security Act. Potential candidates interested in working on monitoring and evaluation of food security development programs should send their resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org. Candidates must be US citizens, have an advanced degree in a related field, and have experience in M&E, food security, and developing country contexts. 12/31
New! Partner for Surgery a US registered non-profit, is seeking new board members. Board members, who are volunteers without compensation, are actively involved in developing a health program reaching thousands of Guatemalans. The program is successfully transitioning from a Partner for Surgery-led operation to one being managed and funded by a Guatemalan NGO. We need to continue this transition, expand our outreach to rural Guatemalans, and engage effectively with new Guatemalan and US partner organizations. For further details, please see the Board Recruitment Notice here and our website. 1/17
New! USAID Mission Support Consultant – Global Health Program Cycle Improvement Project Apply by October 1st, 2017. Roles & Responsibilities: For an interim period, the Mission Support Consultant will be responsible for providing technical and management support to USAID Missions’ health programs and managing the day-to-day activities on specified Health Office needs. Qualifications: Master’s or Doctorate in public health or related field; familiarity with USAID health programs and policies; experience working at USAID; technical expertise in one of the following areas: MNCH, FP/RH, nutrition, health systems strengthening, HIV, TB, malaria, or related field; strong leadership and communications skills; experience working in a developing country settings; and proficient in English. This is a 1-6-month contract; location will vary. If interested, e-mail your CV and cover letter to email@example.com, with “Mission Support” on the subject line.
AFSA has several job offerings. They can be viewed here.
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.
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.
– 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! Chemonics Disciplined Over ‘Racist’ Hiring Process (Alaraby – Chemonics International was ordered to pay $482,000 by the US Department of Labor in “back-pay, interest and benefits” to 124 African-American job applicants.
- New! The international Project Management Institute (PMI) just published — on-line – alumnus Ken Smith’s article on monitoring the financial aspects of project performance, which has direct pertinence to USAID funded projects. The article can be found here.
- New! 5 Questions About Aid Under Trump (Devex) – Here are some of the biggest questions about the future of U.S. development cooperation as the Obama-Trump transition kicks off.
- New! Foreign Aid Under Trump’s ‘America-First’ Doctrine (Devex) – While policy details are thin, President-elect Trump’s likely views on foreign aid and development assistance can be summed up in two words: America first.
- New! Africa’s Great Hunger Handicap (American Diplomacy) – An article by alumnus Mark Wentling. As long as Africa remains the most undernourished region in the world, it will fail to graduate from the lower ranks of development.
- New! Aid in Kind – Free Two Shoes (Economist) – New studies should cool the warm glow surrounding shoe donations.
- New! The U.S. Spent Billions Building Roads in Afghanistan. Now Many of Them Are Beyond Repair. (Washington Post) – A report released S by a U.S. government oversight body paints a grim picture of the state of Afghanistan’s roads, including the roughly 10,000 miles constructed, paved, repaired or funded by the United States.
- New! Four Recommendations from Four Generations of USAID Leadership (CGD Blog) – This CGD blog is based on the A/AID panel at the AGM which focused on what the participants wish they had known before they started the job and what advice they would give a new Agency lead. The blog also discusses parallels between CGD’s own agenda for USAID and what the administrators had to say.
- Even in Era of Disillusionment, Many Around the World Say Ordinary Citizens Can Influence Government (Pew Research) – Health care, poverty, education are top motivators for political action.
- Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the U.S. Foreign Assistance Budget (Washington Post) – An excellent article with superb graphics explains the U.S. government’s foreign assistance budget, which ranges from programs combating HIV/AIDS to those directly funding other nations’ armed forces.
- How the Other Tenth Lives (Economist) – According to new World Bank data, the world should be both encouraged and embarrassed by the latest global poverty figures.
- Food for Refugees (Economist) – Increasingly, hungry refugees receive aid not as food, but as cash.
- New Bill Proposes to Lengthen State Dept. Assignments From 2-3 Years to 4-6 Years If passed, State assignment duration would better parallel those of USAID.
- The Surprise Bipartisan Success Story of Congress: American Aid (Time) – There is one issue that has continuously broken through Congressional gridlock with bipartisan support: America’s foreign assistance programs. Five major pieces of bipartisan legislation on global development have been signed into law in less than two years.
- Can the bipartisan consensus on aid survive Donald Trump? (Devex) – In recent months, development policymaking has stood out as lawmakers from both parties have found success reaching compromise and overcoming gridlock to pass development-related bills. But as the presidential election draws nearer, can that spirit of bipartisan cooperation hold together? Many in the aid community are holding their breath.
- USG Still in Compensation Negotiations with Weinstein Family (Washington Post) – Hostages Weinstein and an Italian aid worker were killed in a CIA drone strike in Pakistan last year.
- Ending World Poverty Costs Less Than People Think (WVTF.org) – The US plays a vital part in international economic development – at a cost that’s much lower than many people think. A program created fifty-five years ago succeeded in cutting world poverty in half since then. And it’s now looking to cut it by half again.
- New USAID Program Aims to Protect Victims of Human Trafficking (VOA) – The United States on Thursday committed more money and a new plan to combat human trafficking in Southeast Asia, following the East Asia Summit. The USAID plan will commit $12 million in the first year to protect and compensate victims.
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.
- 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.
- New! December 2016 – USAID Impact Newsletter: The latest edition covers a variety of topics.
- New! December 2016 Front Lines – This link will take you to the most recent edition.
- 2015 Update 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
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.