Sunday, June 5 – UAA Spring Reception will be held this year at the DACOR Bacon House, 1801 F St. NW, Washington, DC. from 5:00-7:00 pm. Please RSVP to email@example.com. For more information, scroll further down this page.
Monday, June 6, 2016 – 10:00 to Noon – USAID FSO Daniel Miller will speak at DACOR on “Photos and Tales of Asian Nomads – The Experience of a USAID Author.” Miller has published numerous books about his experiences with nomads in the Himalayas, the Tibetan Plateau and Mongolia. This is the third in a series of book discussions with USAID authors drawn from the UAA bibliography.
Wednesday, June 29, 2016 – 11:30 – 1:30 Alex Thier, Founder and CEO of Triple Helix and until recently head of USAID’s Policy, Planning, and Learning Bureau (PPL), will speak at a Development Dialogue at DACOR on “The US Development Agenda 2020: What the Next Four Years Could (Should) Bring”?
Saturday, August 6, 2016 – Save the date! Fifth Annual UAA Summer Picnic will be held again this year at Fort Hunt in Alexandria, Virginia.
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.
THE 2016 UAA “ALUMNI OF THE YEAR” AWARDS PROGRAM
In 2016, the UAA will continue to recognize significant contributions by USAID alumni. Since its inception in 2014, this awards program has honored five outstanding alumni whose contributions to their communities have inspired us all. The UAA Awards Committee is now starting its search for the “2016 Alumni of the Year.”
The “Alumni of the Year” awards are intended to recognize and celebrate new paths taken by USAID alumni to provide service to their communities and make lasting contributions to others.
For full details about the Award and how to make nominations, click here.
UAA Annual Spring Reception
Sunday, June 5, 2016
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
The DACOR Bacon House
1801 F Street, NW – Washington, D.C.
We are returning this year to DACOR for our spring reception. USAID Alumni with spouse or significant other are invited. Invitation has also been extended to the new USAID Administrator and a group of Mission Directors who are in D.C. for a training seminar. We hope many of you will decide to join us for the event. Please note there is a $10 per person charge for those Alumni who are not contributing members.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to attend
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 5/16 The May 2016 update includes several new items (highlighted in blue) that readers will want to check out.
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.
New Interactive Development Issues Page: Perspectives
USAID alumni often have informed views on various development issues, based on their experience. PERSPECTIVES is a platform where alumni can express their views on development issues and anyone can offer comments on the views they express. Alumni are invited to submit perspectives in essays not exceeding 2,500 words, accompanied by a brief paragraph summarizing their views.
Alumni are invited to share their perspectives by submitting them by e-mail addressed to email@example.com.
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.
New! On May 9, former USAID Deputy Administrator and current President and CEO of World Learning Don Steinberg, spoke on “Trading Places: USAID Forward and the Global Development Environment: A Partner’s Perspective”. From his unique vantage point he described the USAID he and Raj Shah found when they began their tenure, what was accomplished and how the agency looks now to the head of a mid-size NGO. Listen to Don’s talk here or read a text version.
New! On March 23, Bloomberg News global food correspondent Alan Bjerga gave a wide-ranging talk entitled “To Feed Everyone, We Need Everyone: Food Security in the 21st Century”. At this latest UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue, he addressed the question – “How can the poor world be fed while the rich world maintains a healthy diet?” Hear Alan’s talk and the follow-up Q&A’s here and see the associated slides here.
On March 7, 2016, our own Jim Michel spoke to a large crowd at DACOR on “Beyond Aid: The Integration of Sustainable Development in a Coherent International Agenda”. Based on his recently published CSIS book of the same title, Jim’s presentation wove together the many themes reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals and highlighted how due weight for development in coherent policy decisions and realistic implementation approaches can best achieve results. Hear Jim’s talk and the follow-up Q&As here and see the associated charts here.
On January 29, 2016, Mr. Amar Bhattacharya, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, gave a masterful presentation on “The Road from the Paris Climate Summit: The Critical Role of Sustainable Infrastructure”. He described how investment in developing countries’ immense needs for infrastructure can be met, consistent with the objective of protecting the climate, if the right policy choices are made and the critical role multilateral development banks must play is recognized. Hear the full audio of his presentation and the discussion here.
Where in the World
Updated Thru 1/16 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: Charles Blankstein, Michael Feldstein, John Clary, Richard Newberg, Dick Harger, and Donald Easum. 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! Job opening: Chief Financial Officer (CFO), International Youth Foundation, Baltimore, MD. Seeking strategic-thinking finance expert to lead finance, operations, and admin at entrepreneurial nonprofit that has a budget of $24 million and staff of 125 in Baltimore and several field offices around the world. To see complete job announcement, including application instructions, go to: http://slesingermanagement.com/announcements/IYF-CFO.pdf 6/25
New! The International Atomic Agency (IAEA) will soon begin a search for a US representative on its Standing Advisory Committee on Technical Cooperation (SAGTAC). While a number of SAGTAC representatives are from the scientific side, a development perspective is especially valuable. Qualified candidates should be senior development professionals with USAID experience as a Mission Director and/or DAA with a flexible schedule as SAGTAC meetings could take place at any time during the year. Appointments are made year-to-year and renewed as determined by the Director General of the IAEA and the USG. The person selected is not considered a USG officer and his/her views and participation in the Committee’s work are not treated as the views of the USG. The US Energy Department pays for the usual transportation and per diem costs, as well as a very modest honorarium, to cover the US representative’s expenses for the one week per year that the SAGTAC meets. Please send expressions of interest, along with an updated CV highlighting relevant senior-level development experience to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than June 30, 2016. For more information, click here.
New! USAID’s Policy, Programming and Learning Bureau (PPL) is often seeking experienced Program/Project Development Officers to support numerous Missions’ needs, often during the summer period. PPL strives to place in-coming 02/94s to meet certain discrete TDY needs as part of their professional development, but often such needs can be better supported by or in conjunction with more experienced officers. We are often particularly seeking those that have had Government-to-Government programming and ‘local solutions’-oriented experiences and still have a relatively current understanding of USAID’s interest in enhanced program management practices. Some of these requests are for higher-visibility programs such as Somalia, Haiti, and Nigeria. Missions are often able to arrange for these engagements, developing Positions Descriptions of Scopes of Work for anticipated PSCs. Interested applicants should please send their current resumes and a cover letter of interest to Rand Robinson, email@example.com, the BS 02/94 Backstop Development Coordinator. 7/15
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! China becomes Global Leader in Development Finance (Financial Times)- China’s development lending eclipses loans from all six western-backed multilateral institutions.
- New! As Humanitarian Needs Grow, USAID Chief Says the World Must Act (Reuters) – Gayle Smith describs a global humanitarian system stretched to the limit by the number of disasters and a growing funding gap compounded by emergency responses that cost more than traditional relief methods.
- New! Thin on Influence, World Humanitarian Summit Will Tackle Aid Crisis (New York Times) – Where is the initiative on aid today? Comparing and contrasting the UN and bilateral aid agencies with philanthropy. Competitors? Collaborators?
- New! How To Make Better Development Investment Choices (Economist) – An interesting example from Bangladesh.
- New! Delivering Foreign Agricultural Aid to Africa—What Works? (Foreign Service Journal) The record of U.S. agricultural development assistance in Africa over the years is uneven. Here’s how involving agribusiness and trade associations can help.
- New! Retirement Planning 101 (Foreign Service Journal) Life after the Foreign Service begins with planning. Here’s how to get started.
- New! Is Jim Kim Destroying the World Bank — or Saving it From Itself? (Foreign Policy) The good doctor Kim is out to salvage the bank’s global relevance. But his radical reforms have critics calling for his head.
- New! American Farm Subsidies Cause Damage at Home and Abroad (Washington Post) – The USDA has come under fire for planning to donate 500 metric tons of surplus U.S.-grown peanuts to Haiti. Such aid represents subsidized foreign competition for Haiti’s peanut growers, who are struggling to supply the local market.
- New! Death of USAID Bangladesh FSN Xulhaz Mannan (Slate) LGBTQ activist Xulhaz Mannan, a USAID FSN, and his friend Tanay Majumder, a policeman, were hacked to death in Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka. Read Administrator Smith’s comments here.
- New! Making Africa Work (The Economist) – The continent’s future depends on people, not commodities.
- New! USAID/OIG Highlights Challenges to the Management and Administration of Foreign Assistance (Diplopundit) –An overview of the testimony he new USAID Inspector General before the Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Appropriations.
- New! Don’t Shortchange Foreign Aid (Devex) – Two of America’s top retired Generals posit that the military can’t do it alone. Agencies like USAID and the Peace Corps are vital to keeping America safe.
- New! Strengthening Evidence-Based Development: Five Years of Better Evaluation Practice at USAID, 2011-2015 (USAID) This five-year report that captures the progress USAID has made to improve the Agency’s evaluation practice and that lays out priority areas where greater attention is needed in the coming years.
- New! Getting More Bang for our Foreign Assistance Bucks (The Hill) – Some thoughts from former Rep. Jim Kolbe on ways future legislation could make foreign aid more effective.
- A Green Evolution (The Economist) – The farms of Africa are prospering at last thanks to persistence, technology and decent government.
- An NPR Interview with Gayle Smith – When the newly installed USAID chief Gayle Smith was at a conference in Africa recently, the local leaders didn’t recognize the gender of her name. So they gave her a “Mr. Smith” tag.
- Alan Gross: One Year After (CBS Miami) – An interview offering thoughts on his experience as a captive in Cuba.
- Administrator Gayle Smith talks about her vision for USAID (C-Span Video), followed by a panel discussion on U.S. foreign aid efforts.
- Innovating Partnerships: USAID’s Views on the Future of Partnership (Devex) – USAID has a long history of partnering and is constantly seeking to evolve its approach to partnerships to respond to the changing development landscape.
- Gayle Smith’s Beginning of the End (Devex) – Smith will use her tenure as USAID administrator to “lock in” initiatives introduced by President Obama and to build a strengthened agency, capable of holding its own in Washington’s perennial turf battles.
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! March/April 2016 Front Lines – This link will take you to the most recent edition.
- New! April 2016 – USAID Impact Newsletter: The latest edition covers a variety of topics.
- 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.