Latest News from UAA

 

UAA Calendar

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

July 14-August 15, 2014 Africa Development Forum, Washington, D.C. For more details, click here.

Friday, August 1, 2014 - Development Dialogue at DACOR - Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) – “Development in Africa – Whose Agenda?”

August 9, 2014: Third Annual UAA Summer Picnic, Fort Hunt Park, Alexandria,VA

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

October 29, 2014 - Development Dialogue at DACOR – Retired Admiral and current Dean of the Fletcher School James Stavridis will speak on the “21st Century and Development”, part of a UAA series on the 3 Ds – Development, Diplomacy and Defense.


3rd Annual UAA Summer Picnic

Fort Hunt Park, Alexandria, VA
Saturday, August 8, 2014
Noon – 3:00 pm 
 
 

Join the USAID Alumni Association for a picnic and games in our reserved site (B-001) with shelter and restrooms. The picnic is open to all USAID alums (including FSNs), spouses, children, grandchildren, and other family members who will enjoy the beautiful park site we have reserved in close-in Northern Virginia. We can accommodate hundreds…so bring your picnic and your favorite folks to join in the fun.
Please RSVP to office@usaidalumni.org by August 1, 2014 with a headcount for your group.

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:

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


UAA to Honor Two Outstanding Alumni for Post-USAID Service

As inspiration to others, UAA is launching a search for two truly innovative and outstanding “Alumni of the Year” who have made unusual and significant contributions since leaving USAID.  One recipient will be honored for paid or volunteer work overseas, and the other for work in the US. The awards will be presented at UAA’s Annual General Meeting on Oct. 24, 2014, at the Center for Global Development in Washington, DC.   

To nominate a friend or colleague or apply yourself, email awards@usaidalumni.org describing what you or your nominee have done since leaving USAID that represents innovative and transformative service in development work overseas, or in community work or the arts in the US. Tell us about the impact of the contribution and why it might be inspiring to other USAID alumni or those contemplating life after USAID. Include contact information and if possible a brief narrative bio covering both USAID and post-USAID activities. If nominating yourself, please include the names of two references knowledgeable about your post-USAID contributions.   

The revised deadline for nominations and applications is July 31, 2014.

Applicants/nominees must be US residents able to attend the UAA AGM on Oct. 24, 2014, in Washington, DC.  UAA can help defray travel expenses for winners who live outside the Washington area. Applicants/nominees must also be in one of the categories eligible to join UAA.

  • Those who worked for USAID for at least two years and who left the agency in good standing, including:
    • Former Civil Servants, FSOs, FSNs, TCNs, AD and Schedule C appointees; and
    • Those formerly employed through interagency service agreements (PASAs, RASAs), fellowship programs (e.g. AAAS Fellows, Population Fellows), and personal services contracts (PSCs). 

The awards will celebrate the new paths taken by two outstanding alumni who may have built on their USAID experience and skills but who’ve chosen to work in different arenas, with different partner organizations, or on their own.  The recipients will also have shown passion for new activities and made significant and lasting contributions.


 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:

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 about three months.

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.

Re-inventing Science and Technology at USAID. On April 3, 2014 USAID formally launched its Global Development Lab, but before that, on Thursday, March 28, former USAID Chief Scientist Alex Dehgan treated USAID alumni to a fascinating description of the background to the Lab’s creation.  At this session at the USAID Learning Center they were also given an early view on what the Lab is expected to do and how it will do it by Andy Sisson, USAID Mission Director in Indonesia, who is currently in Washington for six months to get the Lab set up while the search is on for its ultimate leader.  Click here to listen to the full discussion.

On March 7, a large group of alumni and others gathered at the USAID Learning Center for a wide-ranging review of the current state of evaluation in the State Department and USAID.  USAID alumnus Peter Davis described the involved process of developing and implementing State’s first evaluation policy. Cindy Clapp-Wincek, Director of USAID’s Office of Learning, Evaluation and Research, reflected on the progress made – and the long distance left to go -  in rebuilding evaluation capacity in USAID and in carrying out its Evaluation Policy issued in 2011.  UAA member and long-time evaluator Richard Blue moderated this discussion. The speakers’ PowerPoint presentations can be found here (Davis) and here (Clapp-Wincek). Click here to listen to the audio of this presentation.


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: 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!  USAID’s Office of Human Resources is seeking expressions of interest from Foreign Service retirees who would be interested in working part time as a senior advisor, mostly as an Assignments and Performance Counselor for the Financial Management field. The independent contractor also would handle a variety of ad hoc requirements, such as preparing and obtaining clearances/approval of Action Memoranda for Limited Career Extensions, age waivers, termination actions. Incumbent would be expected to provide advice as well as take on administrative responsibilities related to document preparation, clearances, tracking, etc. If interested, please submit a cover letter and your CV via e-mail to aposner@usaid.gov by COB July 14, 2014. Please use “Senior Advisor APC” in the subject line of your e-mail.

New!  The USAID/Office of Crisis Surge Support Staff (CS3), formerly the Office of Civilian Response, has opened a new position for a General Development Officer located overseas. This is an intermittent Personal Services Contract (PSC) position at the GS-14 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 July 11, 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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