UAA Board Candidate Bios (list as of Aug. 16, 2013)

Frank Almaguer started his international development career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Belize, followed by five years overseas as a Peace Corps staff member.  In his twenty-plus years with USAID, his positions included Mission Director in Ecuador, Bolivia and Eastern Europe.  He also served as Director of Human Resources and completed his Foreign Service Career as Chief of Mission in Honduras.  Following his FS career, he served for six years as Secretary for Management at the Organization of American States and as a Trustee of the Pan American Agricultural University in Honduras.  He was elected to the UAA Board in 2011 and currently serves as UAA Board Secretary.   He is running for a second term. 


David Eckerson began his career at USAID in 1987 as an IDI in Haiti. His last post was as Counselor to USAID, from which he retired in 2013.  He also served as Mission Director for Uganda, Director of the Office of Human Resources and the Office of Strategic and Program Planning, Acting Director and the Deputy Mission Director in Ethiopia, and Deputy Director in the Office of Caribbean Affairs. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, he worked as a Public Health Advisor with the USAID Africa Bureau.  He also worked for the TransCentury Corporation, the Ministry of Planning in Yaoundé, Cameroon, and  as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Burkina Faso.


George Hill had a thirty-year career in USAID, beginning as a Federal Management Intern and retiring as Foreign Service Minister-Counselor in 1995.  His tours included South Vietnam, Guatemala and Peru, and PPC.   He has served as UAA Treasurer for the past four years.  He was elected to the UAA Board in 2011 and is running for a second term.


Margaret Neuse has over thirty years of experience in international health and family planning programming. After serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in El Salvador, she joined USAID in 1984. In addition to serving as Director of the Office of Population and Reproductive Health, she served as Mission Director in Bangladesh, and as a health officer in the East and Southern Africa Regional Office, Niger, and Somalia.  She has continued to consult with a variety of organizations, including the Gates Foundation, USAID Missions, PATH and DAI.


Carol Peasley joined USAID in 1970 as an International Development Intern and retired in 2005 as a Career Minister.  She served in Nepal and Costa Rica as a Program Economist, in Thailand as Deputy Director, and in Malawi and Russia as Mission Director.  She also worked in AID/W in multiple capacities, including Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator in the Africa Bureau.  Since retirement, she has worked in the NGO sector and served on the boards of several NGOs, including a two-year term as a founding Board member of UAA in 2009-2011.  She is currently on the boards of Plan International USA and ShoreBank International.


Diane Ponasik is an economic anthropologist who joined USAID in 1977 after serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco. Initially a behavioral scientist working on social soundness analyses in Yemen, she served as a General Development Officer or Democracy Officer in Yemen, Mali, Egypt, Haiti and Macedonia.  Since retiring in 2002, she has done some short and long-term stints at USAID, most recently almost three years in OAPA, interviewing applicants for  Foreign Service Limited positions in Afghanistan.  She is currently working on a short term contract to document efforts on Local Capacity Development. In addition to being a docent at the Sackler and Freer Galleries in her spare time, she has served on the UAA Membership Committee for the past several years.

Alex Shakow was a Peace Corps staff member for five years (including Director for the Indonesia program) before joining USAID in 1968. During his fourteen years with USAID, he served as Director of the Office of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore Affairs; Director of Asia Bureau Development Planning; Deputy Assistant Administrator for Program and Policy (PPC); and AA/PPC.  In 1981 joined the World Bank, serving in various senior policy positions.  Since his retirement from the Bank in 2002, he has occasionally consulted for international organizations, including the World Bank, IMF,  African Development Bank, FAO, UNICEF, and  Global Fund to Fight AIDs, TB and Malaria.  He was elected to the UAA Board in 2011 and serves as Board Co-Chair.  He is running for a second term.

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