2016-18 Strategic Plan




The USAID Alumni Association (UAA) is an unincorporated nonprofit organization established for the purposes of harnessing the experience and expertise of the USAID alumni community in support of effective U.S. foreign assistance and sustainable development; serving as an independent voice to support USAID and its development mission; fostering a network of former USAID employees who wish to utilize their public service skills to promote international development; and providing opportunities for social interaction among the members.

The UAA Board exercises responsibility for establishing the Association’s goals and approving planned activities in furtherance of those goals. In exercising this responsibility the Board relies upon the Association’s committees. There is a lead committee for implementing each UAA goal. The lead committee collaborates with other committees, Board members, individual USAID alumni, and others in planning and carrying out activities. The views of UAA members inform and guide the Board in the formulation, periodic revision, and implementation of this plan.

The UAA goals and projected implementing actions for 2016-2018 are summarized below.

Goal 1              Expand, maintain, and enhance beneficial relationships with other organizations, facilitate opportunities for USAID alumni to inform audiences and communities about development and the role of the United States and USAID. Lead: Public Outreach Committee.

In furtherance of this goal, in 2016-2018 UAA proposes to take the following actions:

  • – In each year UAA will develop a program of collaborative activities with other organizations with which UAA has shared interests, building on established relationships such as those with the American Foreign Service Association, Center for Global Development, Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network, National Peace Corps Association, US Global Leadership Coalition, and Washington Chapter of the Society for International Development.
  • – In each year UAA will continue to promote and add to the bibliography of USAID authors published on the Association’s website.
  • – UAA will collaborate with USAID to inform and prepare alumni interested in public speaking on development themes and will provide information to USAID alumni about opportunities to participate in USAID-supported events, including outside the Washington, DC, area.
  • – UAA will support USAID collaboration with the Department of State’s Office of the Historian to assure appropriate inclusion of development history in the Foreign Relations of the United States series and other official publications.
  • – UAA will collaborate with Association of Diplomatic Studies and Training to update and expand the USAID page on the ADST’s US Diplomacy website.
  • – UAA will pursue expansion of the number of USAID oral histories in the ADST collection, including:
    • Support for not less than three interviews of former USAID officers each year in the normal ADST program

o If additional USAID funding for ADST is made available, work with USAID to identify a diverse set of USAID candidates for an increased number of interviews (with a special effort to include more Washington-based staff, minorities, and women).

  • – UAA will support USAID’s participation in the United States Diplomacy Center.

Goal 2                Document the history of USAID in a readable format that will contribute to increased understanding of the contribution of the Agency’s support for development to United States interests in a stable, peaceful, and prosperous world, the elimination of poverty, and human security, well- being and dignity. Lead: History Project Committee.

In furtherance of this goal, in 2016-2018 UAA proposes to take the following actions:

  • – In 2016 UAA will:
    • complete a fundraising effort to finance the compilation and publication of the USAID history
    • identify one or more authors, researchers, and an advisory board
    • formalize arrangements with the Center for Global Development for a site for the work of researching, writing, and publishing the history
    • conduct extensive research, including the collection and organization of copies of USAID files retained by USAID alumni to fill gaps in the record and replace documents of historical significance that have been lost over the years.
  • – In 2017 UAA will:
    • complete the writing and editing of the history
    • arrange for the history’s publication and related launch events to publicize it with a broad audience
    • develop related formats (such as a website and social media) to convey information based on the published history
    • establish a relationship with a university for update and dissemination of the history on a continuing basis.

Goal 3              Maintain and enhance a continuing relationship with USAID that will make alumni available to support the training, mentoring, and coaching of USAID staff on a systematic basis. Lead: Strengthening USAID Committee.

In furtherance of this goal, in 2016-2018 UAA proposes to take the following actions:

  • – UAA will collaborate with USAID to expand the existing mentoring program, with a primary focus on career development and management skills. In each year UAA will recruit, train and help to establish mentoring relationships for alumni who volunteer to serve as mentors in order to sustain the expanded program.
  • – UAA will collaborate with partner bureaus in USAID to conduct semi-annual surveys of mentors and mentees in order to document results and lessons learned. Information from these surveys will be regularly analyzed with particular emphasis on success factors and constraints in order to inform the program as it moves forward.
  • – In 2016 UAA will explore with USAID possible UAA participation in a new USAID training program for future Deputy Mission Directors.
  • – By the end of 2017, UAA will collaborate with USAID to review the operation of the mentoring program with a view to deciding on and planning for its continuation, modification, or termination.

Goal 4              Facilitate contributions by alumni and the sharing of information with respect to development, USAID policies, and current trends in development cooperation. Lead: Development Issues Committee.

In furtherance of this goal, in 2016-2018 UAA proposes to take the following actions:

  • – UAA will organize discussion programs focused on current development issues of interest to alumni. The programs will include each year at least eight “Development Dialogue” events jointly sponsored with DACOR. To the extent possible, these programs will be recorded and made available for listening on the UAA website. Discussion programs will seek to strengthen relationships with USAID and the broader development community and identify potential themes for more sustained engagement.

Initial discussions for 2016 include:

  • January 2016 – Amar Bhattacharya on “The Road from the Paris Climate Summit: The Critical Role of Sustainable Infrastructure”
  • March 2016 – Jim Michel on “Beyond Aid: The Integration of Sustainable Development in a Coherent International Agenda”
  • March 2016 – Alan Bjerga on “To Feed Everyone: Food Security in the 21st Century”
  • – UAA will seek to identify one opportunity each year for a discussion program outside the Washington, DC, area.
  • – UAA will select each year several key development themes for in-depth attention, which may include multiple events, collaboration with other organizations, or the preparation of research papers.

The following key themes have been identified as candidates for in-depth study in 2016:

  • Models of foreign assistance in the post-2015 era
  • Peace, governance, and development
  • Implications of the current refugee crisis for humanitarian assistance and development
  • Population trends and development implications.
  • – UAA will elicit and publish as “Perspectives” on its website brief papers from alumni on major development themes, along with comments on such papers, to promote the exchange of ideas and dissemination of knowledge that reposes in the alumni community.
  • – UAA will include links to books, published research papers, and Perspectives by USAID alumni on its website and encourage commentary on the issues addressed.

Goal 5.             Ascertain alumni interests on a continuing basis; expand UAA membership, including by adding new members who reside outside the Washington area; increase opportunities for social events and interaction among alumni. Lead: Membership Committee.

In furtherance of this goal, in 2015-2017 UAA proposes to take the following actions:

  • – UAA will conduct each year a survey of alumni interests and priorities for UAA programs and activities, as well as communications preferences. Alumni preferences will inform the content of UAA goals and implementing actions.
  • – UAA will circulate each month a newsletter containing articles of interest to alumni residing inside and outside the Washington area, including alumni profiles and photos of membership events. (All newsletters are archived on the UAA website.)
  • – UAA will schedule a range of programs and social events intended to respond to interests of members and potential members, including events outside the Washington area. Plans for 2016 include:
    • Winterfest gathering in February
    • Spring reception in May
    • Summer picnic in July
    • Annual general meeting in October
    • Discussions of post-USAID options for employment, volunteerism, and other activities;
    • Country-focused round tables with USAID Mission Directors visiting Washington
    • Discussion of issues of particular interest to FSN alumni.
  • – UAA will expand its membership in each year and increase active participation by alumni in Association activities. In 2016 the goals will be to reach a total of 1,000 registered alumni, of whom 350 will be UAA members. Efforts to expand membership will include:
    • Recruiting new USAID retirees, including through participation in retirement seminars
    • Encouraging USAID alumni to update their contact information, share knowledge about their skills and interests, become and remain contributing UAA members, and help to identify other alumni who might be interested in joining UAA
    • Expanding outreach to former FSN employees and to non-Foreign Service alumni and encouraging their participation in UAA activities.
  • – UAA will recognize each year the contributions of one or two outstanding USAID alumni who have provided significant post-retirement service in furtherance of international development or community causes in the United States.

Goal 6.             Assure that internal UAA systems and procedures provide effective, efficient and transparent management of resources and services to USAID alumni. Lead: Finance and Administration Committee.

In furtherance of this goal, in 2016-2018 UAA proposes to take the following actions:

  • – UAA will publish the minutes of Executive Committee meetings, including monthly financial and membership reports, on the Association’s website.
  • – UAA will maintain a high quality website to inform and engage the Association membership community. The site will include such items as a calendar of events, articles, obituaries, employment opportunities, an alumni directory, and timely reports on the Association’s activities, including newsletters and audio recordings of events.
  • – UAA will recruit from among its members capable leaders to maintain sound management of activities and resources and will recruit additional volunteers willing to serve actively on UAA committees and carry out activities on the Association’s behalf.
  • – UAA will organize each year a General Meeting of its members to report on the Association’s management, finances, and current activities and to provide a substantive program on issues of broad interest to USAID alumni. In 2016, the annual meeting will be held on Friday, October 21, at the Center for Global Development.
  • – UAA will monitor how its website is used and will continuously refine and improve the website’s content and presentation to assure that it is of interest and easily accessible to USAID alumni.
  • – In 2016 UAA will improve its system for reconciling records of membership, registration, and contributions received.

Summary of 2016 UAA Budget

Approved by the UAA Board on February 18, 2016 

  1. Projected 2016 Available Resources: 
  • Projected 2016 member contributions             $28,000*
  • Carryover from 2015:                                           $13,829**
  • Ø Projected 2016 resources:                               $41,829


*Member contributions in 2015 totaled $26,175. The amount projected for 2016 assumes an increase of 7%.

**Cash assets as of 12/31/15 include $10,247 in an interest-earning savings account at LFCU and $13,829 in a checking account. UAA tries to maintain its savings account balance at not less than $10,000 to cover unforeseen contingencies. 

  1. Projected 2016 Expenditures (Committee budgets): 
  • Finance and Administration                        $10,530
  • Annual General Meeting                               $10,000
  • Membership                                                     $10,000
  • Public Outreach                                               $ 1,200
  • Strengthening USAID                                    $     500
  • Development Issues                                       $  1,000
  •  Total projected expenditures:                    $33,230
  1. Projected 2016 Carryover (Available resources minus expenditures):
  • Available resources (income plus carryover)   $41,829
  • Minus expenditures                                               $33,230
  • Ø Amount available for carryover into 2017    $   8,599


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