Latest News from UAA

UAA Calendar

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


Save the dates!  More details will be provided later for this year’s additional UAA social events, including the following:


New! Wednesday, March 10 – 12 noon – 1:00 EST – UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue – Jerry Hyman, former Director of USAID’s Democracy and Governance Office, will speak on “Whither or Whether Democracy Promotion? Democracy Assistance, Development and Foreign Policy”.  Please join us to hear – and comment on – Jerry’s unconventional view of  what has been done and what the future of democracy programs should be. Please note this is a virtual event.  All those who register will be sent an email with information on how to join the virtual event.  Click here to register.

New! Save the Date!  Thursday, March 18, 2021, 2:00-3:30 P.M. EST.  The UAA Development Issues Committee will hold its next virtual meeting on Zoom on Thursday, March 18th from 2:00 – 3:30 P.M. EST.  Our guest speaker will be Gloria Steele, USAID Acting Administrator, who will discuss the foreign assistance priorities of the new administration and the transition between administrations.   Instructions on how to register for this event and on how to join the discussion on Zoom will be forthcoming in a separate announcement in early March.   The meeting will be open to all UAA members who made a contribution in 2020.      

New!  Wednesday, March 24, 2021 – 1:30 – 3:30 pm via Zoom — The UAA Book Club will hold its next meeting for which Richard Blue will lead a review and discussion of The Upswing:  How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again (2020, 480 pages) by Robert D. Putnam with Shaylyn Romney Garrett.  A review of the book will be circulated before the meeting.  A registration link will be forthcoming later.

New!  Thursday, April 8, 2021 – 12:00 noon to 1:30 pm (note extended time) – UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue – “Bob Gersony in Conversation with Rick Barton”.  Gersony and his many decades of extraordinary work for USAID and the State Department are the subject of a just-published book by best-selling author Robert Kaplan entitled The Good American – The Epic Life of the U.S. Government’s Greatest Humanitarian.  Ambassador Barton, with long experience in USAID and State addressing global conflicts, is the author of Peace Works – America’s Unifying Role in a Turbulent World.  This 90-minute program will offer ample time for an extended Q&A period.  Watch for an email closer to the event with details on how to sign up.

New! Sunday, May 23, 2021, 4:00-6:00 p.m. – The UAA Spring Reception, our second social event this year, will be held virtually via Zoom.  More details will be provided closer to the event.

New! Saturday, September 11, 2021, time TBD – The UAA annual Summer Picnic will be held at a gathering in the D.C. area or virtually via Zoom, depending on the coronavirus pandemic situation nearer the planned date.  A hybrid picnic, held both in person and virtually, is also being considered. Stay tuned.

New!  Friday, October 29, 2021, time TBD – The UAA Annual General Meeting will be held this year at the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C. More details will be provided nearer the event.  


Note from the UAA Board

On February 25, 2021, UAA Board members met with USAID Acting Administrator Gloria Steele to introduce her to UAA and to discuss how we can support the Agency.  The meeting covered both on-going programs and future activities including those to be carried out under the USAID-UAA Memorandum of Understanding.  We updated her on an earlier meeting with USAID Counselor Chris Milligan and senior leaders of the Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning (PPL), Office of Human Capital and Talent Management (HCTM), and Bureau for Legislative and Public Affairs (LPA) during which the UAA team agreed with their colleagues to focus on exploring a set of activities concerning program development and evaluation, personnel recruitment and training, and public outreach.  Gloria was very supportive of all UAA’s contributions to USAID.  Gloria will participate in a Development Issues session on March 18.  (See calendar note above.)     

In early February, UAA joined the education arm of the US Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) by donating $500 for 2021. USGLC is an affinity organization dedicated to strengthening support for a strong international affairs budget for diplomacy and development.  It includes a wide range of members in the nongovernmental organizations and private sectors. This is the first donation of its kind by UAA, and we hope to collaborate with USGLC in related activities.

Mentors Needed for Payne Fellowship Program!

The Donald M. Payne Fellowship Program is now accepting expressions of interest from UAA Members for its mentoring program. The Payne Fellowship is a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) program, administered by Howard University, which seeks to attract and prepare outstanding individuals for careers as USAID Foreign Service Officers (FSO). Payne Fellows receive support for graduate school, professional development opportunities, and gain employment with the Agency in a rewarding career in the Foreign Service. 

The Payne Fellowship Mentoring Program is the result of strong collaboration between the USAID Alumni Association (UAA), Agency leaders who have championed the Payne Fellowship Program, and Howard University staff.  We need the collective wisdom of retired FSOs to contribute with current staff to help develop the next generation of FSOs. 

Potential mentors should know they will have access to mentor training and resources, should they want it.  New and continuing mentors for Payne Fellows are invited to join UAA’s annual mentor orientation program, have access to UAA mentoring resources, and have the support of ongoing mentors to help support their own mentoring efforts.

Responsibilities of Mentors:

  • Contribute to the development of the next generation of FSOs.
  • Clarify expectations and boundaries of the mentor-mentee relationship.
  • Commit to spending time with the mentee to develop the relationship.
  • Encourage the mentee through constructive feedback.
  • Create an environment that allows the mentee to ask questions without being intimidated.
  • Offer advice by sharing life experiences.
  • Be prompt for meetings and scheduled calls and use the time efficiently.

The 2021 Payne Mentors will be selected by early April and matched with their mentees before their summer internship starts. The time commitment for the mentor is minimal but can make a big difference for a USAID Payne Fellow and future FSO.  

If you are interested in this rewarding opportunity, please fill out the Mentor Interest Form:

If you have any questions, or are interested in becoming a mentor, please contact Maria Elena Vivas-House, Director of Donald M. Payne International Development Fellowship Program at



And for those who missed it…..

….this was a recent Jeopardy question in the category “Current Global Conditions” 

USAID is still on a roll!!



Call for 2021 Membership Contributions

In 2021, the UAA plans to continue increasing its membership while also expanding and extending the reach of activities of interest to our members, no matter where you reside. To make this happen, we need your active participation, ideas, and generous financial support. We encourage you to become a contributing member of the UAA for calendar year 2021 by making a tax-deductible financial contribution in one of two ways:

  1. Contribute electronically. Most members and prospective members will likely continue to find it most convenient to pay dues and other contributions online. Click here to make your contribution or go to USAID Alumni Association website and see link in blue panel to the left on the opening page.
  2. Contribute by check. For those who wish to pay by check, please note the address for UAA dues and other contribution checks. We have rented a post office box for the receipt of dues and other contributions, which will enable quicker deposit and acknowledgement of checks as they are received. Please send checks for dues and other contributions, made out to “USAID Alumni Association” and with a note on the memo line as to the purpose of the check to:   Treasurer, USAID Alumni Association, P.O. Box 16723, Alexandria, VA 22302

And, of course, we welcome you to join with UAA and other “angels” who have generously contributed $100 or more as “Friends of UAA.”

So, don’t delay! Make your 2021 annual membership contribution today, and encourage your friends and former colleagues to sign up and contribute to UAA as well. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have questions or comments, or if you know of other alumni who are eligible to join the UAA. Everyone is welcome, including former Foreign Service Officers, Civil Servants, Foreign Service Nationals, Personal Service Contractors and other contract personnel, and political appointees.


Another Way to Financially Support the UAA

If you are 70 1/2 or older, did you know that you can distribute untaxed funds from your traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to a    501(c)(3) charitable organization such as the USAID Alumni Association (UAA)?  That distribution could offset all or part of your required minimum distribution for the year and would not be included in your annual gross income.  This is called a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD).  You could avoid paying tax on a QCD donated directly to the UAA from your IRA financial custodian.  For more information on this potential tax advantage for you while assisting the UAA to achieve its leadership objectives of fostering collegial networks of former USAID employees, please refer to the UAA website at here.



New UAA Public Advocacy Policy Adopted

The purpose of this new Statement of Public Advocacy Policy is to provide a flexible framework for Board decision making on UAA engagement in public advocacy. It —

A. identifies the kinds of issues that the Board may deem sufficiently important to consider taking a public position and the means to address them;

B. establishes procedures under which particular issues may be identified, presented to, and decided by the Board;

C. describes the roles of the Board, the Executive Committee, and UAA contributing members and registrants in Board decisions on UAA public advocacy, consistent with the need to develop and present clear, consistent and timely positions; and

D. identifies key constraints, including but not limited to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

To read the full policy statement click here.



Development Dialogues

The UAA/DACOR Development Dialogues and the UAA Development Issues Committee Dialogues provide 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.

For a full archive of all events that have audio or video availability, please click here.


John McArthur

Director of the new Brookings Center for Sustainable Development

NEW! On Friday, February 12, the UAA/DACOR (virtual) Development Dialogue featured John McArthur, the first director of the new Center for Sustainable Development at the Brookings Institution.  He led the audience of over 100 AID alumni and DACOR members through a very thoughtful presentation of how best to understand the significance of the 17 SDGs and their relevance to policy-making in both developed and developing countries.  In an approach new to DDDs, he started off  by asking attendees two questions: a) please rank from 1 to 10 how well the world is doing in solving its biggest problems; and b) indicate what you believe to be the single biggest problem confronting the world.  Learn the results of this interactive beginning and see the rest of this stimulating event by clicking here.



In Memoriam

UAA has learned of the recent deaths of the following members of our USAID alumni community:

William L. Rodgers, Barry Riley, Marilyn Elizabeth Wilkey Merritt, PhD, Archie Columbus Hogan, Jr., William T. Dentzer, Jr., Donna Baltz, Arthur Danart, Daisy Portee Withers, Frank D. Correl, Elaine Stahl Leo, Don Boyd, Jr., William H. (“Bill”) Lyerly, Jr. 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: Attn: Memorials.


Get Involved!

UAA is your organization and getting involved in Association activities will make us stronger, more interesting and – definitely – more fun. You can find a variety of activities to join under the Get Involved navigation tab at the top of this page, including:

UAA Committees

UAA Mentoring

Job & Volunteer Opportunities 

Syllabi for Devt Courses and Speakers


Recent News Articles & Links for Development Professionals


Recent Articles

Below are recent articles on development happenings, issues, etc. If you have articles that you believe would be of general interest to the UAA membership, please submit 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.


Web Links

We offer links of general interest to folks involved in the development “arts.” If you have links you would like to submit, please send them here. To see and access the full list of web links, please click here.

If you have articles and/or links you would like to share with the rest of us, please send your suggestions to:, 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 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: Attn: Website.

   Click here to subscribe to UAA notices and newsletters. To Update your information, send the new information to: