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:

              To be announced.

Note from the UAA Board

The UAA Board was disappointed to hear of the recent Administration decision to immediately relieve USAID Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick of her position. In recognition of her support of the UAA volunteer activities including USAID’s Memorandum of Understanding with the UAA, the Co-Chairs sent her a letter of appreciation on November 10, 2020.

Administration transition teams for all U.S. Government departments and agencies were announced, including USAID in the International Development Group headed by former Assistant Administrator for Africa Linda Etim. To offer assistance to the transition team, especially from recent senior retirees, the UAA Board is reaching out to the transition team members who are listed here.

We are pleased to announce that the Board has elected four Board members to serve as officers for the next year.  They are: Anne Aarnes and Margaret Neuse, Co-Chairs; Terry Brown, Secretary; and Carol Dabbs, Treasurer.

The Board and Executive Committee expect several topics to remain high priorities for the next few months:

  • First, we are considering topics for presentation or discussion with the new U.S. Administration that will take office in January.  We welcome suggestions of agenda items for these discussions. Please send them to Carol Peasley.
  • Second, UAA’s new Public Advocacy Policy, which was introduced at the AGM on November 6, provides the foundation and guidelines for UAA to engage publicly on issues concerning USAID’s policies and operations, and other issues related to international development.  If you would like to suggest a specific issue on which UAA engagement would be useful, please contact a UAA Executive Committee member to discuss it.
  • Third, mentoring!  The resounding success of UAA’s FSO mentoring program over the past eight years means that USAID leadership and staff are eager to expand the program.  There is a high demand for USAID alumni mentors, so if you are interested in becoming a mentor, please contact Roberta Mahoney and Rose Rakas, co-chairs of UAA’s Strengthening USAID committee.


Breaking News!  On November 19, 2020, agreements for the publication of the completed USAID History were signed by our author, John Norris, the UAA, and Rowman & Littlefield, a leading publisher. John delivered the final manuscript to R&L on November 20, and the expectation is that the book will be published by mid-2021. The book is titled The Enduring Struggle: The History of the U.S. Agency for International Development and America’s Uneasy Transformation of the World.

As UAA members are aware, we were able to engage John Norris as an independent author to write this book entirely due to the generosity of over 150 AID alumni, each of whom will, of course, receive a copy of the book when it is published.   A small UAA advisory group was available to John throughout the three-year writing period, and every effort was made to provide helpful suggestions, concrete examples, and useful advice.  We shall now turn our attention to developing a plan to publicize and promote sales of the book, including through USAID alumni and other contacts.  We shall call upon UAA members for assistance in those efforts and welcome your suggestions.


2020 Annual General Meeting

                  Part I                                      Part II

Part 1 of the 2020 UAA Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on October 30.  Two main panel sessions addressed issues of climate change and implications for development.  For a broad framing of the issues and challenges, the panelists were Kerri-Ann Jones (formerly of Pew Charitable Trust) and Masood Ahmed (President of Center for Global Development). The second panel offered an excellent discussion focused on the future of key development sectors, such as health, food production, water, energy, global governance and finance. It was moderated by Bob Ichord (Atlantic Council) and the panelists were Dennis Carroll (Global Virome Project), Manish Bapna (World Resources Institute) and Homi Kharas (Brookings Institution). You can view the Part 1 video by clicking here.

Part 2 of the 2020 UAA Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on November 3. Sessions included an update from co-chairs Nancy Tumavick and Anne Aarnes on UAA activity in 2020, a summary of the new UAA public advocacy policy by Jim Bever, an address by USAID Counselor Chris Milligan, a session on mentoring with Roberta Mahoney, Neil Levine, and Rose Rakas, with comments from USAID colleague Rory Donohoe, and the awards presentation by Bette Cook to 2020 UAA award winners David Cohen and Paul White.  A summary of highlights from Parts 1 and 2 of the AGM will be posted soon.  The video from Part 2 of the AGM can be accessed 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.

Call for UAA Volunteer Mentors

The Strengthening USAID Committee of UAA needs more mentors! We face a high, and rapidly growing, demand for mentors. This reflects the value USAID Foreign Service Officers place on mentors and also the deep satisfaction our mentors derive from their conversations with newer USAID FSOs. A significant number of UAA members volunteer to serve as mentors, but durable matches require complementary skills, experiences, and even time zones to succeed. Thus, not all who volunteer to mentor, nor all FSOs who request a mentor, get matched in a given year — though we get close. If you’ve volunteered in the past two years, trust us — we still have your name! But with rapid program growth, we need a growing cadre of mentors. Join us! We provide professional training, camaraderie, and even, at least in the pre-covid-19 world, a free lunch during training!

Please complete the Mentor Profile by clicking here to summarize your experience to help us match you to a promising FSO, or just let us know you are interested in being a mentor.  Please send your expressions of interest to Roberta Mahoney ( or Rose Rakas (

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.

Below are our two most recent events:

Brian Atwood

How Development Fits in a 3-D Future Development Strategy

On Wednesday, November 18, former USAID Administrator Brian Atwood spoke at a UAA.DACOR Development Dialogue hosted by Alex Shakow.  Brian’s topic was “How Development Fits in a Future 3-D Development Strategy” which gave him a great opportunity to spell out his views on how a Biden Administration could bring the US back into a leadership role on international development initiatives.  His extraordinary depth of experience and range of current interests and contacts was evident throughout the hour-long program. Particularly touching were his expressions of appreciation for the valuable AID service and advice he had received during his tenure as A/AID from many of the UAA members who asked questions during the Q&A period. View the video of the event here and read the text of his presentation here.

 Alex Thier

 Co-Chair of the TaskForce on US Strategy to Support Democracy and Counter Authoritarianism

The Development Issues Committee held a highly successful virtual meeting on November 12 featuring former USAID AA for PPL Alex Thier as discussion leader.  Alex is currently the Co-Chair of a Task Force on U.S. Strategy to Support Democracy and Counter Authoritarianism and a Senior Fellow at Freedom House.   The Task Force, launched in October, is being sponsored by Freedom House, CSIS and the McCain Institute.  The wide-ranging discussion touched on the many challenges facing democratic freedoms throughout the world.  Freedom House’s upcoming report on Freedom in the World will note that 2020 will be the 15th consecutive year when the number of countries experiencing democratic decline will outnumber those making progress.  Alex noted that President Elect Biden has called for a “Democracy Summit” as part of his foreign and domestic policy agenda and that Task Force working groups will be preparing reports in five areas: Pillars of Democracy; Architecture and Alliances; Technology; Corruption, Kleptocracy and State Capture; and Economic Policy. The extended notes from this virtual meeting can be read here. Alex would welcome UAA members to contribute to the work of the Task Force.  He can be reached at

In Memoriam

UAA has learned of the recent deaths of the following members of our USAID alumni community: Ambassador Edward J. Perkins, Curtis R. Nissly, Reimert (Rei) Ravenholt.   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

(NOTE: Inclusion of any given article or web link does not constitute endorsement by UAA.)

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 ful

l 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.

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