Latest News from UAA


UAA Calendar

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


New! Saturday, September 19, 2021, 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm – The UAA Fall Picnic will be held this year at Fort Hunt Park (Site B-001) in Alexandria, Virginia.  Please click here to see the details of the event and here to register to attend. 

New! Wednesday, September 15, 2021 noon – 1:00 pm EDT.  The Development Dialogue at DACOR (hosted by DACOR and the USAID Alumni Association) will feature  John Norris speaking on “Competing Visions of Development and Diplomacy”.  John is the author of the just published volume The Enduring Struggle: The History of The U.S. Agency for International Development and America’s Uneasy Transformation of the World. He will discuss how different views of how development can best serve U.S foreign policy and national interest have played out since the early 1960s through to today. These tensions have been a steady backdrop of America’s foreign assistance program under Republican and Democratic presidents alike.  Watch for an announcement closer to the date for this event.

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., if conditions permit.   More details will be provided nearer the event.  



Samantha Power with Stephen Colbert


Colbert Power


USAID Administrator Samantha Power participated in a one-on-one interview with Stephen Colbert on his nighttime “A Late Show” on Friday, June 10, 2021.   Colbert asked questions to educate the audience about the role of the US Agency for International Development in the world.  Power explained the global presence and breadth of focus of USAID’s engagement, both in terms of development content and geography – “a soft power arsenal.”  She also described the importance of America’s pledge to donate 500 million vaccine doses to developing countries around the world – a “major” job for USAID.  She said the vaccine effort will engage with other countries to do more— “American catalytic leadership at its best!”  When Colbert raised the issue of the Northern Triangle troubles, Power responded that USAID is the primary entity exercising President Biden’s “root causes strategy” for the border issue, explaining many of the difficult elements of the complex situation.  Finally, in response to Colbert’s last question about whether USAID’s work is valued, Power noted that USAID’s current work on massive vaccine distribution is, in effect, both in our national interest and that of struggling countries around the world.  You can view the interview by clicking here.



Note from the UAA Board

The highlight of the past month was the publication of the USAID history, The Enduring Struggle: The History of the U.S. Agency for International Development and America’s Uneasy Transformation of the World. Other UAA activities also kept us busy. Over the past couple of years, UAA’s activities have expanded to include a larger mentoring program for USAID officers; a new focus on diversity, equity and inclusion; collaborative work with all parts of USAID under the USAID/UAA Memorandum of Understanding; and engagement on public issues, as well as continuing events to explore development issues and help maintain connections among retirees. We welcome more volunteers to keep these activities going!  Please contact us at if you’re interested in joining a UAA committee or helping address particular issues.        


Cover Notice and Statement of Intent:  

Diversity and Inclusion

On April 1, 2021, the Board of the USAID Alumni Association unanimously approved the following Statement of Intent: Diversity and Inclusion.  The Board recognizes that we can do better at all levels of the organization to be more inclusive and more diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation. The Statement of Intent also includes specific next steps in our efforts toward those objectives.  Shortly we will be establishing an internal working group focused on those objectives and implementing a process to help ensure that UAA’s actions and structures are aligned with that Statement.  As we move ahead on this journey, your thoughts and suggestions are welcome and should be addressed to Roberta Mahoney ( and Terrence Brown (



“The Enduring Struggle:  The History of the U.S. Agency for International Development and America’s Uneasy Transformation of the World “

by John Norris

The Enduring Struggle: the history of the US Agency for Intl DevtJohn Norris‘ book, The Enduring Struggle – The History of the Agency for International Development and America’s Uneasy Transformation of the World, has been published, and copies are now available for purchase. (To buy the book from the publisher at a 30 percent discount please use the form at this link.) There are already three events coming up in which John Norris will talk about the book:  at the ADST Diplomatic Lunch on July 29, at a UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue on September 15, and at the UAA Annual General Meeting on October 29.  There will no doubt be other events scheduled, including a UAA Book Club discussion. Alumni with suggestions for events that will popularize the book and/or generate reviews should send their suggestions to Alex Shakow at



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.


UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue with Greg Starr



On Wednesday, July 7, 2021, the UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue featured the Honorable Greg Starr, lead author of a recent American Academy of Diplomacy report, Changing the Risk Paradigm For US Diplomats.  Starr, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State of Diplomatic Security, described the origin of the report and highlighted its three major recommendations designed to address the alarming level of risk intolerance in the State Department and in U.S. missions abroad.  Two very experienced former USAID Mission Directors, Jim Bever and Chris Crowley, strongly endorsed the report’s findings and reflected on the serious impact such constraints have on USAID staff being able to carry out the Agency’s programs.  Watch the video of the session, including the Q&A period, here



In Memoriam

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

Peter A. Gajewsky, Idris M. Diaz, Thomas Elliott Johnson, Sidney Kidd Bliss, Thomas Robert Ross

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.


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