Latest News from UAA


UAA Calendar

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



2021 Annual General Meeting 

The 2021 UAA Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held virtually via Zoom on Friday, October 29, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  USAID Administrator Samantha Power will provide the keynote address, followed by a Q&A session with Board members. There will be a panel discussion on “Development Cooperation on Covid – Health System Strengthening and Resilience.” The panel moderator will be Amanda Glassman (Center for Global Development) with observations from the field by Madhumita Gupta and panelists Jeremy Konyndyk (USAID Covid-19 Task Force) or alternate, Sara Bennett (Johns Hopkins University), Mukesh Chawla (World Bank), and Irene Koek (Save the Children). Author John Norris, Deputy Director of Policy and Strategic Insight for Gates Foundation, and author of The Enduring Struggle: The History of the U.S. Agency in International Development and America’s Uneasy Transformation of the World, will discuss his book. See the full agenda here. Review bios of the speakers here. The UAA 2020 Annual Report will be available before the AGM. 
For those of you who are 2021 contributing members of UAA, we encourage you to attend the Annual General Meeting this year, which will be entirely virtual, enabling participation from wherever you are around the world. Please register for the UAA Annual General Meeting and cast your vote for board members by Monday, October 25. See instructions for registration, membership contributions, and voting below:
Registration: Please register for the October 29 AGM webinar by October 25. You will receive email acknowledgement of your registration for the meeting, and the Zoom link will be sent after registration for the meeting closes.  Please click here to register for the AGM. 
Membership Contribution: For those of you who are not yet 2021 contributing members of UAA, we have extended the deadline for receipt of contributions to October 15 to allow you the option to vote and to participate in the virtual AGM.  Click here to make your 2021 Membership Contribution.
Note: In order to be considered a member for 2021 for purposes of attending the AGM or voting, contributions must be received online using a credit card or by check (made out to USAID Alumni Association and sent to Treasurer, USAID Alumni Association, P.O. Box 16723, Alexandria, VA 22302). Both contributions made online or by check, as noted, must be received NLT October 15th.  Please click here to contribute online. 


Voting for Board Members: Please note that members will need to vote for UAA board members electronically by October 25th. No voting will take place at the AGM. Information on voting and candidates’ biographies is provided below.



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.    




UAA Board Elections 2021 

There are two vacant positions on the UAA Board to be filled by vote of the membership NLT October 25, prior to the 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) on October 29. No voting will take place at the AGM. The list of candidates for first and second term and ballot to vote can be seen here.  

The UAA Board Nominations Committee announced the 2021 Board elections in the UAA newsletter last May, seeking to broaden the selection of candidates to fill the two vacancies by soliciting current members to consider nominating, or self-nominating, contributing members. The only firm nominating criterion was that the candidate must be a 2021 contributing member of UAA. Among the factors taken into consideration was a candidate’s active participation in UAA standing committees or other programs and activities that demonstrate the candidate has contributed to the work of the UAA and is willing to invest time and energy into the activities of the UAA. Additional information for Board nominations was posted on the UAA website here
The Nominations Committee members (Terrence Brown, Chris Crowley, and Nancy Tumavick) considered all candidates nominated by the June 30 deadline, and the selections were reviewed by the Board. We have presented an excellent choice of candidates to fill the two vacant first-term positions on the Board as well as three incumbent candidates to serve a second term. Please vote electronically for the UAA Board members by October 25. 


“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 two events in which John Norris talked about the book — at the ADST Diplomatic Lunch on July 29th and at a UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue on September 15th; his next event will be at the UAA Annual General Meeting on October 29th.  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.



Paige Alexander on

“Waging Peace, Fighting Disease, Building Hope — The Work of the Carter Center”



On October 13, 2021, Paige Alexanderformer USAID Assistant Administrator and now CEO of The Carter Center, presented a sweeping overview of the Center’s array of programs in a Development Dialogue talk entitled Waging Peace, Fighting Disease, Building Hope — The Work of the Carter Center”.  The large audience included numerous former close colleagues who were delighted to see and hear Paige once again, and during the wide-ranging Q&A session she emphasized her appreciation for their valuable support and friendship earlier in her career.  Watch and hear this hour-long program at this link. 




Reflections on Afghanistan


The Development Issues Committee hosted a well-attended virtual discussion (with approximately 55 members) on September 22, 2021, on “Reflections on Afghanistan.”  The discussion leaders were James (Jim) Bever, former Afghanistan Mission Director (2003-2004) and current UAA Board Member; Hilda (Bambi) Arellano, former Coordinating Director for Development and Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul (2009-2013); and Ambassador Earl (Tony) Wayne, former Deputy Ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul (2009-2011).  Each gave observations on their experiences in Afghanistan from the perspective of the different periods in which they served — Jim Bever during the early years, Tony Wayne during the era of huge resources and staffing levels at the Embassy and USAID, and Bambi Arellano during the era of the “military surge.”  All cited the challenges of programming and managing huge amounts of development assistance in an active war zone and of a small Agency without representation at the cabinet level in navigating the interagency process among much larger organizations, including the State and Defense Departments.  All three speakers felt there are worthwhile lessons to be learned from USAID’s experience in Afghanistan which should be documented.  Jim Bever concluded that USAID Officers — and the Agency itself — can look back with pride in what was accomplished in Afghanistan in terms of health care, education, infrastructure, and institution building despite the recent assumption of power by the Taliban.  A lively question-and-answer session followed the speakers’ opening remarks.  A more complete summary of the discussion can be found by clicking here




In Memoriam

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

Julius Kaplan, Howard Raymond Handler, George Edward Shephard, Jr., George Gardiner Wood, Donald Mervon Harrison

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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