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, January 13, 2021, 12 noon -1:00 – UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue at DACOR (virtual) – George Ingram, Brookings Senior Fellow (and UAA member), will lead a discussion on “What should be the big priorities for development in the Biden Administration?” George recently issued the Brookings Report  ” Making US global development structures and functions fit for purpose: A 2021 agenda”.  This will be a good chance to challenge George and to reflect on which of the many needed tasks deserve the Biden team’s immediate – and longer term – attention.  Watch for an email with further details closer to the event. Click here to reserve a place.

New!  Wednesday, January 27, 2021, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. — The UAA Book Club will hold a virtual meeting via Zoom at which Jon O’Rourke has volunteered to review Daniel Kahneman’s Book–Thinking, Fast and Slow (2011, 500 pages.). Jon will provide a short review paper beforehand.  Please note that this meeting is only only to UAA contributing members and those who register no later than January 25th by clicking here. Those who register will receive information on how to join the virtual meeting.

New!  Thursday, January 28, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30 pm — The Development Issues Committee will hold its first virtual Zoom meeting of 2021, featuring a panel discussion on Inclusive Agriculture and Rural Development as a Priority for the New AdministrationPanelists will include retired senior FSO David Bathrick, retired USAID AA Emmy Simmons, and Paul Dorosh, the Director of the Development Strategy and Governance Division of IFPRI (the International Food Policy Research Institute).  The discussion will center around this paper.  Instructions on registering for the meeting and to join on Zoom will be forthcoming in a separate announcement, later in January.  The meeting will be open to all UAA members who made a contribution in 2020.

New!  Friday, February 12, 2021 — 12 noon to 1:00 pm, UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue (virtual) — John McArthur, Brookings Institution — Director of the newly established Center for Sustainable Development and Senior Fellow, Global Economy and Development.  His topic will be “The Sustainable Development Challenge Ahead” — which may change based on developments post-January 20.  Watch for an email with further details closer to the event. Please join us!

New!  Sunday, February 14, 2021, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. – The UAA Winterfest, our first social event of the year, will be held virtually via Zoom.  UAA registrants and spouses or partners are invited to beat the winter doldrums and pandemic isolation by sharing this time with friends and former colleagues. Information will be provided later concerning signing up for this event.  Please mark your calendar and join us.


 

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.


 

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.

 USAID History Project 

John Norris’ book titled, The Enduring Struggle: The History of the U.S. Agency for International Development and America’s Uneasy Transformation of the World, is now with the publisher with a publication date in mid-2021. In coordination with the publisher, 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. At a later date, we shall call upon UAA members for assistance in those efforts.

 


 

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.

 

 

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.

 

George Ingram, Brookings Institution

On January 13, 2021, exactly one week before the inauguration of the new Administration, George Ingram spoke to a crowd (on line) of more than 150 USAID alumni and DACOR members on the timely topic of “What should be the big priorities for development in the Biden Administration?” George, currently a senior fellow at Brookings, has spent his career dedicated to strengthening international development.  That wealth of experience was evident as he highlighted, in his opening comments and in the lively Q&A session that followed, the array of issues and choices the new AID Administrator-designate, Samantha Power, will need to confront. View the video of this event here.  If you wish to learn more, see George’s recent Brookings policy paper (click 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 jalexanderthier@gmail.com.


 

In Memoriam

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

Don Boyd, Jr., William H. (“Bill”) Lyerly, Jr., Richard Louis Camaur, Ross W. Wherry, Mel F. McBeth, Jerry Wayne Butler, Harry G. Wilkinson, James A. Greene, Rutherford M. Poats, Ambassador Edward J. Perkins, Curtis R. Nissly, Reimert (Rei) Ravenholt.   A full listing of alumni obituaries may be seen in theIn Memoriamsection.

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: office@usaidalumni.org 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 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: office@usaidalumni.org, 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 usaidalumni.org. 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: office@usaidalumni.org Attn: Website.


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

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