Latest News from UAA

UAA Calendar

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

Monday, October 7, 10:00 to noon – Rev. David Beckmann, longtime President of  Bread for the World and a World Food Prize laureate, will speak at a UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue on“U.S. Politics Now and International Development.”  David will open a conversation about Trump administration policies, bipartisan congressional support for development assistance, the elections, and advocacy strategies, all designed to find the best ways to help sustain a generation of progress against poverty.

Friday, October 25, 2019 – UAA Annual General Meeting will be held at the Center for Global Development (CGD), 2055 L Street, NW, 5th floor, Washington, D.C. See detailed information below.

Monday, December 9, 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.Homi KharasInterim Vice President and Director of Global Economy and Development at the Brookings Institution will speak at DACOR about his new book, “Leave No One Behind: Time for Specifics on the Sustainable Development Goals.” He will offer practical ideas on how to reach the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.


UAA Annual General Meeting

The 2019 UAA Annual General Meeting will be held on October 25, 2019, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Center for Global Development, 2055 L St. NW, 5th floor, Washington, D.C.

This year’s meeting highlights include:

  • A panel discussion on: “Democratic Governance: How do USAID Missions Overcome Obstacles, Achieve Results, and Navigate the Inevitable Landmines?” featuring Thomas Carothers, Senior Vice-President, the Carnegie Foundation, and UAA members Chris Crowley, Beth Hogan and Susan Reichle;
  • Peter McPherson, President of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, and former Administrator, USAID in conversation with Alex Shakow, UAA;
  • Discussion on foreign aid and the 2020 elections with Derek Gianino, National Engagement Director, US Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC); and
  • Comments by USAID Deputy Administrator, Bonnie Glick.
The agenda also includes alumni awards and time to catch up with old friends.
Please click here to register for the AGM if you have not done so already.
Please note that members will need to vote for Board Members electronically in advance. No voting will take place at the AGM. To be eligible to vote Alumni need to be contributing members for 2019. Note that contributing membership offers many UAA benefits, such as attendance at no cost at several social events throughout the year and the annual general meeting, voting privileges to select Board members, nominating your friends and colleagues for the Alumni of the Year awards, and the opportunity to volunteer to help advance the UAA goals. If not a 2019 contributing member, you may make a 2019 contribution by clicking here.
For voting and information on the UAA Board slate of candidates, please click here.
Please click here to read the UAA’s 2019 Progress Report, and click here to read the Draft Strategic Plan for 2020 for which we welcome your comments either before or during the AGM.

Mentoring Program Recruitment Announcement: Cohort 9

This is an opportunity for you to participate in a challenging but highly rewarding program that contributes to USAID by strengthening its field-based staff. The UAA/USAID Mentoring Program has been expanding over several years and now includes partners across the Agency. Through this program, UAA helps develop the next generation of Agency leaders at all levels, from new officers to Mission Directors. To date eight cohorts have resulted in over 100 mentor/mentee pairs. The level of commitment is modest and determined by the mentor-mentee pair, but usually consists of an hour’s conversation once every one to two weeks. USAID is very pleased with results of the program to date. This is a rewarding and enjoyable activity and will keep you engaged and up to speed with what is happening in the field and the evolution of Agency policy. Excellent training is provided to the mentors and the mentees at the start of the program. We sincerely hope that those of you who are interested will respond. If you are interested, please click here (or copy and paste  this link https://form.jotform.com/82288412618158) to fill out your mentor profile. For further information please contact the program co-chairs: Rose Rakas at roserakas@gmail.com or Roberta Mahoney at robertacairo@hotmail.com.

USAID History Project Update

As reported at the AGM and in monthly UAA Newsletters, the USAID History Project is well underway. Our author John Norris has done vast amounts of research and collected many hundreds of pages of valuable material. He has read every one of the more than a hundred oral histories of retired USAID staff, perused the relevant documents available online in USAID’s Development Experience Clearinghouse (DEC), read all the relevant USAID-related news clippings he could find, read many – but not yet all – of the many published books on aspects of USAID’s work, and drawn on many other sources as well.

He has begun to refine the material, starting to turn it into chapters while also working on a book proposal to shop to publishers.  It is apparent, however, that the original highly ambitious goal of a completed manuscript in 18 months was unrealistic.  John now believes he will be able to complete the task by the end of 2019.  Our small UAA Advisory Committee has now reviewed the first eight chapters and provided advice and concrete suggestions to complement John’s well-written and very interesting drafts.

Once again, we want to thank our generous UAA members for their tremendous support for the project. About $210,000 was received from more than 150 donors. We are not seeking any additional contributions at this time. Upon the book’s completion we shall review the need for further support which would be designed to promote various post-publication educational activities drawing on the book.


2019 Annual Survey of the UAA Membership

As it does every year, in January, the UAA sent a survey document to all of its members. The purpose of the survey was to understand better how well the organization is serving the needs and interests of its member constituents. By clicking here, you can read a summary of the survey results, as brilliantly composed by Sarah Clark.


UAA 2018-20 Strategic Plan

Strategic Goals and Implementation Plan: The UAA Board approved an updated Statement of UAA Strategic Goals and Implementation Plan for 2018-2020. This statement provides a medium-term guide for the work of the UAA. It is intended to be a working document that will be reviewed and revised from time to time to reflect evolving circumstances. Members are invited to provide comments and suggestions on the goals and implementing actions at any time. 


Bibliography of USAID Authors

September ’19 Update!

There has been one new entry since the March 2019 update of the Bibliography of USAID Authors (see link below) .

All new books are highlighted in blue in the bibliography and easy to find. We hope you’ll take a few minutes to look at the summaries of these books in the bibliography and perhaps buy one or two to read and keep for your personal library. Please send info on any new (or old) books by USAID authors, family members, FSNs, and PSCs to John Pielemeier at Jpielemeie@aol.com.

To view the updated bibliography, click here


2019 UAA Awards Program

In 2019, the UAA will continue to recognize significant contributions by USAID Alumni through its signature Alumni of the Year Awards. Since the inception of the Awards Program in 2014, the UAA has recognized and celebrated new paths taken by USAID alumni to provide service to their communities and to make lasting contributions to others at home and abroad.

For the Alumni of the Year awards, your help is requested in identifying individuals whose post-USAID activities are truly exemplary and highlight the quality of our alumni community. We ask each of you to consider nominating (or self-nominating) someone you know who is deserving of this recognition.

The Awards Committee will accept nominations for Alumni of the Year thrrough July 31, 2019. Send nominations electronically to: awards@usaidalumni.org. The award winners will be announced at the Annual General Meeting on October 25.

Click here to view the guidance.


UAA/DACOR Development Dialogues:

The UAA/DACOR Development Dialogues is a series of 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.

David Beckmann

New! On Monday, October 7, David Beckmann, long-time head of Bread for the World, led a lively discussion exploring the reasons for the great progress made in recent decades, both in the U.S. and abroad, in reducing poverty and how we can help to insure that these advances are sustained. Hear David’s comments and the discussion that followed here.

Rafe Pomerance

New! To an overflow DACOR luncheon crowd on Friday, September 6, climate pioneer Rafe Pomerance described with great clarity – based on his more than forty years of leadership on this issue – the nature of the global climate crisis and the essential steps required to address it. Listen to the audio of his talk and the Q&A period here.


Alumni News

In Memoriam:

UAA has learned of the recent deaths of the following members of our USAID alumni community: Ann Fitzcharles, Arthur Lezin, Timothy Alexander, Gerry Cashion, Warren Putman, and Ernie Stern,.  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: office@usaidalumni.org Attn: Memorials.


Get Involved!

UAA is your organization. Your getting involved in Association activities will make us stronger, more interesting and – definitely – more fun. Below are just some of the ways you can participate:

  • UAA Speakers Roster

The UAA has a roster of some 65 alumni around the country who regularly speak to community groups, universities and others about a range of international development and foreign affairs issues, and who are available for additional engagements.  Further information about the UAA Speakers Bureau can be found in the attached brochure. To become a member of the Speakers’ Roster is simple. Just fill in the information here and press the “send” button. If you are interested in finding USAID alumni in your area to speak at an event or to consult about a future program, contact speakers@usaidalumni.org.

  • UAA Committees

UAA has five committees. These include: Membership Services, Public Outreach, Strengthening USAID, Development Issues and Finance and Administration. You can find descriptions of the committees here. Your ideas, involvement and energy would be very welcomed in any one of these.

  • Alumni Groupings

In several regions around the country (and, perhaps, eventually abroad), people have organized local USAID alumni groups. Find out about these and get contact information about them here.

Do you belong to a local alumni group not posted here? Please share it with all of us. Send information to office@usaidalumni.org Attn: Alumni Groupings.

  • Job and Volunteer Opportunities

Alumni looking for work? On request, UAA vets and posts USAID-related jobs and volunteer opportunities. For a full listing, see: Job Opportunities.

Also, from time to time, the AFSA Job Board may have employment or volunteer opportunities of relevance to USAID alums.

If you wish to post a job or volunteer opportunity, please email us at office@usaidalumni.org, Attn: Jobs/Volunteers.

Below are the most recent postings:

New! Volunteer Opportunity – Non-Profit Board of Directors Member.  Edu-Futuro, a community-based organization based in Northern Virginia, is currently seeking locally based candidates to serve on its Board of Directors. Edu-Futuro helps immigrant youth and their families navigate the US public school system and mentors immigrant high school students on how to apply for college admissions and financial assistance. More information about Edu-Futuro’s programs can be found at www.edu-futuro.org. Board members serve for up to two 3-year terms and contribute to the organization in setting policy and program goals, monitoring performance, raising funds and approving annual plans/budgets. Time commitments include bi-monthly meetings, some committee work and support for Edu-Futuro’s annual fund-raising Gala. Foreign language skills are helpful but not required. Interested candidates should email their expression of interest with any questions they may have to the Edu-Futuro Board Vice-President, Phillip E. Church (USAID, 1970-95), at Phil@edu-futuro.org. All expressions of interest will receive a response.  12/31*

New! Job opening:  Director of Finance, Association of Public Health Laboratories (Silver Spring, Maryland) Seeking an accounting and finance professional with expertise in financial management of US government cooperative agreements and experience working with field offices around the world. This person will be part of the senior management team. APHL has grown rapidly in recent years.  It now has a budget of $50 million and a staff of about 175, some of whom work in field offices in Africa. For more, including application instructions, please see complete job announcement.  Questions?  Contact Larry@SlesingerManagement.com. 9/15

The Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) is hiring individuals to serve as Personal Services Contractors (PSCs). USAID/OFDA is responsible for providing emergency non-food humanitarian assistance in response to international crisis and disasters, and leads the USG’s humanitarian assistance efforts overseas, responding to an average of 70 disasters in over 50 countries a year. OFDA is looking for qualified humanitarian professionals to serve in Washington, DC and Internationally as Regional Advisors, Policy Advisors, Program Officers, Training Specialists, Administrative Specialists, Communication Specialists, and Team Leaders. Full announcements of open positions can be found at www.ofdajobs.net. PSC positions are open to U.S. Citizens only.

– Peace Corp Response Program: The Peace Corps Response Program complements the traditional 2-year Peace Corps tour by providing volunteers to do short term (3-12 months), high impact projects to address critical needs in host countries. Many of these volunteer slots have been opened recently to professionals with at least 10 years of experience. Although many USAID alumni are returned Peace Corps Volunteers, even those who are not possess exactly the kind of skills needed as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer. These positions come with the same benefits as the 2-year program, including travel to and from the country of service, full medical benefits, and a living stipend. To learn more about the program and view open positions, visit: peacecorps.gov/response. New positions are posted on this website as they are requested by the host country, so please check back regularly. For additional information and response to any questions, please contact Allison McReynolds at amcreynolds@peacecorps.gov.


Articles, Videos & Links for Development Professionals

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

  • Articles and Videos

Below are recent articles on development happenings, issues, etc. If you have comments on them, please share them with us in the Forum. If you have articles that you believe would be of general interest to the UAA membership, please submit them here or feel free to post or link them in the Forum.

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.

  • New! Tens of Millions of US Foreign Aid Quietly Cut (Foreign Policy) – Tens of millions of dollars for human rights programs run by State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor are now in jeopardy after bureaucratic maneuvers by the Trump administration to pare down US funding for foreign aid.  Included in this is $10 million to support civil society and human rights issues in China and over $12 million for Iraq. The move comes nearly two months after the Trump administration floated plans to slash nearly $4 billion foreign aid for State and USAID in a process known as rescission.
  • New! USAID reprograms Central America funds for use inside Venezuela (Devex) – USAID Administrator Mark Green this week signed a $98 million agreement with the interim Venezuelan government of Juan Guaido that reprograms aid originally intended for Central America to Venezuela. “This new funding will build upon our existing support for local human rights defenders, civil society organizations, independent media, and electoral oversight,” Green said.  This is the first such bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Venezuela in over 65 years.
  • New! MFAN Co-Chairs Announce New Co-Chair and Two New ExecCommittee Members (MFAN) — The Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network co-chairs Lester Munson and Tessie San Martin have announced that Larry Nowels will serve as Co-Chair of the Executive Committee. Mr. Nowels recently served as the network’s interim Executive Director and was a founding member of MFAN. MFAN has also announced the addition of two new Executive Committee members:  Lori Groves Rowley, Director of Global Food Security and Aid Effectiveness at the Lugar Center and nearly 20 years of senior leadership and committee experience on Capitol Hill; and Susan Reichle, Chief Executive Officer of the International Youth Foundation, who draws on 25 years of experience leading USAID policy development and programs overseas and in Washington, D.C.
  • New! US DFC will be ‘proactive, forward-leaning and strategic’ says new CEO (Devex) — The new U.S. International Development Finance Corporation may not be officially up and running yet, but the agency’s new CEO Adam Boehler has been sworn in and is ready to manage an organization he describes as “more proactive, forward-leaning, and strategic.” Boehler wants to align the agency more closely with other parts of the U.S. government, particularly USAID, to better leverage resources, he said, adding that he’d also like to work more closely with U.S. allies and co-invest alongside their development finance institutions. 

  • New! The Trump Administration Prepares a New Assault on U.S. Soft Power(Wash Post)– At last year’s UN General Assembly, President Trump announced the United States would redirect aid money to countries that agree with his administration’s policies. This could “gut U.S. soft power, fuel extremism and cede large parts of the world to influence from US adversaries, especially China.”
  • New! US Aid Experts Ask – How Much Will Trump’s Development Review Matter?(Devex)– The fate of the Trump administration’s foreign assistance review has been a lingering question for the US aid community for months.
  • New! Federal Employees Have More Withdrawal Choices for Retirement Savings (Wash Post)— Current and former federal employees and military personnel will have more options starting Sunday when withdrawing money from their retirement accounts.
  • New! USAID announces key leadership Designations (Devex) – With Congressional approval for almost all of Administrator Green’s reforms, a number of current senior officials have been designated to occupy new positions when the organizational transformation moves forward.*
  • Web Links

These are links of general interest to folks involved in the development “arts. If you have links you would like to submit, please send 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.

  • USAID Leads – A monthly podcast for USAID staff featuring Administrator Mark Green and specialists across the Agency. It offers in-depth discussions targeted toward USAID’s workforce and serves to inform employees and the public about Agency updates and priorities. Each episode highlights important elements of USAID’s international development work.
  • ForeignAssistance.gov (USG) – ForeignAssistance.gov provides a view of U.S. Government foreign assistance funds across agencies and enables users to explore, analyze, and review aid.
  • Democracy Index (Economist Intelligence Unit) – Around the world, democratic governance appears to be on the decline.
  • ADST (The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training) is dedicated to capturing, preserving, and sharing the experiences of America’s diplomats to enrich the professional knowledge of practitioners and strengthen public appreciation of diplomacy’s contribution to America’s national interests. This link will take you the website’s oral history page, which contains an increasingly large number of histories from USAID officers.
  • A new blog, Craftofdevelopment.com, by alum Jose Garzon, responds to requests by students and young professionals for more “straight talk” about the development profession. It attempts to cultivate informal learning and information sharing on topics that are not normally covered in other sites, such as how to dissent, personnel evaluations, and dealing with political transitions.
  • USAID Leads (USAID) – USAID Leads is a new podcast that features A/AID Mark Green and specialists across the Agency.  The podcast informs employees about Agency updates and priorities. Each episode highlights important elements of USAID’s work.
  • USAID Development Experience Clearinghouse (USAID) – Search 50 years of development history.
  • CGD Commitment to Development Index (CGD) – This very interesting database ranks 27 of the world’s richest countries in how well their policies help to spread global prosperity to the developing world.
  • August 2017 USAID Impact Newsletter: The latest edition covers a variety of topics.
  • September/October 2017  Frontlines – This link will take you to the most recent edition.
  • Rule of Law Index (World Justice Institute) – The Index’s scores are built from the assessments of local residents and legal experts, reflecting the conditions experienced by the population, including marginalized sectors of society.
  •  The World Poverty Clock – The World Poverty Clock provides real-time poverty estimates until 2030 for almost every country in the world. It monitors progress toward eliminating Extreme Poverty, the first of the UNs Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Infographic on Attacks on AID Workers (Dept. of State) – Maps, tables and graphs clearly demonstrate elevated risk levels.
  • January 2017 Update! Transparency International Corruption Perception Index – Transparency International is a non-governmental organization dedicated to increasing government accountability and curbing both international and national corruption. The Corruption Perception Index scores the perceptions of business people.
  • Update Fragile States Index (Fund for Peace) – This index uses 12 social, economic, political, and military indicators and ranks 60 states in order of their vulnerability to violent internal conflict.
  • USAID Map – Find a country and click on its USAID stories and results.
  • NGO Aid Map This an InterAction initiative that provides detailed information on members’ work around the world through a web-based mapping platform.
  • The Good Country Index – This is an index that measures what each country contributes to the common good of humanity and to the planet.
  • OneVote16.org asked each candidate to go “on the record” with a video statement to say what they’d do to fight extreme poverty, if elected. There are short videos for each of the candidates that have responded.
  • The new USAID International Data & Economic Analysis website  (IDEA) is the Agency’s comprehensive source of economic and social data and analysis.
  • Mindless Foreign Aid is a new development blog by Tom Dichter. It addresses how foreign aid for development has become mindless. Dichter has nearly 50 years of experience promoting development in over sixty developing countries on four continents.
  • Telling USAID’s Story – This is a new web page put together by LPA, the Agency’s public affairs office.
  • Foreign Service Oral Histories (Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training) – Included are more than 1900 searchable oral histories completed over the past thirty years by individuals from USAID, State, USDA and Labor.
  • Development Talk – A World Bank Blog – Interesting reading hosted by the Bank’s Chief Economist.
  • The Foreign Assistance Dashboard – The goal of the Dashboard is to enable a wide variety of stakeholders to examine, research, and track U.S. Government foreign assistance investments in an accessible and easy-to-understand format. As it evolves, the Dashboard will incorporate budget, financial, program, and performance data from all U.S. Government agencies implementing foreign assistance, humanitarian, and development funds.

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 newslettersor. To Update your information, send the new information to: office@usaidalumni.org

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