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, August 12, 2020, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm — Connie Carrino and Jeff Sharat will host their annual alumni picnic at Connie’s home in Stowe, Vermont.  For USAID alumni passing through Vermont this summer, you are invited to join the fun.  If you can make it, please RSVP to Connie at cacarrino@gmail.com.

New! Saturday, September 12, 2020, 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm — SUMMER PICNIC at Fort Hunt Park, Alexandria, VA.

New!  October 30, 2020, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm — ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING at the Center for Global Development, Washington, DC.


Message from USAID Acting Administrator

New! USAID’s new Acting Administrator, John Barsa, has issued a well-timed message of appreciation and encouragement to the USAID family which has been so disrupted, both overseas and in headquarters. You can view his message here.

In response to his request, on April 24th, three members of the UAA Board held a virtual conference with the Acting Administrator and other members of the senior management. It was a very congenial conversation which highlighted his enthusiasm for the volunteer work that is undertaken by UAA Alumni in support of the Agency. He expressed an interest both in new UAA volunteer initiatives and in our proposed umbrella Memo of Understanding with USAID.


USAID Administrator Mark Green’s Message to All Alumni

New! On the eve of his departure from USAID, Administrator Mark Green has just sent to the USAID Alumni Association a letter of appreciation for the services that we have all rendered. We wish him well in his new endeavor.
“Dear Valued Members of the USAID Alumni Association,

As we confront the challenge of COVID-19 at home and abroad, I want to reach out to highlight the investments the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has made throughout the years in global health security to prepare for a moment like this. All around the world, countries are using the tools you contributed to, and the capacity you helped build, in their fight against the virus. As challenging as the situation is, we would be in a worse position without the foundation you helped lay. That is an important part of our messaging, and one I want to bring to your attention……” Continue reading here.

 


 USAID Foreign Service Hiring Push Continues

Congress has directed USAID to recruit and maintain a permanent Foreign Service workforce of 1,850 officers worldwide (H.R. 1865). Over the coming weeks and months, as recruiting, onboarding and assignment processes accelerate to meet this overall goal and specific backstop targets, the Agency anticipates potential short-term and long-term appointments, contract and/or volunteer opportunities to support the development of a new cadre of officers.  Interested USAID alumni should monitor Alumni Association communications and other usual USAID announcement channels over the coming weeks for further details of specific opportunities.

 


2020 UAA Awards Program

In 2020, 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, beginning now until July 31, 2020. Send nominations electronically to: awards@usaidalumni.org. The award winners will be announced at the Annual General Meeting on October 30, 2020.

The 2020 UAA Awards Program guidance can be viewed here.


American University Archives and the UAA

American University Archives offers an opportunity for USAID alumni to find a home for personal memorabilia of their USAID service. We have often been asked by UAA retirees what could be done with these materials currently stored in boxes in their basements. We now have an answer!  In collaboration with the USAID Alumni Association, the AU Archives is now offering an archive program for USAID alumni (similar to their existing program with the Peace Corps.)

This program is not intended to collect official USAID documents, which are best donated to USAID’s Development Experience Clearinghouse (DEC). Rather, AU is looking for “personal materials created and acquired by USAID alumni during their assignments, such as correspondence, diaries, film, photographs, memoranda, reports, scrapbooks, newspaper articles, host country documentation, presidential or other VIP visit schedules/documentation, and sound recordings …” and much more.

Please click here to review the information provided by AU.  If you are interested in this opportunity to preserve your valuable memorabilia, you can message Leslie Nellis, the Archivist, at archives@american.edu or 202-885-3256.


Bibliography of USAID Authors

December 2019 Update

Update!There have been several new entries since the last 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 here.


 

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.

Afghanistan Lessons Learned Panel

On Monday, February 10, a full house of UAA and DACOR members were treated to a highly interesting panel discussion entitled “Afghanistan: Lessons Learned for America’s Future – Insights of USAID Mission Directors to Kabul”.  This panel, moderated by  Bambi Arellano, consisted of Craig Buck, Alonzo Fulgham, Bill Hammink and Skip Waskin, each of whom has had long USAID service around the world in addition to their assignments in Afghanistan. The focus of their comments was on lessons learned, advice for others in similar settings in the future, and the importance of clarifying how USAID can contribute to broad US policy objectives–i.e., knowing what the Agency can and can’t do. They also noted the importance for officers heading to conflict environments to invest time to learn from the experience of their predecessors. [Note – To promote an open discussion this session was not recorded.]

Eric Rubin

Before a full-to-capacity crowd at lunch at DACOR on Wednesday, January 29, 2020, Ambassador Eric Rubin, President of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), gave a wide-ranging talk entitled “The State of the Foreign Service and its Future”.  He detailed the many steps that AFSA has taken to improve services for FSOs while at the same time reflecting on the many problems and challenges the Foreign Service face and what needs to be done to address them. Listen to Ambassador Rubin’s talk and the discussion that followed by clicking here.

and in the Q&As by clicking here.


In Memoriam

UAA has learned of the recent deaths of the following members of our USAID alumni community: James Edward Blackwell, Kenneth Patrick LuePhang, Richard Lee Podol, John Kent Scales, Donald W. Maccorquodale, MD, Frank W. Brecher, Beverly Youmans, John A. “Jack” Shaw*.  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. We have added a link to the Foreign Service Retirees Association of Florida.  Find out about these USAID snowbirds 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:

  • Save the Children is recruiting for the Director – Maternal, Newborn and Reproductive Health in Emergencies. The Director of Maternal, Newborn and Reproductive Health in Emergencies (MNRHiE) will serve as a critical member of the Emergency Health and Nutrition (EHN) team in the Department of Global Health (DGH) leading the MNRHiE strategy, capacity building, operational planning, and external and internal representation. The position is open for global recruitment with a preference for candidates who can regularly work in or travel to Washington, DC. If interested, click here for the details. (Posted April 9, 2020)
  • The U.S. Agency for International Development has posted job announcements for Foreign Service Officers to fill slots for:  FS Education Officer, FS Contracting Officer, FS Environment Officer, FS Executive Officer, FS Crisis, Stabilization and Governance Officer, FS Financial Management Officer, FS Program Officer, FS Attorney, FS Private Enterprise Officer, FS Population/Health/Nutrition Officer, and FS Economist Officer (all posted 2-25 days ago). If interested, you can see the announcements here.
  • The Office of Human Capital and Talent Management, Performance Management Division at USAID is looking for two Retired Career Ministers to serve on the USAID 2020 Consolidated Senior Foreign Service Performance Board.  If you are interested, click here for the details.

 


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! Trump administration might consolidate pandemic response at State Department (Politico) — Aides to President Donald Trump are considering a plan to shift the government’s global response to future infectious disease outbreaks to a new unit inside the State Department, according to documents obtained by POLITICO. The proposal, discussed during a National Security Council deputies committee meeting on Thursday, already has set off a turf battle between the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development. USAID officials were surprised and perplexed by the idea, which could lead them to lose control of significant funds and authorities.
  • New! Americans want global engagement on fighting COVID-19(Brookings – George Ingram) — Lest the Congress and the White House have any doubt, the American people overwhelmingly understand that the U.S. response to COVID-19 must be not just within our borders, but global. To put the message in brief, Congress has so far spent 0.1 percent—that’s not one percent, but one-tenth of one percent—of its total COVID-19 response on international actions, roughly $2.4 billion out of $2.4 trillion. But a recent poll shows that the American people understand the need for more robust international engagement and that foreign assistance is a key instrument in attacking the pandemic. They overwhelmingly endorse international engagement and support for other countries as being in our national interest and a crucial piece to bring the pandemic under control. The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (of which I serve as chair emeritus) recently released a poll that reveals the American people, across all political affiliations, understand we are part of an interdependent world and only by working collectively will we move past the most dire international conflagration since World War II—with the same collective effort that restored the world to peace and prosperity after that war ended. It is not an overstatement that COVID-19 has aroused in the American people an understanding of our global interdependence, to a level never before recorded. In response to the two questions of how important do you think it is for the United States to work (1) with other countries to fight diseases that could spread globally and (2) to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in other countries, “important” polled 96 percent and 93 percent, respectively—unheard of levels.
  • New!  ‘Disgraceful’: US accused of using coronavirus to promote ‘pro-life’ agenda in letter telling UN abortion is not ‘essential’ (Independent) — A US foreign aid agency has warned the United Nations to stop “promoting” abortion and has denied that sexual and reproductive health is “essential” care. In a letter to UN secretary-general António Guterres, the acting administrator for the US Agency for International Development (USAID) said that the UN should not use the coronavirus pandemic “as an opportunity to advance access to abortion as an ‘essential service'” during the crisis. John Barsa accuses the UN of “cynically placing the provision of ‘sexual and reproductive health services’ on the same level of importance as food insecurity, essential health care, malnutrition, shelter, and sanitation” in a Covid-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan. Mr Barsa also criticised the plan’s “egregious” call “for the widespread distribution of abortion-inducing drugs and abortion supplies, and for the promotion of abortion in local country settings” in the plan.
  • New! Building the next ‘American century’ in the age of COVID-19 (the Hill) — …The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) also needs a hard reset. There has been bipartisan support for USAID for years, with a consensus that targeted aid is more effective in advancing core American interests than additional soldiers. But, the U.S. is now $25 trillion in debt and the Trump administration is borrowing from future generations in order to respond to COVID-19 today. USAID, along with the State Department, must align its $40 billion budget much more tightly so that there are tangible results that benefit not only the communities served, but American interests.
  • New!  Coronavirus Map:  Tracking the Global Outbreak (New York Times) — The coronavirus pandemic has sickened more than 4,167,200 people, according to official counts. As of Tuesday morning, at least 286,200 people have died, and the virus has been detected in at least 177 countries, as these interactive maps show.
  • New! Trump eyes federal retirement plan investments as part of showdown with China over coronavirus (WashPost) — President Trump’s intensifying showdown with China over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic is expanding to a new battlefield: the retirement portfolios of 5.9 million federal employees and U.S. service members. In recent days, White House officials have moved to seize control of a little-known board that administers the $557 billion federal retirement program for most active and retired federal employees and military members, with some aides eager to halt the flow of billions of dollars into an index fund that includes Chinese companies, according to two White House officials and an outside Trump adviser involved in the discussions.
  • New! USAID issues new restrictions for NGOs on buying PPE amid pandemic (The Hill) — The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has notified some grant recipients that they can’t use donor dollars to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) necessary to protect against COVID-19, hurting key operations abroad. USAID has put a “pause” on allowing NGOs to use U.S. funds to buy PPE, including a wide range of filtering respirator masks, like N95 masks, surgical masks and surgical gloves, according to an email from a USAID officer to NGOs operating abroad that was obtained by The Hill. USAID grantees were advised they can continue to purchase sanitizing products like bleach, soap and hand sanitizer, the email said. The directive impacts grant recipients helping communities in lower-income countries who are vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19.
  • New!  ‘Very difficult and emotional’: Pandemic expert leaves Trump administration (Politico) — A disaster response official who previously led a global health directorate disbanded by the Trump administration is leaving the government. Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator at USAID Timothy Ziemer’s departure robs the Trump administration of another expert as it tries to battle the coronavirus pandemic. Ziemer, who was sent to USAID after the National Security Council’s global health security directorate was dismantled, informed colleagues of his decision Tuesday. In a note obtained by POLITICO, he wrote that it was “very difficult and emotional.”
  • New! Supreme Court again considers requirement for groups fighting HIV/AIDS (WashPost)As the court held its second day of oral arguments via teleconference Supreme Court justices on Tuesday sounded skeptical that the government may force foreign affiliates of U.S.-based health organizations to adopt policies opposing prostitution if they wanted money to fight HIV/AIDS.  In 2013, the court ruled that it violated the free speech rights of the health organizations to force them to “pledge allegiance” to the government’s point of view by having a policy “explicitly opposing prostitution and sex trafficking.”In the view of the groups, that hindered their effectiveness, because combating HIV/AIDS meant engaging with sex workers.
  • New! Covid-19 Has Consequences for U.S. Foreign Aid and Global Leadership (CSIS)–- The United States is undergoing an unprecedented domestic crisis in confronting and controlling the spread of the coronavirus. Faced with both a public health crisis and significant economic disruptions, Congress has now passed three supplemental spending bills meant to provide emergency support. The last supplemental contained nearly $2 trillion worth of support; Congress has indicated that there may be more supplementals in the work if this package does not have its intended impact. Meanwhile, there are rising calls for the United States to also turn its attention externally—to play a leading role in blunting the impact of Covid-19 in developing countries; the supplementals contained approximately $2.25 billion in initial spending to support the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in responding to Covid-19. This amount will not be enough if Covid-19 spreads across developing countries as it already appears to be.
  • New! US adds restriction on foreign aid funding for COVID-19 supplies (The New Humanitarian) Hundreds of millions of dollars of US international aid funding for COVID-19 may no longer be used to buy medical masks and gloves without specific approval, according to a new directive from President Donald Trump’s administration, The New Humanitarian has learned.  Using a new clause in its grant agreements, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) will require aid agencies to get prior approval to buy key items of personal protective equipment (PPE) or ventilators.
  • New! Exiting USAID Chief On The Pandemic, Foreign Aid, Trump’s Policies (NPR) – For nearly three years, Mark Green led the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in delivering foreign aid to countries in need during times of crisis, including the coronavirus pandemic.  NPR’s Rachel Martin spoke with Green about the value of US foreign assistance, his outlook on how developing countries will face the pandemic and what the future may hold for USAID.*
  • 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.

  • The Global Health Security Index(GHSI.org) –The GHS Index is the first comprehensive assessment of global health security capabilities in 195 countries.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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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