Save the dates! More details will be provided later for this year’s additional UAA social events, including the following:
NEW! Tuesday, June 30 – 12 noon to 1:00 – Former USAID Administrator and current President and CEO of the One Campaign Gayle Smith will speak at a UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue. As this must be done virtually, it will also be available live to our members outside the Washington area, up to the number limited by the technology. Watch for the announcement with more details.
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 email@example.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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
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.]
UAA has learned of the recent deaths of the following members of our USAID alumni community: Richard J.”Dick” Pond, 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: email@example.com Attn: Memorials.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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 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.
- New! New Trump Appointee to Foreign Aid Agency Has Denounced Liberal Democracy and “Our Homo-Empire” (ProPublica, June 5, 2020) — A new Trump appointee to the United States’ foreign aid agency has a history of online posts denouncing liberal democracy and has said that the country is in the clutches of a “homo-empire” that pushes a “tyrannical LGBT agenda.” In one post, Merritt Corrigan, who recently took up a position as deputy White House liaison at the U.S. Agency for International Development, wrote: “Liberal democracy is little more than a front for the war being waged against us by those who fundamentally despise not only our way of life, but life itself.” Asked about Corrigan’s writing, acting USAID spokesperson Pooja Jhunjhunwala said the agency has a “zero-tolerance policy of any form of discrimination or harassment based on gender, race, sexual orientation, religion or any other possible distinguishing characteristic that can define any of us.”
- New! Former senior-level U.S. government international conflict experts call for immediate action to address significantly worsening conflict dynamics in the United States (Alliance for Peacebuilding, June 1, 2020) — Americans can no longer hide behind a vision of US exceptionalism. The impacts of long-standing structural racism, inherent to the country since the founding of our nation, have created deep and legitimate grievances. Ignoring or failing to address long-standing structural racism is made more difficult when forces, both foreign and domestic, are lined up to advance polarization across our country. The tragic death of George Floyd is the latest spark, triggering an essential and urgent demand for action. While simultaneously, it is also providing an opportunity for antagonists to stoke the flames of polarization, invoking hard security responses, and dividing Americans during a global pandemic when solidarity is most needed.
- New! White House pandemic proposal would ‘dismember’ USAID, says former administrator(Devex, June 3, 2020) — A draft White House plan for a new pandemic initiative would “dismember” USAID and “gut” the agency’s international disaster response office, a former administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development warned on Tuesday. “There are a couple proposals before us,” said Andrew Natsios, who led USAID during the George W. Bush administration, during an online event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “The one before the [White House National Security Council] basically would dismember AID and move the largest bureau with the most funding with the most success record … to the State Department,” he said, referring to USAID’s Bureau for Global Health. Natsios warned that the same proposal “would gut the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance” at USAID by shifting its emergency health programs to the State Department and that separating public health from USAID’s emergency food and nutrition programs would — unintentionally — “kill a lot of children.”
- New! WHO Failures and US Leadership During the Pandemic: USAID Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick (Epoch Times, June 2, 2020) — “President Trump’s call for reform” of the World Health Organization (WHO) “is so key at this moment,” said Bonnie Glick, deputy administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in an interview with The Epoch Times for the “American Thought Leaders” program. On May 18, President Donald Trump sent a letter to the WHO warning that the United States would permanently cut its funding in 30 days and reconsider its membership if the organization didn’t “commit to major substantive improvements” to demonstrate its “independence from China.” President Donald Trump has been criticized for threatening to withhold funds from the WHO during a global pandemic. But in Glick’s view, this was “the perfect time” to demand change “because we have captured the world’s attention and in so doing, we are shining light onto the way that WHO as an international organization should operate.” “In no way is the United States withdrawing from its role as the leader of the free world and as the leader of the international community,” Glick said. “In fact, by calling for this review, we are exercising that leadership.” Trump’s letter to WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus highlighted the WHO’s “failedresponse” to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus outbreak in Wuhan, China.
- New! The Overmilitarization of American Foreign Policy (Foreign Affairs – Robert Gates, July/August, 2020) –U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to go it alone in responding to the coronavirus pandemic is but the latest manifestation of the United States’ waning global leadership. Even before the virus struck, there was broad bipartisan agreement that Washington should reduce its commitments abroad and focus on problems at home. The economic and social toll of the pandemic will only reinforce that position. Many Americans—and not just the president’s supporters—believe that the United States’ allies have taken advantage of the country. They think that the costs associated with international leadership have been too high. They have lost patience with endless wars and foreign interventions. The United States remains the most powerful country in the world, in both economic and military terms. Yet nearly three decades since its victory in the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, it faces challenges on multiple fronts… The Trump administration has also tried to slash foreign aid.
- New! Emerging ‘dis-ease’: US foreign assistance needs to focus on the root causes of pandemics (The Hill – Steve Osofsky, May 24, 2020) — The U.S. Agency for International Development has been investing in the fight against pandemics for more than 15 years. In fact, I worked on the first such project the government helped create in 2005, focused on H5N1 avian influenza, wherein we looked at the roles of wild birds versus poultry in the global spread of this zoonotic disease. There were important questions related to where and how one could intervene to stop the spread of this viral scourge, and we very much took a “One Health” approach, which recognizes that the health of people, wildlife and domestic animals are all inextricably linked and impacted by how well — or not — we steward environmental and socioeconomic policies. Since that time, much important work has been supported by USAID’s Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT) program. Nonetheless, here we are in the midst of a global pandemic despite at least $1 billion invested to date, and it seems prudent to ask ourselves if we should be looking at other approaches to prevent such catastrophes based on lessons that have been learned. Rather than emphasizing virological research in places where people and wildlife come into dangerously close contact, investments should be dramatically shifted to focus on making such human-wildlife contact much less likely in the first place. We know enough to act boldly, but we need a much broader mix of disciplines at the table. Preventing pandemics is ultimately a numbers game in terms of how easy — or not — we make it for new viruses to find us.*
- New! Exclusive: State Department makes bid for US global pandemic response powers(Devex, May 22, 2020) –The U.S. Department of State has circulated a document proposing a major new global health security initiative called the President’s Response to Outbreaks, which would consolidate international pandemic preparedness under a new State Department coordinator and establish a new central fund to fight pandemics. The effort — referred to as PRO in the documents — includes two elements, according to the proposal documents, which Devex obtained. The first is a whole-of-government unit overseen by the State Department coordinator called America’s Response to Outbreaks, or ARO. This initiative appears to model that of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and would appoint the coordinator to “oversee a unit with whole-of-government reach, bringing to bear the tools of the interagency and U.S. private sector.”
- New! Trump administration might consolidate pandemic response at State Department (Politico, May 22, 2020) — 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, May 21, 2020) — 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, May 19, 2020) — 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, May 11, 2020) — …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, June 4, 2020) — 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, May 8, 2020) — 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, May 6, 2020) — 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, May 5, 2020) — 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, May 5, 2020) — 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, May 1, 2020)–- 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, April 29, 2020) — 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.*
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.
- Democracy Index (Economist Intelligence Unit) – Around the world, democratic governance appears to be on the decline.
- 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.
If you have articles and/or links you would like to share with the rest of us, please send your suggestions to: email@example.com, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Attn: Website.