Latest News from UAA


UAA Calendar

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


New!  Wednesday, October 13, 2021, 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm EDT.  Paige Alexander, former USAID Assistant Administrator and now CEO of The Carter Center will be our guest for the UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue (virtual).  Her topic will be “Waging Peace, Fighting Disease, Building Hope — The Work of the Carter Center”.  Please join us in welcoming Paige back to Washington as we learn about the extraordinary work of the Center — including, but certainly not limited to, its pioneering election observer role.  Watch for an announcement closer to the event to register to attend. 

New! VIRTUAL — Friday, October 29, 2021, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EDT –The UAA Annual General Meeting will be held virtually via Zoom and not in person due to continuing pandemic concerns. We have invited Administrator Samantha Power to provide the keynote address followed by a Q&A session with UAA Board members.  Our major panel topic is  “Development Cooperation in the International Response to COVID-19 and Efforts to Advance Health Systems Strengthening” moderated by Amanda Glassman of the Center for Global Development, and will include:

  • Jeremy Konyndyk, Executive Director of COVID-19 Task Force and Senior Advisor to the USAID Administrator;
  • Sara Bennett, Professor of International Health and Director of the Health Systems Program at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health;
  • Mukesh Chawla, Adviser for Health, Nutrition and Population at the World Bank and Coordinator of the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility; and
  • Irene Koek, Associate Vice-President for Global Health, Save the Children USA.

UAA co-chairs Anne Aarnes and Margaret Neuse will provide an update of UAA activities, and Awards Committee chair Bette Cook will present Alumni of the Year awards to two alumni winners.  More details will follow soon. Contributing UAA members are welcome to participate but the UAA membership contributions for 2021 must be received by September 30 to ensure an invitation. Please check the UAA website listing here to assure that you have contributed in 2021.



Message from the Board and Executive Committee on Afghanistan


On behalf of the Board and Executive Committee of the UAA, we acknowledge the events in Afghanistan that are gripping attention around the world. These events are poignant for all of us who have worked in development, especially those who served in Afghanistan over the past 20 years. In the coming years, many lessons concerning US involvement in Afghanistan will be examined, painful for many of us personally and for our country. Nevertheless, we take pride in USAID’s work with our Afghan colleagues, often in difficult and dangerous situations, which contributed to improving the lives of the people of Afghanistan. There are many examples: improvements in health care, which sharply reduced deaths of mothers and infants and markedly increased life expectancy for the Afghan people; education for girls; women’s rights; development of the economy and a free media; and many other advances. As we share the world’s concern for the future of Afghanistan, we are deeply concerned for the safety of our fellow Americans, third country citizens, and Afghans who partnered with USAID in development efforts. 
We are including in this message three recent statements from Secretary of State Antony Blinken, AFSA President Ambassador Eric Rubinand USAID Administrator Samantha PowerAdministrator Power’s statement has useful information for those of you who may wish to help at this crucial time.
In addition, UAA has been asked to share with our Alumni a notice concerning a petition for your consideration. The petition to the Administration concerns the humanitarian issue of Afghan refugees, not the politics of the withdrawal. The letter from the American Academy of Diplomacy, with the link to the petition, can be found here.
Margaret Neuse and Anne Aarnes
UAA Board Co-Chairs



Note from the UAA Board

The highlight of the past month was the publication of the USAID history, The Enduring Struggle: The History of the U.S. Agency for International Development and America’s Uneasy Transformation of the World. Other UAA activities also kept us busy. Over the past couple of years, UAA’s activities have expanded to include a larger mentoring program for USAID officers; a new focus on diversity, equity and inclusion; collaborative work with all parts of USAID under the USAID/UAA Memorandum of Understanding; and engagement on public issues, as well as continuing events to explore development issues and help maintain connections among retirees. We welcome more volunteers to keep these activities going!  Please contact us at if you’re interested in joining a UAA committee or helping address particular issues.        


Cover Notice and Statement of Intent:  

Diversity and Inclusion

On April 1, 2021, the Board of the USAID Alumni Association unanimously approved the following Statement of Intent: Diversity and Inclusion.  The Board recognizes that we can do better at all levels of the organization to be more inclusive and more diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation. The Statement of Intent also includes specific next steps in our efforts toward those objectives.  Shortly we will be establishing an internal working group focused on those objectives and implementing a process to help ensure that UAA’s actions and structures are aligned with that Statement.  As we move ahead on this journey, your thoughts and suggestions are welcome and should be addressed to Roberta Mahoney ( and Terrence Brown (



“The Enduring Struggle:  The History of the U.S. Agency for International Development and America’s Uneasy Transformation of the World “

by John Norris

The Enduring Struggle: the history of the US Agency for Intl DevtJohn Norris‘ book, The Enduring Struggle – The History of the Agency for International Development and America’s Uneasy Transformation of the World, has been published, and copies are now available for purchase. (To buy the book from the publisher at a 30 percent discount please use the form at this link.) There are already three events coming up in which John Norris will talk about the book:  at the ADST Diplomatic Lunch on July 29, at a UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue on September 15, and at the UAA Annual General Meeting on October 29.  There will no doubt be other events scheduled, including a UAA Book Club discussion. Alumni with suggestions for events that will popularize the book and/or generate reviews should send their suggestions to Alex Shakow at



Development Dialogues

The UAA/DACOR Development Dialogues and the UAA Development Issues Committee Dialogues provide interactive conversations on a broad range of topics relevant to the interests of international development professionals.

Below are summaries of the most recent events. Each includes a link either to an audio or video of the event. Being able to listen or watch an event should be of particular interest to Association members who live outside the DC area.

For a full archive of all events that have audio or video availability, please click here.


UAA DACOR:  John Norris and The Enduring Struggle



John Norris, author of the UAA-supported independent history of USAID The Enduring Struggle, covered a broad range of topics addressed in the book in a conversation with Carol Peasley and in a spirited Q&A session during the September 15 UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue. About 150 UAA and DACOR members attended this virtual session to hear John’s thoughtful comments.  Watch and hear this hour-long program at this link. 





In Memoriam

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

Julius Kaplan, Howard Raymond Handler

A full listing of alumni obituaries may be seen in the In Memoriam section.

If you would like to provide a brief obituary or personal tribute for these former colleagues and friends to be posted on this website or if you know of other people who have passed way and have not been noted here, please send the information to: Attn: Memorials.


Get Involved!

UAA is your organization and getting involved in Association activities will make us stronger, more interesting and – definitely – more fun. You can find a variety of activities to join under the Get Involved navigation tab at the top of this page, including:

UAA Committees

UAA Mentoring

Job & Volunteer Opportunities 

Syllabi for Devt Courses and Speakers


Recent News Articles & Links for Development Professionals


Recent Articles

Below are recent articles on development happenings, issues, etc. If you have articles that you believe would be of general interest to the UAA membership, please submit them here.

Over time, this list of articles has grown. To keep this page at a manageable size, older articles have been removed. To see and access the full list of articles, please click here.

Web Links

We offer links of general interest to folks involved in the development “arts.” If you have links you would like to submit, please send them here. To see and access the full list of web links, please click here.

If you have articles and/or links you would like to share with the rest of us, please send your suggestions to:, Attn: Development Issues.


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