2017-19 Strategic Plan



The USAID Alumni Association (UAA) is an unincorporated nonprofit organization established for the purposes of harnessing the experience and expertise of the USAID alumni community in support of effective U.S. foreign assistance and sustainable development; serving as an independent voice to support USAID’s development mission; fostering a network of former USAID employees who wish to utilize their public service skills to promote international development; and providing opportunities for social interaction among the members.

The UAA Board exercises responsibility for establishing the Association’s goals and approving planned activities in furtherance of those goals. In exercising this responsibility the Board relies upon the Association’s committees. There is a lead committee for implementing each UAA goal. The lead committee collaborates with other committees, Board members, individual USAID alumni, and others in planning and carrying out activities. The views of UAA members inform and guide the Board in the formulation, periodic revision, and implementation of this plan.

The UAA goals and projected implementing actions for 2017-2019 build on the goals articulated for the previous planning period and are summarized below.

Goal 1.              Expand, maintain, and enhance beneficial relationships with other organizations and facilitate opportunities for USAID alumni to inform audiences and communities about development and the role of the United States and USAID. Lead: Public Outreach Committee.

In furtherance of this goal, in 2017-2019 UAA proposes to take the following actions:

  • UAA will strengthen is collaboration with organizations such as the American Foreign Service Association, the Center for Global Development, Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network, National Peace Corps Association, U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, the Brookings Institution, and the Washington Chapter of the Society for International Development.
  • UAA will continue to add to the bibliography of USAID authors published on the UAA website.
  • UAA will continue to work with USAID to inform and prepare alumni interested in public speaking on development themes, including coordination of “media training” programs on-line. The UAA will also seek to identify audiences for speaking engagements in local schools, universities, and other institutions.
  • UAA will collaborate with the Association of Diplomatic Studies and Training (ADST) to expand the number of USAID oral histories in the ADST collection. As part of the new cooperative agreement from USAID to ADST, UAA will provide volunteer interviewers.
  • As an ex officio member of the ADST board of directors, UAA will also work to expand USAID-related materials on ADST’s U.S. Diplomacy website.
  • UAA will support USAID’s participation in the U.S. Diplomacy Center.

Goal 2.              Compile and publish a readable independent history of USAID’s 55 years of development experience to increase understanding of lessons learned that can guide current and future programs.    Lead:  History Project Committee 

In furtherance of this goal, in 2017-2019 UAA proposes to take the following actions:

  • In 2017 UAA will:
    • Undertake fundraising to finance the compilation and publication of the USAID history;
    • Identify one or more authors, researchers, and an advisory board;
    • Formalize arrangements with the Center for Global Development for a site for the work of researching, writing, and publishing the history; and
    • Conduct extensive research, including the collection and organization of copies of USAID files retained by USAID alumni to fill gaps in the record and replace documents of historical significance that have been lost over the years.
  • In 2018/2019, UAA will:
    • Complete fundraising for the history;
    • Complete the writing and editing of the history;
    • Arrange for the history’s publication and related launch events to publicize it with a broad audience;
    • Develop related formats (e.g., on-line and via social media) to distribute the historical material more broadly; and
    • Establish a relationship with a university for future collaboration on updates and dissemination of the history on a continuing basis.

Goal 3.              Maintain and enhance a continuing relationship with USAID that will make alumni available to support the training, mentoring, and coaching of USAID staff on a systematic basis. Lead: Strengthening USAID Committee.

In furtherance of this goal, in 2017-2019 UAA proposes to take the following actions:

  • UAA will apply recommendations from the 2016 evaluation of the Mentoring Program that should result in substantial improvements in the quality and impact of relationships to be established in the future (Cohort 6). This will include strengthened mentor training and monitoring, as well as stronger involvement by Bureau Coordinators in program management and mentee relationships.
  • UAA will begin recruitment for the 2017 program (Cohort 6) in September 2016 with the goal of program kick-off in November. The next cohort will be smaller to facilitate higher quality selection, vetting, and monitoring of candidates on both sides of the equation.
  • 2018 and 2019 programs are expected to follow a similar course, although recruitment will begin a month earlier, i.e., in August 2017 and August 2018.
  • In addition to its mentoring program, the UAA Board will maintain contacts with senior USAID officials – both political appointees and career staff – to ensure that UAA remains current on USAID policies and programs and provides support to the Agency as requested.

Goal 4.              Facilitate contributions by alumni and sharing of information with respect to USAID policies and developments and trends in development cooperation. Lead: Development Issues Committee.

In furtherance of this goal, in 2017-2019 UAA proposes to take the following actions:

  • UAA will organize discussion programs focused on current development issues of interest to alumni. This will include each year at least eight “Development Dialogue” events jointly sponsored with DACOR.  To the extent possible, these programs will be recorded and made available for listening on the UAA website.
  • UAA will continue to sponsor discussions of development-related books led by volunteer alumni members.
  • UAA will seek to identify at least one opportunity each year for a discussion program outside the Washington, DC area.
  • UAA will elicit and publish as “Perspectives” on its website brief papers from alumni on major development themes, along with comments on such papers, to promote the exchange of ideas and dissemination of knowledge within the alumni community.
  • UAA will include links to books, published research papers, and Perspectives by USAID alumni on its website and encourage commentary on the issues addressed.

Goal 5.              Ascertain alumni interests on a continuing basis; expand UAA membership, including by adding new contributing members who reside outside the Washington area; increase opportunities for social events and interaction among alumni. Lead: Membership Committee.

In furtherance of this goal, in 2017-2019 UAA proposes to take the following actions:

  • Early in each year UAA intends to conduct a survey of alumni interests and priorities for UAA programs and activities, as well as communications preferences.
  • UAA will circulate each month a newsletter containing articles of interest to alumni residing inside and outside the Washington area, including alumni profiles and photos of membership events.  [All newsletters will also be archived on the UAA website.]
  • UAA will schedule programs and social events each year intended to respond to interests of members and potential members, including events outside the Washington area. Activities planned include:
  •        Social Events
    • Annual Winterfest in February
    • Annual Spring Reception in May
    • Annual Summer Picnic in July or August
    • Annual General Meeting in October
  •       Other Programs
    • Publicize post-USAID options for employment, volunteerism, and other activities on the UAA website.
    • Seek new opportunities to engage FSN alumni and increase their participation in UAA activities.
  • UAA will seek each year to expand UAA membership and active membership participation in UAA programs.  The goal in 2017 is to reach a total of 1,000 registered alumni, of whom at least 40% will be contributors.  Goals for 2018 and 2019 will be 1,100 and 1,200, respectively.
  • Efforts to expand membership will include:
    • Recruiting new USAID retirees, including through participation in retirement seminars at Headquarters for FS and GS employees;
    • Encouraging USAID alumni to update their contact information on our website, become and remain UAA members, and help to identify other alumni who might be interested in registering and/or joining the UAA;
    • Expanding outreach to former FSN employees and to non-Foreign Service alumni and encouraging them to register and join the UAA.
    • Expanding outreach to new geographic regions in which there is a concentration of USAID alumni, such as North Carolina and Oregon.
    • Maintaining a LinkedIn website for the UAA, promoting communication among alumni who wish to use their public service experience to advance global development.
  • UAA will continue to recognize each year at the AGM the contributions of outstanding USAID alumni who have provided significant post-retirement service in their communities or internationally. 

Goal 6.              Assure that internal UAA systems and procedures provide effective,                                 efficient and transparent management of resources and services to                                      USAID alumni. Lead: Finance and Administration Committee.

In furtherance of this goal, in 2017-2019 UAA proposes to take the following actions:

  • UAA will publish the minutes of Executive Committee meetings, including monthly financial and membership reports, on the UAA website.
  • UAA will organize each year an Annual General Meeting to report to members on the Association’s management, finances, and current activities and to provide a substantive program on issues of broad interest to USAID alumni.
  • UAA will recruit from among its members capable leaders to maintain sound management of activities and resources and will recruit additional volunteers willing to serve actively on UAA committees and carry out activities on the Association’s behalf.
  • UAA will maintain a high quality website to inform and engage the Association membership community. The site will include such items as a calendar of events, articles, obituaries, employment opportunities, an alumni directory, and timely reports on UAA activities, including newsletters and audio recordings of events.
  • UAA will monitor how its website is used and will continuously refine and improve the website’s content and presentation to ensure it is of interest and easily accessible to USAID alumni.
  • In 2017, UAA will review all of its systems and the scope of work of its part-time administrative assistant to determine whether that scope needs to be expanded to include additional functions currently dependent on volunteer membership efforts.