On May 5, 2018 Stephen Fields Wallace, retired USAID Executive Officer, passed away in his home in Venice, Florida. He died of natural causes stemming from coronary and pulmonary disease.
Steve’s career with USAID, began as a foreign service Junior Officer Trainee (JOT) in 1966. His career traversed both the Program Planning and the Administrative and Management backstops. His first program assignment was to USAID Ethiopia (1967-68), followed by USAID Somali Republic (1969-1970). Subsequently, he was posted to USAID Viet Nam as an Assistant Program Officer where he worked in the Program Office, the Education and Labor Division, and as a Special Assistant to the Chief of the Engineering and Capital Development Division (1970 to 1974).
Rotating back to AID/W, Steve was seconded to the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) where he served as a Counselor (1974-75). Steve recalled this one year of service as being one of the most important in his career, namely advocating on behalf of Foreign Service officers and their families. Subsequently, he served as the Assistant Desk Officer for Bangladesh (1975-1976) before applying to, and being accepted by, the Agency’s Administrative Management and Executive Development (AMED) program (1976), which led to his assignment to USAID Indonesia (1977 to 1979) as the Management Officer. Steve’s next assignment was to AID/W’s Office of Personnel Management where he worked as a recruiter of International Development Interns, followed by service as the Management Officer for the Africa Bureau (1980 to 1983). Following his AID/W rotation, Steve was posted to USAID Senegal as the Supervisory Executive Officer (1984 to 1989) and subsequently to REDSO West and Central Africa in Abidjan (1990 to 1995). His final assignment was as the Executive Officer in USAID Panama, 1996 to 2000. Through his career as a USAID Executive Officer, Steve was frequently cited for his efforts to make management systems more efficient, customer friendly and less expensive.
Stephen Wallace was the son of Earl and Lucille Wallace and born in Kansas City, Missouri April 15, 1941. He grew up in Topeka, Kansas and graduated from Washburn University with a B.A. in Political Science. During his undergraduate years, he took a year of German studies and language at the University of Freiburg. He also served as a State Department Summer Intern in 1962. During his school and university years Steve was an accomplished musician, a trombonist, who played in marching bands, symphony orchestras and jazz groups. Steve continued his academic studies at the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver, earning a Master of Arts degree in political science and Latin American studies in 1966.
Steve chose Venice, Florida as his retirement place. He was involved in community and city politics and socially active in the Foreign Service retirement community.
All who knew Steve as a colleague and friend will recall his very distinctive and explosive laugh which accompanied a wicked sense of humor. Steve filled his retirement days with classical music and daily walks. No matter his struggles with health issues, he always was in good humor and displayed a welcoming, mischievous, smile. Steve was an anchor in the lives of many and will be sorely missed.
Steve is survived by his older brother Donald, his son Son Cong Tran, his daughters Ave Persaud-Wallace and Natalie Wallace, and his six grandchildren.