Alumni Profiles (alphabetically listed)


Frank and Antoinette Almaguer


Frank Almaguer retired from USAID in 2002, after serving three U.S. foreign affairs agencies over a 35-year career, beginning as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Belize (1967-69), where he met fellow Volunteer, Antoinette Gallegos. In August, Frank and Antoinette celebrated 49 years of marriage, which produced two children and now four grandchildren. He considers his family his greatest achievement and treasures every opportunity to be with them.

His career at USAID included serving as Mission Director in Ecuador, Eastern Europe and Bolivia, as well as head of personnel. His U.S. Government career culminated in service as ambassador to Honduras, a country in which he had previously served as Peace Corps Director.

Retirement for Frank has been anything but: He continued to serve in the international arena as Secretary for Administration and Finance at the Organization of American States and currently on the Foreign Service Grievance Board, a “court of appeals” for Foreign Service personnel cases emanating from the five foreign affairs agencies.

Frank continues to serve on the Board of Trustees of Zamorano University, located in Honduras, which is one of the leading agricultural schools in Latin America where he has the opportunity to support students from throughout Latin America, most of whom have limited means, and to head Zamorano’s fund-raising efforts to ensure that this 76-year-old academic institution continues to maintain its high standards and commitment to developing the agriculture and environmental sector leaders of tomorrow. Frank points out that “A life-long commitment to providing development opportunities for future generations animated my career and I am delighted to continue to do so in my ‘retirement’ years.”


Pamela Baldwin

From Across the Pond to Farm Life on a (Very) Small Pond!

Pamela Baldwin left USAID in late 2002 after serving as Mission Director in Croatia, joining World Learning to serve as Senior Vice President and head of the Vermont-based NGO’s Washington division. World Learning’s projects during her tenure focused on training and capacity-building, gender, child labor, conflict resolution, primary education and civil society.


Pamela’s second retirement came at the end of 2006, when she decided to join her husband Malcolm full-time on the farm in Lovettsville, Virginia that Pamela had purchased on a whim in 1992 while on emergency leave from Sri Lanka. With 28 acres of fields previously dedicated to hay and horses owned by others, as well as a 1794 house and a large 1870 barn in reasonably good condition, the Baldwins worked to develop an integrated agricultural and tourism business that now includes a flock of Romney and Merino sheep (raised for their excellent wool) and two guard llamas, a vineyard producing Viognier and Cabernet Franc grapes for a nearby winery, a wedding venue and a “farmstay” B&B cottage.

WeatherLea Farm & Vineyard hosts several hundred visitors every year during the Loudoun County Spring Farm Tour, as well as up to 10 weddings each year between May and October, with outdoor ceremonies, cocktails in the vineyard and dinner receptions in the renovated barn. Last year they also began hosting overnight guests in their farmstay cottage and have been overwhelmed by its popularity.

In addition to their farm activities, Malcolm Baldwin is currently a Democratic candidate for the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, while Pamela chairs the board of a start-up food co-op in Lovettsville and both are active in a wide range of local environmental and land-use issues including farmland preservation. The Baldwins would be delighted to see USAID friends at WeatherLea and encourage those seeking a getaway from urban or even overseas life to check out their cottage at or A USAID discount will apply!

Barbara Bennett

Barbara Bennett retired in 2016 after a 45-year career with USAID. She came from a small town in southern Virginia for a management intern position in a relatively new, temporary agency in Washington, DC.

Barbara Bennett with great nephews and niece.

She had studied world history and planned to teach but positions in that field were scarce. When the offer came from USAID, her parents were horrified at the thought of their daughter in the big city by herself!  Her uncle advised her to take it as the federal government at that time was the best place for women. Barbara came to love her work and her new city.

At work, Barbara found her niche in the legislative affairs office after a year on Capitol Hill with the House Appropriations Committee. Her primary focus was global health, and she played a key role in the establishment of the President’s Malaria Initiative, the Neglected Tropical Diseases program, and the Pandemic Office. The current pandemic brings back the rewarding but scary work in addressing avian influenza, H1N1 and Ebola. She retired as Director of Legislative Affairs.

Meantime, she fell in love with DC, particularly the arts through attending performances at Arena Stage, Shakespeare Theater, and Kennedy Center. This has led in retirement to more active involvement with the arts in DC and the fledging Performing Arts Center in her hometown, South Boston. The latter is particularly close to her heart as professional plays were not available to her growing up and were limited even in college. She has worked to help ensure that is not true for the young people in South Boston and surrounding area where many have now grown up performing in the local theater and are now pursuing careers in the arts. For audiences there, it is a chance to see another world as it was and is for Barbara in DC.

Retirement has also allowed her more time with family, particularly her three great nephews Greyson, Sawyer and Asher and great niece Molly. They have already seen their first plays and sat transfixed. Barbara was always interested in politics and volunteered in limited ways for over 20 years before retirement.  She has now had the time to be involved in several recent political campaigns. She also enjoys long lunches and dinners with friends without glancing at her cell phone, reading books for pleasure, and finally, being able to sleep a full night without waking up to worry about what has to be done in the morning.

Given her strong commitment to the mission of USAID, Barbara actively volunteers with the UAA in support of its goals and enjoys maintaining friendships with Agency alumni.  She is in charge of soliciting, developing and editing the Profiles for the UAA monthly newsletter which is one of the most popular features. Although she was hesitant, her UAA colleagues finally convinced her to write her own profile. Barbara would welcome hearing from friends or those with suggestions for candidates for Alumni Profiles, at: .

a 45-year career with USAID. She came from a small town in southern Virginia for a management intern position in a relatively new, temporary agency in Washington, DC. She had studied world history and planned to teach but positions in that field were scarce. When the offer came from USAID, her parents were horrified at the thought of their daughter in the big city by herself!  Her uncle advised her to take it as the federal government at that time was the best place for women. Barbara came to love her work and her new city.

At work, Barbara found her niche in the legislative affairs office after a year on Capitol Hill with the House Appropriations Committee. Her primary focus was global health, and she played a key role in the establishment of the President’s Malaria Initiative, the Neglected Tropical Diseases program, and the Pandemic Office. The current pandemic brings back the rewarding but scary work in addressing avian influenza, H1N1 and Ebola. She retired as Director of Legislative Affairs.

Meantime, she fell in love with DC, particularly the arts through attending performances at Arena Stage, Shakespeare Theater, and Kennedy Center. This has led in retirement to more active involvement with the arts in DC and the fledging Performing Arts Center in her hometown, South Boston. The latter is particularly close to her heart as professional plays were not available to her growing up and were limited even in college. She has worked to help ensure that is not true for the young people in South Boston and surrounding area where many have now grown up performing in the local theater and are now pursuing careers in the arts. For audiences there, it is a chance to see another world as it was and is for Barbara in DC.

Retirement has also allowed her more time with family, particularly her three great nephews Greyson, Sawyer and Asher and great niece Molly. They have already seen their first plays and sat transfixed. Barbara was always interested in politics and volunteered in limited ways for over 20 years before retirement.  She has now had the time to be involved in several recent political campaigns. She also enjoys long lunches and dinners with friends without glancing at her cell phone, reading books for pleasure, and finally, being able to sleep a full night without waking up to worry about what has to be done in the morning.

Given her strong commitment to the mission of USAID, Barbara actively volunteers with the UAA in support of its goals and enjoys maintaining friendships with Agency alumni.  She is in charge of soliciting, developing and editing the Profiles for the UAA monthly newsletter which is one of the most popular features. Although she was hesitant, her UAA colleagues finally convinced her to write her own profile. Barbara would welcome hearing from friends or those with suggestions for candidates for Alumni Profiles, at: .

Carlton Bennett

Carlton Bennett
Since his official retirement from the Foreign Service and USAID in 2005, Carlton Bennett has remained active in international development and gainfully employed in his field as a procurement professional. Carlton served as a contracts officer in Cameroon, Pakistan, Senegal, Georgia and Egypt. It helped that life after USAID remained pretty much the same as life during his time with the Agency. Since 2008, he has followed his wife, Karen Hunter, around the globe as she continues to pursue her foreign service career as a USAID Regional Legal Advisor, first in Mozambique and then in El Salvador. They are about to pull up stakes again, as she moves on to Uganda for her next assignment. Carlton and Karen met at the USAID mission in Egypt and their wedding took place in the shadows of the pyramids at Giza in Cairo. They just celebrated ten years of wedded bliss.

But back to being gainfully employed. Since 2005, Carlton has worked for the Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC). His title is Director, Program Procurement Policy and he provides advisory services to MCC host countries during program development and implementation. His work has taken him to some familiar places – Georgia, Morocco and Senegal, but it has also introduced him to some new places – Burkina Faso, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Zambia just to name a few. While the work-related travel has been much more than he could have ever imagined, the work has been extremely satisfying. It has given him the opportunity to work directly with host country government procurement professionals and he has come to learn that no matter how developed or under developed the country might be, when it comes to conducting public procurement the challenge is the same – everything has to be done yesterday!

Carlton looks forward to the day when travel will only be for pleasure and he and Karen will be able to spend more time at their homes in Baltimore, MD. and Sarasota, FL., in other words “real retirement”. Until then, there will be more new places to discover and a few more adventures to be had.

Alan Berg

An article in a recent issue of the journal Development declared that Alan Berg, whose work was rooted in his 13-year career with USAID, “is internationally acknowledged as the person most responsible for placing nutrition on the international development agenda,” being recognized for helping to transform the way development agencies and national governments think about the problem of malnutrition as a fundamental component of economic growth. Former USAID colleagues, in their nomination of him for the 2014 UAA Alumni of the Year Award, credit him for “defining nutrition as a central element in the development process . He pioneered the concept, now central to international programs, of multi-sectoral nutrition . .The number of human lives that Alan Berg helped to save and to improve, building on his pioneering work in USAID, number in the many millions.”  In being awarded one of the first United Nations Achievement Awards for Lifelong Service to Nutrition, he was cited as “a global giant in nutrition history.”

Alan began his career with then-AID at its inception in 1960 as Deputy Executive Secretary. While there Alan was seconded to the White House Food for Peace Office, where he became Deputy Director, and co-director of a White House Nutrition Task Force that recommended that AID explore a U.S. role in national-scale multifaceted nutrition operations.

Ambassador to India Chester Bowles, who had read the report and wanted India to be a prototype country, recruited Alan to plan and implement what would be USAID’s first large-scale multi-sectoral national nutrition program. This effort enabled our Agency to save hundreds of thousands of lives in the Bihar famine of 1966-67.  The timely massive intervention he coordinated, along with his other innovative nutrition work, earned Alan the 1968 Jump Award, the government’s annual tribute to the Outstanding Young Civil Servant. While Alan was in India his seminal article, “Malnutrition and National Development,” based on his AID experience there, was published in Foreign Affairs, making the case for the first time that improving nutrition, far from being merely a medical or welfare issue, is vital to a country’s national development. This article led to his secondment by AID to The Brookings Institution where, as a Senior Fellow, he wrote the path-breaking book, The Nutrition Factor: Its Role in National Development.

From this work Robert McNamara, a trustee at Brookings and President of the World Bank, recruited Alan to initiate a nutrition program at the World Bank, with the scope to implement and build upon the recommendations contained in his writings. There, as the World Bank’s senior nutrition officer for 23 years, he was the driving force behind its $2.1 billion nutrition projects portfolio.

Along the way, Alan authored six books and numerous articles. For five years he was Visiting Professor of Nutrition at MIT and chairman of the Nutrition Panel for the National Academy of Sciences’ World Food & Nutrition Study.  Further specifics are available from a recently published interview here (“Visionary at the Conception”, page 121).

Marcy Bernbaum

On September 30, 1996 Marcy was one of 100 USAID FSOs “chosen” to be RIFed. On April 26, 1997, nearly 7 months later, her husband Eric Zallman, recently posted as USAID Director to Peru, died of heart failure. Not a good 7 months.
Both the RIF and Eric’s death threw Marcy into a sea of ambiguity, something that ISTJs do not like. No scope of work. No daily to do list. Marcy first expected that after Eric died, she would sink into a vortex of depression.  Instead, Marcy decided that every day is to be lived to its fullest given that it could be one’s last and that her guiding light would be her values — honesty, integrity, and caring.
For 15 years Marcy combined doing USAID consultancies overseas (primarily heading teams to evaluate USAID education and civil society programs) with one of her passions: doing case studies of grass roots programs that promote leadership and empowerment. In April 2012 Marcy’s life took a new turn. Instead of earning additional income via consultancies, she decided to dedicate the rest of her life to living two other passions, human rights and social justice, by helping the underserved in her own city, Washington DC.  This time a deliberate move into the realm of ambiguity.
Marcy became a court appointed special advocate (CASA) for an abused Guatemalan youth who had entered the US without a visa. Interested in getting to know DC’s homeless population, she began volunteering at a soup kitchen that serves 150 guests daily. Rather than using her skills, she spent the first two years listening and learning.
Today, 20+ years post USAID, Marcy is living all of her passions. She is a proud member of the People for Fairness Coalition (PFFC), a group of homeless and formerly homeless whose objective is to end homelessness in DC. She is mentor and advisor to PFFC’s Downtown DC Public Restroom Initiative whose aim is to persuade the Mayor and DC City Council to install and maintain clean, safe public restrooms open 24/7 in areas of need in downtown DC. She has helped create PFFC’s home page ( and is training PFFC members to administer the site. And she is advocating to end homelessness in DC: lobbying DC City Council members, delivering testimonies at key hearings, and educating housed friends and colleagues on the realities of being homeless. And she is carrying out a case study of the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless.
Marcy is a very happy camper. While she still misses Eric, she is living her values and her passions. She has gained a deep appreciation of the inequities and challenges faced by individuals who lack stable housing. She has several wonderful friends in the homeless community. She is the proud mother of a teacher (Shana, age 41) and a doctor (Leah, almost 37), a prouder grandmother of Isa (6), Eli (5), and Kay (2). And she has a wonderful partner for life, Mel.

Gary Bisson

Gary Bisson reports his second retirement after 10 years of private practice. He and Ellen sold their Arlington home late 2010 and moved to a cottage @ Westminster-Canterbury lifecare community in Winchester. Alas, the garage is still too full for the car. Five years on Board of Trustees, currently Vice Chair, for Medical Care Development, Inc., in Augusta, ME, a public health care PVO with special focus on malaria control in Africa. Golf, poker, occasional game of pool, and for the first time in his life reading for pleasure! Ellen is immersed in genealogy, her own and often for friends. She’s the guiding enthusiast for a family history group here, an active DAR member, resident praline maker, and family travel guide. Two month winter holidays are spent in the Caribbean, wherever the rum is good and the water is blue! Son Mark’s in Arlington and Todd in LA with our grandson Dante nearby. Life is good, especially when the Red Sox are in the ‘win’ column! Call (540 450-0270), write ( or visit (169 Elderberry Drive, Winchester, VA 22603).

Charlie Bliss

Charlie Bliss is probably unique in having been associated with USAID, inside or outside, since its formation by the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. A chemical engineer, he worked on USAID projects for a consulting firm in the 1960s and 1970s applying his engineering skills to economic development in the newly independent Nigeria and using appropriate labor-intensive technologies to reduce the cost of infrastructure construction and to increase employment opportunities in Colombia, Ghana, and the Philippines.
In the early 1980’s, Charlie joined USAID in the Office of Energy. In 1981 his path first crossed that of one Charles Moseley, head of USAID/Pakistan’s Office of Energy and Environment, who requested support in a project to develop a coal-fired power plant. Their collaboration established the feasibility of a modern coal mining and power generation installation that met international standards for environmental protection. Charlie also served as USAID’s liaison to the Pakistan Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in connection with furnishing the equipment for its Fuels Research Center, which upon completion in 1989 became a world-class research and development facility.
During his USAID career, Charlie developed and managed two major energy projects: one, a reconfiguration of Kenya’s petroleum refinery at Mombasa that overproduced heavy fuel oil for which there was no local market; the other, application in the Philippines of a coal-water slurry fuel for power generation as a substitute of heavy fuel oil at a time of unusually high oil prices.
Since retiring from USAID in 1991, Charlie has worked as a consultant specializing currently in fossil-energy fired power generation in the US. That has led him to continue collaboration with Charley Moseley in their joint interest in suppressing emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, as a precaution against foreseeable and perhaps disastrous climate changes. The two have invented a process to capture the carbon dioxide produced by coal burning instead of releasing it into the atmosphere. They believe a patent for their process is imminent. In 2015 they received a patent for the use of algae cultivation as a means for utilizing the captured carbon dioxide, thereby making it a revenue producer.
In 2011, Charlie’s alma mater, Cooper Union, awarded him its Gano Dunn award for outstanding achievements in engineering. He now lives in the Greenspring retirement community in Springfield, VA. As a centenarian, he attributes his long life to staying engaged with work that he loves.
Update! For an update on what Charlie has been doing, see this CBS newsclip.

Jerry Bowers

Jerry Bowers served in USAID for 27 years, retiring as a member of the Senior Foreign Service. He was USAID Deputy and Acting Mission Director in Haiti and USAID Representative in Mexico. He also served as a Health/Population Officer and General DevelopmentOfficer in Pakistan, Thailand, Morocco and Bolivia. In the private sector, he has been a Project Director for two USAID projects, and has undertaken over 30 short-term consulting assignments.Jerry Bowers

When their son and daughter-in-law urged them to move to rural New Jersey in 2006-“to be closer to your [eventual] grandchildren”–Jerry and his wife Maureen left DC moving to bucolic Holland Township. Suffering from a severe case of acute WDS (Washington Deprivation Syndrome), Jerry sought relief by plunging into a wide range of civic and voluntary activities, including membership on the town’s zoning board and utilities and environment committees and as a district chairman for the Hunterdon County Democratic Committee.

In 2007, Jerry joined his town’s volunteer fire company as a fire police officer. This year, he was accepted into the county/NJ state firefighter training program – a rigorous, four-month certification course. His academy instructors said he is probably the oldest person in the county and likely the state to successfully complete that program. Jerry admits that the punishing physical demands of the program (e.g.crawling through dense smoke in 60 pounds of gear during live fire/search & rescue exercises in the academy’s burn building) took him to the limits of his capacity. Prior to training, he prepared by “slogging up and down the stairs in my house for an hour a day with 25 pounds of kitty litter in my backpack, while carrying a 50-pound sack of rock salt.” He evidently succeeded. “Most of the 18 and 19-year old trainees”, he said, “were able to keep up with me.”

Despite this intense “retirement,” the Bowers spend the largest portion of their time in the exhausting, but happy realization of the true meaning of that “closer to your grandchildren” invitation – spending four days a week looking after Erin, 5 and Nate, 3. Jerry now claims to be cured of WDS – with the possible exception of ending his role in an institution staffed largely by other UAA members, the Arlington-based longest-running poker game in Agency history.

Betsy and Chris Brown

After retiring from USAID in2007, Betsy Brown and Chris Brown settled in Lake Placid, NY, near her childhood home, to enjoy fresh air, outdoor activities, and family. After years of work with international NGOs and as a short-term consultant with USAID missions, an opportunity came Betsy’s way to work from home and apply her international family planning and management expertise domestically. She serves as CEO and President of Planned Parenthood of the North Country New York, a huge territory from the shores of Lake Champlain to the shores of Lake Ontario, ensuring services to the underserved and far-flung population. As an independent consultant for USAID and other clients, he currently is the Acting Chief of Party for an evaluation project in West Africa for the Mitchell Group and works with several companies on new business development. Between field visits, Betsy and Chris enjoy spending time with their adult children, who are pursuing their work and studies. Mike is a lawyer working with an environmental law firm in New Orleans and Danielle is in her last year of school and a practicum for her degree as a nurse practitioner. Danielle plans to work as a rural health NP in the North Country. Betsy’s email is Chris’s e-mail is

Richard Brown

Richard Brown retired from USAID in 2000, joining Winrock International as Vice President of Programs in their Washington DC office. Since Dick had been in Indonesia as Deputy Resident Representative for UNDP from 1974-77, he took advantage of an opportunity to return as Chief of Party for a Robert Nathan Associates Trade and Investment Project. In December of last year, Dick picked up his golf clubs and tennis racquet and retired after 7 years as Vice President of AEAI. Busy with his life on the Pamlico River in North Carolina, 3 dogs, and 3 grandchildren plus his sports and fitness activities, he can’t believe he had time for meetings and conference calls! However he remains interested and concerned about development activities and likes to stay engaged. Phone him at 202.344.5696 or 252.946.8338 and email him at


Craig Buck

Craig Buck served in three long-established USAID Missions in Turkey, the Dominican Republic and Peru. But his forte was in establishing USAID programs in newly independent countries and/or those emerging from wars or civil conflicts.  Craig opened USAID Missions in Uganda; the five Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Kosovo; Montenegro; and Afghanistan.  He professed, “I had the great fortune of pioneering Missions and programs in circumstances we really never would have imagined.  Since we did this in tabula rasa if the programs didn’t work out, we only had ourselves to blame.”  USAID’s seminal role in the Balkans and Afghanistan set up and staffed the institutional basis for economic governance and the instruments of future market-directed growth that have endured long after USAID helped establish them.

Craig left Afghanistan after a year and a half in 2003 and later joined a private firm as its director of marketing and business development for several years.  Subsequently, Craig has had both short- and long-term assignments that brought him back to many of the missions where he had originally helped establish USAID.  One of his more gratifying assignments was as a member of the SFS Promotion Board, which gave him great confidence that USAID has talented and experienced staff to guide the Agency in the future.

Craig met his wife, Madina, in Kazakhstan where she worked with the United Nations.  She followed him to Kosovo and Afghanistan, where they married.  Since retiring in 2005, Craig has been involved in U.S. domestic politics and worked for a several Presidential and local level candidates.  He volunteered for election administration duties, serving as the chief judge in different polling stations in Maryland.  Craig’s primary and middle school-aged children are year-round competitive swimmers, and Craig has qualified as a swim meet official in several capacities.  Craig has shared his experience in addressing post-conflict development issues with students at the War College, universities, the Brookings Institution, doctoral research candidates, and diverse USAID workshops.

Craig wishes he had been a GSO as he deals with problems inherent in property management.  Besides learning to operate a landscaping Bobcat, Craig has acquired electrical, plumbing, arborist, real estate, legal, and carpentry skills that may be needed for future assignments.  Buck would welcome reconnecting with colleagues at


Malcolm and Tish Butler

Malcolm and Tish met (1978), married (1979), tandem-deployed (1979 – 1999) and created a family (1994) under USAID’s auspices. They had rich and varied careers. Malcolm was Acting AA/DAA in three bureaus, Director in 4 missions and Executive Secretary, retiring in 1994. Before USAID, he was with State, OMB and the NSC. Tish was in mission program offices in Bolivia, Peru and Lebanon, board advisor at the Asia Development Bank, participant in State’s Senior Seminar, Deputy Director/Guatemala, and PPC Policy Office chief. Along the way, they shared a passion for both development and the outdoors–hiking mountains, kayaking, and scuba-diving-and most important, for two infants from Nicaragua.


Malcolm’s “retirement” began as Program Director for the North Carolina Outward Bound School, putting his interest in the outdoors into wilderness training. He followed this with establishing his own consulting firm, serving as President of Partners of the Americas and of the Riecken Foundation, and stints as Senior Vice President at Management Systems International and the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities. He serves on a number of private and non-profit boards and advises USAID on the Higher Education Solutions Network. Connect at

Upon her 2004 retirement, Tish explored the world of corporate consulting at Booz Allen Hamilton until 2008. However, the siren call of USAID brought her back to help with the presidential transition, serve on the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, and help create the Policy, Planning and Learning Bureau as the Policy Office Director until her Second Retirement in 2012. She is on the board of The International Foundation and consults part-time from TMB Partners LLC, of which she is President. She can be reached at

Roger Carlson

Roger Carlson joined USAID in 1963 fresh out of college, eager to get involved in foreign affairs and motivated by President Kennedy’s appeal to youth to join government and bring a new era of dynamism and change to public service. After initially working in the Military Assistance Division of the Agency’s Planning Office his first overseas assignment was in Algeria. He convinced his former Peace Corps boss, Gail Sander, to join him there where they were married in Algiers in 1964.

Roger CarlsonAs with many USAID officers in that era with a spouse safe havened, in 1967 they began a two year period of shuttling between Saigon, where Roger was a Planning Officer at Military Assistance Command, and Bangkok, where Gail was the Administrative Assistant to the Peace Corps Director. They then spent 1969-70 at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, followed by USAID assignments in Tunisia, USAID/W, studies at Stanford Graduate School of Business and then Somalia. Roger moved into the Directorship of Southern African Affairs in the mid-1980s and later in Swaziland and Mozambique.

Post retirement in 1996, he teamed up with a small publisher in Johannesburg and launched a magazine, “Transport World Africa,” dedicated to analysis and debate about the African continent’s transport infrastructure crisis. His experience in Mozambique confirmed that high transport costs in Africa, and from Africa to overseas markets, were seriously reducing competitiveness of African products. He never planned to get into journalism, but it was a refreshing change and a real challenge. He recalls spending many days travelling the back roads of South Africa in an un-air conditioned Mazda3, interviewing CEOs about logistics bottlenecks and selling advertising for the new publication.

In 2004, he returned to USAID for a “second time around.” In Afghanistan he helped the Mission find ways to address the narcotics challenge and served as a senior advisor to the Minister of Agriculture. From 2005 through 2013, he served in senior USAID positions on an interim basis in six Near East and Asian countries and in the Asia Bureau in Washington. He remains available for short-term assignments.

Roger and Gail’s children, Caroline and Kevin, were born in Tunisia in the mid-1970’s. Tragically, Gail died unexpectedly in 2009. Roger’s children and their spouses now live in Florida and Roger thoroughly enjoys his role as grandfather to four boys between the ages ten and three. During school holidays he often joins them in Florida and runs what the boys like to call “Camp Gramp!” While Roger still resides in D.C., he spends time on Cape Cod, maintaining a family home and summer rental property near the National Seashore Park. It has become a wonderful retreat, winter and summer, for the Carlson clan.

John Champagne

One of the newest members to engage in the UAA mentoring program is John Champagne who is partnering with a USAID staff member in Armenia. After nearly 49 years of marriage and 26 household moves, John and his wife Penny have returned to Holyoke, their home of origin in western Massachusetts. They have 5 grandchildren. Daughter Kristen, who served with OFDA in the mid-1990s, and her family are in the Foreign Service and currently living in Bangkok, while their son Jeff and his family are happily ensconced in Annandale, Virginia.

JohnChampagneProfileJohn began his international development career with USAID in 1970 following four years as a U.S. Army Officer (Special Forces) and completion of a Masters Degree in International Relations. His first overseas post was Thailand, followed by a two-year rotation to Washington as Assistant Thailand/Burma desk officer and a return to Thailand in 1977. Panama was his next overseas assignment where he served as Deputy in both the Health/Education/Training and Agriculture Offices. Returning to Washington in 1984, John served as Associate Director for Caribbean Affairs, USAID liaison to the Department of State’s Bureau for International Narcotics Matter and later as Associate Assistant Administrator in the then PPC Bureau. His final USAID assignment was Director of Middle East Affairs.

As he notes, John’s post USAID-retirement has been as eclectic as his foreign service career. He was AED project manager for the largest USAID participant training program with a staff of 145 in 10 countries of the former Soviet Union. He assisted EGAT’s Office of Business Development to launch a domestic outreach program, including the Global Technology Network. After 9/11, he was hired by General Dynamics to assist U.S. Joint Forces Command in Suffolk, VA to develop management systems for improved civilian-military coordination and planning for complex emergencies. He assisted USAID to establish an Office of Military Affairs in the DCHA Bureau to facilitate DOD coordination. Finally, in 2008, John and a small team of junior officers set up and staffed a new Office of Civilian Response in DCHA.

“In my non-working life I still run and rollerblade. Penny and I also bike, kayak, snowshoe and cross-country ski. I am currently assisting a small non-profit in the western Massachusetts area develop an agroforestry project in Cameroon. In addition, I help the Director at our hometown’s new $8.1 million senior center to design and develop a lifelong learning program.” There is clearly life after USAID.

Jatinder Cheema

Jatinder Cheema reached mandatory retirement age while posted in Ghana as the Regional Mission Director for West Africa. She was totally unprepared for retirement, but she was saved from having to figure out life after USAID for another four years when she was recalled to serve in Afghanistan and then Armenia as the Mission Director. She started her career with USAID in 1989 as a PSC in Bangladesh. Prior to her work with USAID, she was a consultant with the World Bank and UNICEF. She joined USAID as a USDH in 1991 in Burkina Faso. She retired as a Senior Foreign Service Officer.

Cheema (the name she goes by) retired again in 2012, moving to Madison, Wisconsin and downsizing her lifestyle into a condo with her husband Jeffrey Wright, a native of Wisconsin. Madison, a university town, was a perfect fit. She immediately volunteered for local associations and was invited to sit on the boards of the Marquette Neighborhood Association, the Greater Williamson Business Association, and the Madison Development Corporation. Besides bringing diversity to the boards, she was instrumental in expanding their activities into programs to help people with special needs and was actively engaged in progressive issues with the associations. During her overseas career with USAID, she learned the value of dialogue, of listening and negotiating to solve problems. To apply that learning back home, she bought a historic house and converted it into a space for the community to meet, network, engage in progressive dialog, and discuss local issues. She called her conversation salon “A Place to Be” ( The space was also designed and decorated to house her extensive collection of African, Asian, and Caucasian art, including carpets, sculptures, paintings, and textiles.

She has immersed herself in making A Place to Be a community space, while taking full advantage of all that Madison has to offer: music, theater, festivals etc. She lives in the Marquette Neighborhood, named one of the ten best neighborhoods in the US by a national association of neighborhoods. In 2016, however, USAID knocked on her door again for two short­-term assignments in Guinea and Sierra Leone. Since last fall, she has been in Almaty, Kazakhstan as the Mission Director for Central Asia until September 2017.

In between work and retirement in Madison, she loves to travel, especially visiting her family in India where her mom lives. Cheema has just finished producing her mom’s memoirs, which should be in print shortly, called “As I Remember ­ the Life History of Raminder Kaur Cheema.” Cheema is an avid tennis player and has convinced her husband, an equally enthusiastic player, that tennis is a perfect sport to get old with.

Toni Christiansen

Inspired by her studies in the Soviet Union, Greece, and Fulbright scholarships in India as an educator writing curriculum for secondary teachers on cultural awareness and  diversity, Toni Christiansen’s second career began when she joined the US Agency for International Development (USAID) as an International Development Intern in 1979.  Introduction to various leadership, management, and negotiation styles by dynamic officers and mentors in
USAID/Washington’s Latin America and Caribbean Bureau and the Middle East prepared her well for working with diverse teams and country representatives.

The USAID knowledge and experience advancing programs and contracts in many challenging environments proved to be an excellent platform for her transition to an international career in the private sector after retiring from USAID in 2003.

Although cooking and auto repair were never among Toni’s top interests, after retirement from USAID, she was hired as Chief Operating Officer (COO) and General Manager of a start-up Jordanian company that grew to be a multimillion-dollar catering business. She joined a second company as COO and Regional Vice-President for Business Development, with a leading,multibillion-dollar U.S./Jordanian/Saudi Arabian company dealing with U.S.
Government vehicle maintenance, design-build, supply chain management, and food supply contracts. During the time she worked for ME companies, Toni lived in Dubai, U.A.E., Jordan and traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Central Asia.

Most recently, Toni has consulted on contracts related to demand-based workforce development, India/Afghan hospital and university partnerships, and a policy paper for an Afghan master’s degree for Education Leadership and Management. Of late, she developed a business/design curriculum for Afghan women entrepreneurs that is featured on “The Diplomatic Society Review” website. Toni also moderated a high-level United Nations Development Program panel on Syrian refugee issues in Jordan and presented the findings
at a European Bank for Reconstruction and Development donor meeting in London. She also serves on education, business boards and is a partner of a company doing business in Mozambique.

Toni’s experience in C-Suites and as an executive in both diplomatic and corporate entities has been invaluable in advancing business/development goals, leading multicultural teams, and achieving compliant results. That said, throughout her careers, her dedication, cultivated at USAID, to economic growth emphasizing education and workforce preparedness endures.

In her leisure time, Toni swims, skis, and travels to see her multi-lingual daughter who is  in Geneva, Switzerland working for a non-profit.  Toni currently resides in the Washington DC area.


David Cohen

New Jersey born and raised, David Cohen earned undergraduate (Rutgers) and graduate (NYU) degrees before joining USAID in 1969.  For the next 30 years, he served in Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and several USAID/W offices before taking on a number of senior executive positions overseas. They included Deputy and Acting Director in Guyana (1980-82); Deputy and Mission Director in Bolivia (1982-87); and Mission Director in Panama (1987), Haiti (1990-93) and Sri Lanka (1994-1997).  David also served two years as the USAID faculty member at the National War College.  After 30 years, he retired but rejoined USAID as the Administrator’s liaison to the US military Southern Command after the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

David has dedicated the past ten years of his USAID retirement to building and improving the UAA as an active member of the Executive Committee, webmaster, and mentor.  His long, wide-ranging and distinguished USAID career made him a natural to start a pilot UAA Mentoring Program with senior managers in USAID’s Bureau for Europe and Eurasia and expand it very successfully to other parts the Agency.  This program stands as one of the most significant UAA achievements in collaboration with USAID. Eleven years later, he is still deeply engaged with the program where he maintains contact, and some mentoring relationships, with multiple USAID mentees.

A former Mission Director turned WordPress techie, David has given UAA members an online place to belong, to communicate, and to learn.  In. 2011, David led the design and implementation of a full re-make of the website, which he managed for eight years — both for content and technical needs.  David’s post-retirement activities at UAA have had a profound impact on USAID activities in communities and countries overseas through his work with active USAID employees through the Mentoring Program.  Moreover, the informational network he has created through the extensive UAA website provides research opportunities to help others in educational efforts both in the United States and abroad.  His influence is broadly recognized and greatly appreciated in the international development and humanitarian assistance world.

David’s own words summarize the pride and the sense of purpose among so many USAID retirees that belong to UAA:  “I have long thought that working in USAID is a calling.  It becomes part of our personal definitions, something that is a matter of pride of association.  To stop working for AID does not mean that one ceases to care about the things that have been important and fascinating for most of one’s adult life.  The UAA provides us with a way of continuing to connect with all that.”

David’s volunteerism also engages him in community service closer to home at the Arlington Free Clinic where he has been a long-time volunteer.  The clinic provides free, high-quality healthcare to low-income, uninsured people living in Arlington County.

Jock Conly
Jock Conly works as a full-time gardener in Granby, Massachusetts. The job doesn’t pay much (a few tomatoes), but it rewards him with tangible results. Before his gardening career, Jock was a USAID Foreign Service Officer for 29 years (1977-2013).  A former PCV in Sierra Leone, Jock joined A.I.D. as an IDI after earning his MPA in economic development at Princeton.

Conly_Alumni_ProfileInspired by David Shear’s work in the drought-ridden Sahel, Jock requested Niger as his initial FS assignment. Tours in Bangladesh (1980-84) and Egypt (1984-87) followed. He returned to Washington for two years to work in the Office of Southern Africa Affairs. In 1989 Jock left for Pakistan to head the program office. A year later, he returned to AID/W for personal reasons. After eight years of developing strategy for a new assistance program to Eastern Europe, heading the CDIE evaluation division and directing the program office in the ENI Bureau, he attended the National War College. In 1998 he left for Kenya as mission director. He and his family arrived less than a week before Al Qaida bombed the embassies in Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam. Jock, Buff Mackenzie and Steve Wisecarver were the only USAID officers in the chancery when the bomb went off and were among the lucky ones. USAID awarded colleagues Lee Ann Ross and Mike Trott the Distinguished Honor Awards for their roles in the recovery effort. In 2001 Jock returned to AID/W. He retired two years later.

Jock worked for Save the Children and then joined Booz Allen Hamilton. In 2009 USAID asked Jock to return as mission director in the Caucasus. In 2011,the Administrator asked him to be mission director in Pakistan. Jock agreed to a one-year assignment. It was his most difficult assignment. “Challenge #3 was the inability of the USAID staff to travel widely to monitor projects, due to the security situation. Challenge #2 was endemic corruption and the unwillingness of the local political leadership to make important reforms. And challenge #1 was the redundant layers of leadership in USAID and the State Department who wanted to do my job for me. ”

Jock retired “for the last time” in July. He and Laurie have retired to Granby, Massachusetts, eight miles south of Amherst and one mile from Mount Holyoke College. Their colonial farmhouse, built in 1746, gives an old project officer plenty of projects to keep him busy. Daughter Claire (a business consultant in San Francisco), son Matthew (a lawyer in New York) and daughter Gillian (a third grade teacher in Washington, DC) all visited for Thanksgiving and plan future R&Rs from their own demanding careers in Granby. The house, by the way, has three guest rooms for visiting USAID alumni. Contact:

Bette Cook
Winner, 2015 UAA Alumni Award

COOKBette Cook joined the International Cooperation Administration, USAID’s predecessor, in 1959.  She began her 42-year career in Tunisia and then moved on to Vietnam in 1963. Upon returning to Washington, DC, she worked in the Vietnam Bureau, the Latin America and the Caribbean Bureau and finally for the Bureau for Legislative and Public Affairs.  Bette was well known and well respected on Capitol Hill.  As Congressional relations officer, she managed the preparation and submission of USAID’s budget request to Congress for 23 years and assisted all Presidential nominees for senior agency positions through the Senate confirmation process for over 20 years. Bette retired in 2004, only to return four years later as a consultant for strategic communications with Congress.  She is proud of her USAID experience that spanned Foreign and Civil Services, overseas and Washington and direct hire and contract employment.
Before leaving USAID in 2012, Bette attended medical meetings at Walter Reed Medical Center at Bethesda and the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital and was moved by the young men and women struggling with the challenges of their war-related injuries.  She wanted to show them how much she appreciated their service to the country.  So once retired, she volunteered with the American Red Cross because of its solid historic partnership with the military.  She also had a warm, personal memory of the organization: a Red Cross worker had visited her home to tell the family of her older sister’s death in Japan. Bette had also witnessed Red Cross international humanitarian efforts when she accompanied Congressional delegations overseas.
Bette currently serves as the Red Cross Station Chair, the lead volunteer position at Fort Belvoir and Quantico Marine Corps Base.  As the alter ego to the Station Manager, she works with 400 volunteers to provide services to members of the Armed Forces and their families.  Bette averages a 50-hour workweek assisting members of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and Reserves, both active duty and retirees. She speaks frequently to the military community – for example, 21 events in August and September — about Red Cross services to the Armed Forces and also devotes one-day each week to work at Fort Belvoir Hospital’s physical therapy clinic to interact with the wounded warriors.  Fort Belvoir Hospital, a new state-of-the art medical facility, which is part of the Walter Reed Medical system, has a facility for traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress care. Bette has published articles in USAID’s 50th Anniversary Impact Blog, the Foreign Service Journal, and Front Lines.
Bette lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband Mel, a retired Hall of Fame U.S. Army aviator who served during three wars (World war II, Korea and Vietnam), and son Joe, a former PGA golf pro.  Bette is always happy to hear from her friends and may be reached at:

Carol Dabbs

Carol Dabbs

Recent college graduate Lizzie Dabbs with her Aunt Carol in front of Chateau Siaurac

August 23, 2011 at 1:51 p.m. an earthquake rippled through Virginia during Carol Dabbs’ first-month of retirement.  Was Mother Nature showing her disapproval?

After 35 years of hard work, Carol relishes getting enough sleep, lunching with friends in Shirlington and attending plays and movies.  Not one to remain inactive, Carol has joined exercise classes, two book groups and continues to be very involved in her local community.  She’s been Treasurer and Membership VP in the Arlington Branch of the American Association of University Women, Board Member and Secretary of the Fairlington Citizen’s Association and has served on an Arlington School Board committee to provide input for expansion of her neighborhood elementary school.  She remains committed to a neighborhood dining group she organized in 1993. She’s held elective office in the International Health Section of the American Public Health Association since the early 1990’s, and has joined UAA’s Membership Committee, crafting the questionnaires and reports for the evaluation of the Annual General Meeting and the Annual Membership Survey. Carol serves on the Board of the Public-Private Alliance Foundation, which is working on an alcohol stove project in Haiti, and was active on the Advisory Council for the Mount Carmel House program for formerly homeless women.
Carol also enjoys traveling with her four nieces to celebrate high school and college graduations.  She has taken them to Italy, France (twice) and Japan.  Graduates’ wishes and Carol’s travel bucket list will determine destinations for future trips, which usually include other family members.   She also traveled to Antarctica with high school friends, collecting the 7th continent punch on her passport.  Carol plans to produce a polished version of her 10 Rules for Successful Travel, based on TDYs and personal travel, which begins with “Conserve cash” and “Eat when food is presented.”
Originally from Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Carol Dabbs resides in Arlington, Virginia. She joined USAID as an International Development Intern to pursue her interest in international family planning. During her 35 year career, she worked in 29 countries on public health programs in gradually widening circles, starting with family planning, expanding to child survival, infectious diseases, maternal health, and non-communicable diseases, as well as women’s and water programs; serving as a program officer for worldwide programs; and developing the public health budgets for State and USAID in the now Office of Foreign Assistance Resources. This included assignments in LAC, now-GH, AFR, now-PPL, and the Foreign Assistance Bureau, and made good use of both her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and French from Duke University and master’s degree in public health administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Carol welcomes contact from former colleagues at

Anne Dammarell
Winner, 2014 UAA Alumni Award – International Category

Anne Dammarell retired from USAID’s Foreign Service in 1988, having worked in participant training and later as a program officer. Since then she has volunteered on three different continents. First, in Egypt she taught for three years with the Maryknoll brothers, who had set up an English language program in the Coptic Catholic Seminary in Maadi, Cairo, as part of their post-elementary education for young seminarians, primarily farmers from Upper Egypt. She later returned to Egypt for three summers, 1991-93 to teach at the Maryknoll English program for the seminarians in Alexandria.

In the 1990’s, Anne taught English to Latino immigrants at the Sacred Heart Center in Adams Morgan and to several immigrant neighbors she befriended who needed to improve their language skills. She also earned a M.A. degree in Middle East Studies at Georgetown University, studied theology at the Washington Theological Union, and volunteered at the White House answering mail.

Between 2000 and 2007, Anne volunteered at the Sitar Arts Center in Adams Morgan, a project to advance critical life skills of underserved children and youth through visual, performing and digital arts education that is not available in the public schools. These children of poor working parents came to the Center for classes and practice after public school classes were finished. Volunteers and major organizations contributed equipment, musical instruments and instruction, and a variety of performance and technical training. Anne taught the children writing, play composition, knitting and more English. She also held classes for mothers and grandmothers who came to escort the children home, in English and literacy, and even basic creative writing for some.

In 2011 the Maryknoll Brothers again asked Anne to teach English, this time to Buddhist monks at a Wat located in a working area of Bangkok. She volunteered for 3-month periods each year between 2011 and the spring of 2014. She taught both monks and laity ranging from young students and workers to retired men and women. With few exceptions these are a poor and underserved population with little access to education, but with ambition and a strong desire to learn. Buddhist monks value education and wish to prepare for a working life outside the monkhood. Anne taught novices and young monks from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Burma as well as Thailand, between the ages of 14 and 21. Many were selected by their communities based on perceived potential; most were expected to leave the monkhood and return to work in their countries. Those who remain monks frequently teach English to other monks.

The overarching purpose of these volunteer efforts has been to address the needs of the poor and marginalized, to help them individually through access to education, and therefore to find better employment and contribute to the common good of society as a whole.

Bob Dakan

Bob Dakan, a retired FSO, uses over 37 years of managing development programs in Asia and Africa as the basis for his Coaching career. A speaker of Indonesian, Lao, and Thai, his comfort in working in different cultures has enabled him to guide new entrants to USAID through its often impenetrable culture. Bob, who was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Indonesia (1963­65), began in USAID as a program/economic development officer, gaining supervisory experience in a series of assignments in Asia. He retired in 2000, having served as Mission Director (Belize) and Office Director in the LAC Bureau. Since USAID, he worked for several development partners in Asia, but after the 2004 tsunami, USAID called him back to Indonesia to provide support services for the construction of the 175­km Aceh Road. Bob is married to Maya Dakan and, when not coaching USAID employees, enjoys their four grandchildren.

George Deikun

George Deikun retired from USAID in 2009 as a Career Minister from his dream job of four years as Mission Director to India. He came to India from Kazakhstan where he served as the Regional Mission Director to the five Central Asian Republics while they were front line programs after the US intervention in Afghanistan. Over his 29­year career, he served as Deputy Mission Director in Russia and Haiti, Environmental Office Director in Egypt, General Development Office Director in Russia, and in numerous RHUDO assignments in South America, Caribbean and West Africa.

After retiring from USAID and with no lack of idealism, George joined the United Nations as the Director of UN Habitat’s Liaison and Humanitarian Affairs Office in Geneva, Switzerland. With his seven­-year stint at the UN he realized a lifelong goal of working with the brotherhood of nations addressing the world’s development and humanitarian challenges. He served as UN Habitat’s representative to the Interagency Standing Committee (IASC) which brings together all the major UN and NGO humanitarian actors to guide humanitarian policy, law and operations development. There, he led the development of the IASC’s first Strategy for Meeting Humanitarian Challenges in Urban Areas, using the resources of cities to respond to humanitarian crises rather than setting up camps and other inefficient responses. He led the same over thirty UN agencies, INGOs and Geneva­ based diplomatic missions in advocating an urban perspective in the formulation and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

After reaching the mandatory retirement age, George retired from the UN in 2015. His plan was to retire in Thailand for the following couple of years but he got offers from USAID that he couldn’t resist, bringing to USAID the benefit of his multi­lateral experience. He returned to Kazakhstan as the Regional Mission Director and gave strategic direction to the program, including a new US foreign policy initiative to reengage with the Central Asian states in trade, energy and security. He then joined RDMA as a senior strategic advisor to develop USAID’s first development cooperation strategy with the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). George is taking some time off to travel in Asia as he ponders his next steps. He just completed a tour of Sri Lanka’s five UNESCO World Heritage sites. He is using the extra time to deepen his practice of Tibetan Buddhism and study of other spiritual traditions, art history and history in general. He is also looking forward to getting his art collection out of storage. George welcomes reconnecting with colleagues. His personal email is

Regina Dennis – Nana

Regina Dennis­Nana survives life challenges. Her first trip to Africa was by train and boat from Brussels, where she had been studying French. Later, as a graduate student, she was a victim of sexual abuse, took the young white wrestler to court, sat on the witness stand for three hours, and saw justice prevail with an all­white jury and judge. She has survived four car accidents in Africa.

Still, nothing prepared her for the devastating 7.0 earthquake that shook Haiti on January 12, 2010. On that evening, she was working in the embassy and heard the Marine guard’s voice announce: “Get away from the windows; this is not a drill.” The earth shook; the Embassy’s ceiling and platforms fell, and papers flew. This experience brought home the value of appreciating and living each day to the fullest.

Regina worked for 20 years as a Development Anthropologist, focusing on food production and health care among agro­pastoral societies. Starting her USAID FSO career in 2001, she served in Nigeria, Ghana, Haiti and Guinea. In this capacity, she oversaw Agency policies and procedures to design, monitor and evaluate, budget for agricultural, health care, democracy and governance and educational programs.

Retirement in 2014 has enabled her to concentrate on projects she long had on the back burner. Settling in St. Louis, she renovated a 137 year­old Victorian house in an old neighborhood that is in the process of bouncing back. The home has become a meeting place for family and guests from around the world as well as for community events. Serving as a Division “F” Governor for Toastmasters International has smoothed her transition into St. Louis area. Regina also maintains an active membership in the Nimba Toastmasters club in Conakry, Guinea via Skype.

In 2015, she returned to Cameroon both for sorrowful and happy family events: the death of her husband and the wedding of a nephew, whom she promoted to become a medical doctor. In 2015, she traveled to France to witness the christening of a grandchild, and in March 2016, to Senegal on a “weekend” trip to attend an extravagant wedding for a godson. Most recently, she welcomed the arrival of her fourth grandchild. For the rest of 2017, she anticipates getting involved in her community with gardening projects and serving as a role model for youth interested in international careers. She also plans to promote trade and business with Africa and write books. Taking care of elderly family members is a time consuming, but necessary, element of her life. All in all, she is enjoying her retirement.

Rose Marie Depp

Rose Marie retired 15 years ago after a career that began as a USAID summer intern clerk-typist more than thirty years earlier.  She served in Washington in the Near East, Africa, Legislative Affairs, Policy and Management Bureaus plus assignments in Africa (Tanzania, Somalia, Rwanda, The Gambia and Zimbabwe).  Her career was blessed by the ‘warm fires made by others’ and taught by the gurus who may have been heavy with red pens, but who also always took time to teach.

After retiring in Sisters, Oregon, she learned to play, starting with “Sally” basket-making shared by women from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.  She returned to oil painting learned in her youth and then threw them out as too fussy.  She tried water colors and abandoned them as too hard.  In between were ten years of mosaic-making that became a bit too much.  After a “let’s do around the toilet” project turned into 100 square feet of stories and seven years of sitting on a cement floor, she’s back to water colors.

Her love affair with Zimbabwe where she served as Mission Director, the frequency of post-retirement visits and length of the Central Oregon winter resulted in purchase of a property on a hill in Harare to which she has fled each winter since 2013.  There she is renovating an old property and transforming the manicured lawns into an urban forest.

Inspired by the South African leaders and how they contributed to the 1994 democratic transition, she studied their attempt at truth-telling and reconciliation.  She then ventured into peacebuilding by addressing unhealed trauma especially that resulting from organized state violence. As a trustee, she is gratified that Tree of Life Zimbabwe is gaining international recognition and affirmation through research on how the brain reacts to trauma and the efficacity of non-pharmaceutical, community-based interventions.

After serving on NGO boards and sitting on the ‘grantee’ side of the table for more than a decade, she’s concluded we need a new paradigm for engaging in real partnership with indigenous NGOs.  She invites dialogue with other alumni to explore their experiences.

The annual treks to Zim have been enriched by new colleagues and friends who are teaching her about becoming part of ubuntu wherein individualism is less valued than what one contributes to another’s personhood.

She encourages everyone who is able to sign up as a UAA Mentor and notes it is gratifying when you see your mentees succeed.

Harriett Destler


Is Harriett Destler retired?  After 60 years of working in development for the Peace Corps, USAID, and Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the answer is “probably yes.”  As her husband once noted, “If they leave the plane door open, she is on it.”

Throughout her career Harriett has had the good fortune to be present at the creation of major development programs as well as the methodology of designing, implementing and evaluating programs.  In 1961, just after she graduated from college, she came to Washington to work for Bill Moyers to recruit Peace Corps Volunteers.  Since there were few PC Volunteers in the field, her accounts of what it was like to be a volunteer were original.

Harriett went on to serve on the Peace Corps staff in East Pakistan (Bangladesh), where she became acutely aware of the special needs of women.  So, on her return, she went to work for USAID in the newly formed Office of Population. There, among other things, she helped design the first family planning programs in Africa.  She left the Office of Population to help develop USAID’s global guidance in planning and evaluation.  She co-authored USAID’s country-level strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation.

Her dual interest in health and in program design and evaluation provided her an opportunity to work globally, although mostly based in Washington.  At last count, she had worked in 65 countries, most multiple times.  While serving in USAID, she was awarded the prestigious George C. Marshall award.  She then served a stint for MCC on chronic disease in Mongolia.

Harriett is a tireless traveler.  Her most recent trip was an anniversary present for her husband.  She didn’t reveal their destination of Cambodia and Laos until they were on the plane to Bangkok. At home in Virginia, Harriett has enjoyed serving on the Great Falls Historical Society Board.  Great Falls has a long history dating back to when the native Americans hunted on the banks of the Potomac to the creation of the Nike Missile site. She trained a German Shepherd dog, Muddy Creek Tempest, to become a nationally certified therapy dog, and they visit nursing homes.

And, finally, she and Mac hope you will stop in for a drink at their turn of the century, Sears and Roebuck farmhouse next to Great Falls National Park or their mountain cabin in Evergreen, Colorado where they spend their summers.


Clinton (Tony) Dogget

Born into a USAID family, Tony Doggett spent the bulk of his childhood in Greece, Pakistan, Vietnam, Thailand, and Kenya. His own 23­ year career with USAID began as an International Development Intern (IDI) in 1980 and took him to Niger, Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire, and Zimbabwe, plus some exotic corners of USAID/Washington, including the Cambodia, Cameroon, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, and Haiti desks and two fun­filled years with the E&E Bureau during the Kosovo crisis. After formally retiring in 2003, he worked for the American Institutes for Research as a proposal writer and manager of USAID­ and USDOL­funded education projects in Haiti, Djibouti, Yemen, Southern Africa, and Macedonia. Before long he was drawn back to the USAID mother ship and found himself backstopping Millennium Challenge Corporation “Threshold” programs in twenty­odd countries. He then spent three and half years as an FSL program officer in the Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs. Since 2014, Tony has been providing intermittent program office support to the USAID missions in Morocco, Mozambique, Egypt, and Tunisia as a PSC. Between overseas gigs he outfits gentlemen with high quality suits, shirts, and ties at Wm. Fox & Co., a renowned Washington, DC haberdashery.

Tony has played the guitar since he was in high school in Bangkok in the sixties and has three record albums currently available on iTunes, the most well­known of which is a collection of twelve original songs about life and love in the Foreign Service called Please Don’t Send Me To Zaire. Tony met his wife Anne in 1977 and asked her to marry him pretty much on the spot after hearing her sing a few Bonnie Raitt and Joni Mitchell numbers. The two have a daughter (Elizabeth) who lives in Munich and three sons (Clinton, Ben, and Bradley), all of whom live in the DC area and have self­published record albums of their own. Grandchildren are popping up left and right­ three at last count with two more on the way this summer.

Tony is very happy as a post­career­but not “retired”­development professional. In fact, he may never retire fully. He thinks it’s wonderful being able to continue making positive contributions around the world while still being a part of the USAID family; being able to choose his own assignments; and not having to write or receive performance evaluations. When not busy being a program officer or haberdashing, Tony enjoys making music with family and friends, playing with the grandchildren, swimming, and taking lots and lots of pictures.

Alan Donovan


Alan Donovan joined USAID in October 1966 as a Management Intern and served in both Washington and Nigeria. He left the Agency in 1969 energized by the African spirit and culture and moved to Kenya to work on the preservation of African culture and national identifies. Along with Joseph Murumbi, first Foreign Minister and former vice president of Independent Kenya, Alan founded the African Heritage Gallery in 1972. The first Pan African Gallery on the continent, the Gallery once had 500 artisans and 51 outlets worldwide. Through the Gallery’s annual African Heritage Festival, African art and crafts were internationalized. In 1995, the World Bank described African Heritage Gallery as “the largest, most organized craft retail and wholesale operation in Africa “. Architectural Digest’s article described the building as “… a vision of usefulness informed by the African genius for decoration.” Alan had got his inspiration for the house from the mud mosques of Mali, the mud castles of southern Morocco, and the coral buildings of East Africa’s coastal strip. The house has recently been gazetted as a Kenyan national monument.

As Chairman of the Murumbi Trust, Alan has secured a Ford Foundation grant to restore, interpret, preserve and label the Murumbi historic collection of political, artistic, textile, material and cultural artifacts, displayed now in permanent glass showcases at the Kenya National Archives and at the new Murumbi African Heritage Collections at the Old Provincial Commissioners Office in downtown Nairobi. Alan is presently compiling an autobiography of Murumbi based entirely on transcripts Murumbi left behind that will provide an important insider’s view of independent Kenya’s early history.

Alan also worked closely with the Friends of Nairobi National Park and organized several fund raisers for this organization after he closed African Heritage in 2003. The African Heritage has stunning views of the park.

Alan is now looking to preserve the collection, house and vision through collaboration with an American institution. A delegation from American University recently visited African Heritage House to discuss creating a center to promote African history and politics, conservation and sustainability, development and heritage as well as African art and culture.

Alan was nominated for the UAA Alumni of the Year award in 2014 and was one of the finalists. He welcomes hearing from his USAID friends and may be reached at

Bob Dubinsky

After more than 50 years of involvement in U.S. and international housing and urban development concerns, Bob Dubinsky remains active in these issues. He is the Board Chairman of IHC Global, an advocacy and information dissemination policy­ focused NGO coalition of 35 organizations in Washington, D.C. that supports raising the profile of sustainable cities and improved housing in the developing world. IHC Global was established 10 years ago by former USAID employees Peter Kimm and Jack Howley and is supported by Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), the National Association of Realtors (NAR), foundations, and members of the housing coalition. IHC works with a variety of partners, publishes a weekly newsletter, organizes events and seminars and is involved in policy dialogues with a variety of domestic and international organizations. Its web site is:

Early in his career Bob worked at HUD in the Johnson Administration and for various consultants that support U.S. urban development activities. He was the RAND Field Manager that tested the concept of housing allowances and vouchers that led to the development of HUD’s Section 8 Program. For 10 years he served as a USAID PSC and was fortunate enough to manage housing and urban development projects in Barbados and Jamaica. The Jamaica case was an innovative public­ private project to revitalize downtown Kingston. In the early 1990s he also helped design USAID’s Office of Housing Initiatives in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Subsequently, for the International City County Management Association (ICMA) he managed housing, decentralization and municipal management projects in Romania, Bulgaria, Poland and Hungary.

Bob is married with four step children and lives in Washington, D.C. Between trips to visit grandchildren in Annapolis and Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Bob is an active member of the UAA and InterAction and makes it a point to be in touch with the cadre of people in Washington who believe urbanization and how the world responds to it is one of the most significant development issues of our time. Retirement is not his goal. His personal email is

Sharon Epstein

Sharon Epstein has had a very interesting life before, during and after her time in USAID.

Her career began with nine years in the U.N. Fund for Population Activities. Although the typical U.N. agency at the time employed only aboEpstein_Alumni_Profileut 2% women, UNFPA had about 45% young, committed professional women who were encouraged and supported by senior management especially her mentor Dr. Nafis Sadik. Sharon opened the first UNFPA office in Bangladesh in 1972 as UNFPA Field Coordinator to that country and managed its $10 million program. She then went on to become the UNFPA Regional Coordinator in the South Pacific and Papua New Guinea and then became Coordinator in Pakistan.

In 1984, Steve Sinding and Michael Jordan encouraged Sharon to join USAID. She began in the Bureau of Science and Technology and then moved to the Asia Bureau. She subsequently served in Bangladesh where she was Director for Population and Health.

In 1989, Sharon returned to the U.S. to care for her parents. While in Washington, she served in the Africa, Asia and Latin America/Caribbean Bureaus. Still unable to accept overseas postings because of family responsibilities, she resigned from the Agency in 1997.

During the next four years, she led the Focus on Young Adults Program, a USAID-funded Pathfinder International project addressing adolescent reproductive health. Following her parents’ deaths, she became Director of the Healthy Women in Georgia Project, a USAID-funded John Snow reproductive health project based in the Imereti region of Georgia, roughly four and a half hours from the capital, Tblisi.

Sharon then worked as a consultant in international health, as she has at intervals throughout her career. In 2009, she was reappointed to the Foreign Service in USAID and served as Team Leader for Health in Nigeria and, most recently, in Afghanistan.

Sharon retired to Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 2013 and now spends quality time with her many friends, including pooch-sitting for Marco Polo who belongs to a friend. She has recently organized a reunion of USAID Alumni in North Carolina. Like other retirees who are not entirely retired, Sharon “keeps her oar in” as a consultant in international health and development.

John Eriksson

Winner of UAA Alumnus of the Year 2018, International Category

John Eriksson served 25 years in USAID from 1970 to 1995 both in Washington and overseas. His service included as economist in the Program and Policy Coordination Bureau, Deputy Administrator in the Science and Technology Bureau, Deputy Mission Director in Sri Lanka (1978-80), Mission Director in Thailand (1986-90), and head of Center for Development Information and Evaluation (1990-95. On retirement, John received the Administrator’s Distinguished Career Service Award. After USAID, John went on to serve, and still serves, as a consultant for the World Bank. Prior to joining USAID, he taught economics at Arizona State and Williams College. John received a PhD in economics from UC Berkeley in 1966.
John’s main occupation for many years, apart from his professional work, and the reason for his selection as the 2018 Alumnus of the Year award for international activities, is Global Peace Services USA.   As GPS president and co-founder since 1998, John has played a central role in shaping the organization whose purpose is exploring, catalyzing, initiating, and communicating diverse approaches to peacebuilding and peacemaking, across the age spectrum and encompassing diverse ethnic, religious, cultural, and class perspectives.
Through John’s concerted efforts, the GPS board has been a microcosm of the world’s diverse ethnic, religious and cultural traditions. Some of GPS’s successes include:
  • Peace Power 2000, a comprehensive month-long program focusing on different fundamental components of peace-building, and held in Washington, DC, with 22 participants from 13 states and across the age spectrum.
  • Two decades of collaboration with a wide array of academic institutions, introducing students, faculty, and community members to diverse peacebuilding perspectives.
  • Special presentations for GPS members and the broader public by both U.S. and international individuals who have played significant roles in peacekeeping.
  • Engagement of professions with significant impact on both individual and community life in peacebuilding and peacemaking activities worldwide.
  • A semiannual newsletter that provides an open forum for a wide range of ideas and non-violent approaches on conflicts, violence, and reconciliation and that introduces new voices into the peacebuilding and peacemaking conversation.
  • A Web site that makes available the GPS newsletters and a compilation of bibliographic and other resources.
  • A monthly Peace Dispatch publication which highlights noteworthy publications, events, and news of interest regarding peacemaking.
While John Eriksson has formally left USAID, in his ongoing work with Global Peace Services USA in furthering human development, reducing violence, and strengthening collective action in support of social justice, he powerfully continues the agency’s mission.
John and his wife Lois, an ordained Lutheran minister, have two children. They reside in Sarasota, Florida and may be reached at

Paula Feeney

Paula Feeney served in USAID for 27 years, including eight years in the Senior Foreign Service. Her long term overseas assignments included Georgia (regional office for the Caucasus), Kazakhstan (regional office for Central Asia), the U.S. Mission in Geneva, Barbados (regional office for the Caribbean), and Nicaragua. In Washington, she directed the Office of European Country Affairs and before that the Health Office in LAC.

Since leaving USAID in 2003, Paula continues working full time in the international development arena at Cardno Emerging Markets USA, focusing on business development in the infrastructure and environment, health, governance and economic growth sectors. However, she does take time these days to smell the flowers, for example pictured here at Singapore’s Botanical Gardens with its most wonderful collection of orchids. Her children, Alison and Will, are undergraduates at William and Mary and the University of Virginia.

Lloyd Feinberg

Betsy and Lloyd Feinberg

When he left Providence in 1961, Lloyd Feinberg swore he would never move back to Rhode Island. Yet in 2012, a year after retiring from a 27-year career with USAID, he and his wife Betsy Marcotte bought a home on Narragansett Bay in Saunderstown, RI.

Lloyd attributes much of the satisfaction he found in his 45-plus years in international development to having been in the right place at the right time. For example, in the Philippines, he was one of the first Peace Corps volunteers to become involved with rice production and the International Rice Research Institute during the early years of the “Green Revolution.”

After long-term assignments with various organizations in Nepal, Indonesia, Ethiopia and Ecuador, Lloyd joined USAID in 1984. As a health officer in Washington, he spent five years managing the Agency’s lead diarrheal disease control project in the “Child Survival Revolution.” An official 1991 trip to war-torn Ethiopia (where he had opened PLAN International’s first Africa program in 1973/1974) sparked what became a 20-year commitment to assisting war victims, vulnerable children and victims of torture.

While working overseas, Lloyd particularly enjoyed engaging with both local and expat communities. Little did he realize that the move back to Rhode Island would offer an entirely new and enriching community experience.

Lloyd’s new passion is his “apprenticeship” with two traditional wooden boat-builders at a nearby shipyard. He spends many hours each week sanding, varnishing and repairing recreational and commercial wooden boats, and listening to fascinating stories about boating and the area’s rich seafaring history.  He and Betsy are involved with their local yacht club, an active “Indivisible” group, the small but formidable Willett Free Library, a nearby yoga studio, and, most recently, the Kingston Chamber Music Festival (where Betsy is Board Chair).

They enjoy riding their “recumbent” bicycles, and Lloyd still dreams (wistfully) of doing a third cross-country ride.  He and Betsy first rode across the USA in 2003.  Lloyd repeated the trip in 2009 with four old Peace Corps friends.

His return to Rhode Island has also led to more frequent and deeper connections with childhood friends, which he considers a special gift.

Once again, Lloyd feels he is in the right place at the right time. He marvels at his second chance to appreciate the people, place and history of Rhode Island, and to examine his roots and early years in Providence from a different perspective. He would be pleased to hear from old friends and colleagues at

 Larry Garber

Larry Garber completed his second stint with USAID in January 2017.  He initially joined USAID in 1993 and played a leading role in establishing the Center for Democracy and Governance in 1994.  As part of an informal detail to the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, he advised on preparations for the first post-Dayton elections in Bosnia in 1996.

Larry was assigned to head the USAID West Bank/Gaza in 1999 and served there until July 2004 through the second Palestinian intifada, which affected all aspects of the Mission’s operations.   Despite the difficult times, the Mission continued to implement a broad range of programs, while maintaining the confidence of Palestinian and Israeli counterparts,

After a five-year hiatus as CEO of the New Israel Fund, Larry returned to USAID and led a working group that designed the new Bureau of Policy Planning and Learning (PPL).  After heading PPL during the start-up period, he was assigned to the Africa Bureau where he focused on the Agency’s support for the 2011 independence referendum in South Sudan.  In 2015, he was detailed to the Eisenhower School of National Security and Resources Strategy where he served as an adjunct professor for two years.

During his first stint with the Agency, Larry met Gayle Schwartz, who was working in the Africa Bureau, and they married in 1997.  Alex, their older son, was born before they left for their overseas assignment.  Josh, their younger son, was born in Jerusalem, eight days after 9/11 and during the height of the intifada; fittingly, he graduated high school in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Since leaving USAID, Larry has worked as a short-term consultant with USAID missions in Mozambique, Serbia and Tunisia, served as the head of election observer missions in Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe, and as an adjunct faculty teaching courses on international development.  He enjoys serving as a UAA mentor for a USAID Deputy Mission Director and convening his six fellow former West Bank/Gaza Mission Directors for conversations with their former Palestinian counterparts.

Currently, he is bringing the lessons of his work overseas back home by serving as a founding Board member of the Election Reformers Network , which provides global expertise in support of U.S. electoral reform, and by participating in the National Task Force on Election Crises , which seeks to ensure a free and fair 2020  election in the United States.

Larry now lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, where he has been sheltering with Gayle, who works in USAID’s Middle East Bureau, and their two sons, who will both attend the University of Maryland this fall.

For further details on Larry’s very interesting career, see his ADST Oral History by clicking here.

David Garms
Winner, 2016 UAA Alumni Award

David Garms is the winner of this year’s UAA Alumnus of the Year award in the domestic category, for his work on land and soil conservation in Virginia, as well as for volunteer work with agencies serving people with disabilities.
Working with the Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and the Potomac Conservancy, Dave secured funding for innovative conservation programs to protect wetlands and protect soil against erosion. Then he put the new concepts into practice, protecting 15 acres of wetlands and stream via a USDA easement, and planting four acres of hardwood trees and 10 acres of native grasses. Virginia’s Department of Forestry has recognized this work for the forestry management practices carried out on his 225-acre farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
Because the projects were a first for the county, Dave turned his farm into a training site for farmers interested in land conservation, carrying the work beyond demonstration and into implementation by area farmers, earning recognition from the SWCD for this training program. That the projects, begun early in the 2000s, are still continuing is evidence of their sustainability and potential for larger impact on the watershed.
Coupled with the work on soil and wetlands conservation has been person-to-person volunteer work with individual clients of Fairfax County’s social service agencies, for example, tutoring an autistic boy, assisting people with disabilities in daily activities, as well as helping them deal with various bureaucracies, the latter being an area he knows especially well! Although of narrower impact, this work is noteworthy for the patience, skill, and sensitivity needed to work on seemingly mundane tasks with individuals with special needs.

Dave’s USAID career reflects a long-time commitment to rural development, beginning with his farming experience in Minnesota. Starting as a Rural Development Officer in Vietnam in 1968 and then Bangladesh, he expanded his scope by moving into Program Officer work in the Philippines, Malawi, and Sri Lanka, along with a stint as India Desk Officer. That experience culminated in his appointment as USAID Representative for Food Aid, U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Rome. Upon his retirement from that position, he applied his experience in rural development and program design to the above projects promoting land conservation and improved forestry management, which he expects to continue well into the future.

Judith Gilmore
Winner, 2015 UAA Alumni Award

GilmoreAfter retiring from USAID in 2006, Judy Gilmore has concentrated on issues of human rights and conflict resolution.  During her career with USAID, she had focused on all aspects of development, local capacity building, NGOs, and monitoring and evaluation.  She held senior manager positions in Technical Resources in Africa, the Sahel, Latin America’s Regional Sustainable Development, East Asia, Private Voluntary Cooperation and PL480.
Instead of returning to USAID as a contractor, Judy trained to become a mediator and joined the Board of the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) and Mediators Beyond Borders (MBB).  She did, however, continue her evaluation work in the area of human trafficking and carried out a 5-country evaluation in Asia for Microsoft.  Even a broken foot couldn’t deter her, and she continues to work in this arena.
“Mediation has been the perfect second career for me.  It keeps me in touch with people’s daily lives and struggles and has taught me enormous empathy and listening skills.”  Judy began in community mediation, branched out to the DC and MD court systems, the federal government, Montgomery Country Human Rights and the States’ Attorney’s Office, and most recently to DC’s Office of Police Complaints.  Her cases range from small claims, custody disputes, employment discrimination, and misdemeanors to police/community relationships and restorative justice.  Judy calculates she has mediated close to 1,000 cases since 2006.
Her family has also introduced her to new vistas.  She has traveled with her husband Rick to Russia, Australia, China and Italy while he continues his work in agribusiness and food safety. Judy also serves on the selection committee of the Rosenthal fellowship program that Rick runs, keeping both of them on the cutting edge of youth in international relations.  Judy’s daughters and their husbands are all artists – novelist, video performance sculptor, painter, and conductor, living in New York.  She attends as many of their shows/performances in the U.S. and overseas as possible.  Her two grandsons, ages 2 and 3, keep her on her toes, both physically and mentally.  “I never thought I’d be talking about bulldozers and going down slides at this stage of life.”
Retirement has allowed Judy to venture into a series of new beginnings as well as spend time with friends, exercise, attend book club and women’s finance group meetings and take history courses at the University of Maryland and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI).  Judy would be pleased to hear from USAID friends at

 Stephen H. Grant

Stephen H. Grant was a nominee for (domestic) Alumnus of the Year. Since retirement, he has served in the volunteer position of Senior Fellow at the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (ADST), where he lectures at FSI on African culture, edits oral histories, and edits diplomatic memoirs. His biography of Peter Strickland (New Academia, 2007) was an “ADST­DACOR Diplomats and Diplomacy Book.” Strickland was the 1st US Consul to Senegal, living on Goree Island; the sea captain kept a fascinating journal with daily entries from 1857 to 1921.

Steve’s second biography was Collecting Shakespeare: The Story of Henry and Emily Folger (Johns Hopkins Press, 2014). In it, he tells the amazing story of how a Brooklyn couple during the Gilded Age quietly assembled the largest collection of Shakespeareana in the world. The Folger Shakespeare Library that they founded in 1932­­only two blocks from the U.S. Capitol­ has become a worldclass research institution. Michael Dirda, Pulitzer Prize winning book reviewer for the Washington Post, wrote: “In Collecting Shakespeare, Stephen H. Grant provides not just a biography of the ‘onlie begetters’ (founders) of this astonishing library, but also an account of the worlds in which the Folgers lived.The result is a superlative book … crisply written and packed with facts and anecdotes …” (WP, April 24, 2014). The president of the Shakespeare Guild, John Andrews, penned enthusiastically, “This book will fill a major gap in our understanding of how one of America’s most influential institutions came to be.” Steve has spoken about the Folgers at historical societies, universities, private clubs, resorts, community centers, churches, book festivals, and libraries. His venues have included widely known institutions such as Library of Congress, National Press Club, National Arts Club (New York), and San Francisco Public Library. Identifying himself as a former Foreign Service officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development, Grant has given 70 presentations across the US and six in England and Scotland.

In 2015, Steve joined the Arlington Neighborhood Village, now 180 members strong. On April 1, 2017, he was the only member asked to address 150 villagers or potential villagers in an AARP­led program in the Arlington Central Library with an illustrated talk entitled “I Modified My House.” As a spokesperson for the Arlington chapter of the Village Movement he has shown a strong example to others in how to deal aggressively with the issues and challenges of Aging.

William (Bill) Hammink

Bill Hammink retired from USAID in 2017 after more than 36 years serving in nine different countries with
USAID. Bill married his grad school love, Marie-Eve, in 1980, joined USAID in 1981, and headed off together to Swaziland in 1982 to start a great career mainly overseas. Their two children were born in Swaziland and their older daughter picked up the local SiSwati language before they all headed off to Senegal and Wolof for their second tour. In this COVID-19 year, they celebrate 40 years of marriage, two children, two new grandchildren, and friends and colleagues from around the world.


Bill’s career in USAID included serving as Director of the Food for Peace Office, SDAA in the previous Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade (EGAT) bureau, Deputy Mission Director in West Bank/Gaza during the start of the second intifada, Mission Director in Ethiopia during several years of drought and disaster, in Sudan as South Sudan became independent, in India as USAID moved to a fully partnership relationship, in Afghanistan during the major security, political and economic transition starting in 2014, and lastly, Assistant to the Administrator for Afghanistan and Pakistan in Washington. After leaving USAID, Bill joined the implementing partner side and served as the ABA/ROLI Country Director for Tunisia and Libya based in Tunis for one year. Bill pointed out that “It is a very different world as an implementing partner compared to being the donor, with implementation reports, always looking for new funding and writing proposals, and having meaningful direct relationships with key beneficiaries.”

While enjoying time with family at their house on the eastern shore (where Bill and Marie-Eve are currently isolating and self-distancing), in keeping with his strong commitment to international development, Bill also provides pro-bono support to different small development organizations such as Turquoise Mountain based in the UK with exciting programs in Afghanistan, Myanmar and Jordan. Bill recently joined the Board of Directors of Counterpart International and the Board of Trustees of the American University of Afghanistan. These very different organizations face many of the same challenges and uncertainties, especially with the impact of the pandemic on everyone’s lives around the globe.

Bill and Marie-Eve enjoyed spending part of each year during retirement in France where Marie-Eve was born, but they are grounded in the United States during 2020, an unusual year of no travel to Europe. They look forward to 2021 that will be again a year of travel for them and, no doubt, for many USAID alumni. Bill and Marie-Eve welcome hearing from their friends and former colleagues at:

 John and Anne Heard

John & Anne Heard

John Heard likes to say that his wife Anne robbed the cradle.  They met while at Stanford and married the following year on John’s 19th birthday.  Upon graduation, the two headed off to Japan with the Air Force and began their international careers.  After four years, they returned to Phoenix, Arazonia for graduate school, John at Thunderbird and Anne at ASU for a Masters in Social Work.  John’s thesis took him to the Dominican Republic to evaluate an AID Sector loan.  In 1970 he joined USAID as an IDI, along with UAA’s present Executive Commmittee Co-Chair Carol Peasley.

In 1977, after serving in Costa Rica and Washington, D.C., John left the agency to become a small farmer in California and do contract work with USAID.  John and Anne decided to join the Peace Corps in 1980 and became Co-Directors in Nicaragua and in Paraguay.  Upon returning to Washington, John returned to USAID  and worked in Africa and LA Bureaus and Anne started at State Department’s Family Liaison Office until she joined USAID as an IDI.  They were assigned to El Salvador as a tandem couple: John as Associate Mission Director for Operations (AMDO) and Anne as assistant EXO.  Their next and last posting was the Philippines.  They retired in 1994.  But not for long.  Two years later, they went to Bosnia as PSCs.

They retired in 2000 and John has been the consulting game ever since.  He and Anne went to Colombia for the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) in 2003 for four years to manage a large program in alternative development (war on drugs) and the reintegration of displaced people.  Back in the USA, John continued  consulting in Colombia: “…[I am] passionately in love with this amazing country and its people.”

They now live in New Mexico.  Both are heavily involved in board activities with non-profit organizations: Friendship Force International and the Santa Fe World Affairs Forum.  John is also Field Rep for the Southwestern states region of Friendship Force and Co-President of the New Mexico club.  They both are active in Sister Cities and Global Ties (the international visitor program),  stay in close touch with good friends in and from Colombia and have been assisting two families with critical education programs.

Grandson Andre with colleague at Peace Corps site in Namibia

Grandson Andre with colleague at Peace Corps site in Namibia

Recently John has been involved in the UAA mentoring program, both as a mentor and participation in management of that valuable activity.  He is now in his first year on the UAA Board, continues with mentoring management and hopes to be able to assist UAA with outreach to those beyond the beltway.

John and Anne are proud to report that their grandson Andre, a Peace Corps Returnee and presently at The Fletcher School,  intends to pursue a career in international development.

Larry Heilman

In nearly twenty years since his retirement, Larry Heilman has continued to demonstrate the energy, passion, intellect and relentless curiosity in contributing to his community that he did during 25 years in international development. The results have been impressive strengthening Walter Reed’s program for wounded warriors, improving local governance in Chevy Chase Village, boosting Latin American studies and research at local universities and the Smithsonian, and supporting Rotary International projects around the world.

Larry’s work in Chevy Chase Village was based on what he learned while working with USAID missions. These activities included creating an elections committee to honor democratic practices, creating an energy and environment committee and a public safety committee, and working on the budget committee to effect efficiencies — all committees developed to provide spaces for broader citizen participation in the democratic process.

Diagnosed with melanoma and being treated himself at Walter Reed Medical Center, Larry joined the hospital’s active chapter of the nongovernmental organization, Wounded Warriors, with many veterans who were more than 50 years younger. At 78, he became a member of the kayak team (pictured above) organized to give soldiers who lost their legs in combat a chance to regain a sense of control. He brought wisdom and organizational talent to the group, helping to raise funds, improve administration, and open programs to the children of participating veterans.

He has been an intellectual leader in Latin American studies, sharing his life-long interest and experience by teaching courses in history, archaeology and culture at Montgomery College, Johns Hopkins, and University College, University of Maryland. For over a decade, he has taught pro bono a course at American University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute on “The Evolution of Civilization Meso-America.” Meanwhile, Larry has continued as a research associate in anthropology, volunteering at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, and has recently published a comprehensive book on USAID in Bolivia, “Partner or Patron,” the culmination of more than a decade of research.

Larry has also been active in Rotary International, working on a range of programs with both national and international impact. Sometimes as a member of the project team, but more often as a team leader, he has helped identify, design and carry out more than 50 projects in Latin America, Africa and Asia, involving health, education, micro finance and democracy. He has served as President of the Friendship Heights Rotary Club, played a lead role in establishing foundations for humanitarian assistance and development grants for three Rotary Clubs, and has been working on a national and international disaster assistance capacity for the national organization. In recognition of his outstanding work with Rotary, he has received awards for leadership from three different Rotary Clubs-Metro Bethesda, Friendship Heights, and San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

Larry and Anne live in Maryland and enjoy hearing from friends. He may be reached at 301-657-3943 or

 Jerry Jordan

Jerry JordanUnlike many of the Alumni members, Jerry Jordan has never really left USAID!  She is currently employed by DCHA’s Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) as an intermittent Senior Management Advisor.  Jerry joined USAID in August 1962 as a GS-3 Clerk Typist and, after many years in the administrative and personnel field, she became Director of the Asia Executive Management Staff (EMS) in 1982.  From 1982 to 1995 Jerry served in all four regional Bureau EMS Director positions, two rightsizing exercises and as a member of several Management Assessment teams.

In August 1995, after 36 years in AID/W, Jerry was given the opportunity to convert to an FSL appointment to manage the Agency’s first regional Executive Office.  Jerry, two retired EXOs (Bill Wanamaker and Luke Malabad) and a TCN from Guatemala (Fernando Cossich) provided administrative support to 16 Europe and the New Independent States AID programs from Budapest, Hungary.  This was the “Tiger Team”.

In May 1998, Jerry was recognized for her management achievements as a recipient of the State Department’s highest management award – the Luther I. Replogle Award for Management Improvement. Following four years in Budapest, Jerry officially retired but continued as a PSC with the Tiger Team.  Jerry has spent considerable time on the road including a 16 month assignment in Islamabad.  Unfortunately, Jerry has been going through some medical issues which prevents overseas travel.  But, no regrets – 93 countries under her belt!

However, since Jerry has always enjoyed the quiet and relaxing environment of the ocean,  she “settled” in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware in 1999 and enjoys the company of her sister who lives nearby.  Her daughter lives in Virginia Beach, VA and her son is in Olney,Maryland so they are close enough to visit often.  Jerry has three grandchildren — John Jr., 27, Jenna 21 and Peyton 15 with whom she stays in close contact.

With the extra time, Jerry has started drafting a book about her experiences in USAID.  “A Broad in the Foreign Service” will highlight many Washington and overseas experiences. In addition to the book, Jerry enjoys the excitement of Delaware casinos.  She has been fortunate to hit a couple of jackpots.  Jerry reports that there is nothing better than hearing those bells go off and seeing the words – “you’ve just won 900,000 pennies”!

If coming to the area, Jerry welcomes a visit or call –; 302-226-8288.

Kelly and Nancy Frame Kammerer

Kelly and Nancy Frame Kammerer left USAID for the south of France in 2003. Their life now focuses on the seasons—tending their olive trees, fruit trees and grapevines in the Provence sun. They make a good olive oil and are just beginning to make their own wine. Nancy gets back to the US regularly to visit her daughter in New York and as a member of the board of a NASDAQ-listed company, while Kelly is quite content to stay on their little farm for most of the year.

Barbara Kennedy

Working for USAID was always in the cards. A California native, Barbara received a bachelor’s in nursing at the University of California San Francisco and then promptly packed up and drove East with no money, no experience and no plan. She landed a job at Boston City Hospital in their Women’s Health Clinic, followed by a position at the Pathfinder Fund. After a few years designing reproductive health programs, she got her MPH at the University of Michigan, where she was delighted to find over half the class was international students on USAID scholarships. This international exposure led her to USAID, where she was USAID’s first Regional Health Officer for REDSO/ESA, attended the National War College, and launched her senior management career as Deputy Mission Director in Peru and AID Rep in Cape Verde and Paraguay. She survived attempted coups, office bombings, droughts and floods, cholera outbreaks, election rigging, kidnappings, and civil­ military skirmishes.

Barbara retired early from USAID and moved to Chapel Hill North Carolina where she currently resides. For the next 15 years she worked for various implementing partners. Then, a bit weary of new business development she went to work for Mott MacDonald (engineering firm based in the UK) where she led their global development efforts. Next up was International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). Then in 2014, Barbara returned to USAID to work on the DCHA Bureau’s CS3 Firehouse team to provide TDY assistance to field missions. Back to where she began, Barbara is happy to be with USAID for short­-term assignments.

Barbara is married to Diego, a Paraguayan and professional field hockey player and coach who travels home 2­3 months each year to advise the national team. She has two children: Lindsy lives in Miami and works for AirBus in their Latin America operations, and Kelby is a senior and Criminal Justice Major at Western Carolina University. Barbara’s latest retirement this year brings lots of plans and aspirations. The family bought a small motorhome to explore the US and hike the National Parks. This summer they drove to Zion, Bryce and Arches in Southern Utah. She is also getting back in the saddle and next spring will join a seven­ day ride through Utah’s Red Rock Canyon. The one thing Barbara is still trying to determine is where she can become locally involved. Once you have worked for USAID, helping others “is in our DNA.”

Shahabuddin Khan

Shahabuddin Khan worked for USAID as a Foreign Service National in Pakistan from 1982-1993 as a Project Development Officer, backstopping the education and area management portfolios. While he was employed at USAID, he also established an educational foundation to support students from the Meo group in Pakistan, a disadvantaged group who migrated from India in 1947 at the time of partition. Mr. Khan, himself, is from this group.
Having faced difficulties in getting his own education, he wanted to help others pursue theirs. Thus, in 1991, he established a foundation in his grandfather’s name, The Munshi Qamaruddin Khan Foundation for Education and Research, where he planned to devote his time after retirement to advance his and his grandfather’s dream to assist others to realize their potential. During its more than 25 year existence, the foundation has provided over two million Pakistani rupees in financial assistance to seven scholars for graduate and undergraduate degrees.
One of the objectives of the foundation was also to build a strong institution to serve as an example for other Meo associations in Pakistan and to do some constructive work in the community. The foundation is now working with these associations to improve their performance so they can help the broader community.
Shahabuddin’s interest in education can be traced to his grandfather whose ancestors were born in Mewat, India, one of the most illiterate communities in India, having only one literate person out of the 1,000 member community in 1900. Both his grandfather and father wanted their children and those of the community at large to get education, but both died young. By the time of his father’s death, his family had migrated to Pakistan. Shahabuddin had to quit school and go to work. During 20 years of private study, he was able to pass the examinations for high school, intermediate and bachelor’s degrees.
When he discovered that the history of Mewat was being lost, Shahabuddin wrote a paper on its history which was published in the Journal of the Research Society of the Punjab University.
After the death of his wife, Shahabuddin moved to the States in 2001, where he has two sons and a daughter. One daughter also lives in Canada. He still visits Pakistan every year for a few months to look after the Foundation. He may be reached at: or 630-268-3857 (USA) and 92-0308-518-4638 (Pakistan).

Mary Kilgour
Winner, 2014 UAA Alumni Award, Domestic Category

Mary Kilgour retired from USAID in 1996 after a highly successful career – Mission Director in Liberia and Bangladesh, multiple senior management positions in Washington and USAID faculty member at the National War College.

After retirement Mary was a volunteer Guardian Ad Litem [Court-appointed Special Advocate for Children] for the past 15 years. Drawing on her own childhood as an orphan she represented children in dependency cases in which parents were in court because of child abuse or neglect.

As Guardian Ad Litem, Mary advocated for the best interests of the child, meeting frequently with the children, parents, psychiatrists, lawyers, governmental caseworkers, and schools. Some legal cases would go on for years – and, in those cases, Mary provided continuity for the children as they changed foster homes, schools and case workers frequently. She developed close, personal relationships with about 25 children over the 15 years. Besides representing their best interests in court, she spent hours getting to know them; helping them understand that a tough childhood or being an orphan could be overcome; taking them to movies and for lunches; urging the children that education was their escape route from poverty; and generally showing them that they are valued human beings. She even trekked to the Juvenile Detention Center on a few occasions to provide a “hug” and to ensure that the rights of these troubled children were protected.

While Mary left her Guardian Ad Litem role a year ago, she remains active in supporting the disadvantaged in her community – this time from her church. She is a leader in their community outreach ministry that is working with the homeless and very poor in the community. She is on the board of the clinic that provides services to the homeless and very poor, and also does “sovereign immunity interviews” once a month for the patients and clinic. Beyond this active participation through her church, she serves as a volunteer Patient Advocate at the local hospital emergency room, working once a week at the hospital to help patients and their caregivers be more comfortable as they await diagnosis and treatment.

She has also become a prolific writer, publishing ten short stories in various journals [including seven in the Foreign Service Journal]. Even more significantly, The Child Welfare League of America published her eloquent memoir, Me May Mary, in 2005. It is an inspirational description of her difficult childhood and teen years in a Connecticut orphanage and the positive paths she and her brother paved for themselves. In summary, Mary Kilgour has taken USAID’s concern for the poor and carried it with her to her local community and also branched into creative fields she couldn’t fit into her demanding work life before retirement.

Elisabeth Kvitashvili

One month shy of a 37-year career with USAID, Elisabeth Kvitashvili retired out of Sri Lanka as Acting Mission Director in fall, 2015. Two months later, she and her husband Steve landed in New Zealand for five weeks of walking/hiking both North and South islands. Elisabeth’s two children joined them for family backpacking, ending the trip with a visit to Tasmania.
Two years ago, Elisabeth and Steve, a former agency Russia specialist, semi-retired to San Francisco.   In this new phase of her life she has split her time among a variety of outdoor and athletic pursuits. Elisabeth and Steve enjoy what the Bay area has to offer with year-round hikes, visits to nearby national and state parks, camping with a girlfriend from her days at USAID Disaster Assistance Office, and continuing to practice yoga regularly. But she has given up her beloved soccer due to aging ankles.
In addition to serving as a USAID alumni mentor, Elisabeth mentors some of her former students at Georgetown University, where she served as an adjunct professor of the Conflict Resolution department for several years in between assignments. She also mentors graduates of London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies, where she pursued her MA, and now University of California-Berkeley. Elisabeth volunteers each week to work with International Rescue Committee refugee resettlement, assisting Russian-speaking elders at an assisted living center, volunteering with the San Francisco Botanical Garden, and, serving as a board member on international NGOs devoted to development and disaster preparedness. She became President of the Georgian Association, the oldest Georgian diaspora organization in the United States., and organized and ran a conference celebrating Georgia’s centennial as a modern national state at Center for Strategic and International Studies in May 2018. During a two-week visit to Georgia with her children, she was interviewed by Georgian TV and pursued a long desired personal project on her Georgian family genealogy which dates to the 12th century.
Elisabeth and Steve recently were certified as Neighborhood Emergency First Responders, and Elisabeth is continuing with Incident Command and Emergency Management training. Her USAID experiences working on disasters and conflict are a driving motivator.
Elisabeth has also had several paid consulting projects, dealing with development and assistance to the Middle East, making several trips to Jordan, Lebanon and Gaza/West Bank.
Elisabeth would be glad to hear from USAID friends. She may be reached at

Bob Lester

Bob Lester served with USAID for 30 years in the Office of the General Counsel. He started out as an International Development Intern in Saigon, Vietnam, next moved to USAID’s regional office in Nairobi, and then as an attorney-advisor and Assistant GC for Legislation and Policy for the next 26 years. He finished up his stint in Washington-or Washington finished him-with a little bit less than a year on the staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee. During his tenure at USAID he served 9 month stretches as Acting GC and as Acting AA/LPA. Right now, he and his much better half, Deedee, are sitting in an RV in northern California and loving every minute of it.

Since retiring we’ve moved to central Florida and are living in an adult Disneyland called The Villages. Living there presents certain challenges, but being able to find stuff to do does not fall into that category. In addition to thetraditional shuffleboard, there are about 4000 people who play softball every day, there are over 500 holes of golf available to residents (even those like us who don’t really know how to play but just enjoy a nice walk trying to look for golf balls) and, for this NYC boy, even a stickball league. Up until recently we have been working at the local hospital, mostly on a volunteer basis, about 3 times a week. We’re taking a break from that to take our second long trip in our RV. Great fun and we’re meeting wonderful people wherever we go. A word of advice-don’t drive on I-5 in California, it’s a horrible road.

This is our second long trip with Cowboy, our cat. Next summer we’ll probably spend in our RV at a campground in Asheville, North Carolina. It’s a beautiful town with a fun minor league baseball team, the Asheville Tourists, a name that strikes fear in the hearts of the opposition. Go Tourists. There’s also been some consulting work, e.g., another rewrite of the Foreign Assistance Act that was never enacted, and some training for USAID new hires. That’s always a lot of fun as we try to explain to the young ones why a bill rarely becomes a law, and what all the huffing and puffing on the Hill really means.

If y’all are in the neighborhood, give me a call and stop on by. I can teach you all about grits-not a dietary staple in NYC but pretty much so down here.

David C. Leibson

Winner, 2018 Alumnus of the Year, Domestic Category

David Leibson has been actively supporting affordable housing programs in the United States and abroad for more than 45 years. After beginning his professional career with the former Cooperative Housing Foundation, he served as a Foreign Service Officer for over 20 years, specializing in financing housing and urban development programs in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
Since his retirement from USAID in 1996, David has actively promoted affordable housing solutions in his home town and county of Arlington, Virginia. He has served as co-chair of Arlington County’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness since it was launched in 2008. During this 10-year period, the number of homeless persons in the county has been cut by two-thirds and homelessness among veterans in the community has been nearly eradicated through permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless and rapid re-housing for families and individuals.
Arlington’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness was initiated and implemented with a consortium of more than 100 stakeholders from public, private, and faith-based community organizations. The Plan’s primary goal is that no individual or family shall lack access to decent, affordable housing. The Committees of the 10 Year Plan work in concert to ensure that available federal, state, and local resources are used strategically to meet the needs of Arlington’s homeless households and those at risk of becoming homeless.
Prior to his work on the Plan to End Homelessness, from 2000 to 2008, David was an active member of the Arlington County Housing Commission. He is also currently President of the Alliance for Housing Solutions and has served on the Working Group for the County’s recently adopted Affordable Housing Master Plan. Prior to that effort, David served on the Working Group for the award-winning Columbia Pike Land Use and Housing Plan.
David and his wife Bea live in Arlington, Virginia. They have a two children and five grandchildren. Friends may contact them at

Neil Levine

Neil Levine retired from USAID in June 2017 after 24 years of service. He and his wife, Kate Brennan, moved to New England where they enjoy their new home in Beverly, Massachusetts with frequent visits to their “northern holdings” – a camp in Rangeley, Maine.
Joining USAID in 1993 and serving through 2016, Neil served as a Congressional Liaison Officer for the Bureau of Legislative and Public Affairs, Deputy Director for Central American Affairs and various leadership positions in the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance, including leadership of the Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation and the Center of Excellence for Democracy, Human Rights and Governance. Neil also enjoyed two excursions as a student and faculty member at the National Defense University, first as a student at the National War College (2007-08) and as a faculty instructor at the Eisenhower School (2013-14).
Neil began his “encore” career by becoming a certified professional coach and started Levine Strategies, his own consulting practice, in October 2017. The practice is devoted to “helping individuals and organizations have conversations with themselves.” His first client was the USAID Alumni Association where he volunteered to facilitate the all-day mentor training for the latest of cohort of UAA mentors. Along with coaching and consulting, Neil serves as Vice Chair of the Board of CDA Collaborative Learning (Cambridge, MA) and the alumni council of Earlham College.  Neil and Kate welcome hearing from their USAID friends and may be reached at

Mary L Lewellen

Mary L. Lewellen, a retired Foreign Service Officer (1977-2003), has continued to serve U.S. students and overseas schools and communities since her retirement by teaching and mentoring college students; organizing and leading service and learning trips to rural South Africa, Nepal, Ethiopia, and Thailand; and training USAID staff around the world.
For the past fourteen years, she has taught four classes a semester at Sierra Nevada College (SNC), including terrorism and peacekeeping, international organizations, foreign policy, Africa regional studies, leadership and global management. As Chair of International Studies and Global Business Management, she is also an inspirational teacher who was voted Outstanding Faculty Member by the students in 2015.
For the past six years, Mary has worked with African partners to organize and lead 25-30 American college students to do three weeks of Service and Learning in the rural areas of South Africa. They helped expand and renovate pre-schools, primary and secondary schools, and a HIV clinic which caters to Mozambican migrants. Mary and her colleagues also tutor (science, math, English, accounting) secondary students for their school-leaving exams. Each year, along with funds provided by American students, Mary, with her husband Ted and their families, personally provide funds for hundreds of children’s books, suitcases full of school supplies, and cash for renovations. The participants all describe these trips as a “life-changing experience.”
Here’s a photographic example of their work at Manyangana High School library in South Africa.
In 2018, Sierra Nevada College students bought and assembled 18 bookshelves; brought and donated over 500 “readers” books; organized a previously non-functioning library; restored broken electricity; replaced both termite wooden doors; completely painted inside and outside walls of the library (along with seven other classrooms).
Three nearby community vegetable gardens have been developed or expanded by the SNC students with seeds donated by a Stockton, California company. Over four years, these women-operated gardens have become self-sufficient in providing vegetables to the community, the local schools, and through sales to nearby safari camps. Simultaneously, SNC students take college classes for credit taught by Mary and the accompanying professors.
Besides teaching future leaders in foreign affairs, Mary has also completed numerous training assignments at USAID missions around the world in programming, project design and acquisition and assistance. She has also served as Acting Mission Director, Acting Controller and in other positions at USAID missions. In her spare time, Mary enjoys the beauty of the African bush and her grandchildren. Mary and Ted reside outside Reno, Nevada, frequently hosting friends and colleagues from around the world. They can be reached at or

Jon Lindborg

Jon LindborgHow does a guy from a small rural community in Indiana end up in a development career? Jon Lindborg’s family hosted a series of international exchange students who expanded his vistas beyond the farmland surrounding his boyhood home. During high school, he spent a summer studying Spanish in Mexico. After completing his undergraduate degree, he joined the Peace Corps.  He spent three years teaching in the South Pacific Kingdom of Tonga — not unlike rural Indiana in its isolation, but surrounded by the Pacific Ocean instead of cornfields.  From then on, he was hooked on doing international work.

After a six-year interlude managing their family farm in Indiana, while pursuing a graduate degree at Purdue University, Jon returned to Tonga where he was Country Director for the Foundation for the South Pacific. This is also where he learned more about USAID and joined the Agency in 1986. His first assignment was a Private Enterprise Development Officer in Indonesia. He then led USAID private sector development offices in Sri Lanka and Jordan. Jon returned to Indonesia as Deputy Mission Director before becoming Mission Director in the Philippines, from where he retired in 2009.

Jon then joined the Asian Development Bank (ADB), based in Manila, where he led the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) infrastructure practice for the Southeast Asia Department, supporting environment and infrastructure projects throughout Southeast Asia.  Subsequently, Jon was appointed ADB’s Country Director in Indonesia.  Reaching ADB’s mandatory retirement age of 60, he left in late-2013.

Jon now lives in Kailua-Kona on the “Big Island” of Hawaii. He remains engaged with international development and finance work, including two recent 6-month senior advisor stints with USAID/Indonesia.  Jon looks back on his USAID career with appreciation, feeling he learned more than he ever gave in return. Not only did he gain a wealth of development knowledge and skills, Jon notes that he was blessed with smart colleagues and wonderful mentors.

In his spare time, Jon enjoys ocean sports and exploring the Big Island. He participates regularly in an ocean swimming group that follows the Ironman route, is a member of a Hawaiian paddling club and still tries to continue his longtime windsurfing passion, even as his body doesn’t always cooperate. Also located in the Pacific Islands region, his son Ryan is a student at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.  Jon can be reached at

Kristin Loken

Kristin Loken Kris Loken left USAID in 2001 after 23 years serving as health/population or democracy officer in the West Bank & Gaza, India, Lebanon, Pakistan, El Salvador, and Eritrea.

After “retiring”, the Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA) immediately recruited Kris to be their Director for the Middle East and Asia and later the director of their program in Nepal. Upon returning from Katmandu, Kris found time to pursue her life long passion: meditation. Free to make long-term meditation retreats annually, Kris has studied at Panditarama in Lumbini (Nepal), the Forest Refuge in Barre (Massachusetts), Dhammagiri in Igatpuri (Maharashtra), and the Bhavana Forest Monastery in High Point (West Virginia.) Meditation is the bedrock of her happiness, energy, and health.

In 2008 she spent four months at the University of Oslo studying peace research and afterwards travelling through Norway to locate Norwegian relatives. Kris also trained with Jon Kabat-Zinn and has taught his Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction meditation practices to friends in their final days. In addition she has been working on the Eastern Panhandle Single Payer Action Network, the Medicare expansion, and reproductive health programs, and most recently the rollout of Obamacare.

In 2009 Kris was a member of a peace delegation to the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel organized by Inter-Faith Peace Building. She maintains a strong interest in the Middle East since her work there with USAID and continues to play an activist role in peace organizations. Kris, a Quaker for 45 years, has found a welcoming Meeting in nearby Shepherdstown, where she serves on the finance committee.

Kayaking, biking and skiing keep Kris in shape and are readily available near her home in West Virginia. Kris loves her cottage with two-acres overlooking the Potomac River in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. After spending all those years in developing countries, “West Virginia sort of felt like the next natural step.” The state is “run rather like a colony by outside coal companies – and now natural gas, too. West Virginians are wonderful, warm people but are poor, undereducated, and unhealthy compared to other Americans. Young people have to leave the state to find decent paying work.”

When neighbors asked Kris to run for the state House of Delegates for West Virginia District #62, Kris said “Yes!” to a 24/7 non-stop political schedule. She wants “to be part of the solution in West Virginia.” Follow her campaign at:

Susan Malick

Susan Malick and her late husband Jeff met as Peace Corps Volunteers in Nepal in 1968 where they married and had their first son Ravi. After serving as PCVs and PC staff in Kathmandu, Jeff joined USAID. They spent the next 20 years living in India, Pakistan and Egypt with a tour in the United States in between. Their daughter Laura and son Benjamin were born in New Delhi.

Before their first posting in New Delhi, Susan completed her BS degree in business at George Mason University. She held a variety of jobs and volunteer positions including marketing consultant for several women’s development projects in India and Pakistan, member of American school boards in New Delhi and Cairo, president of American Women’s Association in New Delhi, consultant for International Labor Organization and project officer at Catholic Relief Services in Pakistan.

When they returned to Northern Virginia, Susan heard about Dining for Women (DFW), the largest educational giving circle in the world with about 465 chapters in the United States. Each chapter gathers monthly to share a meal and learn about a featured grantee. DFW member-funded grants are made to international nongovernmental organizations that are 501c3s or have a 501c3 fiscal sponsor, for projects that benefit women and girls living in extreme poverty and ensure gender equality. Susan realized this organization was a perfect fit for her, a former PCV and USAID spouse.  

About a year after joining DFW, Susan was asked to serve on the grant selection committee, which vets the grant applicants. Over the last five years, DFW has grown, forming partnerships with Peace Corps and UNICEF that permits increased program contributions, and also establishing an Advocacy Program so that DFW’s 8,300 members can raise their voices for women and girls.

Susan visited a DFW funded Little Sister Fund program in Kathmandu in 2017 which provides long-term scholarships for financially disadvantaged, at-risk girls who would otherwise be vulnerable to child labor, child marriage and child trafficking. She reported that this DFW money was well spent. There are nine Little Sisters graduates who attended or are attending U.S. universities with two more arriving the Fall 2019.

Pictured: The Vienna-Fairfax Chapter of DFW with 2 Little Sisters graduates, Kriti and Sapana, who were attending Shenandoah University

Jeff passed away suddenly in 2016. He served as an FSO with USAID for 22 years (1976-1998) with Susan by his side. Susan lives in Vienna, VA and welcomes hearing from UAA friends at

Ray Martin

Retirement is not in Ray Martin’s DNA. At least not retirement by this definition from the American Heritage Dictionary, “to withdraw from business or public life so as to live at leisure on one’s income, savings, or pension.”
After a 25-year USAID career in program work in Morocco and Washington, and then backstop 50 service in population and health in Ghana, Cameroon, Pakistan, and Zaire, he would not have found happiness and meaning at the retirement age of 52 in a life of playing golf, going fishing, and watching soap operas.
Instead, he transitioned immediately in 1992 to a Public Health Specialist position at the World Bank, based in Washington, working on health systems and AIDS projects in francophone African countries. Having the Bank cachet was flattering, but again, Ray eventually had a “been there, done that” feeling and got involved as a volunteer “promoting global health and wholeness from a Christian perspective.” He ended up becoming the executive director of Christian Connections for International Health for 14 years, building its membership and program to become a significant faith-based participant in the global health world.
With no illusions of immortality, however, he did step down from that position in 2014, but remains active in global health and international development. He is the historian of the International Health Section of the American Public Health Association, which he served as Chair years back, and is active in their climate change and health working group.
Ray’s philosophy, both at USAID and since, has been that happiness and meaning come from a life of service, working toward the common good. This undoubtedly has roots in his Mennonite farm background in rural Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, but carries forward into his present, somewhat more complicated, mixture of faith and secular tendencies.
One manifestation of Ray’s values, surviving the devastating loss of his wife Luann to cancer in 2015, is a desire to use their substantial savings and pensions not to live a life of leisure, but to continue to serve the common good, an investment in a better world for all. And to spend down these assets while he was still alive rather than as a bequest after his death. He made a large pledge to Mennonite Central Committee to set up a legacy fund in his wife’s name to support Care Group approaches to improving maternal and child health and nutrition in Africa. A second large commitment is addressing his passion for getting serious about climate change, strengthened by finally becoming a grandfather, through funding a new Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions at Eastern Mennonite University,  (
Contact Ray Martin, McLean, VA,, 703-556-0123

Mary Le McIntyre

Prior to her USAID life, Mary Lee McIntyre was a researcher with the historian, Dr. Richard Hewlett, at the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, working on the history of the first A-bomb and taught government and history at Western High School and George Washington University.

After marrying USAID William R. McIntyre, she began a twenty-year stint as a “USAID spouse” that included tours in India, Pakistan and Lebanon. While overseas, Mary Lee taught at the American International School in New Delhi, India and at the International School of Islamabad, Pakistan. In Beirut, she taught at the American University of Beirut, Haigazian College, and Maqassed. Tragically her husband, Deputy Director of Lebanon, was killed in the bombing of the American Embassy in Beirut on April 18, 1983. Left with three children to support, Mary Lee joined USAID and served as a Pop and Health Officer in USAID/Bangladesh for three and a half years. Upon returning to Washington, she worked in the Private Voluntary Organizations Office and the Europe and Eurasia Bureau until 2000.

Mary Lee continues to lead a busy life. She is active in the local Democratic Party, reads for the blind, has studied conflict resolution, and acts. She is currently a member of the Playwrights Forum and writing stage plays with roles for older women. She is presently writing on suffragist Belva Lockwood’s fight to achieve “equal pay for equal work” for women civil servants legislation that passed in 1870. In addition she teaches Legacy of the Middle Ages for Encore Learning in Arlington County.

Mary Lee’s love of travel hasn’t lessened. She has cruised the Nile, taken art trips, with a Wellesley Art Professor, in Egypt and Italy, and visited Russia – Stalingrad, Moscow and St. Petersburg. Each spring she tries to visit her beloved Bologna, Italy, where she did graduate work for a M.A. in Political Science from Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies.

In January 2010, she married her college sweetheart who passed away in December 2010. Now a grandmother of nine, four grandchildren of her own and five step-grandchildren, Mary Lee feels blessed.

This past year, Mary Lee sold her house in McLean and moved into Vinson Hall Retirement Community. She welcomes hearing from USAID friends: 703-970-3954; cell 703-470-1223; e-mail  (MLM not MIM).

Franklin C. Moore

Franklin Moore retired from USAID in 2014, after also serving at two other federal agencies during a 35 year career. He began his federal career as an Associate Peace Corps director for agriculture and natural resources management in Ghana. He also served at The Environmental Protection Agency before beginning his career at USAID in The Environment Center. His career at USAID included a number of technical support positions in agriculture and the environment, particularly climate change before retiring from the position of Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Africa Bureau.

        (Franklin with partner Erich on safari in Souther Africa)

Retirement has been full of activities, most of which Franklin calls delayed gratification! He has been able to better utilize his dual residences in Southwest Washington and outside Shepherdstown in West Virginia. First of equals is the theater. In South West DC, Franklin and his partner, Erich, can be found at Arena Stage plays and events. However, their strongest participation is in West Virginia with the Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF), a series of American authored and often premier presented plays. The Festival, now in its 30th year, takes place every July. As Franklin remembers, “Over the past 15 years it has been gratifying to participate in the festival’s growth from four plays on two stages to six reportorial plays in three theaters. It has also been a pleasure to provide a place for new, relevant American composed plays.” Since retirement, Franklin’s volunteer service has increased to now serving on the CATF board.

Franklin has also kept his attachments to Africa, agriculture and the environment. He has lectured on food security, climate change and resilience in a number of forums. Franklin participates in the Africa Policy Group and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He states, “Contributing to the sustainable existence of species and their habitats is an important objective of mine.” Franklin has recently begun to serve on the board of the Jane Goodall Institute which focuses on chimpanzees and their habitats. He has also volunteered with the USAID Alumni Association by serving on the UAA Board.

As with many alumni, travel has also been an objective. As Franklin states, “After all these years living and working in Africa, I have finally taken that three-week safari in southern Africa.” He welcomes hearing from UAA friends and former colleagues at

 Charles Moseley

Charley Moseley brought a wealth of experience to USAID that included service in the US Air Force and over 20 years as an executive and engineer for U.S. and international power companies. He joined USAID in Guatemala in 1976 as a PSC and as a direct hire in 1977. He retired from USAID in Russia in 1993 after leading the design and initial implementation of major energy and environment programs for the former Soviet Union. He has served longterm assignments in 11 countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

After retiring from USAID, Charley returned to the private sector to manage power generation companies in Ecuador and as international development and implementation manager, consultant and advisor with USAID, USTDA, and IEA funded assignments in Africa, Turkey, Central and South Asia with a focus on Pakistan and Afghanistan. He has led the design and delivery of numerous courses and served as a senior manager in a major international consulting firm. In 2004 he was recalled to USAID to set up the Office of Engineering and Infrastructure in Afghanistan and again from 2009 to 2011 to set up USAID/Pakistan’s new Office of Energy and lead the conceptualization, design, contracting, and initial implementation of a $1.5 billion energy sector program. From 2013 to 2016 he served as World Bank­funded Team Leader and Senior Transaction Advisor of Afghanistan under the four­country CASA 1000 Power Transmission and Trade Project.

Charley’s most enduring activity since retiring from USAID has been working with Charles Bliss, a fellow engineer and USAID retiree. A key element of their joint activities has been the development of patentable methods to capture and utilize carbon dioxide from power plants’ combustion of fossil fuels. In 2015, Bliss and Moseley were awarded a US Patent for a “Method to Optimize the Utilization of Captured Carbon Dioxide through the Cultivation and Processing of Microalgae.” They are continuing their collaboration in several other new methods and anticipate the award of a second patent in April 2018.

Charley and his wife Patty celebrated their 44th anniversary on October 23, 2017. All five of their children are married and have given them nine grandchildren. Four sons live in: Houston (John/two sons), Los Angeles (Clifford/two sons), Kansas City KS (Charlie/two daughters) and Pasadena (Henry/one daughter). Daughter Nellie has two boys and lives in Burke, VA. He can be reached on: and 1­703­273­7104

Sherif Mowafy

UAA’s outreach to former USAID FSNs now living in the Washington area has recently taken off, thanks in part to Sherif Mowafy, originally from Egypt and now working with USAID’s Global Health Office as a civil servant. Sherif has recruited other FSNs to pool their insights on starting new lives in the US and create a practical guide for other newcomers, “Soft Landings for ex FSNs.” UAA hopes to engage both former FSNs and other USAID retirees in informally assisting new FSN arrivals to the US under the Special Immigrant Visa program. More on this volunteer opportunity later.

First, here is Sherif’s story.


Sherif Mowafy is a good example of someone who used to be an FSN but is now working at USAID/Washington as a civil servant.

Sherif hails from Port Said with a degree in Finance and used to work in Cairo. He joined the USAID Mission there in 1989 as a Finance officer, but after a year, he moved to the Contracts Office, where he worked for nine years. He then decided to leave USAID and spent seven years working with a local NGO which had just received a sizeable grant from USAID. With his background he quickly moved to Senior Management where he was able to give valuable advice about USAID procedures. When the grant ended, he and his family decided to try their chances in the United States.

Fortunately, thirteen years ago, Sherif’s wife received a green card through the lottery. At that time they put it aside, since both had good jobs in Cairo. She was working in the travel section of the American Embassy. After a family conference and much soul searching, Sherif applied for a job at USAID in Washington in the Procurement office and had a phone interview with them. He was accepted and then had to wait six months for his green card. His wife, since she already had her green card, couldn’t wait that long, since they had to get their two daughters in school, and she had been offered almost the same job she had at the Embassy at the State Department. So she came to Washington with their children, then still quite young (8 and 10), found an apartment, bought a car, and got them in school. Sherif followed six months later and began working as a Contract Officer backstopping the Global Health Supply Chain Management Project. Later he moved to the Global Health Office and is now the Contract Officer’s Representative for that contract. He is the Deputy Division Chief in that office, with a team of fifteen people.

Sherif says, looking back, it was a hard transition for the whole family, settling in, making new friends, but now they’re happy to be here. Of course, they keep up their family ties in Egypt, and his oldest daughter, Yara is currently in Cairo doing a semester abroad at AUC. His youngest daughter, is now a senior at Oakdale High and wants to pursue a career in design. They’ve bought a house in Fairfax.

Margaret Neuse

Margaret Neuse joined USAID in 1984 as a Population and Health Officer. She was recruited by several USAID colleagues with whom she had worked in Nepal among other countries where she was on short-term assignments for several organizations or as a free-lance consultant. Her first postings were Somalia, Niger, and then head of the Health Office at the Regional Office (REDSO) in Nairobi.

They were instrumental in getting USAID-supported family planning and other health programs started in Madagascar, Malawi, Zambia, and Ethiopia among others. In 1993, she joined the Office of Population in USAID/W as Deputy Director. From 1997-1999, she led the Health team in charge of the large health and family planning program in Bangladesh. She was then recruited to be the Director of the Population and Reproductive Health Office in USAID/W where she served from 2000-2006 when she retired.

After retirement, Margaret continued an active consulting career in the Population Health and Nutrition (PHN) field working with a wide variety of organizations including USAID health teams and Missions, the Gates Foundation, and several nongovernmental organizations in a variety of countries, from Mali to South Sudan, Ethiopia and India. She led teams hired to develop designs, procurement documents, evaluations and staffing plans. She enjoyed all of the assignments and working and learning with the teams and counterpart staff in the Missions and countries. Consulting post-retirement was very satisfying and was facilitated by knowing the systems and field much better than had been the case before joining USAID. Margaret also served on several Boards and was Board Chair for several years for a USAID partner organization. She currently serves on the UAA Board of Directors.

In addition to her home in DC, she has maintained her ties to Vermont where she grew up. She spends the summers into the Fall at her “camp” on a small lake not far from other family in Middlebury and Brandon, Vermont. Since deciding that she had had enough of work-related travel and document-writing, she has spent more time in Vermont and traveled on her own to places in her bucket list: Bhutan, New Zealand, Australia and Ireland. Before COVID-19 suspended in-person activity, she also took regular exercise classes and participated in courses through Politics and Prose and Encore Learning. She remains active in her USAID alumni-based reading group and stays in touch with her successors at USAID. She maintains that she is not sure when she had “time to work.”


Jim Norris

Jim Norris joined USAID in 1965 right out of grad school and retired in 1996. For the first 15 years, he served as program economist in Tunis, Jakarta and Cairo. When he and his wife Cathy went overseas, they had one daughter, and when they returned for his first U.S. assignment, they had two daughters and one son. During the next 16 years, Jim had two tours in Washington during which he was the office director for Bangladesh and India, Counselor for the Agency, and DAA for Asia and Near East. Jim also had overseas assignments as Mission Director in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Russia. He said he loved all of these assignments.

After retiring in 1996, Jim became Chief of Party managing an urban planning and development project in St. Petersburg, Russia for two years. After returning to the States, Jim was called back to USAID to be interim Deputy Associate Assistant Administrator of the Economic Growth and Agricultural Development Office for four months, then went back to Egypt to be Chief of Party for an economic planning and reform project.

Jim and Cathy returned to the States in 2003 and settled into a house in Arlington after gutting and remodeling it.  Jim happily spent his time puttering around the house and yard and building some furniture. They also watched with pleasure their children get married and start having children.

At the end of 2009, Jim returned to USAID to work on the first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review for five months. He said he found it interesting to engage on the issues, but in retrospect, he believed it was not a productive exercise. Jim continued to work on procurement reform at USAID until 2012. In contrast, he said, “This I found to be interesting and, hopefully, it was productive.”

Jim said that he and Cathy thoroughly enjoyed their USAID assignments and have also found retirement to be a pleasure. In Jim’s second retirement, they are doing more remodeling of their home, and are enjoying visiting, and being visited by, their three children and five granddaughters and keeping in touch with fellow USAID retirees in the Washington area.  They welcome hearing from their USAID alumni friends and colleagues at

John Norris

As regular readers of the UAA Newsletter certainly are aware, the UAA History of USAID Project is well underway.   As you will also know, our author is John Norris. We thought it might be useful to remind UAA members – including especially the more than 150 generous contributors to the project – as to who John Norris is. John is managing to keep up with his 18-month contractual drafting schedule on the History while holding down another demanding job. He is just beginning a new position as the Deputy Director of Policy and Strategic Insight at the Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington. Before joining the Gates Foundation this month, John was for many years the Executive Director of the Sustainable Security Initiative at the Center for American Progress. In 2014, he was also appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Global Development Council, a body charged with advising the administration on effective development practices. He has served in a number of additional senior roles in government, international institutions, and nonprofits.For example, he was the Executive Director of the Enough Project and the chief of political affairs for the United Nations Mission in Nepal. He was also the Washington chief of staff for the International Crisis Group, and the director of communications for U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott. He also worked as a speechwriter and field disaster expert at the USAID in the 1990s.John is the author of several books, including a biography of the late journalist Mary McGrory which was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize, and has published many articles in major American newspapers.
We asked John for a short comment on how he has found the work thus far: his response – “Perhaps the most intriguing part of my research to date has been how often AID issues rose to a presidential level in the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations. Both men clearly saw the agency as instrumental in realizing their vision for the world, and both fundamentally shaped the foundations of much of AID’s work that followed.”

Jeanne Foote North and Wm Haven North

Jeanne and Haven North
Following retirements in 1989 and 1996 respectively, Haven and Jeanne North continued to be strong voices in the discourse that shapes the direction and practice of development. Together, they co-wrote a history of US Foreign Economic Assistance as a chapter in the book: Foreign AID and Foreign Policy: Lessons for the Next Half Century, Picard, etc. editors.

After taking on consulting assignments, Jeanne turned to voluntary activities including service on diverse boards such as Opportunities Industrial Center International (OIC/I); the Bannockburn Cooperators, Inc. and the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI). Her service on the NAMI board was focused on strengthened understanding and management of mental illness by consumers and their families. Jeanne also got deeply into oil painting, with particular interest in landscapes and people.

In his post-USAID career, Haven served as consultant to a wide range of bilateral and international development assistance organizations. He led or contributed to: the first phase of the World Bank’s Global Environment Facility (GEF) and its Special Program for Tropical Africa (SPTA); IFC’s evaluation program; UNDP’s programs on co-financing, capacity building, HIV/AIDS, Round Tables and Vietnam Aid Coordination; DANIDA’s Evaluation Program; evaluation of USAID’s first years in Iraq; the DAC/OECD study that reviewed evaluation programs of 28 donor agencies; USAID’s programs in southern Africa and Iraq; and most recently introductory descriptions by decade for “Fifty Years in USAID: Stories from the Front Lines.”

He also conducted 100 + Oral History interviews for ADST, covering the life’s work of USAID retirees and for the Institute of Peace, covering the work of USAID reconstruction program staff who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Haven says the interviews, which ranged from 5 to 20 hours, were fun to do. They gave interviewees an opportunity to record experiences and produced a considerable volume of interesting stories. Haven is the first to say that these are not definitive historical records. However, they do provide insights on major international events and reminders of USAID’s important work in development and disaster relief. Perhaps their greatest lasting value is for the children and grandchildren of the interviewees to learn about what their parents, grandparents and relatives were up to all those years overseas.

The North’s remain resident in Bethesda, MD. Their son, Charles is a 27-year veteran of USAID who recently served as Mission Director in Russia and is currently DAA of the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment. Daughter Jeannette has worked in development and is now with the School Development Authority of New Jersey and son, Ashby is a graphics artist and an illustrator/author of children’s books. Visits with their children are celebrations for Haven and Jeanne.

Steve Orr


Following his 40 years as both a USAID employee and as a USAID contractor, with experience in 75 countries, Steve retired in 2009. Since he wasn’t really ready to quit, he became a contractor with the U.S. Department of State as an English Language Officer. In this role he accompanied international diplomats and other international dignitaries all over the United States. By 2013, after working in 29 states and 66 cities, he actually did retire.

Steve enjoyed meeting all the people from such a variety of countries. He is happy that he was able to introduce many of them to the American way of life and still stays in touch by e-mail with scores of them.

Now Steve speaks publicly on what he calls the USAID-Peace Corps Nexus. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer (Panama 64-66).  Steve was nominated for the 2014 UAA Alumni of the Year award.

He would be happy to be in contact with his friends from his days with USAID and may be reached at

John Pielemeier

John Pielemeier at age 50 was TIC’d out in 1994 after a 24 year career as a project design and program officer, deputy and mission director.  Building on his years as a Peace Corps Volunteer and USAID FSO he then managed his own consulting practice, leading project design or evaluation teams in environment, health, and agriculture projects and providing management advice and training for USAID and a host of acronymical consulting firms. Areas of expertise included Conservation Trust Funds, Population-Health-Environment (PHE) projects, Landscape Conservation, global health programs (Child Survival, TB, HIV-AIDS) and regional environment programs in the Amazon and Congo Basins. In the early ­2000s he managed the TAACS program at CEDPA recruiting, training and backstopping senior and mid-level health and education specialists to work as USAID officers. He managed a dozen 2-week training programs on “How to Survive in USAID”, leading to his recruitment in 2004 as a USAID coach. Since then, John has primarily coached new health, agriculture, and Program/Project Development officers but also has coached environment, controller, and executive officers- 200 total to date. During the DLI orientation programs, John’s wife, Nancy Pielemeier, joined him in presentations to employees (and often their spouses) on “Two Career Couples and Raising Kids Overseas”. He and Nancy have recently downsized and are enjoying apartment living in Chevy Chase, MD. For UAA, John established and manages the Bibliography of USAID Authors and has interviewed 20 retirees for their Oral Histories.

Brother Dismas aka. Sean O’Leary

as told to Patrick Rader

In 1983, Sean O’Leary began working as a PSC Executive Officer for USAID/The Gambia. He served until 1996 when USAID closed due to a coup two years earlier. After serving in several Missions he was hired into the Executive Office of USAID/Kosovo. By Christmas 2003 Sean found himself on leave in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was there that he experienced a very real and powerful call to the eremitic (hermit) life.

He spent the next five years in The Gambia living as Brother Dismas, a hermit under the private vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and provided free medical care to the sick poor. Towards the end of that time, he went to see the Bishop of the diocese of Banjul to seek the status of canonical hermit.


After a two year application process, the Bishop called Brother Dismas to his office where he broke the news that he would be allowed to be consecrated and make his commitment publicly before the congregation of the Church where he had been worshiping. During the ceremony three years ago, the Bishop blessed his habit and accepted his final perpetual life vows and became known as Brother Dismas Mary of the Cross.

Brother Dismas is a Canonical Penitent Hermit of Divine Mercy in the Diocese of Banjul, The Gambia. As a hermit, his life is dedicated to penance, prayer, contemplation and work (caring for the sick poor who come to the hermitage daily). His personal rule of life is an adaption of the first order rule of St. Francis of Assisi, thus he has become an actual beggar in order to meet the needs of the people who come to the hermitage seeking medical help.

If you would like to contact Brother Dismas or help his cause, you may reach him at the coordinates below to learn more.

Nazareth Hermitage
c/o Catholic Secretariat
PO Box 165 Banjul, The Gambia
West Africa
cell: +220 373 1912
cell: +220 773 1912

Denny Robertson


After more than 20 years with USAID, Mission Director to the Caucasus Denny Robertson retired in 2007. He continued development work with private contractors and occasionally returned to USAID to act as Mission Director for Armenia and Brazil, as Director for the PEPFAR Office of HIV/AIDS and as Development Counselor in Bulgaria.

Denny decided to get back to his community development roots and applied to become a Peace Corps Country Director. He had served as a Volunteer in the Philippines in the 1970s and 35 years later in 2011, he returned as the Country Director. “The Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love” applies to being a Country Director as well as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Through his work in Peace Corps as an ‘old (er) guy,’ Denny is able to pursue one of his passions – teaching – in an applied context with hundreds of (mostly) young Americans on the road to global citizenship through volunteer service.  He especially loves the connection to the next generation, which keeps him on his technological toes.  He uses his interagency relationships to the advantage of the Peace Corps program – opening doors to Volunteers for future careers with State, USAID and the broader international development community.

Denny loves the fact that every day is a surprise whether helping volunteers during the good times of creating libraries in rural schools and organizing fisher folk to take responsibility for the environment or working through the bad times of typhoon “Haiyan”.  Denny is pleased that the Philippines was selected as a pilot country for placement of same-sex Peace Corps Volunteers – a sign of how far we have come in recognizing human rights for the LGBT community.

He plans to stay with Peace Corps a bit longer – and will soon move to Ukraine to re-start the program, which was temporarily suspended when hostilities with Russia broke out. Then he will take stock and see which doors mysteriously open as they have done in the past. Denny also plans to write about his overseas experiences once he retires from the Peace Corps.

Denny continues to admire the work of USAID and welcomes contact from old and new colleagues in USAID ( or


The Sands Family — Three Generations at USAID


This is a story of three generations of the Sands family – Fenton Sands Sr., Fenton Sands Jr., and Jamal Sands – who have been USAID foreign service officers since the inception of the Agency in 1961 and continuing today.

It all started with Fenton B. Sands Sr. who grew up as a poor child in Harlem, NY and, strangely enough, became an international agricultural expert who worked in or visited about 30 countries.  How did a city-boy from Harlem get into agriculture?  His childhood curiosity, after being awed by seasonal changes he saw in plants in the park outside his window, drove him to study agriculture.  That led to an overseas career with several international development organizations, beginning in the mid-1940s when he went to Liberia with his wife to start the agricultural school at Cuttington College. In fact, he worked for the International Cooperation Administration (ICA) in 1961 at the time it was re-established as USAID.  From 1960 to 1964, USAID assigned him to Sudan as a Horticulture Advisor. From there Fenton Sr. went on to work overseas with other agencies, and eventually retire from the World Bank in 1982. Another amazing fact about Fenton Sr. is he was a member of the historic Tuskegee Airmen who joined the 477th Bombardment Group in 1942 as a member of the first Navigator-Bombardiers.

The second generation, Fenton Sands Jr. who retired from USAID in 2007, grew up in Liberia, Nigeria, and Sudan (with his mother Dorothy and sisters Doy and Renee) and went to high school in both Egypt and Switzerland. Fenton Jr. inherited part of his gypsy-lifestyle from his parents – first following in his father’s footsteps by earning a degree in agricultural economics from Cornell University, the same university where his father got his PhD in agriculture.  After Fenton Jr.’s first job at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, his father’s career and Fenton Jr.’s experiences living overseas inspired him to join USAID as an IDI in 1976.  He initially served three years in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), then with his family (wife, Cynthia and sons Bemani and Jahmal) took a leave of absence from the Agency to go to Michigan State University for his doctorate degree.

Thereafter, he rejoined USAID and, with his family, headed off to Uganda in 1984.  His USAID career-odyssey continued for over 25 years from Uganda to Morocco, to Egypt, then Ghana, and briefly in Washington, DC before going to Guyana in 2005 as the USAID Mission Director. Since retiring, he’s done several international consultancies with USAID Missions in Ghana, Malawi, and Guyana.  He now lives with his wife Cynthia in Washington, DC.  When not working periodically, he enjoys doing creative things with his own extensive photographic collection and the one he inherited from his father.   Using the vast amount of information left by his father, Fenton Jr. documented his father’s life as a Tuskegee Airman and his very interesting international life in a self-published essay-photo book.

Although Fenton Sr. passed away in 1998, a third generational member of the Sands family, Jahmal Sands, continues the family legacy today as a USAID officer.  He worked with the Agency as a Civil Servant for several years before converting to the Foreign Service in 2018.  He is currently assigned to USAID/Egypt as a Deputy Executive Officer.  Jamal is in familiar territory, having graduated from Cairo American College during his father’s five-year posting at the same USAID Mission 22 years ago.  While Fenton Jr.’s other son, Fenton Bemani Sands, does not work overseas, he does work in the United States for another foreign affairs agency, the Department of State.

Clearly, the two generations after Fenton Sands Sr. were highly influenced by his courageous pioneering spirit and willingness to venture where few would think of going.  In particular, all three have been committed to applying their skills to benefit those in need all over the world as USAID officers have been doing since Fenton Sr. first did so when USAID started close to 60 years ago.


Satish Shah
Winner, 2014 UAA Alumni Award, Domestic Category

Satish Shah joined USAID as a Foreign Service National (FSN) in Kenya in 1962. After gaining U.S. citizenship he became a Direct Hire for USAID in 1977. He retired in 1994 with the rank of FEOC.

Since retirement Satish has been an active member of the Dallas Indian Lions Club. During his tenure as its treasurer, the Club raised over $60,000 to support several charities in India, Nepal, the Philippines and United States. He has been a co-leader of DILC’s monthly activity in McKinney, Texas, where about 150 homeless people are provided daily meals. He also participated in an eye care camp for school children. This year Satish serves as a member of the Donation Committee that reviews applications for donations to several organizations in India and the United States.

He is an active member of the Jain Society of North Texas, a faith-based organization with over 350 families as members. The organization provides religious education, conducts social and cultural activities and maintains facilities for Jain faith worshippers. Satish has served on the Board of Directors, leading the Facility Management Committee, which has been responsible for renovating an 18,000 square foot building that the Society purchased in 2010. Salish continues to provide technical support for the maintenance of facilities owned by the Society.

Satish developed and published a Directory of Oshawls living in Canada and the United States in 1996 and since then has updated it regularly for the benefit of about 500 families living in Canada and the United States who have immigrated to the U.S. from Kenya and India. He researched and wrote various sections of the book and also edited the final product. Satish was also a member of Finance Committee and Treasurer of a Home Owners Association in Plano, Texas.

Satish Shah’s work in the Dallas area seeks to build strength in the immigrant community and to facilitate their integration with the local population – while, importantly, maintaining links to community culture and building continuity with second and third generations.

David Shear

David ShearDuring his 22-years with USAID, colleagues considered David Shear an innovative development leader. He and Don Brown received the Rockefeller National Public Service Award in 1976 for their work on the creation of the Sahel Development Program and special legislation.

Upon retirement in 1984, David built on his USAID experience.  As a company executive, consultant and NGO leader, he has provided guidance to those dedicated to social and economic development in Africa.
He persuaded InterAction and its broad membership to support enactment of the African Recovery and Development Act in 1988 – the best legislative framework (DFA) within which USAID Africa missions were ever able to work.
In 1989, David used his extensive relationships in Senegal to mobilize broad local public, private support, and donor support, for the Agence d’Exécution des Travaux d’Intérêt Public contre le Sous-emploi (AGETIP) to generate investment in infrastructure and jobs for young people.
In 1999, the newly elected President of Nigeria asked for help in establishing an independent organization to provide economic development assistance in the Niger Delta.  David and Roy Stacy helped create the New Nigeria Foundation, a new entity independent of the federal government, which continues today and works with donor and private sector support, to foster community-based development activities.
In addition to his Africa activities, David guided General Electric as it restructured employment levels for its investments in Hungary, ensuring that equal attention was given to reemployment of those who were displaced and to network building with mayors and union officials, thus avoiding civil and political disruption.
He encouraged – and provided a framework for – the OECD to play a central role in guiding and coordinating the demobilization of 300,000 Russian Army officers, thus avoiding confusion as multiple donors began to provide funding for this purpose.  David also taught at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School for 8 years, arranging for students to get hands-on experience in economic development and conservation.  For the past 15 years, David has served as Chairman and member of the board of the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI).  Partnering with Jane Goodall, he helped coordinate with Tanzanian leaders and the World and African Development Banks to develop alternative transport routes and thus avoid construction of a major road through the Serengeti National Park.
Perhaps we should all be asking David to embark on a new path – could Congress use a new member from Virginia?  Skills learned during a USAID career could be very useful there!  And, since David is not slowing down, he may need some new challenges.
David lives in Alexandria with his wife, Barbara. They have two daughters: Jessica, a Michigan resident, and Liz Bredin, who lives in Bangkok with her foreign service husband and three children. David enjoys staying in contact with his USAID friends and can be reached at

Keith Simmons

Simmons_Alumni_ProfileKeith Simmons served at USAID for 16 years, and retired as Minister-Counselor in the Senior Foreign Service. His long term overseas assignments included the Gambia, Niger, Angola, Armenia, and Serbia and Montenegro. He was USAID Mission Director in the last three countries. In Armenia and Serbia he was asked to be Acting Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge d’Affaires. He also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia and then as a Peace Corps Country Director in Bahrain and Yemen. In the private sector he was an Executive Vice-
President of a consulting firm working abroad on contracts for USAID, the WB and the ADB.

Since leaving USAID in 2007, Keith has been either re-hired or contracted to provide services as Acting Mission Director in Russia, Bosnia, Armenia, Cyprus, Albania, and Azerbaijan. He has also served as Acting Chief of Economic Development and Environment in Uganda. When he is home in Gold River California he spends time with his significant other Jelena Burgic, his daughter, grandson and extended family and friends, plays tennis, hikes in the Sierra Nevada Mountains including climbing Mt. Whitney last year. To remain engaged in international affairs Keith serves on the board of the World Affairs Council in Sacramento, continues engagement with the Armenian-American and Serbian-American Diasporas and has made numerous presentations related to International Development at universities and colleges.

Steven and Monica Knorr Sinding

Steve and Monica left USAID in 1990. After a year at the World Bank and the Experiment in International Living, respectively, they moved to New York, where Steve directed the population program at the Rockefeller Foundation for the next eight years and Monica became the secretary and head of external affairs at the Population Council. Monica left the Council in 1995 to get a degree in social work at Smith, and then worked for several years as a geriatric care manager. In 1999 Steve moved from Rockefeller to Columbia University where he taught public health and international development courses until 2002. In that year Monica and Steve moved to London where Steve served for the next four years as Director General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

They returned to the States in 2006 and moved to lovely Manchester, VT. Monica has been heading up the local Bennington County Habitat for Humanity chapter and the Green Mountain Academy for Lifelong Learning — an adult education organization. Steve is on the board of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and the Manchester Music Festival. He also chairs the board of the UK-based International HIV/AIDS Alliance and serves on the boards of Abt Associates, the African Population and Health Research Center in Nairobi, and the Guttmacher Institute. Both find time for plenty of skiing and other outdoor sports pleasures. They welcome visits from USAID friends far and near.

Glenn Slocum 

Glenn S

Glenn Slocum in Taormina – Italy

As a 1969 USAID IDI, Glenn Slocum enjoyed a six-month, first-ever overseas tour in Pakistan, traveling around the country and visiting Afghanistan.  Although he spent most of his 28-year career serving in French-speaking Africa (Cameroon, Senegal, Mauritania and Burundi), as well as four years in Paris at the OECD Club du Sahel, he also worked in the Africa Bureau in Washington for five years in between overseas assignments.  His final USAID direct-hire service was in Washington, as Director of the Office of East Africa, following a year at the National War College.

After retiring in 1997, Glenn joined colleagues as the fourth partner to form Associates for Global Change (AGC), which engages in development work with a variety of private and public organizations.  In addition to the traditional development work in poor countries funded by donors, one unusual area of focus was corporate social responsibility in international extractive industries, such as oil and minerals.  With AGC, Glenn also had a number of assignments with USAID, including two major studies: one of the record of the Office of Transition Initiatives upon its 10-year anniversary in 2000, and the other a study to update a 1984 USAID policy paper on local organizations in development.
In 2009, he left AGC to accept a number of temporary assignments with USAID as acting director in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Mali and Cote d’Ivoire, in addition to consulting assignments in Ghana and West Africa Regional.  Since 2014, he has been a senior development adviser in the “firehouse” of the Crisis Surge Support Staff (CS3) in the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance.
In addition to his international traveling, Glenn enjoys a second home in Ocean City, Maryland.  With all the years he has spent working in and on Africa, he has deep personal ties to the continent.  He provides assistance through an NGO, the Fund for African Relief and Education (FARE), which provides assistance to needy Africans, in such areas as students’ tuition and related needs, and assistance to victims of conflict and natural disasters.
Glenn would enjoy hearing from his colleagues and can be reached at

Jonathan Sperling

Jonathan Sperling started with USAID in October 1966 and was in the crowd TIC’d out in 1994. For 24 years, he served as program officer in Kenya, Thailand, Liberia, Indonesia, Tunisia and Pakistan. Since retirement, he has consulted with missions on project design, evaluation, strategies, and program work. Experience in the Baltics, Caucasus, Balkans, South Asia, WB/G, Sri Lanka and Colombia served him well in preparing new entry folks for life at USAID. He has been coaching since 2001, suffering through myriad hiring mechanisms. If you want to be in touch with him email

Dianne Tsitsos

DTDianne Tsitsos retired from USAID in 2003 as a Senior Foreign Service Officer, Director of the Europe &Eurasia Program Office. Her last overseas assignment was as Mission Director in Armenia, following a stint as Deputy Mission Director for the Central Asian Republics. In an earlier Washington assignment, she was in charge of the Russia Desk, and prior to that she was a Housing Officer, serving as Division Chief for Urban Development and Housing in the new ENI Bureau. Earlier in her career she was deputy Director and then Director of the RHUDO for Central America and a Housing Officer in Sri Lanka.
After retiring to Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, she worked for FXM Associates, a small consulting firm owned by an old friend, where she focused on local and regional economic development projects for a wide variety of public and private sector clients. After 5 years of this, she panicked at the thought of never doing international work again and fled to short-term USAID assignments, mainly in the former Soviet states, but also in Morocco, her first overseas post.  After about 5 years of this, the travel became too onerous to bear, so she stopped work for an entire year, undertaking no volunteer or other socially useful activities. Then her old friend and former employer lost staff and dragged her back to work, which she accepted on the condition it involve no human interaction. On that basis she has been happily employed part-time at FXM. Friends who said she was the only person they knew who, when on her deathbed, would say she regretted not spending more time at the office, are vindicated.
She enjoys home life with husband Rick Ernst, who also continues to undertake consulting assignments, their two dogs, and three cats. Dianne is active with UAA and is a member of the 2016 Awards Committee.  She also serves on the Town Democratic Committee as Treasurer and is a new member of the Town’s Tree Committee.  In addition, she relishes working around the house, gardening and reading.  Although travel  -mainly to Europe since Rick was born in  Germany ­- is certainly a part of her life,  her bucket list contains only books.
She is happy to be contacted at or (508) 758-1308

Barbara Turner


Barbara Turner left USAID in 2005 after spending over 30 years as a Civil Service Officer with USAID, rising through the ranks from an Administrative Assistant and Secretary to Senior Executive Service positions as Deputy Assistant Administrator.  During these years she took leave of absences to complete a Master’s Degree in Public Health and spend 2 years at the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, always returning to USAID.  When she left USAID in 2005, she received a U.S. Government wide career service award from the Partnership for Public Service.
But, she could not leave the draw of development work and since 2005 has focused on her roots in public health, serving as President of University Research Co., LLC (URC).  URC has health programs in 40 countries around the world, including in the U.S. where they work with immigrant populations, particularly migrant farm workers on health and social services.  It is an interesting merger of domestic and international lessons.
Barbara is also engaged with a number of women’s groups supporting women moving up the professional ladder.  Snorkeling in the clear waters of the Florida Keys and the Gulf of Mexico has always attracted Barbara and she is spending increasing time in Florida these days, including condo shopping.  Lately, shelling on the barrier islands off Sanibel, Florida in the Gulf of Mexico is a new interest.  Something with warm water is a likely next career stop.

Ann Van Dusen

AVanDusen_ProfileAnn Van Dusen left USAID at the beginning of 2001 to be Executive Vice President of Save the Children in Westport, Connecticut with the certainty that this would be the next step in her move northward toward her beloved Vermont. Three years later she was back in Washington, getting reacquainted with this wonderful and exciting city and its preoccupation with all things political. The next few years were a wonderful combination of new adventures – philanthropy (both NGO Board work and consulting with foundations); political campaign activity (after years of being “Hatched” it was a total revelation); and teaching graduate classes at Georgetown and SAIS. And yes, occasional trips to Vermont!

In 2011, Carol Lancaster, Dean of Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, made Ann an offer she couldn’t refuse: come to Georgetown and design a new, practitioner-oriented Master’s graduate program in Global Human Development that addresses the knowledge and skills required of development practitioners in the 21st century. Oh yes, and get the program up and running in short order. Along the way, Ann consulted with many USAID alums and colleagues who have offered not only sound advice but also internships for students, guest lectures, and teaching (USAID faculty include Steve Radelet, Holly Wise, Maureen Lewis. Carol Lancaster and David Sprague). Lest anyone doubt it, Ann is ready to testify that the USAID alumni community is vibrant and generous! And the first Masters class in Global Human Development graduates In May 2014.

Ronald Venezia


After 30 years of USAID, Ronald F. Venezia retired to form an international consulting firm – Ronald F. Venezia Associates, Inc. As a subcontractor he provided services to the World Bank (WB) as a certified procurement advisor to WB activities in the former Soviet Union (1994-2000), and as director and advisor to Abt Associates for projects funded by the US Department of Labor (USDOL).

Ron served as Project Director for six-country Central American Occupation and Health Improvement project (2000-2003). This project provided training on occupational safety and health (OSH) to the region’s labor ministries, trained trainers in various civil society organizations and developed tools for apparel factories to learn the actual return on OSH investments. The toolkit was translated into Korean. The project’s own steering committee solicited and received funding from other donors after DOL funding ended.

Ron served as a subcontractor to Abt Associates in the design and implementation of another USDOL funded project for modernization of Labor Inspection Services in Central America and the Dominican Republic (2004-2010). The passage of the United States-Central America – Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) focused attention on the region’s labor inspection services. Ron possessed a unique insight into the dynamics of the labor inspection services. When the USDOL sought bids on CAFTA-DR project, Ron proposed that Abt Associates and the Costa Rican Foundation for Democracy (FUNPADEM) submit a joint proposal administered in FUNPADEM’s San Jose offices. They agreed. Ron oversaw the development of the project, which independent evaluators gave high marks.

Ron was cited as a “visionary”. Due to its success, the project received additional funding and was extended twice for a total of seven years and total financing of $23 million.

Ron’s provided near and long term vision for increasing the capacity of the labor ministries of the region, ultimately benefiting the citizens of six developing countries, and supporting US policy objectives. His photo also testifies to Ron’s long term vision.  It was taken during a visit to the Compalapa Credit Coop that he founded in Guatemala as a PCV in 1964. The Coop now has over 8000 clients and over $3 million in savings.

In 1996 Ron was asked to participate in the Department of State Oral History project. (see Ron retired from development consulting in 2012. He was a finalist for the 2014 UAA Alumni of the Year award. He would welcome hearing from his colleagues at

Paul and Kathleen Vitale
Winners, 2016 UAA Alumni Award

Paul and Kathleen Vitale are this year’s winners of the UAA’s Alumni of the Year award in the international category, a first for a USAID couple. They work together to document traditional hand-woven Mayan textiles, save the weaving techniques threatened with extinction in war-torn Guatemala, and highlight the weavers.  It is an exemplary partnership, utilizing the talents and skills of both to the benefit of people whose contributions to world culture might otherwise be lost.
In 2001 they inherited a collection of hand woven textiles from Kathleen’s mother, which led them to travel to some of the most remote and dangerous corners of Guatemala to record the disappearing skills and products of traditional Mayan weavers. Their NGO, “Endangered Threads Documentaries,” promotes the videos they have made on these weavers, publicizes the traditional weaving techniques, and raises funds to cover costs. Their work has been recognized by the American Association of Anthropology and shown at museums in San Francisco, San Jose, Berkeley, Seattle, Denver, Urbana, Providence, Miami, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Guatemala City.
Paul and Kathleen Vitale’s international work began when they both volunteered for the Peace Corps in 1963. Paul’s degree in city planning led to work in community development in Ecuador and self-help housing in Peru. Kathleen, with a background in art history, also taught and worked with local artisans. A 25-year USAID career followed, for Paul, focusing on urban and community development in Ecuador, Brazil, Peru, and Washington. Meanwhile, Kathleen turned to writing and photography, working and traveling in Ecuador, Peru and Brazil, and in the states becoming a prize-winning journalist in Reston, VA.
Family was also a big part of their activities, with three lively children, Grant, Beth, and Micaela.  Children figured prominently in Kathleen’s overseas work as she helped in the adoption of homeless children in Quito by American and European families, including Grant and Micaela in their own home.  She also found time to teach history and geography at a local school.
After retirement, Paul worked as an adjunct professor at the University of Oregon, leading seminars on world urbanization. After stints in journalism, Kathleen worked for IBM until moving to Oregon where she made training videos for docents at the University of Oregon Museum of Art and produced documentaries on American and Chinese artists. The couple moved to California in 2000, for family reasons, where they inherited their textile collection and began their mission to highlight Mayan weavers and give back to the Maya their ancient history of being superb textile artists by putting all their documentary work on Youtube.

Elzadia Washington


Elzadia in red sweater harvesting turnips with students from the Academics of West Memphis

Drawing on her roots in rural Arkansas, Elzadia “Zee” Washington started her career with USAID as an Agriculture Development Officer.  In her 30 plus years with USAID, she served in multiple positions, lived and worked in 8 countries – Mali, Belize, Cameroon, Egypt, Haiti, Uganda, Philippines and ended her career as a Mission Director in Namibia.    When asked which was her favorite country, her response is always the same – “don’t have one, each Post provided experiences my family and I will always cherish.”

When Elzadia retired in 2013 and relocated to Memphis, Tennessee, it was the first time in years that she, her husband and three daughters all lived on the same continent.   Upon retirement, Elzadia had two dream jobs. The first was to continue to work in disaster management, which came to fruition when she signed a five-year (annually renewed) PSC contract with OFDA to serve intermittently in response to humanitarian emergencies and disasters.  Prior to retiring, Elzadia brought 10 acres of land adjacent to her family farm located near West Memphis, Arkansas to fulfill her second dream: to build an 8-bedroom B&B on the land with each bedroom featuring a country she had lived in.    That has yet to happen, but she has taken up farming.    Today, she is the proud owner and manager of a 6-acre vegetable farm that produces high-quality, naturally grown vegetables for consumers at affordable prices.   Theinitial start-up phase involved lots of adaptability and experimentation, however, the second year has been a more settled phase – stable production cycles and less product variability.
Given the importance of agriculture in the Mid-South Delta Region and the need to increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, Elzadia has teamed up with the Academics of West Memphis to host an afterschool program for high school students entitled ” Let’s Move – Protect our Agricultural Heritage.”  The students are learning how food is grown, the importance of healthier eating and are acquiring an appreciation for farm life.  Her hope is that they will share this knowledge with family members and those in their communities.  Given her passion for the agriculture sector, Elzadia is also hoping that her students will develop a love for and seek careers in agriculture, environment, natural resources management or the food industry.
In addition to other accomplishments, Elzadia is actively engaged in the UAA Mentoring Program focused on her mentee’s needs and interests.  Elzadia is the president of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) local alumni chapter and also is a member of the UAPB Global River Basin Imitative Advisory Council, where she provides a global perspective to the higher education experience.  Friends may reach Elzadia 

                Leon S. “Skip” Waskin

Skip first retired from USAID at the end of 2010, but after two years as Senior Vice President for Stabilization and Development for Pax Mondial Group – an incredible learning experience with other donor organizations such as DFID and EU — he was lured back to USAID in 2012. A four-month assignment to Pakistan was extended to almost six years as Skip next headed the Karachi provincial office, then assumed the role of Embassy’s Assistance Coordinator.

After leaving Pakistan and USAID service in 2018, Skip joined
DevTech Systems as its Senior Director for Operations. The work there keeps him in close contact with the Agency, including supervising the company’s contracts with USAID missions in Nigeria and Zambia. His work for DevTech has taken him to London, Abuja, back to Pakistan, and to Oslo where he participated in a U.S. Institute of Peace sponsored conference.

All Skip’s work and travel are made possible by the love and support of his wife Oyuntsetseg, whom he met while she was working on a USAID-funded project in Mongolia. Oyunaa, as she is known to everyone, is an amazingly talented professional portrait artist whose work has been displayed in galleries such as the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria. Oyunaa painted the portrait of Skip shown here.

Skip and Oyunaa are the very proud parents of two adult sons and a 12-year old daughter. They reside in Burke, and divide their time between there and Staunton, Virginia, where their daughter attends school. In Skip’s words, “The two joys of my life have been my family and my work in international development. I have been incredibly fortunate.”
He welcomes hearing from former USAID friends and colleagues at

Jerry Wein

Post retirement from USAID, Jerry Wein spent years working with development “.orgs” while remaining in McLean, Virginia. That nonsense ended three years ago when he and his wife, Martita Marx, pulled up roots and moved to their new home in God’s country called Bend, Oregon. Lifestyle changed but the pace of daily life has not. They volunteer in a free health clinic serving the uninsured, play lead roles in reducing wildfire risk in their heavily forested community, travel the Northwest, ski, and hike with fantastic panoramas provided free of charge. They have enjoyed sharing the Central Oregon-Cascades area with about 35 sets of houseguests. Jerry and Martita return several times a year to the DC area to see family and friends. When they yearn for a taste of the international scene they board a plane, most recently for a month split between Barcelona and Paris. Jerry can be contacted at

Mark Wentling

Mark Wentling continues building on 50 years of humanitarian service that began in 1967 as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras and Togo. Since arriving in Togo in 1970, he has been dedicated to working for the betterment of Africa. His work and travels over the past 46 years have taken him to all 54 African countries. He says he was born and raised in Kansas but made in Africa.

Following stints as Peace Corps Director in Gabon and Niger, he began working for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Niger in 1977, and served as USAID’s principal officer in Guinea, Togo/Benin, Angola, Somalia and Tanzania. He was promoted into the Senior U.S. Foreign Service in 1988.

Since his formal retirement from USAID in 1996, he worked under contract as USAID’s Senior Advisor for the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa and as a specialized consultant in Malawi, Senegal, South Africa and Zambia. He also served as USAID’s country manager in Niger and Burkina Faso in the 2006 to 2010 period.

Mark has also applied his extensive development experience to Non­Governmental Organizations (NGOs), CARE and World Vision, in Niger and Mozambique. In his last position with World Vision, he covered all of Africa from his base in Maputo and worked in a number of African countries. In 2011, he accepted a position as Country Director for Plan International in Burkina Faso. In 2015, he moved with his family to Lubbock, Texas where he assisted Breedlove Foods, a producer of humanitarian relief foods, and taught an honors course in international development at Texas Tech University. Most recently, he began working as a senior agricultural advisor with USAID’s West Africa Regional Mission in Accra, Ghana.

Mark was honored in 2014 with Wichita State University’s annual alumni achievement award. He’s also a graduate of Cornell University and the National War College. He has published three books … his African Trilogy…and numerous professional articles. The publication of his fourth book, Dead Cow Road ­ Life on the Front Lines of an International Crisis,” is forthcoming this year. He likes learning about other cultures and speaks a number of languages: French, Spanish, Portuguese, Ewe, Hausa and Kiswahili. He tries to reside as much as possible in Lubbock with his wife and three of his seven children. He plans to continue working as much as he can for as long as he can. Mark wishes to be known as a father, a humanitarian, an author and a teacher, and as someone who has a good and generous heart.

Paul White

WhiteDuring his long career with USAID, Paul White thrived during assignments in remote areas working with indigenous communities. In the process he learned six languages and became skilled at partnering with NGOs and local government. After retirement, he became involved with Toastmasters International, which trains and encourages members to develop their skills in public speaking. Not surprisingly, Paul used the familiar material of his far-flung USAID experience for his early speeches. His early speeches featured development success stories from around the world, as well as in specialized areas such as HIV/AIDS, family planning, appropriate technology, etc.  In no time, he was a skilled promoter of USAID and foreign aid.

As Paul came to appreciate the communications and leadership benefits of membership in Toastmasters, he turned to helping the organization expand and diversify its membership to include non-English speaking members in the US. He rose through the ranks to become the District Governor of the 10th largest Toastmasters district in the world and chartered almost 100 new clubs throughout the Washington DC area.  He also introduced the first bilingual clubs in the region, including Spanish-English, Chinese-English and Spanish-English.

Then using his Asian cultural affinity and fluency in Lao, Cambodian and Thai, Paul launched an effort to expand Toastmasters into new parts of Southeast Asia. After extensive travel in the region, he helped create new clubs and organized a new District including Laos, Cambodia and Thailand.

In recognition of his successful efforts, Paul received the organization’s highest honor, a rare Presidential Citation, at the Toastmasters International Convention in 2013 (see photo). Last summer he also traveled to Myanmar to launch a new Toastmasters program there. Today Paul feels that he is using the experience and skills he developed while at USAID “in perhaps smaller but every bit as important ways to help make our world a better place.”

Paul was nominated for the UAA Alumni of the Year award last year by Joan Silver.  Although he was not ultimately one of the finalists, his post-retirement activities are indeed inspiring in terms of new ways to build on past experiences and explore volunteer service with new organizations – in this case one with both local and global impact.

Stephen Wingert

Steve Wingert began his international development career in 1968 as a Peace Corps Volunteer assisting a USAID funded rice cooperative in Guatemala. After three years as a PCV he was contracted by USAID to design and manage its agricultural cooperative and credit union projects. At the time most USAID equipment and many of its forms were still labeled “ICA,” from USAID’s predecessor International Cooperation Administration. His coworkers dated back to the years of Truman’s Point IV program. Few current USAID employees are familiar with the blue mimeographed PIO/Ts and PIO/Cs that preceded (by several generations) MAARDS and GLAAS.

Steve Wingert photo at Morgans Cay

As a USAID Foreign Service Officer Steve served in Bolivia, Honduras, LAC Washington, Guatemala, and ended his career as Mission Director in Costa Rica. Since retiring in 1995 Steve has successfully completed over 100 consulting assignments in 29 countries, with work in Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. He has focused on assisting USAID Missions with strategic planning, program design, monitoring and evaluation, implementation, and organizational strengthening. As an example, he recently completed an assignment to assess the impact of the USAID/South Africa program by applying the criteria of aid effectiveness from the Paris Declaration and USAID Forward. In 1997 he created his own consulting firm, Wingerts Consulting, and has a roster of over 100 consultants, mainly USAID retirees, who have agreed to work with the firm on appropriate assignments.

Many USAID officers and retirees know of Steve because in 1980 he and his family purchased Morgans Cay, a small island near Utila in the Bay Islands of Honduras. Steve and his wife Marilee spend three months a year at the Cay, where the accompanying photo of Steve was taken. He is able to manage his consulting business from the Cay with a high speed internet connection. Others know of him because his daughter Anya Glenn and her husband Ted Glenn are both USAID Officers,currently stationed in Kinshasa. Marilee Wingert does volunteer work managing a scholarship program and provides other assistance for a woman’s organization in a small Mayan village in Guatemala made up of widows from three decades of conflict in that country. Their son Jeremy also works in the public sector as a multi-state corporate auditor for the State of California.

Ken and Vivian Yamashita

Ken Yamashita completed his third journey in development when he retired from USAID in December 2016, his previous journeys being completion of a PhD in public health from Johns Hopkins in 1980 and serving as a senior staff of a contractor.  His 27-year career with USAID

page3image3678251248included overseas assignments in Latin America, Africa, Europe and Eurasia, and Asia. He served as Mission Director in Kosovo, Colombia, and Afghanistan. Following Afghanistan, he returned to Washington where he was detailed to the Peace Corps as an appointee of the Obama Administration, serving initially as Regional Coordinator for the Americas and later Director for Global Operations. Ken considers this last assignment as the icing on the cake of a rewarding career. He feels humbled, honored and privileged to have served in the Administration of the first African American President of our country. Ken left Peace Corps and retired, feeling very optimistic about the future of our foreign affairs, as he saw first-hand the tenacity and resilience, the creativity and patience, and above all the compassion and humanity of the field staff of USAID and State, and the staff and Volunteers of Peace Corps.

The first three years of Ken’s retirement were busy settling into their new home, caring for aging parents, and supporting Mission leadership in the LAC region. At the behest of the LAC region, Ken served as an executive mentor and coach for Mission Directors and Deputy Directors. He traveled to several countries and worked closely with the leadership teams to improve communications, leadership skills, and interagency coordination. Ken believes that an essential ingredient to successful mentoring is to provide timely feedback, so being on the ground and in real time were essential.

As he embarks on his fourth year of retirement, Ken looks forward to connecting with regions of the United States that he has never visited. His next journey will be to get to know America, and of course, to spend lots of quality time with his family: His wife of 40 years Viviana, their daughter Yuri, their son Seiji, his wife Joanie, and their children, Aodhan and Liam. Ken considers that their extended family is more than a blend of Japanese, Cuban, and Irish; it is an American family.

Ken and Viviana welcome hearing from their UAA friends. They may be contacted at