50th Anniversary

USAID Agency Notice

Next November marks USAID’s 50th Anniversary. LPA is coordinating an Agency-wide strategy for the coming year and we need your help as we mark this important Anniversary, involving events and activities in the U.S. and in our missions throughout the world. The 50th Anniversary will focus on USAID contributions to U.S. foreign policy efforts going forward, building on 50 years of proven experience. Our partnerships, innovations and contributions in the past and going forward will be the highlights. We’ll communicate those through the stories of individuals here in the agency, those we’ve helped throughout the world, those who built the foundations of our work, and those who will continue to build on our efforts into the future. In November, we will “soft launch” the Agency’s 50th Anniversary with a press release introducing our mark. The formal launch of USAID’s 50th Anniversary will take place in January.

Several efforts are underway to help make this an agency-wide commemoration of this important event, and to share it with our stakeholders and implementing partners.

First, Administrator Shah has asked Janet Ballantyne to coordinate an effort to compile a 50 year retrospective that will allow us to look back at the people and events that shaped the Agency’s history. She will be asking Agency staff and alumns to send in short (two to three pages) memoir type recollections of major events in their career. These will be organized by decade to tell part of the USAID story. So please start thinking of memorable events in your own career and try to remember colleagues you have worked with in the past who may be retired. Janet will be sending out further information in the coming days.

Second, LPA is organizing an informal 50th Anniversary Steering Committee to help guide and take an active role in the planning process and mark this important milestone in a vibrant way. There are a select number of positions for interested staff to become involved.

Those interested in joining the Steering Committee should submit their name, contact info and a brief paragraph describing why the staff member would be a great addition to the team and what specific contributions they will make to the overall effort. This will be a hands-on committee and we are looking for a variety of people with institutional memory and/or creative ideas who are ready to roll up their sleeves and own and implement various aspects. Please e-mail Louisa Bargeron at lbargeron@usaid.gov with your submission.

Finally, on November 17th we will start our “countdown” to the Anniversary with a “50 weeks” commemoration on USAID’s IMPACTblog.

Each week for 50 weeks, we’ll publish an item to highlight the Anniversary – a blog post, picture, video, article or interview – to help us build towards our official anniversary date next year. This 50 week series is a venue to not only tell the story of where our Agency has been but where we’re going and so we want to hear from you. What lesson did you learn that changed the way you’ll do business in the future? What set-back made you leap forward? What small, low cost solution had the biggest impact? We will kick-start the effort by posting President Kennedy’s letter to Congress from 1961. 50 weeks is a long time so if you have an idea or item to post, please e-mail 50thstories@usaid.gov and put “50 Weeks” in the subject line. Story submission guidelines are:

  • First-person stories. We want these in YOUR voice!!
  • Approximately 1-2 pages
  • FACT CHECKED (All submissions sent must be thoroughly fact checked)
  • An Agency objective (i.e. a story of partnership, innovation, USAID getting better and learning from its mistakes, etc.)

LPA is excited to lead this effort on behalf of USAID and the U.S. development community. To make it successful, we’ll need your help and enthusiasm.

Any questions concerning this notice may be directed to

Notice 10120