Mentoring MOU





The United States Agency for International Development

Europe and Eurasia Bureau




The United States Agency for International Development

Alumni Association











I.  The Parties and their Joint Objective



This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is entered into by and between the Europe and Eurasia (E&E) Bureau of USAID and the USAID Alumni Association (UAA) (together, the Parties). The Parties desire to enter into this MOUAgreement to work together on a Pilot Program to accelerate development of Foreign Service Officers (FSOs) with on-the-job mentoring.


I.A. Background

A top-line indicator under USAID Forward’s “Talent Management” is for 200 FSOs to participate in mentoring programs by the end of FY 2014. This Pilot Program intends to address the Agency’s need by matching junior officers with USAID alumni. These USAID alumni will provide coaching and feedback to FSOs on defined projects and tasks.  This Pilot Program will be evaluated to draw out lessons learned that are applicable to USAID career development programs beyond the E&E Bureau.


See the Program Description in Attachment A.


I.B.  Description of the Parties


The USAID Europe and Eurasia Bureau currently operates programs in 15 countries through 11 Missions and a Regional Services Center based in Budapest.  While the countries of Europe and Eurasia are progressing in their transitions, development challenges remain to achieving which prevent a complete transformation into a region that is whole, free and at peace. USAID continues to tackle the region’s fundamental transition challenges of pervasive corruption, authoritarian rule, weak policy and regulatory environments, significant poverty and unemployment, and inadequate health and social protection systems.


The USAID Alumni Association fosters collegial networks of former USAID employees while promoting exchange of knowledge among alumni who wish to use their public service experience to advance global development. UAA facilitates access to alumni expertise for professional counsel and public education in support of sound and successful U.S. foreign assistance.  UAA is a 501(c)3 non-profit registered in Washington, D.C.  For additional information, see



II.   Responsibilities of the Parties


II.A.  The E&E Bureau intends toWill:

  • Oversee and approve the selection of Mentees who are or will be in E&E field missions for the duration of the Pilot (an initial pool of 10-15 Mentees is envisioned).
  • Make final selection of mentors proposed by UAA.
  • Provide information to mentors on selected mentees’ country programs and strategies.
  • Design and deliver briefing modules for selected mentors on optimally preparing them for mentoring USAID employees.
  • Develop and deliver a training module for selected mentees on optimally preparing for them for receiving mentoring.
  • Assign responsibility for ongoing evaluation and processing of feedback from the Pilot.
  • Ensure that the Mentor candidates are able and willing to sign individual agreements to carry out their responsibilities.  See Attachment B for a sample Mentor/Mentee Agreement.
  • Provide funding for operational aspects of Pilot start-up such as mentor-mentee communication  and essential travel associated with the pilot program (such funding to be provided under a separate mechanism)..
  • Work with USAID/HR on transforming the Pilot into an Agency-wide Program.


II. B. The UAA intends toWill:

  • Identify and propose to the E&E Bureau as potential mentors alumni who are available, match selected mentee needs, and will commit an average of 3-6 hours per week over the four-month operational period of the Pilot Program.
  • Identify alumni with training experience who will co-deliver the Mentor Briefing modules with the Bureau colleague.
  • Support E&E evaluation activities as may be requested by the Bureau.


II. C.  The E&E Bureau and the UAA jJointly intend toWill:

  • Define criteria for selecting UAA mentors.
  • Co-deliver the two-day Mentor Briefing modules.
  • Cooperate to minimize risks of conflicts of interest (COI) or appearances of COI in the selection and/or performance of Mentors.;
  • Design evaluation and feedback forms for the Pilot Program.
  • Participate in reviewing the evaluation and feedback, including identification of areas for adjustment and improvement.



III.  Framework for the Pilot Program


See a Notional Action Plan for establishing, implementing and evaluating the program in Attachment C.


Following signature of this MOU, the Pparties will define, in a subsequent Work Plan, details of the pilot program, including:

  • Administration of Mentor Project

o     Duration of the Pilot Program

o     Methods for communication between Parties on administrative matters

  • Mentor/Mentee Relationship

o     Methods for Mentoring

o     Length of time for mentor/mentee relationship

o     Methods for communication between mentors and mentees

o     How mentee progress will be measured

  • Selection and Performance of mentors

o     Criteria for selection of mentors

o     How performance of mentor will be evaluated and opportunities for changing mentors/mentees

  • Avoiding Conflicts of Interest
  • Budget — Potential Pilot Program costs and mechanisms for covering costs.



IV.  General Provisions

IV. A.  Coordination and Consultation

The Parties shall provide each other with such information as may be needed to facilitate the implementation of the Pilot Program and to evaluate the effectiveness of the assistance.  Any issues concerning the interpretation, administration or implementation of this MOU shall be resolved by consultation between the Parties.





IV. B.  Effect of MOU

This MOU does not constitute a legal obligation or binding agreement or effect an obligation of funds by USAID or the U.S. Government, and it does not contemplate a transfer of funds from USAID to the UAA or assumption of liability by USAID or UAA. USAID will obligate, commit and expend funds and carry out operations pursuant to this MOU in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations of the United States.


IV. C.  Third Party Instruments and the Availability of Funds

In order to implement the Pilot Program described in this MOU, USAID may enter into such contracts, purchase orders and/or other instruments with public and private parties, including the UAA, as USAID deems appropriate.  It is these instruments, once fully executed, that will constitute legal obligations of USAID.  All assistance and undertakings of USAID pursuant to this MOU are subject to the availability of funds and to further agreement between USAID and such public and private parties regarding the provision of such assistance.  Because USAID’s assistance and undertakings herein may be subject to other such binding instruments, in the event of any conflict between the terms of such instruments and the terms of this MOU, the terms of the other instruments shall prevail.  No third party may claim rights under any such instrument as a third party beneficiary even though they may benefit from the assistance provided under such instruments.


IV. D.  Amendments and Termination

This MOU may be amended or modified in writing by the Parties.  Any Party may terminate its participation in this MOU by giving the other Parties thirty (30) days written notice.


IV. E.  Effective Date and Term

This MOU shall be effective as of the date signed[May __, 2012date] and shall remain in effect until December 31, 2014, [date – needs to be filled in] or until terminated, whichever is earlier, unless extended in writing by all Parties.


IV. F.  Representatives

The Parties shall be represented by those holding or acting in the offices held by the signatories to this MOU.  Each Party may, by written notice to the others, identify additional representatives authorized to represent that Party for all purposes other than executing formal amendments to this MOU.  Each Party shall notify the other in writing of changes in the authorized representatives.





IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Parties, each acting through its duly authorized representative, have caused this Memorandum of Understanding to be signed in their names and delivered as of the date above.




USAID Europe and Eurasia Bureau

USAID Alumni Association

By:      ______________________________

(Signature)By:      ______________________________

(Signature)Name:  Paige Alexanderxxxx

Title:    Assistant Administrator

            Bureau for Europe and Eurasia

xxxxxName:  xxxx

Title:    xxxxxxDate:   ______________________________Date:   ______________________________


Attachment A

Program Description


USAID On-the-Job Mentoring Program for Foreign Service Officers

Pilot Program for the Europe and Eurasia Bureau



The Goal of the Program is to accelerate development of Foreign Service Officers (FSOs) through on-the-job mentoring.  Key elements of the Program are:

1.  Mentors identified by the USAID Alumni Association (UAA) and selected by the Europe and Eurasia Bureau (E&E) will provide coaching and feedback to FSOs on defined projects and tasks.

2.  E&E will pilot the program.

3.  The Program will include briefings for mentors on mentoring best practices, and training for selected USAID FSO mentees on how to optimally work with mentors.

4.   The program will maximize virtual technology to limit travel costs.

5.   Dedicated staff will monitor and evaluate the program using objective criteria to enable the Agency to make decisions regarding its potential for expansion.


Addressing a Vital Need

A top-line indicator under USAID Forward’s “Talent Management” is for 200 FSOs to participate in mentoring programs by the end of FY 2014.  To be fully successful, USAID needs employee development models that address the realities of current demographics, namely:

  • Over 60% of current USAID FSOs at grade FS01 or higher are eligible to retire over the next four years.
  • Nearly 900 FSOs have joined USAID in the past three years; that’s almost 50% of the total FSO workforce.
  • On the average, FSOs spend only one year as an FS05, three years as an FS04, two years as an FS03, and two years as an FY02, before moving up a grade.


One result of this overall demographic picture is that less experienced FSOs are increasingly thrust into positions of leading people, acting as senior managers, and managing complex programs without having had the opportunity to acquire vital skills and experience from working with a variety of experienced colleagues at various posts.  At the same time, the Agency’s pool of senior officers who are qualified to prepare staff for leadership and management is shrinking.


Optimizing On-the-Job Mentoring.  We learn our jobs through a range of sources: observing what others do well or do poorly, conversing with colleagues, reflecting on our actions, and formal training.  Studies show that 80-90% of what we learn is through on-the-job activities while 10-20% of what we learn is through training. Because of USAID FSO demographics, USAID/HR is helping missions throughout the world supplement on-the-job training with formal mentoring models that aim to accelerate FSO development through on-the-spot guidance, coaching and feedback. These models recognize that effective mentors complement and strengthen the vital role that supervisors play in developing FSOs.  Effective mentors also augment the time and effort that senior mission management spends on coaching FSOs – thus allowing managers to focus more on organizational and interagency leadership roles.


The E&E Bureau requires a best practice mentoring program that accelerates development of FSOs in a cost-effective way that also meets Agency-specific needs.  Take a look at the world’s top organizations which rapidly develop leaders and where people love to work — such as REI, Google, McKinsey and Company, and Trader Joe’s — and you will find on-the-job learning programs that utilize senior employees and alumni as mentors. These programs train their mentors how to provide feedback and coaching to mentees on specific projects and tasks, enabling such organizations to effectively place employees in challenging roles which build confidence, skills and leadership. Missions are already implementing various models to achieve these aims. In addition, the E&E Bureau will pilot a mentoring model to augment these efforts.


The E&E Bureau’s pilot program will work as follows:


UAA-Identified USAID Alumni as Mentors  

The UAA is ideally positioned to identify mentors for selection by USAID for the following reasons:


Experience: UAA has access to USAID alumni who are qualified to mentor FSOs across all USAID backstops. Alumni with backgrounds such as program officers or general development officers have the flexibility to mentor FSOs in a range of backstops that require expertise in common USAID activities — such as navigating host country and interagency settings, developing strategies, designing evaluations, managing staff, developing budgets, and monitoring projects.  At the same time, alumni who were experienced EXOs, RLAs and contracting officers are ideally qualified to help FSOs develop specialized skills in these backstops.


Mentoring Fits UAA Objectives:  The UAA Articles of Association and Bylaws are: To harness the experience and expertise of the USAID alumni community for the purpose of providing sound and timely professional counsel and public education in support of U.S. foreign assistance to promote effective international development.  To serve as an independent voice to support USAID and its development mission by facilitating professional development and exchange of knowledge related to the effective use of foreign assistance.  To foster a network of former USAID employees who wish to maintain social contact and utilize their public service skills to promote international development.


Neutral Confidantes:  To develop quickly, FSOs must feel that they can confide concerns and insecurities that they need to overcome in order to reach their performance potential — without worrying about the effect on their AEF or “hall reputation”.  UAA mentors are potentially ideal independent confidantes — responsible to provide feedback only to mentees.



Getting Started  


Step #1: Sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

The E&E Bureau and UAA will sign a MOU that defines common goals, the basic roles and responsibilities of each party, and basic provisions of the Pilot Program.


Step #2: Sign on Work Plan for Pilot Program

The E&E Bureau and UAA will sign a Work Plan that clarifies key issues as:


  • E&E Bureau and UAA Relationship, including the length of the pilot program, mentoring methods, and how mentors and mentees will communicate with each other;
  • Avoidance of Organizational Conflicts of Interest (COI) including non-disclosure agreements, as necessary, especially pertaining to proprietary information, mission strategies, or source selection information.  Alumni who have ongoing, regular contacts with USAID implementing partners, or who work for USAID implementing partners or are engaged in employment discussions with USAID implementing partners will need to disclose contacts or employment arrangements, so that appropriate steps can be taken to prevent COI.
  • Selection Process. The Work Plan will define how mentors will be selected — according their qualifications and the E&E Bureau’s needs.
  • Measuring Progress. The Work Plan will define how the pilot program will measure progress and make adjustments during the course of the pilot program’s operation.


Step #3: Select Mentors and Mentees 

  • The E&E will identify an initial pool of 10-15 mentees, to pilot the program.
  • Based on the mentees’ respective backstops, the E&E Bureau will work with the UAA to select available and qualified mentors.  Mentors should expect to dedicate 3-6 hours per-week, per employee mentored.


Step #4: Preparing Mentors and Mentees

The Program will prepare mentors for their role through two-day briefings covering the following areas:

  • Creating Mentor-Mentee Action Plan Agreements
  • Effective Coaching Techniques:  Measurable Outcomes and Mentor/Mentee Styles
  • Providing Effective Feedback to Improve Performance
  • Latest Agency Policies, Strategies and Initiatives — including USAID Forward
  • Training of Trainers to prepare mentors to train fellow UAA mentors in the future.


The Program will provide mentees with a one-day training module on how optimally to work with mentors.  Topics will include:

  • Creating Mentor-Mentee Action Plan Agreements
  • Accelerating Learning and Skill-Building
  • Understanding Measurable Outcomes and Mentor/Mentee Styles



Step #5: Mentors and Mentees Complete Action Plan Agreements:

One of the most important criteria of a successful program is that mentors provide coaching and feedback on specific projects and activities and work priorities. Employees learn quickest when they receive advice and feedback, real-time, on specific tasks that employees must master to effectively perform their jobs — technical, writing and teamwork skills for employees at lower grades; and supervisory, and leadership skills for employees at higher grades. Mentoring programs that are “passive,” allowing employees and mentors simply to check in with each other on a regular basis are not effective, as they do not enable mentors to observe the employee’s work style or how specific actions and tasks could be improved. With this in mind, each mentor and mentee will sign an Action Plan Agreement that defines:

  • Specific projects, activities, and tasks for mentoring.
  • Areas that the mentee aims to develop – both technical skills and soft (people) skills.
  • Frequency and methods (video, telephone, e-mail, face-to-face) of mentor/mentee communication.
  • Methods for obtaining independent feedback on mentee performance
  • The time frame that employee and mentor will commit to the program.



Moving from Pilot to Full-Program

The pilot program will begin upon the signing of the MOU between UAA and E&E.


By November 2012, the E&E Bureau, the UAA, participating mentors and mentees will provide feedback on the pilot– in order to adjust and improve the program before deciding whether to work with USAID/HR to expand it to additional missions and/or bureaus.








Attachment B

DRAFT Mentor and Mentee Agreement

Mentee’s Name:  ____________________________________________________


Mentor’s Name: ____________________________________________________



Terms of Agreement

Confidentiality: All information between the Mentee and the Mentor shall be confidential and only shared with other parties if both agree.


It is expected that the MENTOR will:

  • share expertise, best practices and lessons learned on specific projects and activities;
  • provide constructive feedback; share information on “unwritten rules for success;”
  • act as a sounding board for ideas/concerns;
  • identify resources to help the mentee enhance development in USAID;
  • serve as an advocate for the mentee whenever appropriate; and
  • build the mentee’s confidence and strengths.


It is expected that the MENTEE will:

  • identify specific skills, knowledge and/or goals that he/she wants to achieve;
  • define development goals and work objectives in a developmental action plan with specific methods and time frames;
  • solicit developmental  feedback from colleagues on areas for improvement;
  • agree with the mentor on frequency and methods of communication; and
  • regularly provide feedback to the mentor on ways to refine and improve communication and optimize the mentor/mentee relationship.


Meetings: The Mentee and Mentor shall meet regularly at a time place mutually agreed upon.


Length of Relationship:  Mentee and Mentor agree that the professional relations will be evaluated regularly as to the benefit of continuing the agreement.  We understand that either has the option of discontinuing the relationship for any reason providing the terminating party notifies the other.


This document reflects the agreements that we enter into at this point in time. We understand the terms of this agreement may be changed at any time and that we agree to document any changes to such terms in writing.




____________________________                                          ______________________________

Mentor Signature                     Date                                        Mentee Signature                         Date




Attachment C

Notional Action Plan with Milestones



Item Result/Output Who

First name listed below is leadStartEndRemarks1MOU signed by reps of E&E Bureau and UAATBD5/219/55/229/5a)Finalize MOU;   b)Clarify info to be provided later in Work Plan2Pilot Program Work Plan CompletedE&E

UAA5/228/176/159/14Clarifies Pilot Program Details, including:  a)Avoiding Conflict of Interest;

b)Mentor selection process

c)Mentor/mentee communication methods

d)Methods for measuring mentee progress

e)Evaluating the Pilot

f)Budget and Mechanisms for covering expenses3E&E mentees selectedE&E Bureau5/229/176/159/21a)E&E defines selection criteria4UAA mentors nominatedUAA6/159/176/299/28a)E&E & UAA co-define selection criteria;5Mentors and Mentees Sign Action Plan AgreementsMentor/ Mentees7/17/15 6Mentor Briefings and Mentee Training modules draftedMaybrook drafts

UAA provides input6/49/16/299/28a)E&E drafts & UAA provides input;  b)UAA identifies alumni to team with E&E trainer to provide Briefings and Trainings7Mentors receive preparation briefingsMaybrook

UAA Member TBD7/1910/167/2010/17 8Mentees receive preparation trainingsMaybrook (RSC)8/19/158/159/28 9Program evaluation criteria definedE&E,  UAA8/159/19/149/1 10Mentors and mentees provide 1st phase feedbackE&E,  UAA10/11/110/151/15 11Pilot Program concluded 11/302/1511/302/15 12Pilot Program evaluation completed 12/12/1512/152/28 13Decision made to continue or expand program to other bureaus 3/13/1



  •  The Results/Outputs and Start/End Dates are notional and subject to revision
  • ·.Define the evaluation criteria for Pilot
  •  Determine number and sequence of participants in Pilot
  • .Mentor briefings – could take place in mid- late September, 3 4 days in Mid October (16th and 17th) or after mid- late November
  • .Mentee briefings by DVC

 Successful Mentoring programs are task and project focused, so the legal aspects of mentoring on Scopes of Work, procurement sensitive information, etc,  needs to be resolved and incorporated into action plan agreements at the inception so these details need to be defined early