April 2013 Minutes

UAA Executive Committee Meeting
Thursday, April 18, 2013
10:30 AM – 12:30 PM
TetraTech Office, Rosslyn Room
Arlington, VA
Board Members Attending: Frank Almaguer, Margaret Carpenter, David Cohen, George Hill, Jim Michel, Alex Shakow

Board Members Not Attending: Nancy Pielemeier

Co-Chairs Attending: Curt Farrar, Pam Mandel, Nancy Tumavick, Ann Van Dusen, Jerry Wood

Co-Chairs not Attending: Paula Goddard, Larry Smucker

AGM Committee Representative: George Laudato

Chair: Alex Shakow

1. Review and approval of March 21, 2013, Executive Committee Meeting Minutes:

The March 21, 2013 meeting Minutes were approved, with minor changes suggested for clarity. The amended version will be posted on the UAA website.

2. Strengthening USAID:

a. E&E/ UAA pilot mentoring: Pam Mandel, David Cohen and Jerry Wood met with Ann Patterson at USAID during the week of April 15 to agree on next steps for evaluating the pilot phase of this project. They expect to have the evaluation concluded by the end of May and agreed that the evaluation team would consist of one UAA member not currently involved with the project, along with someone from USAID/HR and another from the E&E Bureau.

Feedback from UAA mentors:
Seven of nine mentors reported positive interactions, with the other two guardedly optimistic;
Average amount of time spent mentoring: 2.5 hours/week.

There were ten responses from mentees (via E&E’s Ann Patterson). The group of mentees in the pilot phase comprised of 8 DLIs and 3 mid-career officers.

  • There were two problematic cases: One mentor has been replaced. One mentee was, at the time of the evaluation, not sure of the professional gain in the exercise.
  • There were eight strongly positive responses, including one from a mid-career officer. One cited the benefit of mentors being outsiders with whom mentees can be candid.

Next Steps: David Cohen will update David Eckerson on the project.

b. Program design mentoring program: The Strengthening USAID Committee is awaiting more information from Terry Brown.

3. 2013 Annual General Meeting:

a. Report from the AGM committee and further discussion of date, venue, and program:

Alex was contacted by Administrator Shah’s assistant regarding his suggestion that we hold the AGM in the Ronald Reagan Building. Unfortunately, the only room USAID could offer is too small for the projected number of expected attendees.

The Executive Committee will now consider two venues:

NRECA: Last two Thursdays in October and first two Thursdays in November are available as of now. This was the site for the 2012 meeting and is considered convenient for those driving or using Metro.

Woodrow Wilson Center: The UAA can use the Center’s auditorium and the adjacent Boardroom (for lunch) any Friday in October. It would be at no cost to the UAA. It is located in the Reagan Building, convenient for USAID participants and for alumni wishing to drop in on USAID colleagues. This may attract higher attendance. A potential hurdle is that it doesn’t lend itself well to “breakout sessions” but does support panel discussions.

The Executive Committee reiterated its support for focusing the 2013 AGM on “reinvigoration of USAID while building on its past accomplishments”. George Hill, George Laudato, and Janet Ballentyne will further develop this theme in putting together the agenda.

Next Steps:
1) Ann will send George Laudato the name of contact at the WW Center, so that he and George Hill can visit the venue and decide if it will suit our needs.
2) Alex will propose the dates of October 18th or 25th to Administrator Shah.
3) Kristina will include mention of the AGM in the April Newsletter with a tentative date of late October.
4) For the next meeting, the AGM committee will have a theme and suggested agenda for the Executive Committee to consider.

b. Nominating Committee: Ann Van Dusen, Margaret Carpenter, and George Hill volunteered for the ad hoc committee that is tasked with identifying viable candidates for the five UAA Board seats that will be open in October. The seats will be filled through elections at the AGM.

c. Adjusting the election cycle of Board seats: In its discussion on the upcoming elections to fill Board seats, it was noted that five of the seven Board seats have two-year terms that expire this year. The Executive Committee will review the possibility of amending the By-laws so that no more than four seats are open in any one year. Options include having one or more of the seats filled this year be for a one-year term.

4. Membership Issues:

a. March 19 – April 15 Membership Report: Executive Assistant Kristina Short provided the Executive Committee with a report for the period:

Alumni Registrations: Four new alumni registered with the UAA, bringing the total number of registered alumni to 750 as of April 15, 2013.

Contributing Members: 16 alumni made their contribution for the 2013 calendar year during this period, three of whom fall into the “Friends of the UAA” ($100+) category. The total number of Contributing Members as of April 15, 2013 is 146.

b. Retirement seminars – Report on the 3/29 FSI session: Two people who attended the 3/29 session have since registered with UAA. George Hill has volunteered to attend the next seminar.

c. Recruitment efforts/expanding outreach to other eligible non-members: Efforts to establish in-state groupings remain as “work in progress”.

d. May/June social event: UAA will hold a reception to celebrate the founding of the Organization on Sunday, June 2 at 5:30 to 7:30 PM at Nancy Pielemeier’s home. Former Administrator Henrietta Fore, who convened the first gathering of USAID alumni, has accepted the UAA’s informal invitation to attend and Nancy Tumavick will draft a more formal invite to go out to her and other individuals involved in the founding of the UAA. All registered alumni will be invited but a separate special message will go to the “founders”.

Next Steps: Nancy Tumavick will draft the appropriate invitation.

e. Other updates: The Membership Committee is still encountering difficulties in reaching alumni who were not in the Foreign Service employment category. This is complicated by the fact that these other alumni do not go through FSI when they retire.

Upcoming UAA Events include:

  • Summer picnic (July 27th), which will be held in Hunt Park in Alexandria. Nancy Tumavick will provide George Hill with details on how to reserve the park space.
  • August: Vermont gathering organized by Ann.
  • September panel: “Life after USAID” panel suggested by Margaret.

The Membership Committee urges everyone to reach out to those who might have access to space. Venue profiles should be sent to Nancy Tumavick.

5. Development Issues:

a. Status report on urban initiative: Owen Cylke is the process of organizing the series of seminars/workshops, with the next panel discussion tentatively scheduled for May 22.

b. USAID policy/strategy development: USAID circulated for public comment the draft Urban Strategy, the first time USAID has made such policy documents available in draft outside the agency. UAA members from the Urban Team participated actively in a session held at the Woodrow Wilson Center on April 5.

In a meeting with Curt, Jim and Alex, Melissa Brown introduced Myra Amata-Stokes as the new contact for UAA in PPL.

c. Development Dialogues: The May 7th UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue with Andrew Steer, President of the World Resources Institute, has been rescheduled for July 25 due to his travel schedule. The Development Issues committee asked Executive Committee members to propose candidates for future UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue speakers. Suggestions should be sent to Alex Shakow.

6. Public Outreach:

Bill Anderson agreed to serve as Public Outreach Committee Co-chair (along with Ann VanDusen). Kristina will create an e-mail address for Bill and will include him in the Public Outreach and Executive Committee distribution lists.

Ann Van Dusen informed the Executive Committee that she is in the process of establishing an USAID Alumni Association group on LinkedIn, and will update us on progress.

7. Newsletter status:

The April Newsletter is ready to be distributed, barring minor edits. A call for the submission of job and volunteer opportunities, to be drafted by David Cohen, will be included in the ‘New on the Website’ section.

8. UAA communication tools:

The Committee briefly discussed alternatives to “Constant Contact” (the UAA address book software) to help improve accessibility to UAA e-mail distribution lists. “Constant Contact”, for the moment, seems to be the most cost-effective solution to the UAA’s e-mail distribution needs.

9. Other business/ Foreign Affairs Museum:

Frank Almaguer informed the Executive Committee about ongoing discussions regarding how best to feature USAID and the development agenda at the new Foreign Affairs Museum/ Diplomacy Center, to be located at the 21st Street entrance of the State Dept. Building. Frank is on the Advisory Council of the Museum. Ann reported that Susan Reichle would be contacting Frank regarding USAID participation.

10. Future meetings:

The next Executive Committee meeting, along with lunch, will take place at DACOR (corner of F and 18th Streets, NW, DC) from 12 Noon to 1:30 PM on May 16. Each participant will need to confirm attendance to Alex and pay $25 for lunch. (Those who RSVP but do not attend will be liable for the $25 fee.) Alex will send out a reminder message to Executive Committee Members in the week prior to the meeting.

Subsequent meetings will take place at TetraTech from 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM on Thurs., June 20, Thurs., July 18 and Thurs., Aug. 15.