March 2013 Minutes

UAA Executive Committee Meeting
Thursday, March 21, 2013
10:30 AM – 12:30 PM
TetraTech Office, Rosslyn Room
Arlington, VA

Board Members Attending: Frank Almaguer, Margaret Carpenter, George Hill, Jim Michel, Nancy Pielemeier, Alex Shakow

Board Members Not Attending: David Cohen

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

Committee Co-Chairs Not Attending: Curt Farrar, Paula Goddard, Larry Smucker

AGM Sub-Committee Representative: George Laudato

Executive Assistant: Kristina Short

Chair: Nancy Pielemeier


1. Review and approval of the February 21, 2013, Executive Committee Meeting Minutes: The February 21, 2013 Executive Committee Meeting Minutes were approved, with minor edits, for posting on the UAA website.


2. Revised UAA Brochure and distribution to potential UAA members:
Alex Shakow brought copies of the revised UAA Brochure to the meeting for distribution. 750-800 copies remain for distribution as needed. Brad Langmaid, who will attend the March FSI Retirement Seminar reception on behalf of the UAA, has received copies for distribution at that venue.

The Executive Committee discussed the on-going need to contact former USAID employees who are eligible for UAA membership.

Next Steps: Executive Committee members were reminded to send names of potential UAA members to Nancy Tumavick.


3. Newsletters and alumni profiles:

The Executive Committee agreed that the UAA would distribute electronic Newsletters in April, May and June 2013.

The April Newsletter will profile Sharif Muafi, who has been working closely with the Membership Committee to develop a strategy to bring more FSNs into the UAA.

Nancy Tumavick asked all Executive Committee members to reach out to former colleagues to potentially profile for future Newsletters. Nancy T. has volunteered to provide sample profiles to interested alumni. Pamela Mandel and Jerry Wood volunteered to reach out to alumni who may have an interest in being profiled or in writing a profile on a colleague.

The Executive Committee agreed to include a new page in the UAA website for alumni profiles, so as to highlight alumni who have been featured in past Newsletters.

Next Steps: Executive Committee members should reach out to former colleagues regarding their willingness to be featured as a profiled alumnus. Completed profiles should be sent to Nancy Tumavick.


4. Public Outreach:

Ann Van Dusen briefed the Executive Committee on a recent meeting of the Public Outreach Committee. Connie Collins is in charge of the roster for the Speakers Bureau and David Shear is working at connecting speakers to the Jane Goodall Foundation groups.

  • UAA The Public Outreach Committee will emphasize to organizations sponsoring talks by USAID alumni that USAID alumni speakers are not representing USAID and are therefore not expected to be familiar with or address current issues. Rather, alumni speakers will bring to their talks their experience working in development and foreign aid and their personal perspective on the role of foreign aid.
  • Paula Feeney is drafting a letter to US Global Leadership Coalitions (USGLC) that can be used as a template to connect with like-minded organizations and affinity groups.

Contacts at USAID: Kate Bunting, with the USAID Bureau for Legislative and Public Affairs (LPA), is serving as a valuable USAID point-of-contact for the Public Outreach Committee. Several committee members will also meet with Chuck Cooper, incoming LPA chief, to introduce him to the work of the UAA.

Social media outreach: The Executive Committee discussed the potential for the UAA to increase its web presence through social media in an effort reach new and especially younger USAID retirees. Possible platforms include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and a UAA Blog.

Next Steps: Ann Van Dusen asked all Executive Committee members to let her know of anyone not in the DC area who might be interested in joining the Public Outreach Committee, as the Committee holds virtual meetings.

Committee co-chair candidate(s): Bill Anderson has been proposed and contacted regarding the open co-chair position.

Contributions to public outreach initiatives: The Executive Committee discussed the question of soliciting contributions to be allocated to a particular committee and/or for a particular purpose. Concern was voiced that conditions on gifts are legally binding and would require careful accounting to assure a record of compliance with the conditions. It would be preferable to encourage anyone offering a conditional gift to agree, instead, to specify a desire, but not a requirement, that the funds be used for certain broad purposes.

There was consensus that the UAA would not, as a general rule, accept donations that impose binding conditions and/or segregation and separate management of the gift funds on UAA books. Jim Michel will assist in drafting appropriate language should such a gift be offered.

Vermont-area alumni will hold their annual meeting in early August. Ann Van Dusen will provide in the April Newsletter a brief summary of the event and information on local lodging.


5. Membership Issues:

a. February 16 – March 18 Membership Report: Executive Assistant Kristina Short provided the Executive Committee with a report for the period:

  • Alumni Registrations: One new alumnus registered with the UAA, bringing the total number of registered alumni to 746 as of March 18, 2013.
  • Contributing Members: 12 alumni made their contribution for the 2013 calendar year during the February 16 – March 18 period, 8 of whom fall into the ‘Friends of the UAA’ ($100+) category. The total number of Contributing Members as of March 18, 2013 is 128.

b. Retirement seminars – UAA representation: Nancy Tumavick asked for volunteers to represent UAA at Retirement Seminars at FSI. Brad Langmaid will attend the March 29 Seminar. Volunteers will be needed for the last week of August (when Brad can’t attend) and the first week of November.

George Hill, Jim Michel, and Frank Almaguer volunteered to represent the UAA at these future retirement seminars.

Next Steps: Nancy will e-mail with specific dates and provide contact information for Catherine McCormick, UAA’s contact for these events in USAID HR (located at FSI). Nancy Tumavick will continue to work on how best to connect with individuals leaving USAID as they retire, as well as those leaving USAID but not retiring.

c. Recruitment efforts/expanding outreach to other eligible alumni:
Work with FSNs: A document describing a role for the UAA in helping FSNs who relocate in the US to achieve “soft landings” is in draft but still needs work. Membership Committee members are currently discussing the degree to which UAA can offer support to relocated FSNs.
North Carolina: The Membership Committee is still working to help organize alumni in NC.
Florida: Paula Goddard is following up on a possible UAA group in Fla. The Executive Committee discussed the desirability of having John Popovich try to bring together alumni in Gainesville.

Social events: A question was raised as to the number of registered and contributing alumni who live in each of the three local jurisdictions (DC, MD and VA). This will help in future activity planning.

Next step:

  1. Kristina will try to develop a rough calculation of numbers by area.
  2. The Executive Committee proposed having upcoming events highlighted in the April Newsletter and integrating an events calendar in the UAA website, as well as drawing special attention to country-specific group gathering.

d. May or June social event: The May or June social event will honor founding UAA members to help celebrate the 4th anniversary (May 9) of the incorporation of the Association and the fifth anniversary of the bringing together of alumni by the then-Administrator Henrietta Fore. Ann Van Dusen will reach out to Henrietta to find a date suitable for her. Additionally, the Membership Committee will reach out to every past UAA Board Member, as well as reach out to partner organizations for special guests and encourage FSNs to attend the event.

The Membership Committee explored several venue options, including AFSA, DACOR, the Public Welfare Foundation, and Nancy Pielemeier’s residence. The costs were determined without consideration for any admission fees as Executive Committee members thought it best to not charge admission.

  • The cost of hosting at AFSA, the most flexible in terms of dates, would be $1,700 with food and a cash bar.
  • The cost of hosting at DACOR would be $2,200.
  • There is no venue fee at the Public Welfare Foundation; however, the cost, based on soft drinks and appetizers only, was $1,200. In addition, the Foundation does not permit serving of alcohol on the premises.

Nancy Pielemeier offered her residence, located close to Chevy Chase Circle (Western Ave. and Connecticut Ave.), which can accommodate 70-75. The cost of catering at a private residence is comparable but slightly less than AFSA.

In reviewing these options, the Executive Committee members weighed several factors including cost, availability, and logistical concerns (i.e. the availability of parking), and agreed that hosting the event at Nancy Pielemeier’s residence was the best option.

Next Steps:

  1. Nancy Pielemeier will check options for a Sunday event, with the event tentatively scheduled for June 2 from 5 PM to 7 PM
  2. Nancy Pielemeier will confirm the date with Ann Van Dusen, who will reach out to Henrietta Fore regarding her availability.

e. Other up-dates: Executive Committee members were encouraged to send Nancy Tumavick any venue options and propose what types of events they would be good for.


6. Development Issues:

a. Status report on urban initiative: Reflecting USAID’s more open approach to policy development, its urbanization policy paper has been released in draft form for review by outside groups and individuals. Written comments were solicited by USAID for submission by March 25.

b. USAID follow-up on earlier commitments: As of this meeting, USAID’s Melissa Brown had not followed up in response to Alex Shakow’s several inquiries regarding issues raised at her meeting with Alex, Jim Michel and Curt Farrar in January.


7. Strengthening USAID:

Discussion about the E&E Bureau’s mentoring pilot program and the proposed mentorship program for program design was tabled until the April Executive Committee meeting. Committee Co-Chairs will circulate relevant documents to the Executive Committee members. Jerry Wood has copies of reports from mentors.


8. 2013 Annual General Meeting (AGM):

a. Creation of a Special AGM planning committee: The Executive Committee thanked Janet Ballantyne and George Laudato for agreeing to serve as co-chairs of a special AGM planning committee. The Executive Committee welcomed George Laudato, who conveyed Janet’s regret for not being able to attend the Executive Committee meeting. She and George L. already have developed ideas for the next AGM. George provided the Executive Committee with a summary of AGM planning to-date.

b. Discussion of ideas for the next AGM: The AGM Committee proposes designing the AGM around a single theme of reinvigoration of the Agency and its development agenda, capturing the experience of its alumni and the perspective of a new generation of USAID development professionals. Participants from recent Development Leadership programs (DLIs) would join alumni in dialogue over a broad range of issues, both programmatic and organizational.

George L. discussed the desire to structure segments of the AGM around multi-sectoral themes, with designated speakers, followed by breakout sessions that would provide more informal opportunities for alumni to share their experience and expertise with DLIs.

The Executive Committee welcomed the AGM Committee suggestions and saw the proposed theme as reinforcing the recent work of the UAA in providing an opportunity for alumni to use UAA events as venues for alumni to share their experiences and their accumulated expertise.

c. Format: The Executive Committee discussed the merits of a full or partial-day meeting and proposed several ideas for restructuring the meeting agenda to attract more participants and keep them interested throughout the meeting.

d. Logistics: Committee members discussed the logistical elements of the AGM and set a rough timeline:

  • Meeting dates: Potential dates for the AGM range from mid-October to mid-November. One important factor in setting the date is the Administrator’s availability.
  • May: The Executive Committee, in conjunction with the AGM committee, will develop a draft agenda by May.
  • June: Finalize venue and catering decisions. George Hill will investigate availability of the NRECA and the logistics of parking, room setup (e.g., tables) and Wi-Fi.
  • Board Elections: With five Board positions opening for the 2013-2014 cycle, a large candidate pool is necessary.

Next Steps:

  1. Kristina will include a general note re. the next AGM in the April Newsletter.
  2. George Hill will check on the availability of NRECA from mid-October to mid-November.


9. Website update:

David Cohen informed the Executive Committee via e-mail that February saw a record number of “hits” on the UAA Website. The UAA has renewed its contract with Webmaster Sean McKee for one year.


10. Upcoming Executive Committee Meetings:

The April Executive Committee meeting will be held on Thursday, April 18 at TetraTech from 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM.

The May Executive Committee meeting will be held on Thursday, May 16 at DACOR from 12:00 – 1:30 PM. Lunch at DACOR will be $25 per person. This luncheon/ meeting should be limited to 90 minutes.