November 2013 Minutes

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

Board Members attending: Frank Almaguer, David Cohen, David Eckerson, Jim Michel, Carol Peasley, Nancy Pielemeier and Alex Shakow

Committee Co-Chairs attending: Owen Cylke, Paula Goddard, George Hill, George Laudato, Nancy Tumavick and Jerry Wood

Committee Co-Chairs not attending: Bill Anderson, Marilynn Schmidt and Ann VanDusen


1. Review and approval of the October 17, 2013 Executive Committee Meeting Minutes:
The Board approved the October EXCOM meeting Minutes. They will be posted on the UAA website.

2.Annual election of UAA Board Officers (Co-chairs, Secretary, Treasurer): The Board elected the officers of the Association as listed in Attachment 1 of these Minutes.

3. Establishment of a new management committee: The Board voted unanimously to establish a new management committee: Finance and Administration. It will join the Annual General Meeting Committee as the second management committee of the UAA.

The Board also agreed that the new Committee will be responsible for the oversight of UAA finances and audits, the UAA website, as well as UAA staffing and other administrative issues.  The new committee also will support the work of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) Committee, the ad hoc Nominating Committee and all other management issues in support of the work of the UAA, its Executive Committee and the four operating committees.

4. Appointment of new Committee Co-chairs and designation of Board liaisons to the standing committees: The Board made appointments and designations as listed in the slate in Attachment 1 of these Minutes.

Follow-up Action:

  • David Cohen will update the UAA website with the new officer and co-chair information.

5. Confirmation of signed acknowledgements of UAA Ethics and Conflict of Interests Policy from all Executive Committee members:

New Board members and Committee Co-chairs read and signed the UAA Ethics and Conflict of Interests Policy (text found on the UAA website), acknowledging its provisions and their duty to declare any potential conflict of interest that might impact on their ability to act on behalf of the UAA.

Follow-up action:

  • Executive Committee members not present at this meeting will be asked to submit a signed statement, if they had previously not done so.

6. Review of the October 25, 2013 Annual General Meeting (AGM):

a. Meeting logistics, venue, timing and recommended dates for the 2014 AGM: The EXCOM thanked George Laudato and Janet Ballantyne for their excellent work as Co-Chairs of the AGM Committee. They largely set the substantive elements of the agenda (with its focus on the new generation of USAID professionals) and provided critical administrative direction and support in the planning for the 2013 AGM.

The EXCOM discussed several items pertaining to the logistics at the AGM. Observations included:

  • Concern that the program felt a bit rushed, with speculation that attendees would have been willing to remain longer.
  • Opportunities for socializing with friends and former colleagues may have been limited due to the tightly choreographed program and the earlier closing time. The keynote address during lunch also limited social interaction.
  • Attendees appeared satisfied with the venue and the program, although parking and clearing security presented minor inconvenience for some.
  • Timing: Scheduling the AGM toward the end of October seems to work with attendees’ schedules and UAA needs.

Follow-up actions:

  • Nancy Pielemeier has contacted the Woodrow Wilson Center about the possibility of utilizing its space once again in 2014 and is awaiting a response.
  • Carol Peasley will take the lead in developing and sending out a follow-up AGM survey to the attendees, using the preliminary questionnaire prepared by the Membership Committee.

b. AGM program: The EXCOM concurred that participation of DLIs and other new generation of USAID professionals worked well. Informal alumni feedback was positive. This experience will help inform EXCOM decisions on the 2014 AGM agenda. EXCOM discussed preliminary thoughts about a similar format for the 2014 AGM, perhaps involving mid-level USAID staff who are engaged in implementing new directions within the Agency. The AGM Committee may consider themes such as “innovation and development” for future AGMs.

c. Nomination and voting: According to the UAA bylaws, the ad hoc Nominations Committee (to be appointed at least six months before each AGM) must include three serving Board members. The Nominations Committee seeks potential candidates, receives nominations, assembles slates of candidates and determines election procedures.

Based on informal feedback from alumni, the EXCOM discussed the potential advantages, in future elections, of compiling a slate of candidates from nominated individuals, with one candidate for each vacancy, with the option for “write-ins”.

Follow-up action:

  • Include a discussion on the “single slate” issue at a future EXCOM meeting.

7. Survey of members on their interests:

The November 2013 Membership Committee meeting proposed a survey of membership interests on future UAA activities.

EXCOM members agreed on conducting a survey on membership interests and the proposed UAA program agenda. The membership survey will be finalized by the Membership Committee for EXCOM approval in December and distribution early in the New Year.

Follow-up action:

  • Each operating committee should draft survey questions to solicit feedback with respect to their Strategic Plan goals and planned activities.
  • Nancy Tumavick will coordinate input and circulate within the EXCOM a draft of the proposed Membership Survey.

8. UAA-sponsored events:

The EXCOM encouraged standing committees to continue organizing events as they have been doing until now. Adjustments to the programs may be made after survey results (see Item 7 above) are analyzed.

David Eckerson will pursue the potential for discussion sessions with visiting and new Mission Directors, as suggested by Owen Cylke, for the Development Issues Committee as a way to provide country-focused gatherings to complement the various topical discussions now being organized.

Follow-up action:

  • Committees are asked to share the calendar of their activities with the EXCOM and Kristina so that these may be incorporated in a master UAA activities calendar for the Website and Newsletter.
  • David Eckerson will contact the USAID Training Center regarding the possibility for streaming events, with an option for interaction and the recording of events. Further discussion of this item will be included in agenda for the December EXCOM meeting.

9. Follow up with designated USAID staff liaisons; meeting with USAID Counselor and other senior leadership:

Due to time constraints, this item was tabled for discussion at the December EXCOM meeting.

10. Membership Report: October 16 – November 20:

Kristina distributed electronically to the EXCOM (and included in these Minutes as Attachment 2) a report on membership transactions for this period.

Alumni Registrations: Seven new alumni registered with the UAA during this period, bringing the total number of registered alumni to 798 as of November 20, 2013.

Contributing Members: Of the 25 alumni who made their contributions for the 2013 calendar year during this period, 8 are in the “Friends of the UAA” ($100+) category. The total number of Contributing Members as of November 20 is 266.

11. Treasurer’s Report:

The Treasurer’s Report for October 2013 is included in Attachment 3 of these Minutes.

12. Other committee updates:

Due to time constraints, Committee Co-chairs will provide updates at the December EXCOM meeting. Updates requiring immediate feedback may be discussed through e-mail.

13. Recognition of committee members for outstanding contributions:

Tabled for discussion at the December EXCOM meeting due to time constraints.

14. Additional administrative support requirements:

Committee Co-Chairs were asked to provide their anticipated needs for administrative and budget support, based on planned activities for 2014, as part of their Strategic Plan review. (See Items 7 and 8 above). This matter will be further discussed at the December meeting.

Follow-up Action:

  • Committee Co-chairs were asked to prepare their anticipated budget requirements for 2013 and to share these with the EXCOM in time to review at the December EXCOM meeting.

15. Update on the UAA website, including archives:

David Cohen spoke to UAA Webmaster, Sean McKee, who has given Kristina “administrator access” to help her make additional modifications to the site structure and content.

David also encouraged the EXCOM to use the “UAA Forum” in the website for discussion of relevant development-related issues.

16. Logo:

Due to time constraints, this item was tabled for discussion at the December EXCOM meeting.

17. Status of “IOUs” from the AGM:

Follow-up actions:

  • A request for payment will be sent from the Co-chairs’ e-mail account to non-contributing alumni who had provided “IOUs” for the $20 fee charged at the AGM registration desk to cover food and incidental costs.
  • This request will include an offer that anyone who becomes a Contributing Member in December 2013 may credit the amount owed to his/her contribution for calendar year 2014.

18. Next EXCOM meeting:

The Thursday, December 19 Executive Committee meeting will be held at TetraTech’s new space at 1320 North Courthouse Road, Arlington, VA, at the usual time, from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM.

The UAA greatly appreciates TetraTech’s generous continuing offer of meeting space.

The expected EXCOM meeting dates for the following four months (on the third Thursday of every month): Jan. 16, Feb. 20, March 20 and April 17.

Follow-up actions:

  • Paula Goddard will send EXCOM members directions to the new venue, which is one block from the Court House Metro Station on the Orange Line.
  • The Finance and Administration Committee will explore options for finding “permanent” meeting space for UAA’s growing needs, within the UAA’s capacity to finance.