- NEW! SAVE THE DATE! Thursday, June 1st, 2023, 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. UAA alumni are invited to the ninth Spring Fling at the DACOR Bacon House at 1801 F Street, NW, DC. This is a free event for UAA alumni. We encourage you to bring or invite those eligible to become members. This will be a hybrid event with a Zoom connection and program from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm EDT for those alumni not located in the DC area. For those attending in person, we plan to take full advantage of the beautiful gardens of the historic DACOR Bacon House. Watch for an email with further details.
- NEW! On June 5, in a long-awaited return to Monday morning (10:00 to noon) Development Dialogue sessions at DACOR, Dr. Steven Sinding will discuss “Whatever Happened to the Population Explosion and Where Are We Today?” Steve is well-known to the USAID family as he spent 20 years at AID, including as head of the Population Office, and he was also Director-General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) during his long and productive career. While this will be a hybrid session, we urge all who are able to come to DACOR House to celebrate this less formal and more relaxed time schedule than at lunch programs. Coffee and cookies will be available. To register for this event please click here.
- NEW! On Wednesday, June 28, from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM EST, the Development Issues Committee is pleased to sponsor a virtual discussion on “The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation: Progress and Prospects,” featuring our colleague, Andrew Herscowitz, Chief Development Officer, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation. The discussion will be open to all UAA members who have made a 2023 contribution. Please register for this timely discussion by COB Sunday, June 25. (Registration link is forthcoming.)
- NEW! At noon on Friday, July 21, there will be a hybrid lunch program at DACOR featuring Dr. Liesbet Steer, the newly appointed President & CEO of the Education Development Center, a global nonprofit advancing lasting solutions to improve education, promote health, and expand economic opportunity. For the past seven years she has been the Executive Director of the Education Commission, an international initiative driving progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal for inclusive and equitable quality education, chaired by UN Special Envoy for Global Education and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown. More details about this event and how to register will follow closer to the scheduled date.
- NEW! SAVE THE DATE! Wednesday, August 2nd, 11-2:30 pm in Rochester, Vermont. Anne Aarnes, David Sprague, and Ann and Mike Van Dusen will host the annual “development wallah” picnic. All are welcome, including alumni who may be visiting New England in early August. For more information, contact Ann Van Dusen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Note from the UAA Board
After three years of meeting almost exclusively by Zoom, in-person events exploded in April with the cherry blossoms! Starting with WinterFest and then the Retirement Ceremony in March, UAA volunteers met with new retirees at the NFATC Job Search Program and with over 58 colleagues at DACOR, with more attending virtually, to join the UAA-DACOR Development Dialogue between Dottie Rayburn and Tim Reiser. The conversation was substantive and insightful, and it was delightful to meet in-person again – see the photos below!
We have joined the campaign to support the Foreign Service Commemorative Coin Act to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Foreign Service. April also saw the launch of the 2023 Strategic Framework and Implementation Plan review to ensure that the annual report and budget can be presented later this year. Finally, a new Nominating Committee (Margaret Neuse, chair, Carol Dabbs, and Miles Toder) was formed to identify candidates to fill this year’s Board vacancies –the June newsletter will include details on the calendar and the nominating process.
May and early June promise to be even more active!
- On May 2, UAA members will support a dialogue with USAID Deputy Administrator Coleman and Florida International University about how UAA might help familiarize students with global development issues and thereby help USAID attract a more diverse, talented, and committed workforce. Then May 11 will see the Board’s next quarterly meeting with USAID Deputy Administrator Adams-Allen to discuss implementation of our joint programs.
- Social and professional events include a regional event in Jacksonville, Florida, a DACOR session with the former President of Peru, and the annual Spring Fling also at DACOR. Please see the calendar below for details.
We are a small volunteer organization with much going on – please contact members of the Board if you’d like to get involved in planning UAA activities and events.
One final note: Consider joining and playing a role on one of UAA’s Committees. While members work hard, they also have fun and help alumni stay connected to others with similar interests and the larger USAID alumni community. You can stay updated on the latest regarding Committees and Co-Chairs by checking the UAA website here.
We also have a constant need for mentors for the Mentoring Program. We are a volunteer organization and appreciate any way you can help.
2023 UAA Awards Program
In 2023, the UAA will continue to recognize significant contributions by UAA members through its signature Alumni of the Year Awards. Since the inception of the Awards Program in 2014, the UAA has recognized and celebrated new paths taken by USAID alumni to provide service to their communities and to make lasting contributions to others at home and abroad.
For the Alumni of the Year awards, your help is requested in identifying individuals whose post-USAID activities are truly exemplary and highlight the quality of our alumni community. We ask each of you to consider nominating (or self-nominating) someone you know who is deserving of this recognition.
The Awards Committee will accept nominations for Alumni of the Year, beginning now until July 31, 2023. Send nominations electronically to: email@example.com. The award winners will be announced at the Annual General Meeting in October. To see the 2023 UAA Awards Program guidance please click here.
USAID Administrator Samantha Power Honors 100 Retirees at UAA Co-Hosted Agency Retirement Ceremony for 2022 Retirees
For the second year in a row, UAA helped USAID to organize and co-hosted an Annual Agency Retirement Ceremony on March 22, 2023 that was held both in-person at USAID HQ and virtual. One hundred FS and GS Retirees of 2022 were honored from all grades and ranks, including SFS/SES. This is the first time that such a broad array of Retirees has been honored in many years. Over 50 people attended the in-person Ceremony, including Retirees, their Guests, and Agency active-duty officers. Over 320 people joined the Ceremony virtually on-line from around the world.
Administrator Power with a group of retirees, USAID staff and UAA officers
Counselor Clinton White served as the Master of Ceremonies. In addition to the Administrator joining in-person for the full Ceremony, Acting CHCO (HR) Chief Cheryl Anderson spoke, as did UAA Board Co-Chair Roberta Mahoney and new UAA Board Member Chris Milligan. Some of the most moving highlights of the Ceremony were video clips of Retirees sharing their “Most Memorable Moments” and why they believed that “USAID is Important.” Click here to see a recording of the ceremony. Here is a guide if you wish to see selected highlights of this event:
To see more photos of this event, please click here.
For additional photos of this event, please click here.
Emergency Relief Funds for Ukraine: for FSNs and for Ukrainian Citizens
For information about contributing to relief of the Ukraine emergency, including the FSN Emergency Relief Fund and ways to support the people of Ukraine compiled by DACOR Bacon House Foundation’s Development Office, click here.
UAA Partnership with American University Library Archives
Since 2019 the American University Library Archives have welcomed donations of AID alumni personal memorabilia of their USAID service. The UAA has now established a partnership with the Archives to support the preparation, processing, and making available to researchers of these papers, including those donated by the UAA and by individual alumni and others. We envision the program will continue for five or more years; after two years the Archivist and UAA will assess the program’s effectiveness before committing for the additional years. The UAA has pledged an initial sum of $10,000 over two years ($5,000 each year) to finance student interns to help prepare and organize these papers and make them more easily available. The funding for this program is drawn entirely from contributions made to the AID history project, which included the clear hope that the book would stimulate further study and understanding of AID’s more than 60 years of development history. AID alumni are strongly urged to consider donating their memorabilia to this collection. (See https://usaidalumni.org/uaa-and-american-university-archives-opportunity-for-usaid-alumni/)
The UAA/DACOR Development Dialogues and the UAA Development Issues Committee Dialogues provide interactive conversations on a broad range of topics relevant to the interests of international development professionals.
Below are summaries of the most recent events. Each includes a link either to an audio or video of the event. Being able to listen or watch an event should be of particular interest to Association members who live outside the DC area.
For a full archive of all events that have audio or video availability, please click here.
DACOR has decided that virtual attendance at its programs – including the UAA/DACOR Development Dialogues – will now cost $10 per program, plus a 3% charge for credit card payments. This fee had been voluntary, and many had paid the fee, but in view of the base cost to host virtual or hybrid events, the DACOR Board concluded that all participants should share the expense. The cost of DACOR lunches will remain at $35.
Report on March 6, 2023, Business Meeting of the Development Issues Committee
The UAA Development Issues Committee held a business meeting on March 6. The Committee has a very broad portfolio to manage including DACOR Development Dialogues, Development Issues presentations, and the UAA Book Club as well as UAA support for aspects of the policy agenda with USAID. The recent discussion covered operational topics including: UAA feedback to USAID on draft policies; fora for discussions on current development issues, including the Book Club; Mission coaching on aspects of the program cycle; and UAA relationships with other organizations. The ongoing need for volunteers for specific tasks was highlighted. To read the complete report CLICK HERE.
UAA DACOR Development Dialogue:
Tim Rieser comments on his experience as Foreign Policy Advisor to Sen. Patrick Leahy
On Wednesday, April 19, at this UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue, a packed DACOR House was treated to very thoughtful and perceptive comments from Tim Rieser. Responding to questions from Dottie Rayburn, herself recently retired from USAID after decades on the Congressional Liaison Staff, Tim spoke candidly about his experience working for 37 years on key foreign affairs issues as policy advisor for Senator Patrick Leahy (VT) and the Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, including detailed attention to USAID development programs. The luncheon was a great social event which brought together in person many old friends and colleagues. There was also a large on-line audience. Click here to see Tim’s talk and the Q&As.
UAA DACOR Development Dialogue:
The American Imperative: Reclaiming Global Leadership through Soft Power
On Friday, February 10, 2023, for the first time since the pandemic began, the UAA/DACOR Development Dialogue actually took place at the landmark DACOR-Bacon House. CSIS Senior Vice President Dan Runde was engaged in conversation by Ambassador Jim Michel about Dan’s just issued book The American Imperative: Reclaiming Global Leadership through Soft Power. An audience of about thirty joined us in house for a spirited discussion, along with about thirty more joining on-line for this hybrid presentation. To watch the nearly one-hour program please click here.
UAA DACOR Development Dialogue:
The Young Black Leader’s Guide to a Successful Career in International Affairs: What the Giants Want You to Know
On January 17, at a joint DACOR/UAA “hybrid” session, Aaron Williams, Taylor Jack, and Jennifer Brinkerhoff, authors of The Young Black Leader’s Guide to a Successful Career in International Affairs: What the Giants Want You to Know, discussed the origins of the book, the many important voices included, and themes of particular relevance to mentoring others. They were introduced by Hannah Jackson, cofounder of the Elliott School of International Affairs Young Black Professionals in International Affairs student organization. The event was also an opportunity to recognize the many members of DACOR and USAID Alumni Association who volunteer their time and experience to serve as mentors. For a video of this event see link here. For more information on the Generations Dialogue Project for supporting a more representative American foreign policy, please see a short video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsH_5wGWZE4 .
“The Enduring Struggle: The History of the U.S. Agency for International Development and America’s Uneasy Transformation of the World “
by John Norris
John Norris‘ book, The Enduring Struggle – The History of the Agency for International Development and America’s Uneasy Transformation of the World, was published in July 2021. In a short review, Foreign Affairs wrote: “This comprehensive history of the U.S. Agency for International Development…deserves to be read by all students of U.S. foreign policy.” A very positive review of The Enduring Struggle by Mary Jane Maxwell has recently been published in the Journal of World History. (Read it here.) Copies may be purchased from the publisher at a 30 percent discount by using the form at this link. Alumni with suggestions for events that will popularize the book or to generate reviews should send their suggestions to Alex Shakow at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additions to the Bibliography of USAID Authors
Five interesting books have recently been added to the Bibliography. Former mission director Bill Frej has published two award-winning photography books: Travels Across the Roof of the World: A Himalayan Memoir and Seasons of Ceremonies: Rites and Rituals in Guatemala and Mexico. Thomas Johnson has written an intriguing: Common Place: The Public Library, Civil Society and Early American Values. Stu Callison has added his 1983 Land-to-the-Tiller in the Mekong Delta: Economic, Social and Political Effects of Land Reform in Four Villages of South Vietnam, the 7th book on Vietnam in our collection. Finally, former RIG officer Jose Pena’s memoir is entitled In Pursuit of Improvements: A Memoir Based on a Forty-Year Foreign Service Officer’s Career with the U.S. Agency for International Development and as an International Financial Consultant.
A sixth new book has just been added: Hank Bassford has self-published his 2023 memoir, Ordinary Man, Extraordinary Journey, about his adventures as a Peace Corps volunteer in India followed by a 26-year career as a USAID Foreign Service Officer.
Please forward any new books to Jpielemeie@aol.com.
UAA has learned of the recent deaths of the following members of our USAID alumni community:
Roy Allen Plucknett, Vivian Holliday Pennington, Mike Farbman, Kerry J. Byrnes, Eric Robert Loken, Portia Linnea Palmer, Richard “Noosh” Nishihara, Harold P. Kurzman, James J. Tarrant, Edward Howard “Bear” Winant, William David McKinney, David “Dave” Howard Pritchard, Irwin “Irv” A. Levy, John Thomas Rifenbark, Jr., Dana Austin Lund, Sue Janssen, Ann Richards, Wayne Tate, Lois Richards, William Lefes, Anton “Tony” Cistaro, Jim Cummiskey, Laura Lindskog, Richmond Allen, Tina Forrester Cleland
A full listing of alumni obituaries may be seen in the In Memoriam section.
If you would like to provide a brief obituary or personal tribute for these former colleagues and friends to be posted on this website or if you know of other people who have passed way and have not been noted here, please send the information to: email@example.com Attn: Memorials.
UAA is your organization and getting involved in Association activities will make us stronger, more interesting and – definitely – more fun. You can find a variety of activities to join under the Get Involved navigation tab at the top of this page, including:
Job & Volunteer Opportunities
Syllabi for Devt Courses and Speakers
Recent News Articles & Links for Development Professionals
To see and access the full list of articles, please click here.
If you have articles that you believe would be of general interest to the UAA membership, please submit them here.
We offer links of general interest to folks involved in the development “arts.” If you have links you would like to submit, please send them here. To see and access the full list of web links, please click here.
If you have articles and/or links you would like to share with the rest of us, please send your suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org, Attn: Development Issues.
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