Alumni Awards

UAA Awards Program:  Guidance for the 2023 UAA Alumni of the Year Awards 

Purpose: The Alumni of the Year awards, granted to UAA contributing members, are intended to recognize and celebrate new paths taken by USAID alumni to provide service to their communities and to make lasting contributions to others at home and abroad.  What are we looking for? The UAA will continue the premise, begun in 2014, that one award would go to someone whose contributions were mainly domestic and another one to a nominee whose contributions were primarily overseas. Depending on the nature of the nominations, we will be flexible and may honor more than one person in both categories and no one in each of these categories in any given year.
Since 2014, this award has honored seventeen outstanding alumni whose contributions have inspired us all. Many other alumni deserve recognition, and the UAA Awards Committee needs your help in identifying individuals whose post-USAID activities are truly exemplary and highlight the quality of our alumni community. In response to the many positive comments and suggestions by members in the past evaluations of the annual general meeting, we are pleased to continue the signature Alumni of the Year award criteria and recipient eligibility. The list below provides examples of service that are appropriate for consideration. Nominations, however, are not limited to these example categories.

  • Service with nongovernmental organizations and other groups (for profit or nonprofit) that work closely with communities with special needs, at home or abroad, or both. Examples may include legal services or advocacy for disadvantaged groups, foster parenting, medical service in underserved areas, etc.
  • Service with groups that promote education (at any level) or the arts and sciences (e.g., museums, community theater, music appreciation, science fairs, etc.).
  • Support for civic programs of any kind (e.g., Scouts movement or projects promoted by groups such as the Lions, Rotary, NAACP, or similar).
  • Leadership excellence, including contributions to intellectual development and implementation (e.g., for sustained extraordinary achievement, dedication and passion in a leadership role).
  • Service by alumni, including retirees and their spouses or partners, who are UAA members and actively support contributions in furtherance of social and economic development and humanitarian relief at home or abroad.

Most frequently, these services are provided on a voluntary basis. Nevertheless, we will not exclude a nomination for an individual who is paid for the service he/she renders as long as that service goes beyond the expected contribution and is not simply a continuation of the work the nominee was doing prior to separation from USAID. The post-USAID contribution should reflect innovative service likely to leave a long-lasting contribution to the community and people being served.

Who can nominate? Anyone in the UAA registered alumni community may nominate a candidate for the award. This includes registered alumni, contributing members, and members of the UAA Executive Committee. Only Awards Committee members are ineligible to nominate candidates. The Awards Committee will take upon itself the task of verifying the facts contained in the nominations (including self-nominations) that stand out and merit further consideration.

Nomination format: Alumni interested in nominating someone (or in self-nomination) are asked to prepare a brief description of what the individual has been doing since leaving USAID and describe in one or two pages (maximum; less is preferable) the innovative or transformative service of the nominee that merits recognition. The nomination should describe the impact of the contribution and why it might be inspiring to others, particularly the USAID alumni community. Keep it simple and brief. 

When and where to send nominations: The Awards Committee will accept nominations, beginning now (March 2023) until July 31, 2023. Nominations received after that date cannot be considered. Send nominations electronically to:

The Awards Committee will review nominations and make final decisions for the winners in August and September. The award winners will be notified in advance and will be announced and publicly recognized at the Annual General Meeting on October 27, 2023. The UAA also will feature some of the nominees, including those who were not selected, in the monthly UAA newsletter and in the Alumni Profiles section of the UAA website.

We encourage everyone to consider nominating (or self-nominating) someone you know who is deserving of this recognition.

  2.  Previous Alumni of the Year Awardees:

2014 – Anne Dammarell, Mary Kilgour, Satish Shah

2015 – Bette Cook, Judith Gilmore

2016 – David Garms, Paul and Kathleen Vitale

2017 – Marcy Bernbaum, Ray Martin

2018 – John Eriksson, David Leibson

2019 – Larry Heilman, Mary Lewellen

2020 – David Cohen, Paul White

2021 – Jonathan Addleton, Neil Levine

2022 -Taroub Harb Faramand, Mary Alice Kleinjan

2023-Emmy B. Simmons, Alan Van Egmond