Alumni Profiles (alphabetically listed)

Table of Contents

(scroll below list to see profiles)

David Adams
Jonathan Addleton
Frank and Antoinette Almaguer
Pamela Baldwin
Barbara Bennett
Carlton Bennett
Alan Berg
Marcy Bernbaum
Gary Bisson
Charlie Bliss
Jerry Bowers
Betsy and Chris Brown
Clifford Brown
Richard Brown
Craig Buck
Malcolm and Tish Butler
Roger Carlson
Constance "Connie" Anne Carrino
John Champagne
Jatinder Cheema
Toni Christiansen
David Cohen
Julius E. Coles
Jock Conly
Bette Cook
Gary Cook
Carol Dabbs
Anne Dammarell
Bob Dakan
George Deikun
Regina Dennis – Nana
Rose Marie Depp
Roxana Rogers De Sole
Harriett Destler
Clinton (Tony) Dogget
Alan Donovan
Bob Dubinsky
Alan Van Egmond
Sharon Epstein
John Eriksson
Taroub Harb Faramand
Paula Feeney
Lloyd Feinberg
Larry Garber
David Garms
Philip Gary
Judith Gilmore
Stephen H. Grant
William (Bill) Hammink
John and Anne Heard
Larry Heilman
Jerry Jordan
Kelly and Nancy Frame Kammerer
Barbara Kennedy
Shahabuddin Khan
Mary Kilgour
Mary Alice Kleinjan
Jim Kunder
Elisabeth Kvitashvili
David C. Leibson
Bob Lester
Neil Levine
Mary L Lewellen
Jon Lindborg
Kristin Loken
Susan Malick
Pam Mandel
Ray Martin
Mary Le McIntyre
Franklin C. Moore
Charles Moseley
Sherif Mowafy
Alfred Nakatsuma
Margaret Neuse
Jim Norris
John Norris
Jeanne Foote North and Wm Haven North
Steve Orr
Alexi Panehal
William Penoyar
John Pielemeier
Patricia Rader
Stacy Rhodes
Denny Robertson 
Gul A. Saleh
The Sands Family — Three Generations at USAID
Satish Shah
Brother Dismas aka. Sean O’Leary
David Shear
Emmy B. Simmons
Keith Simmons
Steven and Monica Knorr Sinding
Glenn Slocum
Jonathan Sperling
Thomas H. Staal
Miles Toder
Dianne Tsitsos
Barbara Turner
Ann Van Dusen
Ronald Venezia
Paul and Kathleen Vitale
Elzadia Washington
Leon S. “Skip” Waskin
Jerry Wein
Mark Wentling
Paul White
Stephen Wingert
Ken and Vivian Yamashita
Frank Young
Marilyn Zak

David Adams

David R. Adams was born in Washington, D.C., into a family with deep roots in the nation’s capital and Virginia.  Nine months after his birth, David began his foreign service “training” in Greece, where his father had taken up his first government posting.  During the next 20 years of his father’s career abroad, David became deeply impressed by the poverty in developing countries where they lived, e.g., Taiwan in the 1960s and Laos in the 1970s.  These experiences led David to a career with USAID after he graduated from William & Mary and grad school at George Washington University.

Over the next 30 years, David served in a variety of USAID assignments in Washington and abroad, first in the Civil Service and then the Foreign Service.  David’s overseas assignments culminated in 2004 after his third year as Haiti Mission Director.  David’s career was punctuated by assignments off the beaten path.  These included stints with the United Nations in Bangladesh as a congressional (Foreign Operations) staffer, and as a senior resources and policy adviser in Secretary Warren Christopher’s office.  USAID Administrator Brian Atwood called David “one of the agency’s premier troubleshooters” (others would say, troublemaker!), for example, because of David’s role as Kosovo Task Force Coordinator during that Balkans crisis.

The day after his 2006 retirement from USAID, David and his wife Myra caught the auto train down to Florida for a new life.  David’s “second career” began as the first Vice President for (overseas) Missions with a new interdenominational Christian relief and development agency, Cross International/Cross Catholic Outreach (CI/CCO).  Over the following 16 years, he greatly expanded CI/CCO’s staffing, systems and footprint in Latin America, Africa and Asia. He also organized and led foundation and U.S. Government grant acquisition that resulted in greatly increased revenue. n January 2023, David transitioned into his current role as V.P. Emeritus for Cross Catholic Outreach, and a part-time consultant for association partnerships.   He is also active in his Catholic Church, as a member of the Parish Council and as a Scripture reader at Mass.  David also serves on the board of the local chapter of Legatus, a national Catholic business leaders association.  He and Myra continue to live in Fr. Lauderdale, promoting various causes, including a ministry that fosters education on the Shroud of Turin.  They travel abroad and domestically, most notably to northern Virginia to visit David’s two sons and four grandchildren. David and Myra welcome hearing from USAID friends and former colleagues at

Jonathan Addleton — Winner of the UAA Alumnus of the Year 2021 Award

Retiring from the Foreign Service in January 2017, Jonathan Addleton has continued a pattern of service and achievement that was also a hallmark of his USAID career, a career that included assignments as Program Officer in Yemen, South Africa and Jordan; USAID Representative to the European Union in Brussels; five-time Mission Director to India, Pakistan, Cambodia, Central Asia and Mongolia; and “secondments” from USAID to the State Department as Ambassador to Mongolia and Senior Civilian Representative to southern Afghanistan in Kandahar..

Some examples of Jonathan’s recognition and undertakings, both during and post-USAID, include the following:

  • In his latest book The Dust of Kandahar: A Diplomat Among Warriors in Afghanistan, Jonathan chronicled his Kandahar experience as Senior Civilian Representative to southern Afghanistan for which he was awarded the Christian Herter Award for intellectual courage and constructive dissent by AFSA. This book followed several other books he wrote as a USAID officer.  Both before and continuing into retirement, he has written articles for a wide range of publications.
  • After retiring from the Foreign Service, Jonathan gave dozens of lectures and presentations in a variety of public settings across several states, ranging from service clubs to churches, think tanks to literary festivals, universities to world affairs councils.
  • He also taught courses in International Development and International Relations for three years at his hometown Mercer University in Macon, Georgia while also serving for two years as the Executive Director of the American Center for Mongolian Studies.
  • His contributions were recognized by his alma mater, Northwestern University, by his induction into the University’s Medill School of Journalism Hall of Achievement in 2017.
  • While USAID Mission Director in Mongolia, he joined with a volunteer worker from Brazil to found a football club involving both Embassy children and street kids that continues to have impact.
  • In 2019, while serving as Executive Director of the American Center for Mongolian Studies, he led sixteen American undergraduates on a volunteer service trip to Mongolia for a summer enrichment camp in partnership with an NGO for disadvantaged Mongolian children.

Born, raised and educated in Pakistan, Jonathan’s USAID career started as an IDI in Islamabad in 1985 where he met his wife Fiona who later became the mother of their three children, all raised overseas, and all now involved in international service-oriented careers of their own. He returned to Pakistan in 2006 as USAID Mission Director and has now returned for a third professional work assignment as president of Forman Christian College in Lahore, a historic university dating back to 1864 and offering American-style higher education in Pakistan and which has received past support from the USAID.

In accepting the UAA award, Jonathan acknowledged that his challenge in Pakistan mirrors the challenge that all USAID officers face, whether formally or informally:  to work in difficult circumstances and, despite these difficulties, to make the world a better place, one in which diverse communities are represented and multiple voices are heard.

Jonathan welcomes hearing from his friends and colleagues.  He may be reached at:

Frank and Antoinette Almaguer

Frank Almaguer retired from USAID in 2002, after serving three U.S. foreign affairs agencies over a 35-year career, beginning as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Belize (1967-69), where he met fellow Volunteer, Antoinette Gallegos. In August, Frank and Antoinette celebrated 49 years of marriage, which produced two children and now four grandchildren. He considers his family his greatest achievement and treasures every opportunity to be with them.

His career at USAID included serving as Mission Director in Ecuador, Eastern Europe and Bolivia, as well as head of personnel. His U.S. Government career culminated in service as ambassador to Honduras, a country in which he had previously served as Peace Corps Director.

Retirement for Frank has been anything but: He continued to serve in the international arena as Secretary for Administration and Finance at the Organization of American States and currently on the Foreign Service Grievance Board, a “court of appeals” for Foreign Service personnel cases emanating from the five foreign affairs agencies.

Frank continues to serve on the Board of Trustees of Zamorano University, located in Honduras, which is one of the leading agricultural schools in Latin America where he has the opportunity to support students from throughout Latin America, most of whom have limited means, and to head Zamorano’s fund-raising efforts to ensure that this 76-year-old academic institution continues to maintain its high standards and commitment to developing the agriculture and environmental sector leaders of tomorrow. Frank points out that “A life-long commitment to providing development opportunities for future generations animated my career and I am delighted to continue to do so in my ‘retirement’ years.”

Pamela Baldwin

From Across the Pond to Farm Life on a (Very) Small Pond!

Pamela Baldwin left USAID in late 2002 after serving as Mission Director in Croatia, joining World Learning to serve as Senior Vice President and head of the Vermont-based NGO’s Washington division. World Learning’s projects during her tenure focused on training and capacity-building, gender, child labor, conflict resolution, primary education and civil society.


Pamela’s second retirement came at the end of 2006, when she decided to join her husband Malcolm full-time on the farm in Lovettsville, Virginia that Pamela had purchased on a whim in 1992 while on emergency leave from Sri Lanka. With 28 acres of fields previously dedicated to hay and horses owned by others, as well as a 1794 house and a large 1870 barn in reasonably good condition, the Baldwins worked to develop an integrated agricultural and tourism business that now includes a flock of Romney and Merino sheep (raised for their excellent wool) and two guard llamas, a vineyard producing Viognier and Cabernet Franc grapes for a nearby winery, a wedding venue and a “farmstay” B&B cottage.

WeatherLea Farm & Vineyard hosts several hundred visitors every year during the Loudoun County Spring Farm Tour, as well as up to 10 weddings each year between May and October, with outdoor ceremonies, cocktails in the vineyard and dinner receptions in the renovated barn. Last year they also began hosting overnight guests in their farmstay cottage and have been overwhelmed by its popularity.

In addition to their farm activities, Malcolm Baldwin is currently a Democratic candidate for the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, while Pamela chairs the board of a start-up food co-op in Lovettsville and both are active in a wide range of local environmental and land-use issues including farmland preservation. The Baldwins would be delighted to see USAID friends at WeatherLea and encourage those seeking a getaway from urban or even overseas life to check out their cottage at or A USAID discount will apply!

Barbara Bennett

Barbara Bennett retired in 2016 after a 45-year career with USAID. She came from a small town in southern Virginia for a management intern position in a relatively new, temporary agency in Washington, DC.

Barbara Bennett with great nephews and niece.

She had studied world history and planned to teach but positions in that field were scarce. When the offer came from USAID, her parents were horrified at the thought of their daughter in the big city by herself!  Her uncle advised her to take it as the federal government at that time was the best place for women. Barbara came to love her work and her new city.

At work, Barbara found her niche in the legislative affairs office after a year on Capitol Hill with the House Appropriations Committee. Her primary focus was global health, and she played a key role in the establishment of the President’s Malaria Initiative, the Neglected Tropical Diseases program, and the Pandemic Office. The current pandemic brings back the rewarding but scary work in addressing avian influenza, H1N1 and Ebola. She retired as Director of Legislative Affairs.

Meantime, she fell in love with DC, particularly the arts through attending performances at Arena Stage, Shakespeare Theater, and Kennedy Center. This has led in retirement to more active involvement with the arts in DC and the fledging Performing Arts Center in her hometown, South Boston. The latter is particularly close to her heart as professional plays were not available to her growing up and were limited even in college. She has worked to help ensure that is not true for the young people in South Boston and surrounding area where many have now grown up performing in the local theater and are now pursuing careers in the arts. For audiences there, it is a chance to see another world as it was and is for Barbara in DC.

Retirement has also allowed her more time with family, particularly her three great nephews Greyson, Sawyer and Asher and great niece Molly. They have already seen their first plays and sat transfixed. Barbara was always interested in politics and volunteered in limited ways for over 20 years before retirement.  She has now had the time to be involved in several recent political campaigns. She also enjoys long lunches and dinners with friends without glancing at her cell phone, reading books for pleasure, and finally, being able to sleep a full night without waking up to worry about what has to be done in the morning.

Given her strong commitment to the mission of USAID, Barbara actively volunteers with the UAA in support of its goals and enjoys maintaining friendships with Agency alumni.  She is in charge of soliciting, developing and editing the Profiles for the UAA monthly newsletter which is one of the most popular features. Although she was hesitant, her UAA colleagues finally convinced her to write her own profile. Barbara would welcome hearing from friends or those with suggestions for candidates for Alumni Profiles, at: .

a 45-year career with USAID. She came from a small town in southern Virginia for a management intern position in a relatively new, temporary agency in Washington, DC. She had studied world history and planned to teach but positions in that field were scarce. When the offer came from USAID, her parents were horrified at the thought of their daughter in the big city by herself!  Her uncle advised her to take it as the federal government at that time was the best place for women. Barbara came to love her work and her new city.

At work, Barbara found her niche in the legislative affairs office after a year on Capitol Hill with the House Appropriations Committee. Her primary focus was global health, and she played a key role in the establishment of the President’s Malaria Initiative, the Neglected Tropical Diseases program, and the Pandemic Office. The current pandemic brings back the rewarding but scary work in addressing avian influenza, H1N1 and Ebola. She retired as Director of Legislative Affairs.

Meantime, she fell in love with DC, particularly the arts through attending performances at Arena Stage, Shakespeare Theater, and Kennedy Center. This has led in retirement to more active involvement with the arts in DC and the fledging Performing Arts Center in her hometown, South Boston. The latter is particularly close to her heart as professional plays were not available to her growing up and were limited even in college. She has worked to help ensure that is not true for the young people in South Boston and surrounding area where many have now grown up performing in the local theater and are now pursuing careers in the arts. For audiences there, it is a chance to see another world as it was and is for Barbara in DC.

Retirement has also allowed her more time with family, particularly her three great nephews Greyson, Sawyer and Asher and great niece Molly. They have already seen their first plays and sat transfixed. Barbara was always interested in politics and volunteered in limited ways for over 20 years before retirement.  She has now had the time to be involved in several recent political campaigns. She also enjoys long lunches and dinners with friends without glancing at her cell phone, reading books for pleasure, and finally, being able to sleep a full night without waking up to worry about what has to be done in the morning.

Given her strong commitment to the mission of USAID, Barbara actively volunteers with the UAA in support of its goals and enjoys maintaining friendships with Agency alumni.  She is in charge of soliciting, developing and editing the Profiles for the UAA monthly newsletter which is one of the most popular features. Although she was hesitant, her UAA colleagues finally convinced her to write her own profile. Barbara would welcome hearing from friends or those with suggestions for candidates for Alumni Profiles, at: .

Carlton Bennett

Carlton Bennett
Since his official retirement from the Foreign Service and USAID in 2005, Carlton Bennett has remained active in international development and gainfully employed in his field as a procurement professional. Carlton served as a contracts officer in Cameroon, Pakistan, Senegal, Georgia and Egypt. It helped that life after USAID remained pretty much the same as life during his time with the Agency. Since 2008, he has followed his wife, Karen Hunter, around the globe as she continues to pursue her foreign service career as a USAID Regional Legal Advisor, first in Mozambique and then in El Salvador. They are about to pull up stakes again, as she moves on to Uganda for her next assignment. Carlton and Karen met at the USAID mission in Egypt and their wedding took place in the shadows of the pyramids at Giza in Cairo. They just celebrated ten years of wedded bliss.

But back to being gainfully employed. Since 2005, Carlton has worked for the Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC). His title is Director, Program Procurement Policy and he provides advisory services to MCC host countries during program development and implementation. His work has taken him to some familiar places – Georgia, Morocco and Senegal, but it has also introduced him to some new places – Burkina Faso, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Zambia just to name a few. While the work-related travel has been much more than he could have ever imagined, the work has been extremely satisfying. It has given him the opportunity to work directly with host country government procurement professionals and he has come to learn that no matter how developed or under developed the country might be, when it comes to conducting public procurement the challenge is the same – everything has to be done yesterday!

Carlton looks forward to the day when travel will only be for pleasure and he and Karen will be able to spend more time at their homes in Baltimore, MD. and Sarasota, FL., in other words “real retirement”. Until then, there will be more new places to discover and a few more adventures to be had.

Alan Berg

An article in a recent issue of the journal Development declared that Alan Berg, whose work was rooted in his 13-year career with USAID, “is internationally acknowledged as the person most responsible for placing nutrition on the international development agenda,” being recognized for helping to transform the way development agencies and national governments think about the problem of malnutrition as a fundamental component of economic growth. Former USAID colleagues, in their nomination of him for the 2014 UAA Alumni of the Year Award, credit him for “defining nutrition as a central element in the development process . He pioneered the concept, now central to international programs, of multi-sectoral nutrition . .The number of human lives that Alan Berg helped to save and to improve, building on his pioneering work in USAID, number in the many millions.”  In being awarded one of the first United Nations Achievement Awards for Lifelong Service to Nutrition, he was cited as “a global giant in nutrition history.”

Alan began his career with then-AID at its inception in 1960 as Deputy Executive Secretary. While there Alan was seconded to the White House Food for Peace Office, where he became Deputy Director, and co-director of a White House Nutrition Task Force that recommended that AID explore a U.S. role in national-scale multifaceted nutrition operations.

Ambassador to India Chester Bowles, who had read the report and wanted India to be a prototype country, recruited Alan to plan and implement what would be USAID’s first large-scale multi-sectoral national nutrition program. This effort enabled our Agency to save hundreds of thousands of lives in the Bihar famine of 1966-67.  The timely massive intervention he coordinated, along with his other innovative nutrition work, earned Alan the 1968 Jump Award, the government’s annual tribute to the Outstanding Young Civil Servant. While Alan was in India his seminal article, “Malnutrition and National Development,” based on his AID experience there, was published in Foreign Affairs, making the case for the first time that improving nutrition, far from being merely a medical or welfare issue, is vital to a country’s national development. This article led to his secondment by AID to The Brookings Institution where, as a Senior Fellow, he wrote the path-breaking book, The Nutrition Factor: Its Role in National Development.

From this work Robert McNamara, a trustee at Brookings and President of the World Bank, recruited Alan to initiate a nutrition program at the World Bank, with the scope to implement and build upon the recommendations contained in his writings. There, as the World Bank’s senior nutrition officer for 23 years, he was the driving force behind its $2.1 billion nutrition projects portfolio.

Along the way, Alan authored six books and numerous articles. For five years he was Visiting Professor of Nutrition at MIT and chairman of the Nutrition Panel for the National Academy of Sciences’ World Food & Nutrition Study.  Further specifics are available from a recently published interview here (“Visionary at the Conception”, page 121).

Marcy Bernbaum

On September 30, 1996 Marcy was one of 100 USAID FSOs “chosen” to be RIFed. On April 26, 1997, nearly 7 months later, her husband Eric Zallman, recently posted as USAID Director to Peru, died of heart failure. Not a good 7 months.
Both the RIF and Eric’s death threw Marcy into a sea of ambiguity, something that ISTJs do not like. No scope of work. No daily to do list. Marcy first expected that after Eric died, she would sink into a vortex of depression.  Instead, Marcy decided that every day is to be lived to its fullest given that it could be one’s last and that her guiding light would be her values — honesty, integrity, and caring.
For 15 years Marcy combined doing USAID consultancies overseas (primarily heading teams to evaluate USAID education and civil society programs) with one of her passions: doing case studies of grass roots programs that promote leadership and empowerment. In April 2012 Marcy’s life took a new turn. Instead of earning additional income via consultancies, she decided to dedicate the rest of her life to living two other passions, human rights and social justice, by helping the underserved in her own city, Washington DC.  This time a deliberate move into the realm of ambiguity.
Marcy became a court appointed special advocate (CASA) for an abused Guatemalan youth who had entered the US without a visa. Interested in getting to know DC’s homeless population, she began volunteering at a soup kitchen that serves 150 guests daily. Rather than using her skills, she spent the first two years listening and learning.
Today, 20+ years post USAID, Marcy is living all of her passions. She is a proud member of the People for Fairness Coalition (PFFC), a group of homeless and formerly homeless whose objective is to end homelessness in DC. She is mentor and advisor to PFFC’s Downtown DC Public Restroom Initiative whose aim is to persuade the Mayor and DC City Council to install and maintain clean, safe public restrooms open 24/7 in areas of need in downtown DC. She has helped create PFFC’s home page ( and is training PFFC members to administer the site. And she is advocating to end homelessness in DC: lobbying DC City Council members, delivering testimonies at key hearings, and educating housed friends and colleagues on the realities of being homeless. And she is carrying out a case study of the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless.
Marcy is a very happy camper. While she still misses Eric, she is living her values and her passions. She has gained a deep appreciation of the inequities and challenges faced by individuals who lack stable housing. She has several wonderful friends in the homeless community. She is the proud mother of a teacher (Shana, age 41) and a doctor (Leah, almost 37), a prouder grandmother of Isa (6), Eli (5), and Kay (2). And she has a wonderful partner for life, Mel.

Gary Bisson

Gary Bisson reports his second retirement after 10 years of private practice. He and Ellen sold their Arlington home late 2010 and moved to a cottage @ Westminster-Canterbury lifecare community in Winchester. Alas, the garage is still too full for the car. Five years on Board of Trustees, currently Vice Chair, for Medical Care Development, Inc., in Augusta, ME, a public health care PVO with special focus on malaria control in Africa. Golf, poker, occasional game of pool, and for the first time in his life reading for pleasure! Ellen is immersed in genealogy, her own and often for friends. She’s the guiding enthusiast for a family history group here, an active DAR member, resident praline maker, and family travel guide. Two month winter holidays are spent in the Caribbean, wherever the rum is good and the water is blue! Son Mark’s in Arlington and Todd in LA with our grandson Dante nearby. Life is good, especially when the Red Sox are in the ‘win’ column! Call (540 450-0270), write ( or visit (169 Elderberry Drive, Winchester, VA 22603).

Charlie Bliss

Charlie Bliss is probably unique in having been associated with USAID, inside or outside, since its formation by the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. A chemical engineer, he worked on USAID projects for a consulting firm in the 1960s and 1970s applying his engineering skills to economic development in the newly independent Nigeria and using appropriate labor-intensive technologies to reduce the cost of infrastructure construction and to increase employment opportunities in Colombia, Ghana, and the Philippines.
In the early 1980’s, Charlie joined USAID in the Office of Energy. In 1981 his path first crossed that of one Charles Moseley, head of USAID/Pakistan’s Office of Energy and Environment, who requested support in a project to develop a coal-fired power plant. Their collaboration established the feasibility of a modern coal mining and power generation installation that met international standards for environmental protection. Charlie also served as USAID’s liaison to the Pakistan Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in connection with furnishing the equipment for its Fuels Research Center, which upon completion in 1989 became a world-class research and development facility.
During his USAID career, Charlie developed and managed two major energy projects: one, a reconfiguration of Kenya’s petroleum refinery at Mombasa that overproduced heavy fuel oil for which there was no local market; the other, application in the Philippines of a coal-water slurry fuel for power generation as a substitute of heavy fuel oil at a time of unusually high oil prices.
Since retiring from USAID in 1991, Charlie has worked as a consultant specializing currently in fossil-energy fired power generation in the US. That has led him to continue collaboration with Charley Moseley in their joint interest in suppressing emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, as a precaution against foreseeable and perhaps disastrous climate changes. The two have invented a process to capture the carbon dioxide produced by coal burning instead of releasing it into the atmosphere. They believe a patent for their process is imminent. In 2015 they received a patent for the use of algae cultivation as a means for utilizing the captured carbon dioxide, thereby making it a revenue producer.
In 2011, Charlie’s alma mater, Cooper Union, awarded him its Gano Dunn award for outstanding achievements in engineering. He now lives in the Greenspring retirement community in Springfield, VA. As a centenarian, he attributes his long life to staying engaged with work that he loves.
Update! For an update on what Charlie has been doing, see this CBS newsclip.

Jerry Bowers

Jerry Bowers served in USAID for 27 years, retiring as a member of the Senior Foreign Service. He was USAID Deputy and Acting Mission Director in Haiti and USAID Representative in Mexico. He also served as a Health/Population Officer and General DevelopmentOfficer in Pakistan, Thailand, Morocco and Bolivia. In the private sector, he has been a Project Director for two USAID projects, and has undertaken over 30 short-term consulting assignments.Jerry Bowers

When their son and daughter-in-law urged them to move to rural New Jersey in 2006-“to be closer to your [eventual] grandchildren”–Jerry and his wife Maureen left DC moving to bucolic Holland Township. Suffering from a severe case of acute WDS (Washington Deprivation Syndrome), Jerry sought relief by plunging into a wide range of civic and voluntary activities, including membership on the town’s zoning board and utilities and environment committees and as a district chairman for the Hunterdon County Democratic Committee.

In 2007, Jerry joined his town’s volunteer fire company as a fire police officer. This year, he was accepted into the county/NJ state firefighter training program – a rigorous, four-month certification course. His academy instructors said he is probably the oldest person in the county and likely the state to successfully complete that program. Jerry admits that the punishing physical demands of the program (e.g.crawling through dense smoke in 60 pounds of gear during live fire/search & rescue exercises in the academy’s burn building) took him to the limits of his capacity. Prior to training, he prepared by “slogging up and down the stairs in my house for an hour a day with 25 pounds of kitty litter in my backpack, while carrying a 50-pound sack of rock salt.” He evidently succeeded. “Most of the 18 and 19-year old trainees”, he said, “were able to keep up with me.”

Despite this intense “retirement,” the Bowers spend the largest portion of their time in the exhausting, but happy realization of the true meaning of that “closer to your grandchildren” invitation – spending four days a week looking after Erin, 5 and Nate, 3. Jerry now claims to be cured of WDS – with the possible exception of ending his role in an institution staffed largely by other UAA members, the Arlington-based longest-running poker game in Agency history.

Betsy and Chris Brown

After retiring from USAID in2007, Betsy Brown and Chris Brown settled in Lake Placid, NY, near her childhood home, to enjoy fresh air, outdoor activities, and family. After years of work with international NGOs and as a short-term consultant with USAID missions, an opportunity came Betsy’s way to work from home and apply her international family planning and management expertise domestically. She serves as CEO and President of Planned Parenthood of the North Country New York, a huge territory from the shores of Lake Champlain to the shores of Lake Ontario, ensuring services to the underserved and far-flung population. As an independent consultant for USAID and other clients, he currently is the Acting Chief of Party for an evaluation project in West Africa for the Mitchell Group and works with several companies on new business development. Between field visits, Betsy and Chris enjoy spending time with their adult children, who are pursuing their work and studies. Mike is a lawyer working with an environmental law firm in New Orleans and Danielle is in her last year of school and a practicum for her degree as a nurse practitioner. Danielle plans to work as a rural health NP in the North Country. Betsy’s email is Chris’s e-mail is

Clifford Brown

Clifford Brown left a law partnership in Beverly Hills to become a USAID legal advisor from 1987 to 1999, serving as such in DC, Kenya, Honduras and Guatemala. He later became Democracy Office Chief in Nicaragua, Deputy Mission Director in Colombia, USAID representative to Kyrgyzstan, and finally the Mission Director for Guinea/Sierra Leone.

In 2009, Cliff retired to the Tri-Cities in Washington State and soon became President of a local NGO seeking to establish a shelter for homeless teens. He spoke to many churches and local service groups and media about this cause.

Cliff explains that parents and teenagers separate for countless reasons, but in Washington, as in most states, minors cannot legally stay alone at adult homeless shelters. “It’s a serious, largely unreported problem,” he said.

This idea caught on; local media and his Kiwanis Club got on board. Cliff proposed a revolving event on a peninsula in the Columbia River at which the costumed attendees could wander among various venues, listening to local volunteer musicians. Cliff served as Master of Ceremonies of the event, dubbed “The Lawyers’ and Artists’ Costume Ball.” By auctioning wine from local wineries, art from local artists, and private performances from the musicians, they raised sufficient funds, including one large donation from a father whose homeless son died of suicide, to serve as counterpart for a local government grant. This allowed the opening of My Friends Place, using a facility previously housing delinquent juveniles. Cliff also persuaded another, more established local NGO, Safe Harbor Nursery, to become the host.

Ten years later, Safe Harbor’s My Friends Place is still attracting significant donations and has sheltered hundreds of homeless teenagers, saving some lives in the process. Cliff said that, for him, it overshadows his many achievements with USAID. He invites UAA alumni to visit the website: and to watch the short video:

Cliff’s former wife Ellen Brown is an attorney and writer in Los Angeles and is head of the Public Banking Institute which she founded. Their adult children, Jeff and Jamie, live in Bogota, Colombia and Interlaken, Switzerland, respectively, and gave them two grandchildren. In 2005, in Kyrgyzstan, Cliff married his Russian teacher, Gulnura. He now spends time as daddy and driver for their three children (ages 8, 8, and 15) and as groundskeeper for their home in Clarksville, Maryland. Cliff welcomes hearing from UAA friends and colleagues at

Richard Brown

Richard Brown retired from USAID in 2000, joining Winrock International as Vice President of Programs in their Washington DC office. Since Dick had been in Indonesia as Deputy Resident Representative for UNDP from 1974-77, he took advantage of an opportunity to return as Chief of Party for a Robert Nathan Associates Trade and Investment Project. In December of last year, Dick picked up his golf clubs and tennis racquet and retired after 7 years as Vice President of AEAI. Busy with his life on the Pamlico River in North Carolina, 3 dogs, and 3 grandchildren plus his sports and fitness activities, he can’t believe he had time for meetings and conference calls! However he remains interested and concerned about development activities and likes to stay engaged. Phone him at 202.344.5696 or 252.946.8338 and email him at


Craig Buck

Craig Buck served in three long-established USAID Missions in Turkey, the Dominican Republic and Peru. But his forte was in establishing USAID programs in newly independent countries and/or those emerging from wars or civil conflicts.  Craig opened USAID Missions in Uganda; the five Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Kosovo; Montenegro; and Afghanistan.  He professed, “I had the great fortune of pioneering Missions and programs in circumstances we really never would have imagined.  Since we did this in tabula rasa if the programs didn’t work out, we only had ourselves to blame.”  USAID’s seminal role in the Balkans and Afghanistan set up and staffed the institutional basis for economic governance and the instruments of future market-directed growth that have endured long after USAID helped establish them.

Craig left Afghanistan after a year and a half in 2003 and later joined a private firm as its director of marketing and business development for several years.  Subsequently, Craig has had both short- and long-term assignments that brought him back to many of the missions where he had originally helped establish USAID.  One of his more gratifying assignments was as a member of the SFS Promotion Board, which gave him great confidence that USAID has talented and experienced staff to guide the Agency in the future.

Craig met his wife, Madina, in Kazakhstan where she worked with the United Nations.  She followed him to Kosovo and Afghanistan, where they married.  Since retiring in 2005, Craig has been involved in U.S. domestic politics and worked for a several Presidential and local level candidates.  He volunteered for election administration duties, serving as the chief judge in different polling stations in Maryland.  Craig’s primary and middle school-aged children are year-round competitive swimmers, and Craig has qualified as a swim meet official in several capacities.  Craig has shared his experience in addressing post-conflict development issues with students at the War College, universities, the Brookings Institution, doctoral research candidates, and diverse USAID workshops.

Craig wishes he had been a GSO as he deals with problems inherent in property management.  Besides learning to operate a landscaping Bobcat, Craig has acquired electrical, plumbing, arborist, real estate, legal, and carpentry skills that may be needed for future assignments.  Buck would welcome reconnecting with colleagues at


Malcolm and Tish Butler

Malcom_Tish_ButlerMalcolm and Tish met (1978), married (1979), tandem-deployed (1979 – 1999) and created a family (1994) under USAID’s auspices. They had rich and varied careers. Malcolm was Acting AA/DAA in three bureaus, Director in 4 missions and Executive Secretary, retiring in 1994. Before USAID, he was with State, OMB and the NSC. Tish was in mission program offices in Bolivia, Peru and Lebanon, board advisor at the Asia Development Bank, participant in State’s Senior Seminar, Deputy Director/Guatemala, and PPC Policy Office chief. Along the way, they shared a passion for both development and the outdoors–hiking mountains, kayaking, and scuba-diving-and most important, for two infants from Nicaragua.


Malcolm’s “retirement” began as Program Director for the North Carolina Outward Bound School, putting his interest in the outdoors into wilderness training. He followed this with establishing his own consulting firm, serving as President of Partners of the Americas and of the Riecken Foundation, and stints as Senior Vice President at Management Systems International and the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities. He serves on a number of private and non-profit boards and advises USAID on the Higher Education Solutions Network. Connect at

Upon her 2004 retirement, Tish explored the world of corporate consulting at Booz Allen Hamilton until 2008. However, the siren call of USAID brought her back to help with the presidential transition, serve on the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, and help create the Policy, Planning and Learning Bureau as the Policy Office Director until her Second Retirement in 2012. She is on the board of The International Foundation and consults part-time from TMB Partners LLC, of which she is President. She can be reached at

Roger Carlson

Roger Carlson joined USAID in 1963 fresh out of college, eager to get involved in foreign affairs and motivated by President Kennedy’s appeal to youth to join government and bring a new era of dynamism and change to public service. After initially working in the Military Assistance Division of the Agency’s Planning Office his first overseas assignment was in Algeria. He convinced his former Peace Corps boss, Gail Sander, to join him there where they were married in Algiers in 1964.

Roger CarlsonAs with many USAID officers in that era with a spouse safe havened, in 1967 they began a two year period of shuttling between Saigon, where Roger was a Planning Officer at Military Assistance Command, and Bangkok, where Gail was the Administrative Assistant to the Peace Corps Director. They then spent 1969-70 at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, followed by USAID assignments in Tunisia, USAID/W, studies at Stanford Graduate School of Business and then Somalia. Roger moved into the Directorship of Southern African Affairs in the mid-1980s and later in Swaziland and Mozambique.

Post retirement in 1996, he teamed up with a small publisher in Johannesburg and launched a magazine, “Transport World Africa,” dedicated to analysis and debate about the African continent’s transport infrastructure crisis. His experience in Mozambique confirmed that high transport costs in Africa, and from Africa to overseas markets, were seriously reducing competitiveness of African products. He never planned to get into journalism, but it was a refreshing change and a real challenge. He recalls spending many days travelling the back roads of South Africa in an un-air conditioned Mazda3, interviewing CEOs about logistics bottlenecks and selling advertising for the new publication.

In 2004, he returned to USAID for a “second time around.” In Afghanistan he helped the Mission find ways to address the narcotics challenge and served as a senior advisor to the Minister of Agriculture. From 2005 through 2013, he served in senior USAID positions on an interim basis in six Near East and Asian countries and in the Asia Bureau in Washington. He remains available for short-term assignments.

Roger and Gail’s children, Caroline and Kevin, were born in Tunisia in the mid-1970’s. Tragically, Gail died unexpectedly in 2009. Roger’s children and their spouses now live in Florida and Roger thoroughly enjoys his role as grandfather to four boys between the ages ten and three. During school holidays he often joins them in Florida and runs what the boys like to call “Camp Gramp!” While Roger still resides in D.C., he spends time on Cape Cod, maintaining a family home and summer rental property near the National Seashore Park. It has become a wonderful retreat, winter and summer, for the Carlson clan.

Constance “Connie” Anne Carrino

Little Connie thought the blue runway lights were beautiful as PanAm 001 from Asunción landed at Idlewild in 1961. She told anyone who would listen that she loved her three years in Paraguay and was going to keep travelling the world.

After a year in Mexico, summers in Panama and the Dominican Republic, a BA in political science, and an MA in International Studies, she started an international career at USIA’s Policy Office as an intern, and later with USAID partners and the World Bank. She received a Ph.D. in economics and met a man while waiting for a bookstore to open in Georgetown whom she later married.

The call from USAID came in 1978 from Sarah Clark. Connie joined the Office of Population, moved to the Policy and Program Bureau and later to the Office of Health. By the time she was sworn into the USAID Foreign Service the day the Gulf War began in 1991, she knew how to design and manage technical projects and who to call for help.

In her first months in India, Connie learned that flexibility and decisiveness was as important as the people and technical skills she brought with her. She designed the first HIV/AIDS bilateral there and, after returning to Washington, consolidated USAID’s health policy activities into a new division in Global Health.

She became an advocate for interagency, donor, and government cooperation. In Russia she directed Social Sector Restructuring and co-chaired U.S.-Russia Maternal and Child Health Subcommittee. As USAID rep in Japan, she was the Counselor for International Development for the U.S. Embassy. Back in D.C, she Directed the Office of HIV/AIDS while being a Deputy Principal for the initial years of the Presidents’ Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). She expanded her interagency understanding with a year at the National War College.

Along the way the family grew: Her son was born while in India and daughter while in Russia. Sharing those first years within those cultures became precious memories for the whole family, as did adventures in places like Rovaniemi, St. Petersburg, Salzburg and Lake Onuma.

After retiring from USAID in 2007, the family moved to Vermont to chill. Connie worked with ARD/Tetra Tech on Afghanistan and then a decade helping health leaders and managers evaluate and improve their programs. She loves learning about the incredible work underway in small corners of developing countries and is very proud of USAID.

After working in 30 countries Connie still thinks runway lights are beautiful. Her best memories from USAID are of the people who were part of her journey. Do let her know what you are up to at:

John Champagne

One of the newest members to engage in the UAA mentoring program is John Champagne who is partnering with a USAID staff member in Armenia. After nearly 49 years of marriage and 26 household moves, John and his wife Penny have returned to Holyoke, their home of origin in western Massachusetts. They have 5 grandchildren. Daughter Kristen, who served with OFDA in the mid-1990s, and her family are in the Foreign Service and currently living in Bangkok, while their son Jeff and his family are happily ensconced in Annandale, Virginia.

JohnChampagneProfileJohn began his international development career with USAID in 1970 following four years as a U.S. Army Officer (Special Forces) and completion of a Masters Degree in International Relations. His first overseas post was Thailand, followed by a two-year rotation to Washington as Assistant Thailand/Burma desk officer and a return to Thailand in 1977. Panama was his next overseas assignment where he served as Deputy in both the Health/Education/Training and Agriculture Offices. Returning to Washington in 1984, John served as Associate Director for Caribbean Affairs, USAID liaison to the Department of State’s Bureau for International Narcotics Matter and later as Associate Assistant Administrator in the then PPC Bureau. His final USAID assignment was Director of Middle East Affairs.

As he notes, John’s post USAID-retirement has been as eclectic as his foreign service career. He was AED project manager for the largest USAID participant training program with a staff of 145 in 10 countries of the former Soviet Union. He assisted EGAT’s Office of Business Development to launch a domestic outreach program, including the Global Technology Network. After 9/11, he was hired by General Dynamics to assist U.S. Joint Forces Command in Suffolk, VA to develop management systems for improved civilian-military coordination and planning for complex emergencies. He assisted USAID to establish an Office of Military Affairs in the DCHA Bureau to facilitate DOD coordination. Finally, in 2008, John and a small team of junior officers set up and staffed a new Office of Civilian Response in DCHA.

“In my non-working life I still run and rollerblade. Penny and I also bike, kayak, snowshoe and cross-country ski. I am currently assisting a small non-profit in the western Massachusetts area develop an agroforestry project in Cameroon. In addition, I help the Director at our hometown’s new $8.1 million senior center to design and develop a lifelong learning program.” There is clearly life after USAID.

Jatinder Cheema

Jatinder Cheema reached mandatory retirement age while posted in Ghana as the Regional Mission Director for West Africa. She was totally unprepared for retirement, but she was saved from having to figure out life after USAID for another four years when she was recalled to serve in Afghanistan and then Armenia as the Mission Director. She started her career with USAID in 1989 as a PSC in Bangladesh. Prior to her work with USAID, she was a consultant with the World Bank and UNICEF. She joined USAID as a USDH in 1991 in Burkina Faso. She retired as a Senior Foreign Service Officer.

Cheema (the name she goes by) retired again in 2012, moving to Madison, Wisconsin and downsizing her lifestyle into a condo with her husband Jeffrey Wright, a native of Wisconsin. Madison, a university town, was a perfect fit. She immediately volunteered for local associations and was invited to sit on the boards of the Marquette Neighborhood Association, the Greater Williamson Business Association, and the Madison Development Corporation. Besides bringing diversity to the boards, she was instrumental in expanding their activities into programs to help people with special needs and was actively engaged in progressive issues with the associations. During her overseas career with USAID, she learned the value of dialogue, of listening and negotiating to solve problems. To apply that learning back home, she bought a historic house and converted it into a space for the community to meet, network, engage in progressive dialog, and discuss local issues. She called her conversation salon “A Place to Be” ( The space was also designed and decorated to house her extensive collection of African, Asian, and Caucasian art, including carpets, sculptures, paintings, and textiles.

She has immersed herself in making A Place to Be a community space, while taking full advantage of all that Madison has to offer: music, theater, festivals etc. She lives in the Marquette Neighborhood, named one of the ten best neighborhoods in the US by a national association of neighborhoods. In 2016, however, USAID knocked on her door again for two short­-term assignments in Guinea and Sierra Leone. Since last fall, she has been in Almaty, Kazakhstan as the Mission Director for Central Asia until September 2017.

In between work and retirement in Madison, she loves to travel, especially visiting her family in India where her mom lives. Cheema has just finished producing her mom’s memoirs, which should be in print shortly, called “As I Remember ­ the Life History of Raminder Kaur Cheema.” Cheema is an avid tennis player and has convinced her husband, an equally enthusiastic player, that tennis is a perfect sport to get old with.

Toni Christiansen

Inspired by her studies in the Soviet Union, Greece, and Fulbright scholarships in India as an educator writing curriculum for secondary teachers on cultural awareness and  diversity, Toni Christiansen’s second career began when she joined the US Agency for International Development (USAID) as an International Development Intern in 1979.  Introduction to various leadership, management, and negotiation styles by dynamic officers and mentors in
USAID/Washington’s Latin America and Caribbean Bureau and the Middle East prepared her well for working with diverse teams and country representatives.

The USAID knowledge and experience advancing programs and contracts in many challenging environments proved to be an excellent platform for her transition to an international career in the private sector after retiring from USAID in 2003.

Although cooking and auto repair were never among Toni’s top interests, after retirement from USAID, she was hired as Chief Operating Officer (COO) and General Manager of a start-up Jordanian company that grew to be a multimillion-dollar catering business. She joined a second company as COO and Regional Vice-President for Business Development, with a leading,multibillion-dollar U.S./Jordanian/Saudi Arabian company dealing with U.S.
Government vehicle maintenance, design-build, supply chain management, and food supply contracts. During the time she worked for ME companies, Toni lived in Dubai, U.A.E., Jordan and traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Central Asia.

Most recently, Toni has consulted on contracts related to demand-based workforce development, India/Afghan hospital and university partnerships, and a policy paper for an Afghan master’s degree for Education Leadership and Management. Of late, she developed a business/design curriculum for Afghan women entrepreneurs that is featured on “The Diplomatic Society Review” website. Toni also moderated a high-level United Nations Development Program panel on Syrian refugee issues in Jordan and presented the findings
at a European Bank for Reconstruction and Development donor meeting in London. She also serves on education, business boards and is a partner of a company doing business in Mozambique.

Toni’s experience in C-Suites and as an executive in both diplomatic and corporate entities has been invaluable in advancing business/development goals, leading multicultural teams, and achieving compliant results. That said, throughout her careers, her dedication, cultivated at USAID, to economic growth emphasizing education and workforce preparedness endures.

In her leisure time, Toni swims, skis, and travels to see her multi-lingual daughter who is  in Geneva, Switzerland working for a non-profit.  Toni currently resides in the Washington DC area.


David Cohen

New Jersey born and raised, David Cohen earned undergraduate (Rutgers) and graduate (NYU) degrees before joining USAID in 1969.  For the next 30 years, he served in Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and several USAID/W offices before taking on a number of senior executive positions overseas. They included Deputy and Acting Director in Guyana (1980-82); Deputy and Mission Director in Bolivia (1982-87); and Mission Director in Panama (1987), Haiti (1990-93) and Sri Lanka (1994-1997).  David also served two years as the USAID faculty member at the National War College.  After 30 years, he retired but rejoined USAID as the Administrator’s liaison to the US military Southern Command after the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

David has dedicated the past ten years of his USAID retirement to building and improving the UAA as an active member of the Executive Committee, webmaster, and mentor.  His long, wide-ranging and distinguished USAID career made him a natural to start a pilot UAA Mentoring Program with senior managers in USAID’s Bureau for Europe and Eurasia and expand it very successfully to other parts the Agency.  This program stands as one of the most significant UAA achievements in collaboration with USAID. Eleven years later, he is still deeply engaged with the program where he maintains contact, and some mentoring relationships, with multiple USAID mentees.

A former Mission Director turned WordPress techie, David has given UAA members an online place to belong, to communicate, and to learn.  In. 2011, David led the design and implementation of a full re-make of the website, which he managed for eight years — both for content and technical needs.  David’s post-retirement activities at UAA have had a profound impact on USAID activities in communities and countries overseas through his work with active USAID employees through the Mentoring Program.  Moreover, the informational network he has created through the extensive UAA website provides research opportunities to help others in educational efforts both in the United States and abroad.  His influence is broadly recognized and greatly appreciated in the international development and humanitarian assistance world.

David’s own words summarize the pride and the sense of purpose among so many USAID retirees that belong to UAA:  “I have long thought that working in USAID is a calling.  It becomes part of our personal definitions, something that is a matter of pride of association.  To stop working for AID does not mean that one ceases to care about the things that have been important and fascinating for most of one’s adult life.  The UAA provides us with a way of continuing to connect with all that.”

David’s volunteerism also engages him in community service closer to home at the Arlington Free Clinic where he has been a long-time volunteer.  The clinic provides free, high-quality healthcare to low-income, uninsured people living in Arlington County.


Julius E. Coles


 Julius E. Coles was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia.  During his sophomore year at Morehouse College, he applied for and was accepted as a volunteer for the Crossroads Africa program in Senegal. While participating in this program, he traveled throughout Mali and Senegal and became interested in the developmental problems confronting these countries.  In his junior year of college he was given the opportunity to study in Switzerland at the University of Geneva, where he took courses in French, international relations and economics.  These experiences highlighted Julius’s interest in working on the problems of developing countries.

Coles began his career with the U.S. Agency for International Development in 1966 after graduating from the Princeton University School of Public and International Affairs with a concentration in development economics.  He was initially assigned to the Office of Central African Affairs but was transferred to the Vietnam Bureau for a later two-year posting in Vietnam working for one of the USAID’s top administrators, Robert Culbertson, as a special assistant.  In this position, he was able to develop the management and leadership skills that would serve him well throughout his career, which took him on assignments to Morocco, Liberia, Nepal, Swaziland, Washington, and Senegal.  He retired from USAID in 1994 after serving as a Mission Director at the rank of career minister.

He began his post-USAID career at Howard University, where he became the first director of the Ralph J. Bunch Center for International Affairs. He developed programs to encourage students to become interested in careers in international affairs.  After Howard University, he returned to his alma mater, Morehouse College, to establish the Andrew Young Center for International Affairs and Global Leadership, which took students abroad to expose them to the culture and problems of the countries visited. He has also served as president of Africare, which was the largest minority-run NGO working in some twenty-two countries in Africa with a budget of $80 million. In addition, he has served on the boards of the Fulbright Association of the USA, Health and Development International, World Learning, and Partners in Change.

Coles is married to Jean R. Coles, who is a retired high school biology teacher.  They have two daughters, Carmen Coles, who is currently serving in USAID as the Acting Deputy Administrator for Global Health, and Britt Coles, who is a veterinarian in southern Sweden.  Julius and his wife have just returned from a safari in Kenya and Tanzania where they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.  The Coles reside in Atlanta, Georgia, and Julius can be reached at

Jock Conly

Jock Conly works as a full-time gardener in Granby, Massachusetts. The job doesn’t pay much (a few tomatoes), but it rewards him with tangible results. Before his gardening career, Jock was a USAID Foreign Service Officer for 29 years (1977-2013).  A former PCV in Sierra Leone, Jock joined A.I.D. as an IDI after earning his MPA in economic development at Princeton.

Conly_Alumni_ProfileInspired by David Shear’s work in the drought-ridden Sahel, Jock requested Niger as his initial FS assignment. Tours in Bangladesh (1980-84) and Egypt (1984-87) followed. He returned to Washington for two years to work in the Office of Southern Africa Affairs. In 1989 Jock left for Pakistan to head the program office. A year later, he returned to AID/W for personal reasons. After eight years of developing strategy for a new assistance program to Eastern Europe, heading the CDIE evaluation division and directing the program office in the ENI Bureau, he attended the National War College. In 1998 he left for Kenya as mission director. He and his family arrived less than a week before Al Qaida bombed the embassies in Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam. Jock, Buff Mackenzie and Steve Wisecarver were the only USAID officers in the chancery when the bomb went off and were among the lucky ones. USAID awarded colleagues Lee Ann Ross and Mike Trott the Distinguished Honor Awards for their roles in the recovery effort. In 2001 Jock returned to AID/W. He retired two years later.

Jock worked for Save the Children and then joined Booz Allen Hamilton. In 2009 USAID asked Jock to return as mission director in the Caucasus. In 2011,the Administrator asked him to be mission director in Pakistan. Jock agreed to a one-year assignment. It was his most difficult assignment. “Challenge #3 was the inability of the USAID staff to travel widely to monitor projects, due to the security situation. Challenge #2 was endemic corruption and the unwillingness of the local political leadership to make important reforms. And challenge #1 was the redundant layers of leadership in USAID and the State Department who wanted to do my job for me. ”

Jock retired “for the last time” in July. He and Laurie have retired to Granby, Massachusetts, eight miles south of Amherst and one mile from Mount Holyoke College. Their colonial farmhouse, built in 1746, gives an old project officer plenty of projects to keep him busy. Daughter Claire (a business consultant in San Francisco), son Matthew (a lawyer in New York) and daughter Gillian (a third grade teacher in Washington, DC) all visited for Thanksgiving and plan future R&Rs from their own demanding careers in Granby. The house, by the way, has three guest rooms for visiting USAID alumni. Contact:

Bette Cook
Winner, 2015 UAA Alumni Award

COOKBette Cook joined the International Cooperation Administration, USAID’s predecessor, in 1959.  She began her 42-year career in Tunisia and then moved on to Vietnam in 1963. Upon returning to Washington, DC, she worked in the Vietnam Bureau, the Latin America and the Caribbean Bureau and finally for the Bureau for Legislative and Public Affairs.  Bette was well known and well respected on Capitol Hill.  As Congressional relations officer, she managed the preparation and submission of USAID’s budget request to Congress for 23 years and assisted all Presidential nominees for senior agency positions through the Senate confirmation process for over 20 years. Bette retired in 2004, only to return four years later as a consultant for strategic communications with Congress.  She is proud of her USAID experience that spanned Foreign and Civil Services, overseas and Washington and direct hire and contract employment.
Before leaving USAID in 2012, Bette attended medical meetings at Walter Reed Medical Center at Bethesda and the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital and was moved by the young men and women struggling with the challenges of their war-related injuries.  She wanted to show them how much she appreciated their service to the country.  So once retired, she volunteered with the American Red Cross because of its solid historic partnership with the military.  She also had a warm, personal memory of the organization: a Red Cross worker had visited her home to tell the family of her older sister’s death in Japan. Bette had also witnessed Red Cross international humanitarian efforts when she accompanied Congressional delegations overseas.
Bette currently serves as the Red Cross Station Chair, the lead volunteer position at Fort Belvoir and Quantico Marine Corps Base.  As the alter ego to the Station Manager, she works with 400 volunteers to provide services to members of the Armed Forces and their families.  Bette averages a 50-hour workweek assisting members of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and Reserves, both active duty and retirees. She speaks frequently to the military community – for example, 21 events in August and September — about Red Cross services to the Armed Forces and also devotes one-day each week to work at Fort Belvoir Hospital’s physical therapy clinic to interact with the wounded warriors.  Fort Belvoir Hospital, a new state-of-the art medical facility, which is part of the Walter Reed Medical system, has a facility for traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress care. Bette has published articles in USAID’s 50th Anniversary Impact Blog, the Foreign Service Journal, and Front Lines.
Bette lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband Mel, a retired Hall of Fame U.S. Army aviator who served during three wars (World war II, Korea and Vietnam), and son Joe, a former PGA golf pro.  Bette is always happy to hear from her friends and may be reached at:

Gary Cook

Gary Cook says it all started in eighth grade. Sister Margaret turned on the radio to listen to a speech by candidate John Kennedy where he described his idea for the Peace Corps. Gary thought that would be a perfect fit for him. After college, he was on his way with the Peace Corps to Lesotho, a place he never heard of, where he lived in a mountain village helping to establish a credit union and soil conservation dams. Later he moved to the capital and helped manage the Lesotho Flying Doctor Service. When it was time to go home, he and two buddies decided to go by motorcycle with assists by ship when necessary, stopping in Mombasa, Karachi, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey and all the European countries enroute to London and home to Wisconsin.

While working for a couple of years in Wisconsin, he met a beautiful redhead named Sue and fell in love. Then he applied to USAID and was assigned as a Health Development Officer in Zaire. In 1976, a strange and dangerous virus broke out in Zaire. The international community sent scientists and epidemiologists, and Gary became the hub for communications and logistics. After two brutal months, it was over but not before killing scores of Zairians. They named

 the virus Ebola after a river near the village of origin. Missing Sue, he sent her a round-trip ticket to visit Zaire. They canceled her return ticket and married. To overcome Sue’s nervousness at having the ceremony in French Gary told her to just say “oui.” And she did!

Gary says USAID must have learned how little he knew of public health, so after Zaire, the Agency sent him to Johns Hopkins where he received a Masters in Health Sciences. Subsequent tours included Jamaica, Philippines, Bangladesh, and Guatemala. He retired in 1999 after serving as Deputy Director for Office of Population. Then, as a PSC, he became Health Team Leader in Asia and Middle East for 15 years, including rewarding work in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.

When Gary finally retired in 2014, after 40 years, he became a certified career coach and has since coached hundreds of USAID staff. He says it is a good way to stay connected with the Agency and its inspiring people. Gary said he has no tattoos, but if he did, it would be the USAID handclasp.

Daughters Tiffany and Brittany were born in Manila. They are married and have two and three children, respectively, ages 5 to 11, all living in Aldie, Virginia. In 2020, Gary and Sue moved there where they say they are in parent and grandparent heaven! They would welcome hearing from friends and former colleagues at

Carol Dabbs

Carol Dabbs

Recent college graduate Lizzie Dabbs with her Aunt Carol in front of Chateau Siaurac

August 23, 2011 at 1:51 p.m. an earthquake rippled through Virginia during Carol Dabbs’ first-month of retirement.  Was Mother Nature showing her disapproval?

After 35 years of hard work, Carol relishes getting enough sleep, lunching with friends in Shirlington and attending plays and movies.  Not one to remain inactive, Carol has joined exercise classes, two book groups and continues to be very involved in her local community.  She’s been Treasurer and Membership VP in the Arlington Branch of the American Association of University Women, Board Member and Secretary of the Fairlington Citizen’s Association and has served on an Arlington School Board committee to provide input for expansion of her neighborhood elementary school.  She remains committed to a neighborhood dining group she organized in 1993. She’s held elective office in the International Health Section of the American Public Health Association since the early 1990’s, and has joined UAA’s Membership Committee, crafting the questionnaires and reports for the evaluation of the Annual General Meeting and the Annual Membership Survey. Carol serves on the Board of the Public-Private Alliance Foundation, which is working on an alcohol stove project in Haiti, and was active on the Advisory Council for the Mount Carmel House program for formerly homeless women.
Carol also enjoys traveling with her four nieces to celebrate high school and college graduations.  She has taken them to Italy, France (twice) and Japan.  Graduates’ wishes and Carol’s travel bucket list will determine destinations for future trips, which usually include other family members.   She also traveled to Antarctica with high school friends, collecting the 7th continent punch on her passport.  Carol plans to produce a polished version of her 10 Rules for Successful Travel, based on TDYs and personal travel, which begins with “Conserve cash” and “Eat when food is presented.”
Originally from Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Carol Dabbs resides in Arlington, Virginia. She joined USAID as an International Development Intern to pursue her interest in international family planning. During her 35 year career, she worked in 29 countries on public health programs in gradually widening circles, starting with family planning, expanding to child survival, infectious diseases, maternal health, and non-communicable diseases, as well as women’s and water programs; serving as a program officer for worldwide programs; and developing the public health budgets for State and USAID in the now Office of Foreign Assistance Resources. This included assignments in LAC, now-GH, AFR, now-PPL, and the Foreign Assistance Bureau, and made good use of both her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and French from Duke University and master’s degree in public health administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Carol welcomes contact from former colleagues at

Anne Dammarell
Winner, 2014 UAA Alumni Award – International Category

Anne Dammarell retired from USAID’s Foreign Service in 1988, having worked in participant training and later as a program officer. Since then she has volunteered on three different continents. First, in Egypt she taught for three years with the Maryknoll brothers, who had set up an English language program in the Coptic Catholic Seminary in Maadi, Cairo, as part of their post-elementary education for young seminarians, primarily farmers from Upper Egypt. She later returned to Egypt for three summers, 1991-93 to teach at the Maryknoll English program for the seminarians in Alexandria.

In the 1990’s, Anne taught English to Latino immigrants at the Sacred Heart Center in Adams Morgan and to several immigrant neighbors she befriended who needed to improve their language skills. She also earned a M.A. degree in Middle East Studies at Georgetown University, studied theology at the Washington Theological Union, and volunteered at the White House answering mail.

Between 2000 and 2007, Anne volunteered at the Sitar Arts Center in Adams Morgan, a project to advance critical life skills of underserved children and youth through visual, performing and digital arts education that is not available in the public schools. These children of poor working parents came to the Center for classes and practice after public school classes were finished. Volunteers and major organizations contributed equipment, musical instruments and instruction, and a variety of performance and technical training. Anne taught the children writing, play composition, knitting and more English. She also held classes for mothers and grandmothers who came to escort the children home, in English and literacy, and even basic creative writing for some.

In 2011 the Maryknoll Brothers again asked Anne to teach English, this time to Buddhist monks at a Wat located in a working area of Bangkok. She volunteered for 3-month periods each year between 2011 and the spring of 2014. She taught both monks and laity ranging from young students and workers to retired men and women. With few exceptions these are a poor and underserved population with little access to education, but with ambition and a strong desire to learn. Buddhist monks value education and wish to prepare for a working life outside the monkhood. Anne taught novices and young monks from Vietnam, Cambodia, and Burma as well as Thailand, between the ages of 14 and 21. Many were selected by their communities based on perceived potential; most were expected to leave the monkhood and return to work in their countries. Those who remain monks frequently teach English to other monks.

The overarching purpose of these volunteer efforts has been to address the needs of the poor and marginalized, to help them individually through access to education, and therefore to find better employment and contribute to the common good of society as a whole.

Bob Dakan

Bob Dakan, a retired FSO, uses over 37 years of managing development programs in Asia and Africa as the basis for his Coaching career. A speaker of Indonesian, Lao, and Thai, his comfort in working in different cultures has enabled him to guide new entrants to USAID through its often impenetrable culture. Bob, who was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Indonesia (1963­65), began in USAID as a program/economic development officer, gaining supervisory experience in a series of assignments in Asia. He retired in 2000, having served as Mission Director (Belize) and Office Director in the LAC Bureau. Since USAID, he worked for several development partners in Asia, but after the 2004 tsunami, USAID called him back to Indonesia to provide support services for the construction of the 175­km Aceh Road. Bob is married to Maya Dakan and, when not coaching USAID employees, enjoys their four grandchildren.

George Deikun

George Deikun retired from USAID in 2009 as a Career Minister from his dream job of four years as Mission Director to India. He came to India from Kazakhstan where he served as the Regional Mission Director to the five Central Asian Republics while they were front line programs after the US intervention in Afghanistan. Over his 29­year career, he served as Deputy Mission Director in Russia and Haiti, Environmental Office Director in Egypt, General Development Office Director in Russia, and in numerous RHUDO assignments in South America, Caribbean and West Africa.

After retiring from USAID and with no lack of idealism, George joined the United Nations as the Director of UN Habitat’s Liaison and Humanitarian Affairs Office in Geneva, Switzerland. With his seven­-year stint at the UN he realized a lifelong goal of working with the brotherhood of nations addressing the world’s development and humanitarian challenges. He served as UN Habitat’s representative to the Interagency Standing Committee (IASC) which brings together all the major UN and NGO humanitarian actors to guide humanitarian policy, law and operations development. There, he led the development of the IASC’s first Strategy for Meeting Humanitarian Challenges in Urban Areas, using the resources of cities to respond to humanitarian crises rather than setting up camps and other inefficient responses. He led the same over thirty UN agencies, INGOs and Geneva­ based diplomatic missions in advocating an urban perspective in the formulation and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

After reaching the mandatory retirement age, George retired from the UN in 2015. His plan was to retire in Thailand for the following couple of years but he got offers from USAID that he couldn’t resist, bringing to USAID the benefit of his multi­lateral experience. He returned to Kazakhstan as the Regional Mission Director and gave strategic direction to the program, including a new US foreign policy initiative to reengage with the Central Asian states in trade, energy and security. He then joined RDMA as a senior strategic advisor to develop USAID’s first development cooperation strategy with the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). George is taking some time off to travel in Asia as he ponders his next steps. He just completed a tour of Sri Lanka’s five UNESCO World Heritage sites. He is using the extra time to deepen his practice of Tibetan Buddhism and study of other spiritual traditions, art history and history in general. He is also looking forward to getting his art collection out of storage. George welcomes reconnecting with colleagues. His personal email is

Regina Dennis – Nana

Regina Dennis­Nana survives life challenges. Her first trip to Africa was by train and boat from Brussels, where she had been studying French. Later, as a graduate student, she was a victim of sexual abuse, took the young white wrestler to court, sat on the witness stand for three hours, and saw justice prevail with an all­white jury and judge. She has survived four car accidents in Africa.

Still, nothing prepared her for the devastating 7.0 earthquake that shook Haiti on January 12, 2010. On that evening, she was working in the embassy and heard the Marine guard’s voice announce: “Get away from the windows; this is not a drill.” The earth shook; the Embassy’s ceiling and platforms fell, and papers flew. This experience brought home the value of appreciating and living each day to the fullest.

Regina worked for 20 years as a Development Anthropologist, focusing on food production and health care among agro­pastoral societies. Starting her USAID FSO career in 2001, she served in Nigeria, Ghana, Haiti and Guinea. In this capacity, she oversaw Agency policies and procedures to design, monitor and evaluate, budget for agricultural, health care, democracy and governance and educational programs.

Retirement in 2014 has enabled her to concentrate on projects she long had on the back burner. Settling in St. Louis, she renovated a 137 year­old Victorian house in an old neighborhood that is in the process of bouncing back. The home has become a meeting place for family and guests from around the world as well as for community events. Serving as a Division “F” Governor for Toastmasters International has smoothed her transition into St. Louis area. Regina also maintains an active membership in the Nimba Toastmasters club in Conakry, Guinea via Skype.

In 2015, she returned to Cameroon both for sorrowful and happy family events: the death of her husband and the wedding of a nephew, whom she promoted to become a medical doctor. In 2015, she traveled to France to witness the christening of a grandchild, and in March 2016, to Senegal on a “weekend” trip to attend an extravagant wedding for a godson. Most recently, she welcomed the arrival of her fourth grandchild. For the rest of 2017, she anticipates getting involved in her community with gardening projects and serving as a role model for youth interested in international careers. She also plans to promote trade and business with Africa and write books. Taking care of elderly family members is a time consuming, but necessary, element of her life. All in all, she is enjoying her retirement.

Rose Marie Depp

Rose Marie retired 15 years ago after a career that began as a USAID summer intern clerk-typist more than thirty years earlier.  She served in Washington in the Near East, Africa, Legislative Affairs, Policy and Management Bureaus plus assignments in Africa (Tanzania, Somalia, Rwanda, The Gambia and Zimbabwe).  Her career was blessed by the ‘warm fires made by others’ and taught by the gurus who may have been heavy with red pens, but who also always took time to teach.

After retiring in Sisters, Oregon, she learned to play, starting with “Sally” basket-making shared by women from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.  She returned to oil painting learned in her youth and then threw them out as too fussy.  She tried water colors and abandoned them as too hard.  In between were ten years of mosaic-making that became a bit too much.  After a “let’s do around the toilet” project turned into 100 square feet of stories and seven years of sitting on a cement floor, she’s back to water colors.

Her love affair with Zimbabwe where she served as Mission Director, the frequency of post-retirement visits and length of the Central Oregon winter resulted in purchase of a property on a hill in Harare to which she has fled each winter since 2013.  There she is renovating an old property and transforming the manicured lawns into an urban forest.

Inspired by the South African leaders and how they contributed to the 1994 democratic transition, she studied their attempt at truth-telling and reconciliation.  She then ventured into peacebuilding by addressing unhealed trauma especially that resulting from organized state violence. As a trustee, she is gratified that Tree of Life Zimbabwe is gaining international recognition and affirmation through research on how the brain reacts to trauma and the efficacity of non-pharmaceutical, community-based interventions.

After serving on NGO boards and sitting on the ‘grantee’ side of the table for more than a decade, she’s concluded we need a new paradigm for engaging in real partnership with indigenous NGOs.  She invites dialogue with other alumni to explore their experiences.

The annual treks to Zim have been enriched by new colleagues and friends who are teaching her about becoming part of ubuntu wherein individualism is less valued than what one contributes to another’s personhood.

She encourages everyone who is able to sign up as a UAA Mentor and notes it is gratifying when you see your mentees succeed.

Roxana Rogers De Sole

Since 2013, Roxana Rogers has occasionally been a consultant for USAID programs in Africa, Washington, and even Italy following the terrible havoc wreaked by COVID. But most of the time she can be found birding, hiking, skiing or otherwise enjoying her native state, Colorado.  As a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia, Roxana taught English for two tumultuous years which witnessed the overthrow of Haile Selassie and rise of the ruthless Mengistu Haile Mariam.  Forced to close the program, Peace Corps asked several volunteers, including Roxana, to drive Land Rovers over the sparsely traveled route from Addis to Nairobi. An Italian physician hitched a ride and the rest is history: in 1978, Roxana married Dr. Giuseppe De Sole.

First, they moved to rural Mali for his job. A few years later, armed with graduate degrees from Columbia and School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Roxana (a Brown grad) began to work on USAID/Burkina’s family planning program. It was an inspirational time in the former French colony which had only recently legalized contraception. Over six years, Roxana saw the vast improvement of family planning services and their expansion to remote areas. The sleepy country was even exciting as it was rocked by a war with Mali, and by the dramatic rise and bloody overthrow of the iconic Thomas Sankara.

In 1991, Roxana, with Giuseppe and daughters, Natalie and Melissa, moved to Zimbabwe to manage a new USAID family planning project. Again, she worked with a groundbreaking program known for its bicycling Community Based Distributors. Contraceptive use surged in the 1990s. But, as HIV started taking a horrific toll in Zimbabwe, Roxana became involved in supporting USAID’s response to the pandemic.

In 1999, she returned to Washington, at first in the energetic Africa Bureau’s Sustainable Development division and then as Deputy Director in the equally energetic Global Heath Bureau’s HIV/AIDS Office. In 2003, President Bush announced the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). For Roxana the next years were busy, challenging, rewarding, and exhausting as this new program was established and got well underway.

Roxana returned to Africa to direct USAID’s HIV Office in Pretoria in 2007. There Roxana led a talented team devoted to improving and expanding HIV prevention, treatment, and care including care for orphans. Finally in 2011, Roxana returned to Washington as Director of the Office of HIV.  But soon she and Giuseppe decided to return to a quieter life of occasional USAID consultancies and more frequent enjoyment of the natural pleasures of Colorado. Roxana welcomes hearing from former friends and colleagues at .

Harriett Destler


Is Harriett Destler retired?  After 60 years of working in development for the Peace Corps, USAID, and Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the answer is “probably yes.”  As her husband once noted, “If they leave the plane door open, she is on it.”

Throughout her career Harriett has had the good fortune to be present at the creation of major development programs as well as the methodology of designing, implementing and evaluating programs.  In 1961, just after she graduated from college, she came to Washington to work for Bill Moyers to recruit Peace Corps Volunteers.  Since there were few PC Volunteers in the field, her accounts of what it was like to be a volunteer were original.

Harriett went on to serve on the Peace Corps staff in East Pakistan (Bangladesh), where she became acutely aware of the special needs of women.  So, on her return, she went to work for USAID in the newly formed Office of Population. There, among other things, she helped design the first family planning programs in Africa.  She left the Office of Population to help develop USAID’s global guidance in planning and evaluation.  She co-authored USAID’s country-level strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation.

Her dual interest in health and in program design and evaluation provided her an opportunity to work globally, although mostly based in Washington.  At last count, she had worked in 65 countries, most multiple times.  While serving in USAID, she was awarded the prestigious George C. Marshall award.  She then served a stint for MCC on chronic disease in Mongolia.

Harriett is a tireless traveler.  Her most recent trip was an anniversary present for her husband.  She didn’t reveal their destination of Cambodia and Laos until they were on the plane to Bangkok. At home in Virginia, Harriett has enjoyed serving on the Great Falls Historical Society Board.  Great Falls has a long history dating back to when the native Americans hunted on the banks of the Potomac to the creation of the Nike Missile site. She trained a German Shepherd dog, Muddy Creek Tempest, to become a nationally certified therapy dog, and they visit nursing homes.

And, finally, she and Mac hope you will stop in for a drink at their turn of the century, Sears and Roebuck farmhouse next to Great Falls National Park or their mountain cabin in Evergreen, Colorado where they spend their summers.


Clinton (Tony) Dogget

Born into a USAID family, Tony Doggett spent the bulk of his childhood in Greece, Pakistan, Vietnam, Thailand, and Kenya. His own 23­ year career with USAID began as an International Development Intern (IDI) in 1980 and took him to Niger, Egypt, Côte d’Ivoire, and Zimbabwe, plus some exotic corners of USAID/Washington, including the Cambodia, Cameroon, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, and Haiti desks and two fun­filled years with the E&E Bureau during the Kosovo crisis. After formally retiring in 2003, he worked for the American Institutes for Research as a proposal writer and manager of USAID­ and USDOL­funded education projects in Haiti, Djibouti, Yemen, Southern Africa, and Macedonia. Before long he was drawn back to the USAID mother ship and found himself backstopping Millennium Challenge Corporation “Threshold” programs in twenty­odd countries. He then spent three and half years as an FSL program officer in the Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs. Since 2014, Tony has been providing intermittent program office support to the USAID missions in Morocco, Mozambique, Egypt, and Tunisia as a PSC. Between overseas gigs he outfits gentlemen with high quality suits, shirts, and ties at Wm. Fox & Co., a renowned Washington, DC haberdashery.

Tony has played the guitar since he was in high school in Bangkok in the sixties and has three record albums currently available on iTunes, the most well­known of which is a collection of twelve original songs about life and love in the Foreign Service called Please Don’t Send Me To Zaire. Tony met his wife Anne in 1977 and asked her to marry him pretty much on the spot after hearing her sing a few Bonnie Raitt and Joni Mitchell numbers. The two have a daughter (Elizabeth) who lives in Munich and three sons (Clinton, Ben, and Bradley), all of whom live in the DC area and have self­published record albums of their own. Grandchildren are popping up left and right­ three at last count with two more on the way this summer.

Tony is very happy as a post­career­but not “retired”­development professional. In fact, he may never retire fully. He thinks it’s wonderful being able to continue making positive contributions around the world while still being a part of the USAID family; being able to choose his own assignments; and not having to write or receive performance evaluations. When not busy being a program officer or haberdashing, Tony enjoys making music with family and friends, playing with the grandchildren, swimming, and taking lots and lots of pictures.

Alan Donovan


Alan Donovan joined USAID in October 1966 as a Management Intern and served in both Washington and Nigeria. He left the Agency in 1969 energized by the African spirit and culture and moved to Kenya to work on the preservation of African culture and national identifies. Along with Joseph Murumbi, first Foreign Minister and former vice president of Independent Kenya, Alan founded the African Heritage Gallery in 1972. The first Pan African Gallery on the continent, the Gallery once had 500 artisans and 51 outlets worldwide. Through the Gallery’s annual African Heritage Festival, African art and crafts were internationalized. In 1995, the World Bank described African Heritage Gallery as “the largest, most organized craft retail and wholesale operation in Africa “. Architectural Digest’s article described the building as “… a vision of usefulness informed by the African genius for decoration.” Alan had got his inspiration for the house from the mud mosques of Mali, the mud castles of southern Morocco, and the coral buildings of East Africa’s coastal strip. The house has recently been gazetted as a Kenyan national monument.

As Chairman of the Murumbi Trust, Alan has secured a Ford Foundation grant to restore, interpret, preserve and label the Murumbi historic collection of political, artistic, textile, material and cultural artifacts, displayed now in permanent glass showcases at the Kenya National Archives and at the new Murumbi African Heritage Collections at the Old Provincial Commissioners Office in downtown Nairobi. Alan is presently compiling an autobiography of Murumbi based entirely on transcripts Murumbi left behind that will provide an important insider’s view of independent Kenya’s early history.

Alan also worked closely with the Friends of Nairobi National Park and organized several fund raisers for this organization after he closed African Heritage in 2003. The African Heritage has stunning views of the park.

Alan is now looking to preserve the collection, house and vision through collaboration with an American institution. A delegation from American University recently visited African Heritage House to discuss creating a center to promote African history and politics, conservation and sustainability, development and heritage as well as African art and culture.

Alan was nominated for the UAA Alumni of the Year award in 2014 and was one of the finalists. He welcomes hearing from his USAID friends and may be reached at

Bob Dubinsky

After more than 50 years of involvement in U.S. and international housing and urban development concerns, Bob Dubinsky remains active in these issues. He is the Board Chairman of IHC Global, an advocacy and information dissemination policy­ focused NGO coalition of 35 organizations in Washington, D.C. that supports raising the profile of sustainable cities and improved housing in the developing world. IHC Global was established 10 years ago by former USAID employees Peter Kimm and Jack Howley and is supported by Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), the National Association of Realtors (NAR), foundations, and members of the housing coalition. IHC works with a variety of partners, publishes a weekly newsletter, organizes events and seminars and is involved in policy dialogues with a variety of domestic and international organizations. Its web site is:

Early in his career Bob worked at HUD in the Johnson Administration and for various consultants that support U.S. urban development activities. He was the RAND Field Manager that tested the concept of housing allowances and vouchers that led to the development of HUD’s Section 8 Program. For 10 years he served as a USAID PSC and was fortunate enough to manage housing and urban development projects in Barbados and Jamaica. The Jamaica case was an innovative public­ private project to revitalize downtown Kingston. In the early 1990s he also helped design USAID’s Office of Housing Initiatives in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Subsequently, for the International City County Management Association (ICMA) he managed housing, decentralization and municipal management projects in Romania, Bulgaria, Poland and Hungary.

Bob is married with four step children and lives in Washington, D.C. Between trips to visit grandchildren in Annapolis and Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Bob is an active member of the UAA and InterAction and makes it a point to be in touch with the cadre of people in Washington who believe urbanization and how the world responds to it is one of the most significant development issues of our time. Retirement is not his goal. His personal email is

Alan Van Egmond

UAA Alumnus of the Year 2023 for Domestic Service

Alan Van Egmond is recognized for his years of work in retirement to promote education for U.S. students in international affairs, as well as information on international affairs careers, and leadership. His pre-retirement career was multi-faceted, beginning in Africa with Church World Service and extending more than three decades to include work on the Hill as a subcommittee staff director, decades with USAID, and tours with the Departments of State and Defense in senior advisor and management positions.

Since retiring in 2017, Alan has been a leader across Florida on education in international affairs and development, focusing particularly on supporting students at the high school and university level – our future. He is on the Boards of the Naples Council on World Affairs, the Foreign Service Retirees Association of Florida with whom UAA partners, and the Naples-based Center for Critical Thinking. Through his extensive voluntary service, he has worked to inspire interest in international affairs and prepare students for active and productive careers engaged in global issues.

Alan is using the experience and training of a highly successful professional career in international development to prepare a new generation for leadership and to strengthen his community’s interest and understanding of critical global issues. For example, he chairs
the Southwest Florida United Nations Program, which is run in collaboration with Florida Gulf Coast University and includes more than 250 high school students from 18 schools in the region.

Alan has also overseen the Naples Council/FGCU joint program for 35 State Department Fulbright high school teachers from developing countries. Those teachers co-teach in the local high schools; participate in the Model UN Program as observers; and provide informal feedback through the student delegates on a range of real-world development issues before the UN. Further, Alan helped host a cohort of 25 young African leaders visiting under the State Department Mandela Washington Young African Leaders Initiative.

In addition to all of these activities, Alan mentors high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds at the Emerson Academy, which is run by the Naples Humanitarian Church. He coaches students who are interested in pursuing their education at colleges with strong international affairs programs by helping prepare them for standardized tests and college applications.

By his personal leadership and active participation in serving on boards, speaking to local groups, teaching and mentoring students, hosting foreign visitors, organizing and moderating discussions on critical local and global issues, Alan continues to make a substantial contribution both in his own neighborhood and worldwide.

Sharon Epstein

Sharon Epstein has had a very interesting life before, during and after her time in USAID.

Her career began with nine years in the U.N. Fund for Population Activities. Although the typical U.N. agency at the time employed only aboEpstein_Alumni_Profileut 2% women, UNFPA had about 45% young, committed professional women who were encouraged and supported by senior management especially her mentor Dr. Nafis Sadik. Sharon opened the first UNFPA office in Bangladesh in 1972 as UNFPA Field Coordinator to that country and managed its $10 million program. She then went on to become the UNFPA Regional Coordinator in the South Pacific and Papua New Guinea and then became Coordinator in Pakistan.

In 1984, Steve Sinding and Michael Jordan encouraged Sharon to join USAID. She began in the Bureau of Science and Technology and then moved to the Asia Bureau. She subsequently served in Bangladesh where she was Director for Population and Health.

In 1989, Sharon returned to the U.S. to care for her parents. While in Washington, she served in the Africa, Asia and Latin America/Caribbean Bureaus. Still unable to accept overseas postings because of family responsibilities, she resigned from the Agency in 1997.

During the next four years, she led the Focus on Young Adults Program, a USAID-funded Pathfinder International project addressing adolescent reproductive health. Following her parents’ deaths, she became Director of the Healthy Women in Georgia Project, a USAID-funded John Snow reproductive health project based in the Imereti region of Georgia, roughly four and a half hours from the capital, Tblisi.

Sharon then worked as a consultant in international health, as she has at intervals throughout her career. In 2009, she was reappointed to the Foreign Service in USAID and served as Team Leader for Health in Nigeria and, most recently, in Afghanistan.

Sharon retired to Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 2013 and now spends quality time with her many friends, including pooch-sitting for Marco Polo who belongs to a friend. She has recently organized a reunion of USAID Alumni in North Carolina. Like other retirees who are not entirely retired, Sharon “keeps her oar in” as a consultant in international health and development.

John Eriksson

Winner of UAA Alumnus of the Year 2018, International Category

John Eriksson served 25 years in USAID from 1970 to 1995 both in Washington and overseas. His service included as economist in the Program and Policy Coordination Bureau, Deputy Administrator in the Science and Technology Bureau, Deputy Mission Director in Sri Lanka (1978-80), Mission Director in Thailand (1986-90), and head of Center for Development Information and Evaluation (1990-95. On retirement, John received the Administrator’s Distinguished Career Service Award. After USAID, John went on to serve, and still serves, as a consultant for the World Bank. Prior to joining USAID, he taught economics at Arizona State and Williams College. John received a PhD in economics from UC Berkeley in 1966.
John’s main occupation for many years, apart from his professional work, and the reason for his selection as the 2018 Alumnus of the Year award for international activities, is Global Peace Services USA.   As GPS president and co-founder since 1998, John has played a central role in shaping the organization whose purpose is exploring, catalyzing, initiating, and communicating diverse approaches to peacebuilding and peacemaking, across the age spectrum and encompassing diverse ethnic, religious, cultural, and class perspectives.
Through John’s concerted efforts, the GPS board has been a microcosm of the world’s diverse ethnic, religious and cultural traditions. Some of GPS’s successes include:
  • Peace Power 2000, a comprehensive month-long program focusing on different fundamental components of peace-building, and held in Washington, DC, with 22 participants from 13 states and across the age spectrum.
  • Two decades of collaboration with a wide array of academic institutions, introducing students, faculty, and community members to diverse peacebuilding perspectives.
  • Special presentations for GPS members and the broader public by both U.S. and international individuals who have played significant roles in peacekeeping.
  • Engagement of professions with significant impact on both individual and community life in peacebuilding and peacemaking activities worldwide.
  • A semiannual newsletter that provides an open forum for a wide range of ideas and non-violent approaches on conflicts, violence, and reconciliation and that introduces new voices into the peacebuilding and peacemaking conversation.
  • A Web site that makes available the GPS newsletters and a compilation of bibliographic and other resources.
  • A monthly Peace Dispatch publication which highlights noteworthy publications, events, and news of interest regarding peacemaking.
While John Eriksson has formally left USAID, in his ongoing work with Global Peace Services USA in furthering human development, reducing violence, and strengthening collective action in support of social justice, he powerfully continues the agency’s mission.
John and his wife Lois, an ordained Lutheran minister, have two children. They reside in Sarasota, Florida and may be reached at

Taroub Harb Faramand
Alumna of the Year 2022 for International Service

Dr. Taroub Harb Faramand brings more than 35 years of experience to the development sector. She is an outstanding mentor, entrepreneur, and creative innovator who started as a service provider and then assumed various positions as USAID staff, Chief of Party, Director of Global USAID funded projects, and Senior Vice President. Taroub started her career as a doctor in refugee camps in the West Bank. There she discovered the strength and vulnerabilities of people and realized something important: It takes much more than health care to keep people healthy. During her time working for USAID West Bank and Gaza Mission, this belief and deep understanding was further strengthened and propelled her career forward.

Taroub founded her global development company WI-HER in 2011 to fulfill her vision of a world where all people would have opportunities to grow and thrive.  She felt called toward this vision early in her career. Taroub committed her life to leading change toward real equality and lasting prosperity – within organizations, alongside national governments, and among global leaders.

Recognized for her ability to achieve results, build lasting partnerships, and develop career growth of young professionals, Taroub’s achievements and tireless commitment to service earned her the Distinguished Alumnim Achievement Award from Emory University in 2008 and the UAA Alumna of the year for International Service in 2022.  Leading WI-HER, she has continued her trajectory of success. Taroub takes pride in making real and sustained change in the programs that she manages.  Such programs enable individuals and organizations to exercise the power from within to address gaps affecting their livelihood. WI-HER has extended its own grants to seed-fund programs that support girls to leverage economic opportunities so they become self-reliant and prosperous.

Growing up in a paternalistic society, one that values sons when she had two daughters, and having to deal with adversity led her toward breaking barriers and reaching further. Her daughters, Razan, who is an attorney and Chief Operating Officer, and Rawan, who is an oncologist, are both playing pivotal roles in making change and lifting the marginalized. Taroub attributes her success to her passion for justice and equity, her compassion for the human condition, her business acumen, and her ease with moving among and across cultures. She holds deep gratitude for her late grandmother and mother, who inspired her to always strive and instilled in her discipline, determination, and hard work to achieve success.

Paula Feeney

Paula Feeney served in USAID for 27 years, including eight years in the Senior Foreign Service. Her long term overseas assignments included Georgia (regional office for the Caucasus), Kazakhstan (regional office for Central Asia), the U.S. Mission in Geneva, Barbados (regional office for the Caribbean), and Nicaragua. In Washington, she directed the Office of European Country Affairs and before that the Health Office in LAC.

Since leaving USAID in 2003, Paula continues working full time in the international development arena at Cardno Emerging Markets USA, focusing on business development in the infrastructure and environment, health, governance and economic growth sectors. However, she does take time these days to smell the flowers, for example pictured here at Singapore’s Botanical Gardens with its most wonderful collection of orchids. Her children, Alison and Will, are undergraduates at William and Mary and the University of Virginia.

Lloyd Feinberg

Betsy and Lloyd Feinberg

When he left Providence in 1961, Lloyd Feinberg swore he would never move back to Rhode Island. Yet in 2012, a year after retiring from a 27-year career with USAID, he and his wife Betsy Marcotte bought a home on Narragansett Bay in Saunderstown, RI.

Lloyd attributes much of the satisfaction he found in his 45-plus years in international development to having been in the right place at the right time. For example, in the Philippines, he was one of the first Peace Corps volunteers to become involved with rice production and the International Rice Research Institute during the early years of the “Green Revolution.”

After long-term assignments with various organizations in Nepal, Indonesia, Ethiopia and Ecuador, Lloyd joined USAID in 1984. As a health officer in Washington, he spent five years managing the Agency’s lead diarrheal disease control project in the “Child Survival Revolution.” An official 1991 trip to war-torn Ethiopia (where he had opened PLAN International’s first Africa program in 1973/1974) sparked what became a 20-year commitment to assisting war victims, vulnerable children and victims of torture.

While working overseas, Lloyd particularly enjoyed engaging with both local and expat communities. Little did he realize that the move back to Rhode Island would offer an entirely new and enriching community experience.

Lloyd’s new passion is his “apprenticeship” with two traditional wooden boat-builders at a nearby shipyard. He spends many hours each week sanding, varnishing and repairing recreational and commercial wooden boats, and listening to fascinating stories about boating and the area’s rich seafaring history.  He and Betsy are involved with their local yacht club, an active “Indivisible” group, the small but formidable Willett Free Library, a nearby yoga studio, and, most recently, the Kingston Chamber Music Festival (where Betsy is Board Chair).

They enjoy riding their “recumbent” bicycles, and Lloyd still dreams (wistfully) of doing a third cross-country ride.  He and Betsy first rode across the USA in 2003.  Lloyd repeated the trip in 2009 with four old Peace Corps friends.

His return to Rhode Island has also led to more frequent and deeper connections with childhood friends, which he considers a special gift.

Once again, Lloyd feels he is in the right place at the right time. He marvels at his second chance to appreciate the people, place and history of Rhode Island, and to examine his roots and early years in Providence from a different perspective. He would be pleased to hear from old friends and colleagues at

 Larry Garber

Larry Garber completed his second stint with USAID in January 2017.  He initially joined USAID in 1993 and played a leading role in establishing the Center for Democracy and Governance in 1994.  As part of an informal detail to the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, he advised on preparations for the first post-Dayton elections in Bosnia in 1996.

Larry was assigned to head the USAID West Bank/Gaza in 1999 and served there until July 2004 through the second Palestinian intifada, which affected all aspects of the Mission’s operations.   Despite the difficult times, the Mission continued to implement a broad range of programs, while maintaining the confidence of Palestinian and Israeli counterparts,

After a five-year hiatus as CEO of the New Israel Fund, Larry returned to USAID and led a working group that designed the new Bureau of Policy Planning and Learning (PPL).  After heading PPL during the start-up period, he was assigned to the Africa Bureau where he focused on the Agency’s support for the 2011 independence referendum in South Sudan.  In 2015, he was detailed to the Eisenhower School of National Security and Resources Strategy where he served as an adjunct professor for two years.

During his first stint with the Agency, Larry met Gayle Schwartz, who was working in the Africa Bureau, and they married in 1997.  Alex, their older son, was born before they left for their overseas assignment.  Josh, their younger son, was born in Jerusalem, eight days after 9/11 and during the height of the intifada; fittingly, he graduated high school in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Since leaving USAID, Larry has worked as a short-term consultant with USAID missions in Mozambique, Serbia and Tunisia, served as the head of election observer missions in Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe, and as an adjunct faculty teaching courses on international development.  He enjoys serving as a UAA mentor for a USAID Deputy Mission Director and convening his six fellow former West Bank/Gaza Mission Directors for conversations with their former Palestinian counterparts.

Currently, he is bringing the lessons of his work overseas back home by serving as a founding Board member of the Election Reformers Network , which provides global expertise in support of U.S. electoral reform, and by participating in the National Task Force on Election Crises , which seeks to ensure a free and fair 2020  election in the United States.

Larry now lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, where he has been sheltering with Gayle, who works in USAID’s Middle East Bureau, and their two sons, who will both attend the University of Maryland this fall.

For further details on Larry’s very interesting career, see his ADST Oral History by clicking here.

David Garms
Winner, 2016 UAA Alumni Award

David Garms is the winner of this year’s UAA Alumnus of the Year award in the domestic category, for his work on land and soil conservation in Virginia, as well as for volunteer work with agencies serving people with disabilities.
Working with the Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and the Potomac Conservancy, Dave secured funding for innovative conservation programs to protect wetlands and protect soil against erosion. Then he put the new concepts into practice, protecting 15 acres of wetlands and stream via a USDA easement, and planting four acres of hardwood trees and 10 acres of native grasses. Virginia’s Department of Forestry has recognized this work for the forestry management practices carried out on his 225-acre farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
Because the projects were a first for the county, Dave turned his farm into a training site for farmers interested in land conservation, carrying the work beyond demonstration and into implementation by area farmers, earning recognition from the SWCD for this training program. That the projects, begun early in the 2000s, are still continuing is evidence of their sustainability and potential for larger impact on the watershed.
Coupled with the work on soil and wetlands conservation has been person-to-person volunteer work with individual clients of Fairfax County’s social service agencies, for example, tutoring an autistic boy, assisting people with disabilities in daily activities, as well as helping them deal with various bureaucracies, the latter being an area he knows especially well! Although of narrower impact, this work is noteworthy for the patience, skill, and sensitivity needed to work on seemingly mundane tasks with individuals with special needs.

Dave’s USAID career reflects a long-time commitment to rural development, beginning with his farming experience in Minnesota. Starting as a Rural Development Officer in Vietnam in 1968 and then Bangladesh, he expanded his scope by moving into Program Officer work in the Philippines, Malawi, and Sri Lanka, along with a stint as India Desk Officer. That experience culminated in his appointment as USAID Representative for Food Aid, U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Rome. Upon his retirement from that position, he applied his experience in rural development and program design to the above projects promoting land conservation and improved forestry management, which he expects to continue well into the future.

Philip Gary

Philip Gary describes himself as an accidental USAID officer. He was born in a still segregated Washington DC and came of age with activist parents in a time of upheaval and change.  Philip spent lots of time at his grandparents’ house on 23rd Street near Virginia Avenue. The house was literally a stone’s throw from the State Department which was, as Star Wars intones, on a distant galaxy far away.

After university, Philip returned to Washington and worked for the City on redevelopment projects. He left Washington to be an administrator at the University of Kansas and afterward to teach on the faculty of Architecture at Virginia Tech. Later, on a sabbatical year while working on New Communities with Housing and Urban Development, Philip met Peter Kimm, the Director of USAID’s Office of Housing, who invited Philip to join the USAID office.

Throughout his USAID tenure, Philip never stopped believing that the work of the Office of Housing represented the best of the agency. His time in USAID took him to Sri Lanka, Thailand, Yemen, Indonesia, Nepal, Afghanistan, and the National War College as a student and later as a teacher,

During his postings, Philip was engaged in some intensive situations: the beginning of the Sinhalese-Tamil war in Sri Lanka, merging of the two Yemens, first Gulf War, East African Embassy bombings, Rwandan Genocide, and Afghanistan USAID program.

Philip pointed to two programs that most impacted him both of which he worked on with his wife, Viviann, who was also a USAID officer. The first was when, as director of the Regional Housing and Urban Development Office for Asia, he worked to help develop a fledging organization in India to create financing to house the poor. The Housing and Development Finance Corporation of India has gone on to become one of the largest companies in India, and its then youthful leader became India Businessman of the Year.  The second program was in Yemen which was impactful in two ways. First, both he and Viviann studied Arabic prior to posting. This enriched their understanding of Arabic culture and enriched their lifelong learning experiences thereafter. Second, was the development of a women’s only program which was cut short by the Gulf War.

On reflection, Philip noted there were two professional giants who were always there to give him advice and guidance, Ambassador Johnnie Carson and the late Ambassador Edward Perkins. He also is especially grateful to Viviann Pettersson and the late Peter Kimm.

After USAID, Philip returned to teaching, and in 2016, Viviann and he moved to Sweden where they are permanent residents. They can be reached at

Judith Gilmore
Winner, 2015 UAA Alumni Award

GilmoreAfter retiring from USAID in 2006, Judy Gilmore has concentrated on issues of human rights and conflict resolution.  During her career with USAID, she had focused on all aspects of development, local capacity building, NGOs, and monitoring and evaluation.  She held senior manager positions in Technical Resources in Africa, the Sahel, Latin America’s Regional Sustainable Development, East Asia, Private Voluntary Cooperation and PL480.
Instead of returning to USAID as a contractor, Judy trained to become a mediator and joined the Board of the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) and Mediators Beyond Borders (MBB).  She did, however, continue her evaluation work in the area of human trafficking and carried out a 5-country evaluation in Asia for Microsoft.  Even a broken foot couldn’t deter her, and she continues to work in this arena.
“Mediation has been the perfect second career for me.  It keeps me in touch with people’s daily lives and struggles and has taught me enormous empathy and listening skills.”  Judy began in community mediation, branched out to the DC and MD court systems, the federal government, Montgomery Country Human Rights and the States’ Attorney’s Office, and most recently to DC’s Office of Police Complaints.  Her cases range from small claims, custody disputes, employment discrimination, and misdemeanors to police/community relationships and restorative justice.  Judy calculates she has mediated close to 1,000 cases since 2006.
Her family has also introduced her to new vistas.  She has traveled with her husband Rick to Russia, Australia, China and Italy while he continues his work in agribusiness and food safety. Judy also serves on the selection committee of the Rosenthal fellowship program that Rick runs, keeping both of them on the cutting edge of youth in international relations.  Judy’s daughters and their husbands are all artists – novelist, video performance sculptor, painter, and conductor, living in New York.  She attends as many of their shows/performances in the U.S. and overseas as possible.  Her two grandsons, ages 2 and 3, keep her on her toes, both physically and mentally.  “I never thought I’d be talking about bulldozers and going down slides at this stage of life.”
Retirement has allowed Judy to venture into a series of new beginnings as well as spend time with friends, exercise, attend book club and women’s finance group meetings and take history courses at the University of Maryland and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI).  Judy would be pleased to hear from USAID friends at

 Stephen H. Grant

Stephen H. Grant was a nominee for (domestic) Alumnus of the Year. Since retirement, he has served in the volunteer position of Senior Fellow at the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (ADST), where he lectures at FSI on African culture, edits oral histories, and edits diplomatic memoirs. His biography of Peter Strickland (New Academia, 2007) was an “ADST­DACOR Diplomats and Diplomacy Book.” Strickland was the 1st US Consul to Senegal, living on Goree Island; the sea captain kept a fascinating journal with daily entries from 1857 to 1921.

Steve’s second biography was Collecting Shakespeare: The Story of Henry and Emily Folger (Johns Hopkins Press, 2014). In it, he tells the amazing story of how a Brooklyn couple during the Gilded Age quietly assembled the largest collection of Shakespeareana in the world. The Folger Shakespeare Library that they founded in 1932­­only two blocks from the U.S. Capitol­ has become a worldclass research institution. Michael Dirda, Pulitzer Prize winning book reviewer for the Washington Post, wrote: “In Collecting Shakespeare, Stephen H. Grant provides not just a biography of the ‘onlie begetters’ (founders) of this astonishing library, but also an account of the worlds in which the Folgers lived.The result is a superlative book … crisply written and packed with facts and anecdotes …” (WP, April 24, 2014). The president of the Shakespeare Guild, John Andrews, penned enthusiastically, “This book will fill a major gap in our understanding of how one of America’s most influential institutions came to be.” Steve has spoken about the Folgers at historical societies, universities, private clubs, resorts, community centers, churches, book festivals, and libraries. His venues have included widely known institutions such as Library of Congress, National Press Club, National Arts Club (New York), and San Francisco Public Library. Identifying himself as a former Foreign Service officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development, Grant has given 70 presentations across the US and six in England and Scotland.

In 2015, Steve joined the Arlington Neighborhood Village, now 180 members strong. On April 1, 2017, he was the only member asked to address 150 villagers or potential villagers in an AARP­led program in the Arlington Central Library with an illustrated talk entitled “I Modified My House.” As a spokesperson for the Arlington chapter of the Village Movement he has shown a strong example to others in how to deal aggressively with the issues and challenges of Aging.

William (Bill) Hammink

Bill Hammink retired from USAID in 2017 after more than 36 years serving in nine different countries with
USAID. Bill married his grad school love, Marie-Eve, in 1980, joined USAID in 1981, and headed off together to Swaziland in 1982 to start a great career mainly overseas. Their two children were born in Swaziland and their older daughter picked up the local SiSwati language before they all headed off to Senegal and Wolof for their second tour. In this COVID-19 year, they celebrate 40 years of marriage, two children, two new grandchildren, and friends and colleagues from around the world.


Bill’s career in USAID included serving as Director of the Food for Peace Office, SDAA in the previous Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade (EGAT) bureau, Deputy Mission Director in West Bank/Gaza during the start of the second intifada, Mission Director in Ethiopia during several years of drought and disaster, in Sudan as South Sudan became independent, in India as USAID moved to a fully partnership relationship, in Afghanistan during the major security, political and economic transition starting in 2014, and lastly, Assistant to the Administrator for Afghanistan and Pakistan in Washington. After leaving USAID, Bill joined the implementing partner side and served as the ABA/ROLI Country Director for Tunisia and Libya based in Tunis for one year. Bill pointed out that “It is a very different world as an implementing partner compared to being the donor, with implementation reports, always looking for new funding and writing proposals, and having meaningful direct relationships with key beneficiaries.”

While enjoying time with family at their house on the eastern shore (where Bill and Marie-Eve are currently isolating and self-distancing), in keeping with his strong commitment to international development, Bill also provides pro-bono support to different small development organizations such as Turquoise Mountain based in the UK with exciting programs in Afghanistan, Myanmar and Jordan. Bill recently joined the Board of Directors of Counterpart International and the Board of Trustees of the American University of Afghanistan. These very different organizations face many of the same challenges and uncertainties, especially with the impact of the pandemic on everyone’s lives around the globe.

Bill and Marie-Eve enjoyed spending part of each year during retirement in France where Marie-Eve was born, but they are grounded in the United States during 2020, an unusual year of no travel to Europe. They look forward to 2021 that will be again a year of travel for them and, no doubt, for many USAID alumni. Bill and Marie-Eve welcome hearing from their friends and former colleagues at:

 John and Anne Heard

John & Anne Heard

John Heard likes to say that his wife Anne robbed the cradle.  They met while at Stanford and married the following year on John’s 19th birthday.  Upon graduation, the two headed off to Japan with the Air Force and began their international careers.  After four years, they returned to Phoenix, Arazonia for graduate school, John at Thunderbird and Anne at ASU for a Masters in Social Work.  John’s thesis took him to the Dominican Republic to evaluate an AID Sector loan.  In 1970 he joined USAID as an IDI, along with UAA’s present Executive Commmittee Co-Chair Carol Peasley.

In 1977, after serving in Costa Rica and Washington, D.C., John left the agency to become a small farmer in California and do contract work with USAID.  John and Anne decided to join the Peace Corps in 1980 and became Co-Directors in Nicaragua and in Paraguay.  Upon returning to Washington, John returned to USAID  and worked in Africa and LA Bureaus and Anne started at State Department’s Family Liaison Office until she joined USAID as an IDI.  They were assigned to El Salvador as a tandem couple: John as Associate Mission Director for Operations (AMDO) and Anne as assistant EXO.  Their next and last posting was the Philippines.  They retired in 1994.  But not for long.  Two years later, they went to Bosnia as PSCs.

They retired in 2000 and John has been the consulting game ever since.  He and Anne went to Colombia for the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) in 2003 for four years to manage a large program in alternative development (war on drugs) and the reintegration of displaced people.  Back in the USA, John continued  consulting in Colombia: “…[I am] passionately in love with this amazing country and its people.”

They now live in New Mexico.  Both are heavily involved in board activities with non-profit organizations: Friendship Force International and the Santa Fe World Affairs Forum.  John is also Field Rep for the Southwestern states region of Friendship Force and Co-President of the New Mexico club.  They both are active in Sister Cities and Global Ties (the international visitor program),  stay in close touch with good friends in and from Colombia and have been assisting two families with critical education programs.

Grandson Andre with colleague at Peace Corps site in Namibia

Grandson Andre with colleague at Peace Corps site in Namibia

Recently John has been involved in the UAA mentoring program, both as a mentor and participation in management of that valuable activity.  He is now in his first year on the UAA Board, continues with mentoring management and hopes to be able to assist UAA with outreach to those beyond the beltway.

John and Anne are proud to report that their grandson Andre, a Peace Corps Returnee and presently at The Fletcher School,  intends to pursue a career in international development.

Larry Heilman

In nearly twenty years since his retirement, Larry Heilman has continued to demonstrate the energy, passion, intellect and relentless curiosity in contributing to his community that he did during 25 years in international development. The results have been impressive strengthening Walter Reed’s program for wounded warriors, improving local governance in Chevy Chase Village, boosting Latin American studies and research at local universities and the Smithsonian, and supporting Rotary International projects around the world.

Larry’s work in Chevy Chase Village was based on what he learned while working with USAID missions. These activities included creating an elections committee to honor democratic practices, creating an energy and environment committee and a public safety committee, and working on the budget committee to effect efficiencies — all committees developed to provide spaces for broader citizen participation in the democratic process.

Diagnosed with melanoma and being treated himself at Walter Reed Medical Center, Larry joined the hospital’s active chapter of the nongovernmental organization, Wounded Warriors, with many veterans who were more than 50 years younger. At 78, he became a member of the kayak team (pictured above) organized to give soldiers who lost their legs in combat a chance to regain a sense of control. He brought wisdom and organizational talent to the group, helping to raise funds, improve administration, and open programs to the children of participating veterans.

He has been an intellectual leader in Latin American studies, sharing his life-long interest and experience by teaching courses in history, archaeology and culture at Montgomery College, Johns Hopkins, and University College, University of Maryland. For over a decade, he has taught pro bono a course at American University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute on “The Evolution of Civilization Meso-America.” Meanwhile, Larry has continued as a research associate in anthropology, volunteering at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, and has recently published a comprehensive book on USAID in Bolivia, “Partner or Patron,” the culmination of more than a decade of research.

Larry has also been active in Rotary International, working on a range of programs with both national and international impact. Sometimes as a member of the project team, but more often as a team leader, he has helped identify, design and carry out more than 50 projects in Latin America, Africa and Asia, involving health, education, micro finance and democracy. He has served as President of the Friendship Heights Rotary Club, played a lead role in establishing foundations for humanitarian assistance and development grants for three Rotary Clubs, and has been working on a national and international disaster assistance capacity for the national organization. In recognition of his outstanding work with Rotary, he has received awards for leadership from three different Rotary Clubs-Metro Bethesda, Friendship Heights, and San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

Larry and Anne live in Maryland and enjoy hearing from friends. He may be reached at 301-657-3943 or

 Jerry Jordan

Jerry JordanUnlike many of the Alumni members, Jerry Jordan has never really left USAID!  She is currently employed by DCHA’s Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) as an intermittent Senior Management Advisor.  Jerry joined USAID in August 1962 as a GS-3 Clerk Typist and, after many years in the administrative and personnel field, she became Director of the Asia Executive Management Staff (EMS) in 1982.  From 1982 to 1995 Jerry served in all four regional Bureau EMS Director positions, two rightsizing exercises and as a member of several Management Assessment teams.

In August 1995, after 36 years in AID/W, Jerry was given the opportunity to convert to an FSL appointment to manage the Agency’s first regional Executive Office.  Jerry, two retired EXOs (Bill Wanamaker and Luke Malabad) and a TCN from Guatemala (Fernando Cossich) provided administrative support to 16 Europe and the New Independent States AID programs from Budapest, Hungary.  This was the “Tiger Team”.

In May 1998, Jerry was recognized for her management achievements as a recipient of the State Department’s highest management award – the Luther I. Replogle Award for Management Improvement. Following four years in Budapest, Jerry officially retired but continued as a PSC with the Tiger Team.  Jerry has spent considerable time on the road including a 16 month assignment in Islamabad.  Unfortunately, Jerry has been going through some medical issues which prevents overseas travel.  But, no regrets – 93 countries under her belt!

However, since Jerry has always enjoyed the quiet and relaxing environment of the ocean,  she “settled” in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware in 1999 and enjoys the company of her sister who lives nearby.  Her daughter lives in Virginia Beach, VA and her son is in Olney,Maryland so they are close enough to visit often.  Jerry has three grandchildren — John Jr., 27, Jenna 21 and Peyton 15 with whom she stays in close contact.

With the extra time, Jerry has started drafting a book about her experiences in USAID.  “A Broad in the Foreign Service” will highlight many Washington and overseas experiences. In addition to the book, Jerry enjoys the excitement of Delaware casinos.  She has been fortunate to hit a couple of jackpots.  Jerry reports that there is nothing better than hearing those bells go off and seeing the words – “you’ve just won 900,000 pennies”!

If coming to the area, Jerry welcomes a visit or call –; 302-226-8288.

Kelly and Nancy Frame Kammerer

Kelly and Nancy Frame Kammerer left USAID for the south of France in 2003. Their life now focuses on the seasons—tending their olive trees, fruit trees and grapevines in the Provence sun. They make a good olive oil and are just beginning to make their own wine. Nancy gets back to the US regularly to visit her daughter in New York and as a member of the board of a NASDAQ-listed company, while Kelly is quite content to stay on their little farm for most of the year.

Barbara Kennedy

Working for USAID was always in the cards. A California native, Barbara received a bachelor’s in nursing at the University of California San Francisco and then promptly packed up and drove East with no money, no experience and no plan. She landed a job at Boston City Hospital in their Women’s Health Clinic, followed by a position at the Pathfinder Fund. After a few years designing reproductive health programs, she got her MPH at the University of Michigan, where she was delighted to find over half the class was international students on USAID scholarships. This international exposure led her to USAID, where she was USAID’s first Regional Health Officer for REDSO/ESA, attended the National War College, and launched her senior management career as Deputy Mission Director in Peru and AID Rep in Cape Verde and Paraguay. She survived attempted coups, office bombings, droughts and floods, cholera outbreaks, election rigging, kidnappings, and civil­ military skirmishes.

Barbara retired early from USAID and moved to Chapel Hill North Carolina where she currently resides. For the next 15 years she worked for various implementing partners. Then, a bit weary of new business development she went to work for Mott MacDonald (engineering firm based in the UK) where she led their global development efforts. Next up was International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). Then in 2014, Barbara returned to USAID to work on the DCHA Bureau’s CS3 Firehouse team to provide TDY assistance to field missions. Back to where she began, Barbara is happy to be with USAID for short­-term assignments.

Barbara is married to Diego, a Paraguayan and professional field hockey player and coach who travels home 2­3 months each year to advise the national team. She has two children: Lindsy lives in Miami and works for AirBus in their Latin America operations, and Kelby is a senior and Criminal Justice Major at Western Carolina University. Barbara’s latest retirement this year brings lots of plans and aspirations. The family bought a small motorhome to explore the US and hike the National Parks. This summer they drove to Zion, Bryce and Arches in Southern Utah. She is also getting back in the saddle and next spring will join a seven­ day ride through Utah’s Red Rock Canyon. The one thing Barbara is still trying to determine is where she can become locally involved. Once you have worked for USAID, helping others “is in our DNA.”

Shahabuddin Khan

Shahabuddin Khan worked for USAID as a Foreign Service National in Pakistan from 1982-1993 as a Project Development Officer, backstopping the education and area management portfolios. While he was employed at USAID, he also established an educational foundation to support students from the Meo group in Pakistan, a disadvantaged group who migrated from India in 1947 at the time of partition. Mr. Khan, himself, is from this group.
Having faced difficulties in getting his own education, he wanted to help others pursue theirs. Thus, in 1991, he established a foundation in his grandfather’s name, The Munshi Qamaruddin Khan Foundation for Education and Research, where he planned to devote his time after retirement to advance his and his grandfather’s dream to assist others to realize their potential. During its more than 25 year existence, the foundation has provided over two million Pakistani rupees in financial assistance to seven scholars for graduate and undergraduate degrees.
One of the objectives of the foundation was also to build a strong institution to serve as an example for other Meo associations in Pakistan and to do some constructive work in the community. The foundation is now working with these associations to improve their performance so they can help the broader community.
Shahabuddin’s interest in education can be traced to his grandfather whose ancestors were born in Mewat, India, one of the most illiterate communities in India, having only one literate person out of the 1,000 member community in 1900. Both his grandfather and father wanted their children and those of the community at large to get education, but both died young. By the time of his father’s death, his family had migrated to Pakistan. Shahabuddin had to quit school and go to work. During 20 years of private study, he was able to pass the examinations for high school, intermediate and bachelor’s degrees.
When he discovered that the history of Mewat was being lost, Shahabuddin wrote a paper on its history which was published in the Journal of the Research Society of the Punjab University.
After the death of his wife, Shahabuddin moved to the States in 2001, where he has two sons and a daughter. One daughter also lives in Canada. He still visits Pakistan every year for a few months to look after the Foundation. He may be reached at: or 630-268-3857 (USA) and 92-0308-518-4638 (Pakistan).

Mary Kilgour
Winner, 2014 UAA Alumni Award, Domestic Category

Mary Kilgour retired from USAID in 1996 after a highly successful career – Mission Director in Liberia and Bangladesh, multiple senior management positions in Washington and USAID faculty member at the National War College.

After retirement Mary was a volunteer Guardian Ad Litem [Court-appointed Special Advocate for Children] for the past 15 years. Drawing on her own childhood as an orphan she represented children in dependency cases in which parents were in court because of child abuse or neglect.

As Guardian Ad Litem, Mary advocated for the best interests of the child, meeting frequently with the children, parents, psychiatrists, lawyers, governmental caseworkers, and schools. Some legal cases would go on for years – and, in those cases, Mary provided continuity for the children as they changed foster homes, schools and case workers frequently. She developed close, personal relationships with about 25 children over the 15 years. Besides representing their best interests in court, she spent hours getting to know them; helping them understand that a tough childhood or being an orphan could be overcome; taking them to movies and for lunches; urging the children that education was their escape route from poverty; and generally showing them that they are valued human beings. She even trekked to the Juvenile Detention Center on a few occasions to provide a “hug” and to ensure that the rights of these troubled children were protected.

While Mary left her Guardian Ad Litem role a year ago, she remains active in supporting the disadvantaged in her community – this time from her church. She is a leader in their community outreach ministry that is working with the homeless and very poor in the community. She is on the board of the clinic that provides services to the homeless and very poor, and also does “sovereign immunity interviews” once a month for the patients and clinic. Beyond this active participation through her church, she serves as a volunteer Patient Advocate at the local hospital emergency room, working once a week at the hospital to help patients and their caregivers be more comfortable as they await diagnosis and treatment.

She has also become a prolific writer, publishing ten short stories in various journals [including seven in the Foreign Service Journal]. Even more significantly, The Child Welfare League of America published her eloquent memoir, Me May Mary, in 2005. It is an inspirational description of her difficult childhood and teen years in a Connecticut orphanage and the positive paths she and her brother paved for themselves. In summary, Mary Kilgour has taken USAID’s concern for the poor and carried it with her to her local community and also branched into creative fields she couldn’t fit into her demanding work life before retirement.

Mary Alice Kleinjan
Alumna of the Year 2022 for Domestic Service

Mary Alice Kleinjan retired in 2014 after 35 years with USAID. A member of the Senior Foreign Service, her last assignment was as Deputy General Counsel. 

Originally from San Francisco, her interest in development started when Vassar began a junior year abroad program in Cairo. Wanting to learn about the Middle East “on the ground,” she earned an MA in Middle East Studies at the American University of Beirut and Arabic language certification at Damascus University. After New York University Law School, she practiced law in New York for several years with a large law firm and with the Bank of America. With good Arabic, she was the lead negotiator for the Sultanate of Oman’s Government Organization law.

Mary Alice joined USAID/General Counsel in 1979 to reengage with the developing world. When her children, Caroline and Christopher Gignoux, were in elementary school, she joined the foreign service as the senior regional legal officer (RLO) in Cairo. One highlight of Cairo was supporting female Egyptian lawyers, especially in their campaign for women to be allowed to become judges. She also served as senior RLO in Bangkok.

Mary Alice’s husband, Phil Gignoux, continues to manage family investments. Her son, Christopher, passed away in 2014 and daughter, Caroline, is now a U.S. Government attorney with the Council on Environmental Quality.

Her activities since retirement include intermittent consulting for USAID, gardening, dogs (currently a Cavalier King Charles spaniel), book clubs, leisurely ladies’ lunches, elder care, reconnecting with FSNs who emigrated to the United States, and helping her church support resettlement of an Afghan refugee family after the “Muslim ban.”  Mary Alice felt it important to contribute what she had learned about emigrating to the United States to help USAID’s Afghan FSNs. In 2021, she helped organize the 50 UAA alumni who volunteered to assist evacuated USAID Afghan FSNs in resume writing, job search, and interviewing, together with general resettlement support. She also provided this support directly to her own evacuated FSNs. She identified sources and made connections for obtaining needed pro bono legal advice and assistance. The result was that arrival in the United States in some of the most traumatic circumstances imaginable was somewhat eased, and one of the evacuees’ few remaining connections to their former life – engagement with USAID officers – was solidified. Many of the Afghan evacuees are already well-settled in satisfying jobs, while others are making progress toward this goal.

Her other UAA activities include participation in the mentoring program; assisting UAA’s proposal for a USAID overseas internship program; assistance for possible UAA support to Ukrainian FSNs; and coaching the newly elected FSN Advisory Council. Mary Alice would welcome hearing from her friends and former colleagues at

Jim Kunder

When interviewed for this USAID Alumni Profile, Jim Kunder joked that most readers would consider it an “oddball choice,” given that he was a political appointee during his thirteen years of service at USAID. So, how does a “political” with no formal training in international development, and service in the U.S. Marine Corps, rather than the Peace Corps, end up at USAID? Jim’s reply was “serendipitously!”

After three years as a Marine infantry platoon commander, with a GI Bill ticket to a master’s program at Georgetown University, Jim had only one career goal: service as a State Department foreign service officer. But, after “miserably failing” State’s oral exam, he ended up on Capitol Hill, as a legislative director for two U.S. Representatives from his home state of Pennsylvania.

In 1987, after an unsuccessful campaign for Congress himself, he was back on the Hill, working for a Senator. He unexpectedly heard from a former staff colleague offering a job at an agency with which Jim was totally unfamiliar: The U.S. Agency for International Development. That “serendipitous” phone call initiated two tours of duty at USAID, spanning twenty-two years in the Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II Administrations.

Jim was assigned to what he describes as “some of the highest profile, most challenging, most compelling, and most humbling” positions at USAID: Director of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance; co-chair of the team establishing the Office of Transition Initiatives; re-opening the Mission in Kabul after the fall of the earlier Taliban; Assistant Administrator for Asia and the Near East; and Deputy Administrator. He found most gratifying his 2008-09 role in driving the Development Leadership Initiative to rebuild USAID’s Foreign Service staffing levels, after the preceding disastrous downsizing.

Jim’s current association with USAID takes two forms. He serves on the Steering Committee at the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network, and he teaches a USAID course he designed titled “Building Interagency Capacity and Skills.” His objective in the course is “to ensure USAID knows enough about interagency ‘players’ like the Hill, State, Defense, and the National Security

Elisabeth Kvitashvili

One month shy of a 37-year career with USAID, Elisabeth Kvitashvili retired out of Sri Lanka as Acting Mission Director in fall, 2015. Two months later, she and her husband Steve landed in New Zealand for five weeks of walking/hiking both North and South islands. Elisabeth’s two children joined them for family backpacking, ending the trip with a visit to Tasmania.
Two years ago, Elisabeth and Steve, a former agency Russia specialist, semi-retired to San Francisco.   In this new phase of her life she has split her time among a variety of outdoor and athletic pursuits. Elisabeth and Steve enjoy what the Bay area has to offer with year-round hikes, visits to nearby national and state parks, camping with a girlfriend from her days at USAID Disaster Assistance Office, and continuing to practice yoga regularly. But she has given up her beloved soccer due to aging ankles.
In addition to serving as a USAID alumni mentor, Elisabeth mentors some of her former students at Georgetown University, where she served as an adjunct professor of the Conflict Resolution department for several years in between assignments. She also mentors graduates of London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies, where she pursued her MA, and now University of California-Berkeley. Elisabeth volunteers each week to work with International Rescue Committee refugee resettlement, assisting Russian-speaking elders at an assisted living center, volunteering with the San Francisco Botanical Garden, and, serving as a board member on international NGOs devoted to development and disaster preparedness. She became President of the Georgian Association, the oldest Georgian diaspora organization in the United States., and organized and ran a confere

nce celebrating Georgia’s centennial as a modern national state at Center for Strategic and International Studies in May 2018. During a two-week visit to Georgia with her children, she was interviewed by Georgian TV and pursued a long desired personal project on her Georgian family genealogy which dates to the 12th century.
Elisabeth and Steve recently were certified as Neighborhood Emergency First Responders, and Elisabeth is continuing with Incident Command and Emergency Management training. Her USAID experiences working on disasters and conflict are a driving motivator.
Elisabeth has also had several paid consulting projects, dealing with development and assistance to the Middle East, making several trips to Jordan, Lebanon and Gaza/West Bank.
Elisabeth would be glad to hear from USAID friends. She may be reached at


David C. Leibson

Winner, 2018 Alumnus of the Year, Domestic Category

David Leibson has been actively supporting affordable housing programs in the United States and abroad for more than 45 years. After beginning his professional career with the former Cooperative Housing Foundation, he served as a Foreign Service Officer for over 20 years, specializing in financing housing and urban development programs in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
Since his retirement from USAID in 1996, David has actively promoted affordable housing solutions in his home town and county of Arlington, Virginia. He has served as co-chair of Arlington County’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness since it was launched in 2008. During this 10-year period, the number of homeless persons in the county has been cut by two-thirds and homelessness among veterans in the community has been nearly eradicated through permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless and rapid re-housing for families and individuals.
Arlington’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness was initiated and implemented with a consortium of more than 100 stakeholders from public, private, and faith-based community organizations. The Plan’s primary goal is that no individual or family shall lack access to decent, affordable housing. The Committees of the 10 Year Plan work in concert to ensure that available federal, state, and local resources are used strategically to meet the needs of Arlington’s homeless households and those at risk of becoming homeless.
Prior to his work on the Plan to End Homelessness, from 2000 to 2008, David was an active member of the Arlington County Housing Commission. He is also currently President of the Alliance for Housing Solutions and has served on the Working Group for the County’s recently adopted Affordable Housing Master Plan. Prior to that effort, David served on the Working Group for the award-winning Columbia Pike Land Use and Housing Plan.
David and his wife Bea live in Arlington, Virginia. They have a two children and five grandchildren. Friends may contact them at

Bob Lester

Bob Lester served with USAID for 30 years in the Office of the General Counsel. He started out as an International Development Intern in Saigon, Vietnam, next moved to USAID’s regional office in Nairobi, and then as an attorney-advisor and Assistant GC for Legislation and Policy for the next 26 years. He finished up his stint in Washington-or Washington finished him-with a little bit less than a year on the staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee. During his tenure at USAID he served 9 month stretches as Acting GC and as Acting AA/LPA. Right now, he and his much better half, Deedee, are sitting in an RV in northern California and loving every minute of it.

Since retiring we’ve moved to central Florida and are living in an adult Disneyland called The Villages. Living there presents certain challenges, but being able to find stuff to do does not fall into that category. In addition to thetraditional shuffleboard, there are about 4000 people who play softball every day, there are over 500 holes of golf available to residents (even those like us who don’t really know how to play but just enjoy a nice walk trying to look for golf balls) and, for this NYC boy, even a stickball league. Up until recently we have been working at the local hospital, mostly on a volunteer basis, about 3 times a week. We’re taking a break from that to take our second long trip in our RV. Great fun and we’re meeting wonderful people wherever we go. A word of advice-don’t drive on I-5 in California, it’s a horrible road.

This is our second long trip with Cowboy, our cat. Next summer we’ll probably spend in our RV at a campground in Asheville, North Carolina. It’s a beautiful town with a fun minor league baseball team, the Asheville Tourists, a name that strikes fear in the hearts of the opposition. Go Tourists. There’s also been some consulting work, e.g., another rewrite of the Foreign Assistance Act that was never enacted, and some training for USAID new hires. That’s always a lot of fun as we try to explain to the young ones why a bill rarely becomes a law, and what all the huffing and puffing on the Hill really means.

If y’all are in the neighborhood, give me a call and stop on by. I can teach you all about grits-not a dietary staple in NYC but pretty much so down here.

Neil Levine

Neil Levine retired from USAID in June 2017 after 24 years of service. He and his wife, Kate Brennan, moved to New England where they enjoy their new home in Beverly, Massachusetts with frequent visits to their “northern holdings” – a camp in Rangeley, Maine.
Joining USAID in 1993 and serving through 2016, Neil served as a Congressional Liaison Officer for the Bureau of Legislative and Public Affairs, Deputy Director for Central American Affairs and various leadership positions in the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance, including leadership of the Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation and the Center of Excellence for Democracy, Human Rights and Governance. Neil also enjoyed two excursions as a student and faculty member at the National Defense University, first as a student at the National War College (2007-08) and as a faculty instructor at the Eisenhower School (2013-14).
Neil began his “encore” career by becoming a certified professional coach and started Levine Strategies, his own consulting practice, in October 2017. The practice is devoted to “helping individuals and organizations have conversations with themselves.” His first client was the USAID Alumni Association where he volunteered to facilitate the all-day mentor training for the latest of cohort of UAA mentors. Along with coaching and consulting, Neil serves as Vice Chair of the Board of CDA Collaborative Learning (Cambridge, MA) and the alumni council of Earlham College.  Neil and Kate welcome hearing from their USAID friends and may be reached at

Neil Levine – Winner of the UAA Alumnus of the Year 2021 Award  

Neil Levine was awarded the UAA 2021 Alumnus of the Year award for his international and domestic service in recognition of his sustained, selfless commitment to strengthening, expanding, and professionalizing the UAA Mentoring Program to the benefit of U.S. development programs around the world.

Neil is a certified, professional coach with significant experience combining coaching, strategic planning, facilitation, conflict resolution, and active listening skills.  He has connected these skills to his prior USAID career to become not just an invaluable asset to the UAA Mentoring Program, but the essential component of the program’s success to the benefit of U.S. development programs around the world.

This program has provided mentors to some 160 mentees – nearly 10% of USAID’s Foreign Service labor force – over the last three years.  At least 100 UAA members have participated as mentors.  The combined impact of Neil’s efforts on the UAA, on USAID, and through the families and communities of mentors and mentees, both in the United States and overseas, is significant.

Neil is acclaimed for three major accomplishments:

  • For over four years, Neil has devoted sustained and selfless commitment to building and professionalizing the mentoring program.  He leads the entire training program for mentors and mentees – all aspects of which are conducted globally and flawlessly.
  • Neil brings together his personal experience as a USAID officer and his post-USAID career as a professional coach to significantly improve the effectiveness and desirability of the program among both mentors and mentees and to enhance the program’s reputation and popularity among UAA members, USAID staff, and others around the world.
  • While the principal beneficiaries of this program are the UAA mentors and USAID mentees, most benefits accrue in the United States and to the mentors and mentees who are dispersed around the world. The skills Neil helps both mentors and mentees develop in his training sessions — careful listening, well-timed questions, clarifying conversations – do not stop in the office and are important tools in dealing with family, friends, colleagues, other associates, and country counterparts.

After a stint as a Hill staffer, Neil joined USAID in 1993 through 2016, where he served as a Congressional Liaison Officer for the Bureau of Legislative and Public Affairs, Deputy Director for Central American Affairs and various leadership positions in the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance, including leadership of the Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation and the Center of Excellence for Democracy, Human Rights and Governance. Neil also enjoyed two excursions as a student and faculty member at the National Defense University, first as a student at the National War College (2007-08) and as a faculty instructor at the Eisenhower School (2013-14).

After retirement from USAID in June 2017, Neil began his “encore” career by becoming a certified professional coach and started Levine Strategies, his own consulting practice, in October 2017. His first client was the USAID Alumni Association where he volunteered to facilitate the all-day mentor training for the cohort of UAA mentors. Along with coaching and consulting, Neil serves as Vice Chair of the Board of CDA Collaborative Learning (Cambridge, MA) and the alumni council of Earlham College.

Neil and his wife, Kate Brennan, enjoy their home in Beverly, Massachusetts with frequent visits to their “northern holdings” – a camp in Rangeley, Maine.  They welcome hearing from their USAID friends and may be reached at

Mary L Lewellen

Mary L. Lewellen, a retired Foreign Service Officer (1977-2003), has continued to serve U.S. students and overseas schools and communities since her retirement by teaching and mentoring college students; organizing and leading service and learning trips to rural South Africa, Nepal, Ethiopia, and Thailand; and training USAID staff around the world.
For the past fourteen years, she has taught four classes a semester at Sierra Nevada College (SNC), including terrorism and peacekeeping, international organizations, foreign policy, Africa regional studies, leadership and global management. As Chair of International Studies and Global Business Management, she is also an inspirational teacher who was voted Outstanding Faculty Member by the students in 2015.
For the past six years, Mary has worked with African partners to organize and lead 25-30 American college students to do three weeks of Service and Learning in the rural areas of South Africa. They helped expand and renovate pre-schools, primary and secondary schools, and a HIV clinic which caters to Mozambican migrants. Mary and her colleagues also tutor (science, math, English, accounting) secondary students for their school-leaving exams. Each year, along with funds provided by American students, Mary, with her husband Ted and their families, personally provide funds for hundreds of children’s books, suitcases full of school supplies, and cash for renovations. The participants all describe these trips as a “life-changing experience.”
Here’s a photographic example of their work at Manyangana High School library in South Africa.
In 2018, Sierra Nevada College students bought and assembled 18 bookshelves; brought and donated over 500 “readers” books; organized a previously non-functioning library; restored broken electricity; replaced both termite wooden doors; completely painted inside and outside walls of the library (along with seven other classrooms).
Three nearby community vegetable gardens have been developed or expanded by the SNC students with seeds donated by a Stockton, California company. Over four years, these women-operated gardens have become self-sufficient in providing vegetables to the community, the local schools, and through sales to nearby safari camps. Simultaneously, SNC students take college classes for credit taught by Mary and the accompanying professors.
Besides teaching future leaders in foreign affairs, Mary has also completed numerous training assignments at USAID missions around the world in programming, project design and acquisition and assistance. She has also served as Acting Mission Director, Acting Controller and in other positions at USAID missions. In her spare time, Mary enjoys the beauty of the African bush and her grandchildren. Mary and Ted reside outside Reno, Nevada, frequently hosting friends and colleagues from around the world. They can be reached at or

Jon Lindborg

Jon LindborgHow does a guy from a small rural community in Indiana end up in a development career? Jon Lindborg’s family hosted a series of international exchange students who expanded his vistas beyond the farmland surrounding his boyhood home. During high school, he spent a summer studying Spanish in Mexico. After completing his undergraduate degree, he joined the Peace Corps.  He spent three years teaching in the South Pacific Kingdom of Tonga — not unlike rural Indiana in its isolation, but surrounded by the Pacific Ocean instead of cornfields.  From then on, he was hooked on doing international work.

After a six-year interlude managing their family farm in Indiana, while pursuing a graduate degree at Purdue University, Jon returned to Tonga where he was Country Director for the Foundation for the South Pacific. This is also where he learned more about USAID and joined the Agency in 1986. His first assignment was a Private Enterprise Development Officer in Indonesia. He then led USAID private sector development offices in Sri Lanka and Jordan. Jon returned to Indonesia as Deputy Mission Director before becoming Mission Director in the Philippines, from where he retired in 2009.

Jon then joined the Asian Development Bank (ADB), based in Manila, where he led the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) infrastructure practice for the Southeast Asia Department, supporting environment and infrastructure projects throughout Southeast Asia.  Subsequently, Jon was appointed ADB’s Country Director in Indonesia.  Reaching ADB’s mandatory retirement age of 60, he left in late-2013.

Jon now lives in Kailua-Kona on the “Big Island” of Hawaii. He remains engaged with international development and finance work, including two recent 6-month senior advisor stints with USAID/Indonesia.  Jon looks back on his USAID career with appreciation, feeling he learned more than he ever gave in return. Not only did he gain a wealth of development knowledge and skills, Jon notes that he was blessed with smart colleagues and wonderful mentors.

In his spare time, Jon enjoys ocean sports and exploring the Big Island. He participates regularly in an ocean swimming group that follows the Ironman route, is a member of a Hawaiian paddling club and still tries to continue his longtime windsurfing passion, even as his body doesn’t always cooperate. Also located in the Pacific Islands region, his son Ryan is a student at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.  Jon can be reached at

Kristin Loken

Kristin Loken Kris Loken left USAID in 2001 after 23 years serving as health/population or democracy officer in the West Bank & Gaza, India, Lebanon, Pakistan, El Salvador, and Eritrea.

After “retiring”, the Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA) immediately recruited Kris to be their Director for the Middle East and Asia and later the director of their program in Nepal. Upon returning from Katmandu, Kris found time to pursue her life long passion: meditation. Free to make long-term meditation retreats annually, Kris has studied at Panditarama in Lumbini (Nepal), the Forest Refuge in Barre (Massachusetts), Dhammagiri in Igatpuri (Maharashtra), and the Bhavana Forest Monastery in High Point (West Virginia.) Meditation is the bedrock of her happiness, energy, and health.

In 2008 she spent four months at the University of Oslo studying peace research and afterwards travelling through Norway to locate Norwegian relatives. Kris also trained with Jon Kabat-Zinn and has taught his Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction meditation practices to friends in their final days. In addition she has been working on the Eastern Panhandle Single Payer Action Network, the Medicare expansion, and reproductive health programs, and most recently the rollout of Obamacare.

In 2009 Kris was a member of a peace delegation to the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel organized by Inter-Faith Peace Building. She maintains a strong interest in the Middle East since her work there with USAID and continues to play an activist role in peace organizations. Kris, a Quaker for 45 years, has found a welcoming Meeting in nearby Shepherdstown, where she serves on the finance committee.

Kayaking, biking and skiing keep Kris in shape and are readily available near her home in West Virginia. Kris loves her cottage with two-acres overlooking the Potomac River in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. After spending all those years in developing countries, “West Virginia sort of felt like the next natural step.” The state is “run rather like a colony by outside coal companies – and now natural gas, too. West Virginians are wonderful, warm people but are poor, undereducated, and unhealthy compared to other Americans. Young people have to leave the state to find decent paying work.”

When neighbors asked Kris to run for the state House of Delegates for West Virginia District #62, Kris said “Yes!” to a 24/7 non-stop political schedule. She wants “to be part of the solution in West Virginia.” Follow her campaign at:

Susan Malick

Susan Malick and her late husband Jeff met as Peace Corps Volunteers in Nepal in 1968 where they married and had their first son Ravi. After serving as PCVs and PC staff in Kathmandu, Jeff joined USAID. They spent the next 20 years living in India, Pakistan and Egypt with a tour in the United States in between. Their daughter Laura and son Benjamin were born in New Delhi.

Before their first posting in New Delhi, Susan completed her BS degree in business at George Mason University. She held a variety of jobs and volunteer positions including marketing consultant for several women’s development projects in India and Pakistan, member of American school boards in New Delhi and Cairo, president of American Women’s Association in New Delhi, consultant for International Labor Organization and project officer at Catholic Relief Services in Pakistan.

When they returned to Northern Virginia, Susan heard about Dining for Women (DFW), the largest educational giving circle in the world with about 465 chapters in the United States. Each chapter gathers monthly to share a meal and learn about a featured grantee. DFW member-funded grants are made to international nongovernmental organizations that are 501c3s or have a 501c3 fiscal sponsor, for projects that benefit women and girls living in extreme poverty and ensure gender equality. Susan realized this organization was a perfect fit for her, a former PCV and USAID spouse.  

About a year after joining DFW, Susan was asked to serve on the grant selection committee, which vets the grant applicants. Over the last five years, DFW has grown, forming partnerships with Peace Corps and UNICEF that permits increased program contributions, and also establishing an Advocacy Program so that DFW’s 8,300 members can raise their voices for women and girls.

Susan visited a DFW funded Little Sister Fund program in Kathmandu in 2017 which provides long-term scholarships for financially disadvantaged, at-risk girls who would otherwise be vulnerable to child labor, child marriage and child trafficking. She reported that this DFW money was well spent. There are nine Little Sisters graduates who attended or are attending U.S. universities with two more arriving the Fall 2019.

Pictured: The Vienna-Fairfax Chapter of DFW with 2 Little Sisters graduates, Kriti and Sapana, who were attending Shenandoah University

Jeff passed away suddenly in 2016. He served as an FSO with USAID for 22 years (1976-1998) with Susan by his side. Susan lives in Vienna, VA and welcomes hearing from UAA friends at

Pam Mandel

Pam Mandel knew from an early age, growing up in Pasadena, California, that she wanted to pursue a career in international development. She had a strong interest in population and the environment. She did her undergraduate studies in sociology and demography at UC Berkeley, working part-time in the International Population and Urban Research Institute. Upon graduation, she worked for two years with the Environmental Quality Laboratory at Cal Tech, conducting research in urban development and water resources. For graduate study at Cornell, she undertook studies in international regional policy planning and development, conducting environmental health field work in Kenya for her master’s thesis. After a few years working in domestic community development and planning, she continued academic studies in international health and population at Johns Hopkins.

Pam joined USAID in 1983. There she served as a health, population and nutrition officer, with long-term overseas assignments in Tanzania, Mauritania and Ukraine, and a number of Washington-based assignments (including in the Office of Housing and Urban Development). She developed and managed programs in maternal child health, family planning and reproductive health, school health, malaria control, rural health services, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and nutrition. She also led efforts in women in development, social sector restructuring and environmental management.
Retiring after 23 years with USAID, she continued to undertake short-term overseas assignments, in Ghana, Benin, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Cambodia and Tanzania, for an additional ten years. Concurrently, she was active with the USAID Alumni Association, co-chairing the Strengthening USAID Committee, spearheading the successful and ongoing mentorship program. This aligned with her long-term commitment to fostering and strengthening the skills of her FSO counterparts and FSNs overseas, as well as emerging U.S. development professionals.

In full retirement, Pam has indulged in her long-term interest and avocation in antiques, decorative arts and textiles. She has developed a small business in antiques and personal property appraisal, and is involved with a rug and textile group. She also has had a passion for travel, having spent time visiting and exploring some fifty or so countries around the world. This was clearly predictable, given her early interest in globes, maps and stamp collecting. At this juncture, she has sworn off flying, from both travel fatigue and to reduce her carbon footprint.
In addition to swimming, dog walking, recycling (since 1970), and installing solar panels on her house, Pam is engaged in doing whatever possible to forestall earth’s collapse due to climate change. In addition to contributing financially to several environmental groups, Pam is supporting ocean plastic
clean-up and tree planting to mitigate climate change. Pam is committed to environmental and social justice, continuing to seek ways to leave a positive legacy. She would enjoy hearing from friends at:

Ray Martin

Retirement is not in Ray Martin’s DNA. At least not retirement by this definition from the American Heritage Dictionary, “to withdraw from business or public life so as to live at leisure on one’s income, savings, or pension.”
After a 25-year USAID career in program work in Morocco and Washington, and then backstop 50 service in population and health in Ghana, Cameroon, Pakistan, and Zaire, he would not have found happiness and meaning at the retirement age of 52 in a life of playing golf, going fishing, and watching soap operas.
Instead, he transitioned immediately in 1992 to a Public Health Specialist position at the World Bank, based in Washington, working on health systems and AIDS projects in francophone African countries. Having the Bank cachet was flattering, but again, Ray eventually had a “been there, done that” feeling and got involved as a volunteer “promoting global health and wholeness from a Christian perspective.” He ended up becoming the executive director of Christian Connections for International Health for 14 years, building its membership and program to become a significant faith-based participant in the global health world.
With no illusions of immortality, however, he did step down from that position in 2014, but remains active in global health and international development. He is the historian of the International Health Section of the American Public Health Association, which he served as Chair years back, and is active in their climate change and health working group.
Ray’s philosophy, both at USAID and since, has been that happiness and meaning come from a life of service, working toward the common good. This undoubtedly has roots in his Mennonite farm background in rural Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, but carries forward into his present, somewhat more complicated, mixture of faith and secular tendencies.
One manifestation of Ray’s values, surviving the devastating loss of his wife Luann to cancer in 2015, is a desire to use their substantial savings and pensions not to live a life of leisure, but to continue to serve the common good, an investment in a better world for all. And to spend down these assets while he was still alive rather than as a bequest after his death. He made a large pledge to Mennonite Central Committee to set up a legacy fund in his wife’s name to support Care Group approaches to improving maternal and child health and nutrition in Africa. A second large commitment is addressing his passion for getting serious about climate change, strengthened by finally becoming a grandfather, through funding a new Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions at Eastern Mennonite University,  (
Contact Ray Martin, McLean, VA,, 703-556-0123

Mary Le McIntyre

Prior to her USAID life, Mary Lee McIntyre was a researcher with the historian, Dr. Richard Hewlett, at the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, working on the history of the first A-bomb and taught government and history at Western High School and George Washington University.

After marrying USAID William R. McIntyre, she began a twenty-year stint as a “USAID spouse” that included tours in India, Pakistan and Lebanon. While overseas, Mary Lee taught at the American International School in New Delhi, India and at the International School of Islamabad, Pakistan. In Beirut, she taught at the American University of Beirut, Haigazian College, and Maqassed. Tragically her husband, Deputy Director of Lebanon, was killed in the bombing of the American Embassy in Beirut on April 18, 1983. Left with three children to support, Mary Lee joined USAID and served as a Pop and Health Officer in USAID/Bangladesh for three and a half years. Upon returning to Washington, she worked in the Private Voluntary Organizations Office and the Europe and Eurasia Bureau until 2000.

Mary Lee continues to lead a busy life. She is active in the local Democratic Party, reads for the blind, has studied conflict resolution, and acts. She is currently a member of the Playwrights Forum and writing stage plays with roles for older women. She is presently writing on suffragist Belva Lockwood’s fight to achieve “equal pay for equal work” for women civil servants legislation that passed in 1870. In addition she teaches Legacy of the Middle Ages for Encore Learning in Arlington County.

Mary Lee’s love of travel hasn’t lessened. She has cruised the Nile, taken art trips, with a Wellesley Art Professor, in Egypt and Italy, and visited Russia – Stalingrad, Moscow and St. Petersburg. Each spring she tries to visit her beloved Bologna, Italy, where she did graduate work for a M.A. in Political Science from Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies.

In January 2010, she married her college sweetheart who passed away in December 2010. Now a grandmother of nine, four grandchildren of her own and five step-grandchildren, Mary Lee feels blessed.

This past year, Mary Lee sold her house in McLean and moved into Vinson Hall Retirement Community. She welcomes hearing from USAID friends: 703-970-3954; cell 703-470-1223; e-mail  (MLM not MIM).

Franklin C. Moore

Franklin Moore retired from USAID in 2014, after also serving at two other federal agencies during a 35 year career. He began his federal career as an Associate Peace Corps director for agriculture and natural resources management in Ghana. He also served at The Environmental Protection Agency before beginning his career at USAID in The Environment Center. His career at USAID included a number of technical support positions in agriculture and the environment, particularly climate change before retiring from the position of Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Africa Bureau.

        (Franklin with partner Erich on safari in Souther Africa)

Retirement has been full of activities, most of which Franklin calls delayed gratification! He has been able to better utilize his dual residences in Southwest Washington and outside Shepherdstown in West Virginia. First of equals is the theater. In South West DC, Franklin and his partner, Erich, can be found at Arena Stage plays and events. However, their strongest participation is in West Virginia with the Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF), a series of American authored and often premier presented plays. The Festival, now in its 30th year, takes place every July. As Franklin remembers, “Over the past 15 years it has been gratifying to participate in the festival’s growth from four plays on two stages to six reportorial plays in three theaters. It has also been a pleasure to provide a place for new, relevant American composed plays.” Since retirement, Franklin’s volunteer service has increased to now serving on the CATF board.

Franklin has also kept his attachments to Africa, agriculture and the environment. He has lectured on food security, climate change and resilience in a number of forums. Franklin participates in the Africa Policy Group and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He states, “Contributing to the sustainable existence of species and their habitats is an important objective of mine.” Franklin has recently begun to serve on the board of the Jane Goodall Institute which focuses on chimpanzees and their habitats. He has also volunteered with the USAID Alumni Association by serving on the UAA Board.

As with many alumni, travel has also been an objective. As Franklin states, “After all these years living and working in Africa, I have finally taken that three-week safari in southern Africa.” He welcomes hearing from UAA friends and former colleagues at

 Charles Moseley

Charley Moseley brought a wealth of experience to USAID that included service in the US Air Force and over 20 years as an executive and engineer for U.S. and international power companies. He joined USAID in Guatemala in 1976 as a PSC and as a direct hire in 1977. He retired from USAID in Russia in 1993 after leading the design and initial implementation of major energy and environment programs for the former Soviet Union. He has served longterm assignments in 11 countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

After retiring from USAID, Charley returned to the private sector to manage power generation companies in Ecuador and as international development and implementation manager, consultant and advisor with USAID, USTDA, and IEA funded assignments in Africa, Turkey, Central and South Asia with a focus on Pakistan and Afghanistan. He has led the design and delivery of numerous courses and served as a senior manager in a major international consulting firm. In 2004 he was recalled to USAID to set up the Office of Engineering and Infrastructure in Afghanistan and again from 2009 to 2011 to set up USAID/Pakistan’s new Office of Energy and lead the conceptualization, design, contracting, and initial implementation of a $1.5 billion energy sector program. From 2013 to 2016 he served as World Bank­funded Team Leader and Senior Transaction Advisor of Afghanistan under the four­country CASA 1000 Power Transmission and Trade Project.

Charley’s most enduring activity since retiring from USAID has been working with Charles Bliss, a fellow engineer and USAID retiree. A key element of their joint activities has been the development of patentable methods to capture and utilize carbon dioxide from power plants’ combustion of fossil fuels. In 2015, Bliss and Moseley were awarded a US Patent for a “Method to Optimize the Utilization of Captured Carbon Dioxide through the Cultivation and Processing of Microalgae.” They are continuing their collaboration in several other new methods and anticipate the award of a second patent in April 2018.

Charley and his wife Patty celebrated their 44th anniversary on October 23, 2017. All five of their children are married and have given them nine grandchildren. Four sons live in: Houston (John/two sons), Los Angeles (Clifford/two sons), Kansas City KS (Charlie/two daughters) and Pasadena (Henry/one daughter). Daughter Nellie has two boys and lives in Burke, VA. He can be reached on: and 1­703­273­7104

Sherif Mowafy

UAA’s outreach to former USAID FSNs now living in the Washington area has recently taken off, thanks in part to Sherif Mowafy, originally from Egypt and now working with USAID’s Global Health Office as a civil servant. Sherif has recruited other FSNs to pool their insights on starting new lives in the US and create a practical guide for other newcomers, “Soft Landings for ex FSNs.” UAA hopes to engage both former FSNs and other USAID retirees in informally assisting new FSN arrivals to the US under the Special Immigrant Visa program. More on this volunteer opportunity later.

First, here is Sherif’s story.


Sherif Mowafy is a good example of someone who used to be an FSN but is now working at USAID/Washington as a civil servant.

Sherif hails from Port Said with a degree in Finance and used to work in Cairo. He joined the USAID Mission there in 1989 as a Finance officer, but after a year, he moved to the Contracts Office, where he worked for nine years. He then decided to leave USAID and spent seven years working with a local NGO which had just received a sizeable grant from USAID. With his background he quickly moved to Senior Management where he was able to give valuable advice about USAID procedures. When the grant ended, he and his family decided to try their chances in the United States.

Fortunately, thirteen years ago, Sherif’s wife received a green card through the lottery. At that time they put it aside, since both had good jobs in Cairo. She was working in the travel section of the American Embassy. After a family conference and much soul searching, Sherif applied for a job at USAID in Washington in the Procurement office and had a phone interview with them. He was accepted and then had to wait six months for his green card. His wife, since she already had her green card, couldn’t wait that long, since they had to get their two daughters in school, and she had been offered almost the same job she had at the Embassy at the State Department. So she came to Washington with their children, then still quite young (8 and 10), found an apartment, bought a car, and got them in school. Sherif followed six months later and began working as a Contract Officer backstopping the Global Health Supply Chain Management Project. Later he moved to the Global Health Office and is now the Contract Officer’s Representative for that contract. He is the Deputy Division Chief in that office, with a team of fifteen people.

Sherif says, looking back, it was a hard transition for the whole family, settling in, making new friends, but now they’re happy to be here. Of course, they keep up their family ties in Egypt, and his oldest daughter, Yara is currently in Cairo doing a semester abroad at AUC. His youngest daughter, is now a senior at Oakdale High and wants to pursue a career in design. They’ve bought a house in Fairfax.

Alfred Nakatsuma

Nakatsuma (front) in Los Angeles with his mother and brother (top), and family from Mexico

Alfred Nakatsuma retired the end of 2019 and planned to visit old friends where he was posted (Guatemala, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand), but Covid grounded him. Instead, he tracked down special colleagues with whom he had worked since 1984 while collaborating with USAID/Peru as a Fulbright Grantee, then as a PSC in USAID/Bolivia before joining the Foreign Service in 1988. He expressed thanks to those who inspired him or helped him
throughout his career. He reached almost everybody on his list and had fabulous exchanges for which he is extremely grateful.  They greatly enriched his perspectives about career and life, including the following reflections.

The greatest gift USAID gave him was the ability to befriend extraordinary people. While working, he enjoyed these relationships, but didn’t fully appreciate them as much as now. He questioned whether during 35+ years of hard work he accomplished his goal to help the poor and protect the environment. He concluded that development is so complicated, attribution is difficult and results change with time, so it’s hard to know. He feels he didn’t fulfill his dreams of achieving big, lasting impact, with the possible exceptions of the 2 million-hectare Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala

Alfred returns to the Guatemala Maya Biosphere Reserve 30 years after USAID’s key role in its creation and success (with local woman leader)

and the TransJakarta public bus system in Indonesia, which he initiated and led for USAID. After 32 and 20 years of operation, respectively, they are still successfully supporting the poor and conserving the environment.

Whatever USAID does, successful or not, is always a team effort. USAID employees were all inextricably woven together as a team and needed each other at every step, so no individual gets the blame for failure or credit for success.

Now a couple years after retiring, he continues to do what most motivates him — helping people and the planet. Through various programs and universities, he mentors future development professionals, gives pro-bono support to environmental organizations and serves as advisor to a project reducing ocean plastics in South East Asia. He lives with mother and brother in Los Angeles to share the health care and joy of being together again after a long career abroad.

He is very happy to be in contact with friends and colleagues and may be reached at USAID’s lasting imprint on him was not so much about work, but the treasure of good memories and precious relationships established along the way. He is thankful to all who have been part of his USAID journey and life, and to UAA for the opportunity to continue serving and being in contact with colleagues.

Margaret Neuse

Margaret Neuse joined USAID in 1984 as a Population and Health Officer. She was recruited by several USAID colleagues with whom she had worked in Nepal among other countries where she was on short-term assignments for several organizations or as a free-lance consultant. Her first postings were Somalia, Niger, and then head of the Health Office at the Regional Office (REDSO) in Nairobi.

They were instrumental in getting USAID-supported family planning and other health programs started in Madagascar, Malawi, Zambia, and Ethiopia among others. In 1993, she joined the Office of Population in USAID/W as Deputy Director. From 1997-1999, she led the Health team in charge of the large health and family planning program in Bangladesh. She was then recruited to be the Director of the Population and Reproductive Health Office in USAID/W where she served from 2000-2006 when she retired.

After retirement, Margaret continued an active consulting career in the Population Health and Nutrition (PHN) field working with a wide variety of organizations including USAID health teams and Missions, the Gates Foundation, and several nongovernmental organizations in a variety of countries, from Mali to South Sudan, Ethiopia and India. She led teams hired to develop designs, procurement documents, evaluations and staffing plans. She enjoyed all of the assignments and working and learning with the teams and counterpart staff in the Missions and countries. Consulting post-retirement was very satisfying and was facilitated by knowing the systems and field much better than had been the case before joining USAID. Margaret also served on several Boards and was Board Chair for several years for a USAID partner organization. She currently serves on the UAA Board of Directors.

In addition to her home in DC, she has maintained her ties to Vermont where she grew up. She spends the summers into the Fall at her “camp” on a small lake not far from other family in Middlebury and Brandon, Vermont. Since deciding that she had had enough of work-related travel and document-writing, she has spent more time in Vermont and traveled on her own to places in her bucket list: Bhutan, New Zealand, Australia and Ireland. Before COVID-19 suspended in-person activity, she also took regular exercise classes and participated in courses through Politics and Prose and Encore Learning. She remains active in her USAID alumni-based reading group and stays in touch with her successors at USAID. She maintains that she is not sure when she had “time to work.”

Jim Norris

Jim Norris joined USAID in 1965 right out of grad school and retired in 1996. For the first 15 years, he served as program economist in Tunis, Jakarta and Cairo. When he and his wife Cathy went overseas, they had one daughter, and when they returned for his first U.S. assignment, they had two daughters and one son. During the next 16 years, Jim had two tours in Washington during which he was the office director for Bangladesh and India, Counselor for the Agency, and DAA for Asia and Near East. Jim also had overseas assignments as Mission Director in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Russia. He said he loved all of these assignments.

After retiring in 1996, Jim became Chief of Party managing an urban planning and development project in St. Petersburg, Russia for two years. After returning to the States, Jim was called back to USAID to be interim Deputy Associate Assistant Administrator of the Economic Growth and Agricultural Development Office for four months, then went back to Egypt to be Chief of Party for an economic planning and reform project.

Jim and Cathy returned to the States in 2003 and settled into a house in Arlington after gutting and remodeling it.  Jim happily spent his time puttering around the house and yard and building some furniture. They also watched with pleasure their children get married and start having children.

At the end of 2009, Jim returned to USAID to work on the first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review for five months. He said he found it interesting to engage on the issues, but in retrospect, he believed it was not a productive exercise. Jim continued to work on procurement reform at USAID until 2012. In contrast, he said, “This I found to be interesting and, hopefully, it was productive.”

Jim said that he and Cathy thoroughly enjoyed their USAID assignments and have also found retirement to be a pleasure. In Jim’s second retirement, they are doing more remodeling of their home, and are enjoying visiting, and being visited by, their three children and five granddaughters and keeping in touch with fellow USAID retirees in the Washington area.  They welcome hearing from their USAID alumni friends and colleagues at

John Norris

As regular readers of the UAA Newsletter certainly are aware, the UAA History of USAID Project is well underway.   As you will also know, our author is John Norris. We thought it might be useful to remind UAA members – including especially the more than 150 generous contributors to the project – as to who John Norris is. John is managing to keep up with his 18-month contractual drafting schedule on the History while holding down another demanding job. He is just beginning a new position as the Deputy Director of Policy and Strategic Insight at the Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington. Before joining the Gates Foundation this month, John was for many years the Executive Director of the Sustainable Security Initiative at the Center for American Progress. In 2014, he was also appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Global Development Council, a body charged with advising the administration on effective development practices. He has served in a number of additional senior roles in government, international institutions, and nonprofits.For example, he was the Executive Director of the Enough Project and the chief of political affairs for the United Nations Mission in Nepal. He was also the Washington chief of staff for the International Crisis Group, and the director of communications for U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott. He also worked as a speechwriter and field disaster expert at the USAID in the 1990s.John is the author of several books, including a biography of the late journalist Mary McGrory which was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize, and has published many articles in major American newspapers.
We asked John for a short comment on how he has found the work thus far: his response – “Perhaps the most intriguing part of my research to date has been how often AID issues rose to a presidential level in the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations. Both men clearly saw the agency as instrumental in realizing their vision for the world, and both fundamentally shaped the foundations of much of AID’s work that followed.”

Jeanne Foote North and Wm Haven North

Jeanne and Haven North
Following retirements in 1989 and 1996 respectively, Haven and Jeanne North continued to be strong voices in the discourse that shapes the direction and practice of development. Together, they co-wrote a history of US Foreign Economic Assistance as a chapter in the book: Foreign AID and Foreign Policy: Lessons for the Next Half Century, Picard, etc. editors.

After taking on consulting assignments, Jeanne turned to voluntary activities including service on diverse boards such as Opportunities Industrial Center International (OIC/I); the Bannockburn Cooperators, Inc. and the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI). Her service on the NAMI board was focused on strengthened understanding and management of mental illness by consumers and their families. Jeanne also got deeply into oil painting, with particular interest in landscapes and people.

In his post-USAID career, Haven served as consultant to a wide range of bilateral and international development assistance organizations. He led or contributed to: the first phase of the World Bank’s Global Environment Facility (GEF) and its Special Program for Tropical Africa (SPTA); IFC’s evaluation program; UNDP’s programs on co-financing, capacity building, HIV/AIDS, Round Tables and Vietnam Aid Coordination; DANIDA’s Evaluation Program; evaluation of USAID’s first years in Iraq; the DAC/OECD study that reviewed evaluation programs of 28 donor agencies; USAID’s programs in southern Africa and Iraq; and most recently introductory descriptions by decade for “Fifty Years in USAID: Stories from the Front Lines.”

He also conducted 100 + Oral History interviews for ADST, covering the life’s work of USAID retirees and for the Institute of Peace, covering the work of USAID reconstruction program staff who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Haven says the interviews, which ranged from 5 to 20 hours, were fun to do. They gave interviewees an opportunity to record experiences and produced a considerable volume of interesting stories. Haven is the first to say that these are not definitive historical records. However, they do provide insights on major international events and reminders of USAID’s important work in development and disaster relief. Perhaps their greatest lasting value is for the children and grandchildren of the interviewees to learn about what their parents, grandparents and relatives were up to all those years overseas.

The North’s remain resident in Bethesda, MD. Their son, Charles is a 27-year veteran of USAID who recently served as Mission Director in Russia and is currently DAA of the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment. Daughter Jeannette has worked in development and is now with the School Development Authority of New Jersey and son, Ashby is a graphics artist and an illustrator/author of children’s books. Visits with their children are celebrations for Haven and Jeanne.

Steve Orr


Following his 40 years as both a USAID employee and as a USAID contractor, with experience in 75 countries, Steve retired in 2009. Since he wasn’t really ready to quit, he became a contractor with the U.S. Department of State as an English Language Officer. In this role he accompanied international diplomats and other international dignitaries all over the United States. By 2013, after working in 29 states and 66 cities, he actually did retire.

Steve enjoyed meeting all the people from such a variety of countries. He is happy that he was able to introduce many of them to the American way of life and still stays in touch by e-mail with scores of them.

Now Steve speaks publicly on what he calls the USAID-Peace Corps Nexus. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer (Panama 64-66).  Steve was nominated for the 2014 UAA Alumni of the Year award.

He would be happy to be in contact with his friends from his days with USAID and may be reached at

Alexi Panehal

Alexi Panehal’s interesting and varied 35.5-year career with USAID included positions in housing and urban development (1984-1992),

A person with two owls on the shoulder Description automatically generated with low confidencethe environment (1992-1995), democracy (1995-1999), and ultimately in senior management as deputy mission director (2000-2003 Regional Mission for Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus), mission director (2005-2009 in Ecuador and 2012-2016 in the Dominican Republic), and deputy assistant administrator (2010-2012, E3 Bureau). Her international service took her around the world to Asia (Thailand), North Africa (Tunisia), Latin America and the Caribbean (Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic), and to Washington, first in the Eastern Europe and NIS Bureau (1992-1995) and then in the E3 Bureau (2010-2012). Alexi received a master’s degree from the National War College and later served as a faculty instructor there.

One of her most stimulating experiences was heading up the democracy office in Nicaragua for four years. There she helped design and implement a massive voter registration campaign and monitor two national elections. When Hurricane Mitch decimated the country in November 1998, Alexi worked on relief and reconstruction efforts.

Alexi is most proud of working with her staff on programs to promote the rights of persons with disabilities. In Ecuador, staff designed and implemented a multisectoral, comprehensive persons with disabilities programs, ranging from transport to the polls on election day, producing braille ballots, inclusion in ‘regular’ public schools, the creation of the first fully accessible park in the country, and writing and publishing the first tourism guide for persons with disabilities in Latin America. In the Dominican Republic, staff developed a cell phone app that identifies nearby hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions that are accessible to persons with disabilities, organized sign language classes for Embassy staff, translated the USAID strategy into braille, and even bought a braille printer.

After retiring in 2018, Alexi moved to an island in Lake Erie where her family spent their summer vacations. She remains active with UAA. Locally, Alexi serves on the Board of Zoning Appeals, the Board of the Kelleys Island Historical Association and volunteers at the local library and history museum. Alexi also volunteers as the ‘scribe’ for the USGS/Cleveland Museum of Natural History bird banding project on Kelleys Island. In her ‘spare’ time, Alexi writes. Her first book, published by the University of Toledo Press in December 2021, is called The Island in Winter. She is working on her second book, a comparative study of the leadership skills of four U.S. army generals who became president. Most importantly, Alexi is the proud mother of two lovely daughters.

Alexi would love to hear from USAID friends and colleagues at

William Penoyar

Bill Penoyar’s international career began with the Arabian American Oil Company when he moved with his family to Saudi Arabia in 1983.  There he gained experience in contract negotiations and the international travel bug that endured after he returned to the United States.  After working as a contract negotiator with the Navy in 1987, Bill accepted a job in the USAID contracting office in 1992.  He obtained a project development job in the European and Newly Independent States (ENI) Bureau until 1999 when he was offered a Limited Appointment Foreign Service Position with the West Newly Independent States Mission in Kyiv, Ukraine.

While working at ENI, Bill started on a path of helping people he met along the way in his international service.  The many immigrants he has assisted during his work with USAID has continued during retirement and provided great personal fulfillment.

He and his wife, Sandi, hosted a Russian woman visiting the U.S. on a USAID work internship in 1997.  When the company for which she interned had her return to the U.S. on a long-term visa, she needed a place to live, so Bill and Sandi offered her a room in their home.  Eventually, she obtained her green card, and later, her U.S. citizenship.  She was the Penoyars’ first opportunity to support an immigrant.  Twenty-five years later, Bill and Sandi still count Elena as one of their good friends.

Bill, Sandi, and their two daughters have continued to develop friendships and have sponsored an extended refugee Iraqi family whom Bill met while working as a USAID Provincial Reconstruction Team representative.  The two families included five children in 2012.  They are all U. S. citizens now and have in some ways become part of the Penoyar family.

Since then, Bill has also helped a Ukrainian woman who is presently in the process of applying for her permanent Green Card status and eventual citizenship.

Although he retired from USAID in 2011 and U.S. Personal Service Contract work in 2016, Bill continued to offer assistance to folks who are talented and have taken substantial risks to immigrate to the U.S on Refugee or Special Immigrant Visa status.  Since the evacuation of Afghan refugees in 2021, Bill has helped a UAA identified refugee, located in Modesto, California, with his resume and job search which helped him obtain a job. Through the Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area. Bill helped a young Afghan woman obtain a job in the Arlington, VA area. He is presently assisting a Ukrainian, and other Afghans with their resumes and job search.

Bill says, “This ongoing volunteer assistance continues to be a rewarding avocation for me in addition to the many other pleasures of being retired.”  His experiences have also contributed to his writing and publishing two books available on On the Road with a Foreign Service Officer, 2014 and Surviving Dreamland – Escape from Terror, 2017

He and his wife would welcome hearing from friends and former colleagues at

John Pielemeier

John Pielemeier at age 50 was TIC’d out in 1994 after a 24 year career as a project design and program officer, deputy and mission director.  Building on his years as a Peace Corps Volunteer and USAID FSO he then managed his own consulting practice, leading project design or evaluation teams in environment, health, and agriculture projects and providing management advice and training for USAID and a host of acronymical consulting firms. Areas of expertise included Conservation Trust Funds, Population-Health-Environment (PHE) projects, Landscape Conservation, global health programs (Child Survival, TB, HIV-AIDS) and regional environment programs in the Amazon and Congo Basins. In the early ­2000s he managed the TAACS program at CEDPA recruiting, training and backstopping senior and mid-level health and education specialists to work as USAID officers. He managed a dozen 2-week training programs on “How to Survive in USAID”, leading to his recruitment in 2004 as a USAID coach. Since then, John has primarily coached new health, agriculture, and Program/Project Development officers but also has coached environment, controller, and executive officers- 200 total to date. During the DLI orientation programs, John’s wife, Nancy Pielemeier, joined him in presentations to employees (and often their spouses) on “Two Career Couples and Raising Kids Overseas”. He and Nancy have recently downsized and are enjoying apartment living in Chevy Chase, MD. For UAA, John established and manages the Bibliography of USAID Authors and has interviewed 20 retirees for their Oral Histories.

Patricia Rader

Patricia Rader retired in 2018 after nearly 40 years with USAID. She started thinking about international development as an undergraduate and went to Fletcher School at Tufts University, which at the time had a new international development focus. This got her juices flowing and was the important first step in applying herself to a long and rewarding career in international
development, starting and ending as a Foreign Service officer with an interim period as a GS employee.

Patricia (center) with her son Max (left) and friend visits Tanzania Game Park.

Patricia expressed appreciation to USAID which provided the opportunity for her to work overseas and in Washington in both regional and central bureaus and allowed her to develop interest and expertise in a range of areas. She began as a project design officer in 1980 and her career path led her from project design and evaluation to broader policy formulation and analysis.

Patricia (center) and AFR/DP colleagues take a break during USAID conference in Nairobi.

While the bulk of Patricia’s development experience was in Africa, toward the end of her career she served as Mission Director in both Macedonia and Kosovo. Work in the newly established country of Kosovo was particularly compelling. The country’s leadership, including the President and Senior Ministers, were engaged and supportive of USAID’s efforts, as the U.S. Government had provided early and consistent support for Kosovo as it became an independent country. Morale in the USAID Mission was high; local staff were well educated and dedicated to strengthening local institutions and building citizens’ participation to promote an open, democratic country.

Liberia was a more familiar development challenge. The United States had long been a close ally to Liberia. This helped to foster unusually close cooperation between Liberians and USAID staff in designing and implementing USAID-funded projects.

During her retirement, Patricia enjoys spending time with family and friends.  Particularly rewarding is the reading and play time with her two young grandsons, Jonathan (1) and Caden (3½) who affectionately refers to her as “Gwak Gwak” (his word for Grandmother). Post-Covid, Patricia has been reconnecting with UAA and USAID friends and colleagues. She may be \contacted at

Stacy Rhodes


Stacy and Trish with kids, grandkids & pets at Chincoteague

Stacy was part of the UAA’s founding group, with the encouragement of then Administrator Henrietta Holsman Fore. After assisting in getting the UAA organized, ‘legalized,’ and initiating programs, Stacy has continued to be an active member, watching the UAA grow and help strengthen the Agency over the past ten years. Stacy has also served on several NGO boards in recent years, and is closely associated with Global Communities.page6image3032607632 page6image3032607936 page6image3032608240 page6image3032608544

Stacy was part of the UAA’s founding group, with the encouragement of then Administrator Henrietta Holsman Fore. After assisting in getting the UAA organized, ‘legalized,’ and initiating programs, Stacy has continued to be an active member, watching the UAA grow and help strengthen the Agency over the past ten years. Stacy has also served on several NGO boards in recent years, and is closely associated with Global Communities.

While it has been twenty years since formally retiring from USAID, Stacy feels like he never really left. He notes that most of his and Trish’s closest friends today were colleagues or friends they first met in one of their USAID postings overseas. “In many ways, the most satisfying part of a foreign service career with USAID is the personal part, the bonds you create with people you meet as colleagues, partners or host country counterparts. These links are amazingly strong and durable, formed quickly yet intensely through a shared commitment to doing something together to address poverty and social exclusion.”

Stacy and Trish today have retired to their ‘shore home’ in Chincoteague, Virginia, while maintaining a condo in Arlington. They recommend the slower lifestyle in a smaller town, dedicated more to kids, grandkids and friends. Having survived the pandemic and covid vaccinations, they welcome visits to Chincoteague by UAA colleagues for beach walks, bike rides, or just watching the ‘wild ponies’ that share the Island!”

Denny Robertson


After more than 20 years with USAID, Mission Director to the Caucasus Denny Robertson retired in 2007. He continued development work with private contractors and occasionally returned to USAID to act as Mission Director for Armenia and Brazil, as Director for the PEPFAR Office of HIV/AIDS and as Development Counselor in Bulgaria.

Denny decided to get back to his community development roots and applied to become a Peace Corps Country Director. He had served as a Volunteer in the Philippines in the 1970s and 35 years later in 2011, he returned as the Country Director. “The Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love” applies to being a Country Director as well as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Through his work in Peace Corps as an ‘old (er) guy,’ Denny is able to pursue one of his passions – teaching – in an applied context with hundreds of (mostly) young Americans on the road to global citizenship through volunteer service.  He especially loves the connection to the next generation, which keeps him on his technological toes.  He uses his interagency relationships to the advantage of the Peace Corps program – opening doors to Volunteers for future careers with State, USAID and the broader international development community.

Denny loves the fact that every day is a surprise whether helping volunteers during the good times of creating libraries in rural schools and organizing fisher folk to take responsibility for the environment or working through the bad times of typhoon “Haiyan”.  Denny is pleased that the Philippines was selected as a pilot country for placement of same-sex Peace Corps Volunteers – a sign of how far we have come in recognizing human rights for the LGBT community.

He plans to stay with Peace Corps a bit longer – and will soon move to Ukraine to re-start the program, which was temporarily suspended when hostilities with Russia broke out. Then he will take stock and see which doors mysteriously open as they have done in the past. Denny also plans to write about his overseas experiences once he retires from the Peace Corps.

Denny continues to admire the work of USAID and welcomes contact from old and new colleagues in USAID ( or

Gul A. Saleh

Dr.  Gul A Saleh and his family moved to the United States in 2014 from their home country Afghanistan. Prior to his arrival in the U.S., Dr. Saleh, an engineer, worked over ten years with USAID from 2003 to 2014 and with other international agencies on many construction projects. For example, he oversaw the USAID/Afghanistan $1 billion infrastructure that featured reconstruction of over 300 miles of Afghanistan’s heavily land-mined highway from Kabul to the center of Taliban activity in Kandahar. This construction program not only included road construction but also hundreds of new and rehabilitated schools and health clinics, all of which required in-person guidance and inspection. As a former USAID official recently said, “We respected Gul as a professional peer of ours, a man of demonstrated physical courage in the face of lethal situations and a patriot who loved his country and risked his life to see it develop.”

Dr. Saleh has been a key member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) for over eight years. He is a licensed Professional Engineer with a PhD in urban planning and design, a certified Project Management Professional, and has over 35 years of professional experience. Dr. Saleh has worked and/or studied in many countries, including Japan, Egypt, Thailand, India, Germany, Pakistan, and many more.

Before moving to the U.S., Dr. Saleh worked for over 30 years with international organizations, including USAID, but also the World Food Program and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Afghan Government. He also joined the United Nations Institute for Training and Research’s (UNITAR) Hiroshima Fellowship Afghanistan program as a Fellow and climbed his way up to becoming a Mentor, helping other Fellows from Iraq and Afghanistan. During these decades, he worked under many titles and with many organizations as he designed, developed, managed, and was consulted on countless engineering and environmental projects including much philanthropic work and humanitarian aid.

In the U.S., besides his regular work on building vital infrastructure benefiting millions of residents in the DMV area, he also continues his philanthropic and volunteer work and is currently not only a member of the ASCE, but also a Founding and Board Member of the Afghanistan Engineers’ Association. He is also an Executive Director for the Society of Afghan Engineers, a U.S.-based organization, and continues to serve as a volunteer U.N.-certified Trainer and Mentor for UNITAR/Afghanistan. Dr. Saleh continues his professional and personal endeavors as a Civil Engineer and an Afghan American.

Dr. Saleh and his wife Lailuma reside in Northern Virginia. Their seven children, who are completing or have completed their higher education, also reside in the area. He enjoys reading, walking, listening to music, home gardening, dining with friends, and playing with his children. They would welcome hearing from their friends and colleagues at

The Sands Family — Three Generations at USAID


This is a story of three generations of the Sands family – Fenton Sands Sr., Fenton Sands Jr., and Jamal Sands – who have been USAID foreign service officers since the inception of the Agency in 1961 and continuing today.

It all started with Fenton B. Sands Sr. who grew up as a poor child in Harlem, NY and, strangely enough, became an international agricultural expert who worked in or visited about 30 countries.  How did a city-boy from Harlem get into agriculture?  His childhood curiosity, after being awed by seasonal changes he saw in plants in the park outside his window, drove him to study agriculture.  That led to an overseas career with several international development organizations, beginning in the mid-1940s when he went to Liberia with his wife to start the agricultural school at Cuttington College. In fact, he worked for the International Cooperation Administration (ICA) in 1961 at the time it was re-established as USAID.  From 1960 to 1964, USAID assigned him to Sudan as a Horticulture Advisor. From there Fenton Sr. went on to work overseas with other agencies, and eventually retire from the World Bank in 1982. Another amazing fact about Fenton Sr. is he was a member of the historic Tuskegee Airmen who joined the 477th Bombardment Group in 1942 as a member of the first Navigator-Bombardiers.

The second generation, Fenton Sands Jr. who retired from USAID in 2007, grew up in Liberia, Nigeria, and Sudan (with his mother Dorothy and sisters Doy and Renee) and went to high school in both Egypt and Switzerland. Fenton Jr. inherited part of his gypsy-lifestyle from his parents – first following in his father’s footsteps by earning a degree in agricultural economics from Cornell University, the same university where his father got his PhD in agriculture.  After Fenton Jr.’s first job at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, his father’s career and Fenton Jr.’s experiences living overseas inspired him to join USAID as an IDI in 1976.  He initially served three years in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), then with his family (wife, Cynthia and sons Bemani and Jahmal) took a leave of absence from the Agency to go to Michigan State University for his doctorate degree.

Thereafter, he rejoined USAID and, with his family, headed off to Uganda in 1984.  His USAID career-odyssey continued for over 25 years from Uganda to Morocco, to Egypt, then Ghana, and briefly in Washington, DC before going to Guyana in 2005 as the USAID Mission Director. Since retiring, he’s done several international consultancies with USAID Missions in Ghana, Malawi, and Guyana.  He now lives with his wife Cynthia in Washington, DC.  When not working periodically, he enjoys doing creative things with his own extensive photographic collection and the one he inherited from his father.   Using the vast amount of information left by his father, Fenton Jr. documented his father’s life as a Tuskegee Airman and his very interesting international life in a self-published essay-photo book.

Although Fenton Sr. passed away in 1998, a third generational member of the Sands family, Jahmal Sands, continues the family legacy today as a USAID officer.  He worked with the Agency as a Civil Servant for several years before converting to the Foreign Service in 2018.  He is currently assigned to USAID/Egypt as a Deputy Executive Officer.  Jamal is in familiar territory, having graduated from Cairo American College during his father’s five-year posting at the same USAID Mission 22 years ago.  While Fenton Jr.’s other son, Fenton Bemani Sands, does not work overseas, he does work in the United States for another foreign affairs agency, the Department of State.

Clearly, the two generations after Fenton Sands Sr. were highly influenced by his courageous pioneering spirit and willingness to venture where few would think of going.  In particular, all three have been committed to applying their skills to benefit those in need all over the world as USAID officers have been doing since Fenton Sr. first did so when USAID started close to 60 years ago.


Satish Shah
Winner, 2014 UAA Alumni Award, Domestic Category

Satish Shah joined USAID as a Foreign Service National (FSN) in Kenya in 1962. After gaining U.S. citizenship he became a Direct Hire for USAID in 1977. He retired in 1994 with the rank of FEOC.

Since retirement Satish has been an active member of the Dallas Indian Lions Club. During his tenure as its treasurer, the Club raised over $60,000 to support several charities in India, Nepal, the Philippines and United States. He has been a co-leader of DILC’s monthly activity in McKinney, Texas, where about 150 homeless people are provided daily meals. He also participated in an eye care camp for school children. This year Satish serves as a member of the Donation Committee that reviews applications for donations to several organizations in India and the United States.

He is an active member of the Jain Society of North Texas, a faith-based organization with over 350 families as members. The organization provides religious education, conducts social and cultural activities and maintains facilities for Jain faith worshippers. Satish has served on the Board of Directors, leading the Facility Management Committee, which has been responsible for renovating an 18,000 square foot building that the Society purchased in 2010. Salish continues to provide technical support for the maintenance of facilities owned by the Society.

Satish developed and published a Directory of Oshawls living in Canada and the United States in 1996 and since then has updated it regularly for the benefit of about 500 families living in Canada and the United States who have immigrated to the U.S. from Kenya and India. He researched and wrote various sections of the book and also edited the final product. Satish was also a member of Finance Committee and Treasurer of a Home Owners Association in Plano, Texas.

Satish Shah’s work in the Dallas area seeks to build strength in the immigrant community and to facilitate their integration with the local population – while, importantly, maintaining links to community culture and building continuity with second and third generations.

Brother Dismas aka. Sean O’Leary

as told to Patrick Rader

In 1983, Sean O’Leary began working as a PSC Executive Officer for USAID/The Gambia. He served until 1996 when USAID closed due to a coup two years earlier. After serving in several Missions he was hired into the Executive Office of USAID/Kosovo. By Christmas 2003 Sean found himself on leave in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was there that he experienced a very real and powerful call to the eremitic (hermit) life.

He spent the next five years in The Gambia living as Brother Dismas, a hermit under the private vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and provided free medical care to the sick poor. Towards the end of that time, he went to see the Bishop of the diocese of Banjul to seek the status of canonical hermit.


After a two year application process, the Bishop called Brother Dismas to his office where he broke the news that he would be allowed to be consecrated and make his commitment publicly before the congregation of the Church where he had been worshiping. During the ceremony three years ago, the Bishop blessed his habit and accepted his final perpetual life vows and became known as Brother Dismas Mary of the Cross.

Brother Dismas is a Canonical Penitent Hermit of Divine Mercy in the Diocese of Banjul, The Gambia. As a hermit, his life is dedicated to penance, prayer, contemplation and work (caring for the sick poor who come to the hermitage daily). His personal rule of life is an adaption of the first order rule of St. Francis of Assisi, thus he has become an actual beggar in order to meet the needs of the people who come to the hermitage seeking medical help.

If you would like to contact Brother Dismas or help his cause, you may reach him at the coordinates below to learn more.

Nazareth Hermitage
c/o Catholic Secretariat
PO Box 165 Banjul, The Gambia
West Africa
cell: +220 373 1912
cell: +220 773 1912

David Shear

David ShearDuring his 22-years with USAID, colleagues considered David Shear an innovative development leader. He and Don Brown received the Rockefeller National Public Service Award in 1976 for their work on the creation of the Sahel Development Program and special legislation.

Upon retirement in 1984, David built on his USAID experience.  As a company executive, consultant and NGO leader, he has provided guidance to those dedicated to social and economic development in Africa.
He persuaded InterAction and its broad membership to support enactment of the African Recovery and Development Act in 1988 – the best legislative framework (DFA) within which USAID Africa missions were ever able to work.
In 1989, David used his extensive relationships in Senegal to mobilize broad local public, private support, and donor support, for the Agence d’Exécution des Travaux d’Intérêt Public contre le Sous-emploi (AGETIP) to generate investment in infrastructure and jobs for young people.
In 1999, the newly elected President of Nigeria asked for help in establishing an independent organization to provide economic development assistance in the Niger Delta.  David and Roy Stacy helped create the New Nigeria Foundation, a new entity independent of the federal government, which continues today and works with donor and private sector support, to foster community-based development activities.
In addition to his Africa activities, David guided General Electric as it restructured employment levels for its investments in Hungary, ensuring that equal attention was given to reemployment of those who were displaced and to network building with mayors and union officials, thus avoiding civil and political disruption.
He encouraged – and provided a framework for – the OECD to play a central role in guiding and coordinating the demobilization of 300,000 Russian Army officers, thus avoiding confusion as multiple donors began to provide funding for this purpose.  David also taught at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School for 8 years, arranging for students to get hands-on experience in economic development and conservation.  For the past 15 years, David has served as Chairman and member of the board of the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI).  Partnering with Jane Goodall, he helped coordinate with Tanzanian leaders and the World and African Development Banks to develop alternative transport routes and thus avoid construction of a major road through the Serengeti National Park.
Perhaps we should all be asking David to embark on a new path – could Congress use a new member from Virginia?  Skills learned during a USAID career could be very useful there!  And, since David is not slowing down, he may need some new challenges.
David lives in Alexandria with his wife, Barbara. They have two daughters: Jessica, a Michigan resident, and Liz Bredin, who lives in Bangkok with her foreign service husband and three children. David enjoys staying in contact with his USAID friends and can be reached at

Emmy B. Simmons

UAA Alumna of the Year 2023 for International Service

In telling her story to UAA, Emmy Simmons began at the end of her USAID career during her retirement party in 2005. There she was approached by an acquaintance from the university community to recruit her for membership on the Board of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).  Emmy reflected back to having first seen the IITA agricultural research center buildings under construction in Ibadan, Nigeria, around 1970, when she and her husband Roger Simmons were working at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria.

Emmy digressed from her story to note that both she and Roger became long-time USAID staffers by 1980 and tandem-coupled to several overseas postings between 1982 and 1997.  These included regional posts in Africa for Emmy with the Sahel Development Planning Team and REDSO/ESA and national mission positions for Roger in Mali and Kenya.  They were both assigned to Russia in late 1994 to close out the overseas postings.  Final assignments were in Washington.  Roger retired in 2000 while Emmy went on to become a Senate-confirmed, Presidential appointee as the Assistant Administrator for Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade in 2002.

Emmy reconnected to visit the fully operational IITA in 2006 and, at the same time, joining the Board of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) headquartered in Nairobi. She also worked with the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa as a consultant. These Board appointments and the Partnership work set the pace for Emmy’s retirement from USAID.  She has joined other boards, advisory committees, and panels over the years, staying immersed in issues of economic growth, agriculture, trade and nutrition.

Emmy shifted her focus from “food security” to the broader and more operational challenge of global food systems transformation in response to changes in the global context. She grew to believe that it is essential to look beyond the issues of hunger to the considerably broader issues of malnutrition in all its forms and the impact that nutritionally inadequate diets have on health. While acknowledging a diminishing engagement on boards, advisory committees, and panels as she ages, Emmy ruefully admitted that social media and the advent of professional Zoom calls and webinars have enabled her to stay involved with the issues to which she has devoted her career. Moreover, she found that she can inspire her Vinson Hall Retirement Community neighbors in McLean, Virginia, where she relocated during the covid pandemic, to care about crop biodiversity!

In February 2023, Emmy reveled in an in-person meeting of the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition held at Windsor Castle (see picture).  She stated, “It was terrific to discuss, argue, and laugh with experts in the field and to think about the food system challenges that will be addressed at the upcoming COP28.” Emmy stressed that food systems will need to adapt to climate change and changes in their operations – and food demand – will also be essential to mitigating emissions of the greenhouse gases that are driving it.  She added that she has many nieces, nephews, and young cousins who will be holding our generation responsible!

Emmy welcomes hearing from her USAID friends and colleagues. She may be contacted at

Keith Simmons

Simmons_Alumni_ProfileKeith Simmons served at USAID for 16 years, and retired as Minister-Counselor in the Senior Foreign Service. His long term overseas assignments included the Gambia, Niger, Angola, Armenia, and Serbia and Montenegro. He was USAID Mission Director in the last three countries. In Armenia and Serbia he was asked to be Acting Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge d’Affaires. He also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia and then as a Peace Corps Country Director in Bahrain and Yemen. In the private sector he was an Executive Vice-
President of a consulting firm working abroad on contracts for USAID, the WB and the ADB.

Since leaving USAID in 2007, Keith has been either re-hired or contracted to provide services as Acting Mission Director in Russia, Bosnia, Armenia, Cyprus, Albania, and Azerbaijan. He has also served as Acting Chief of Economic Development and Environment in Uganda. When he is home in Gold River California he spends time with his significant other Jelena Burgic, his daughter, grandson and extended family and friends, plays tennis, hikes in the Sierra Nevada Mountains including climbing Mt. Whitney last year. To remain engaged in international affairs Keith serves on the board of the World Affairs Council in Sacramento, continues engagement with the Armenian-American and Serbian-American Diasporas and has made numerous presentations related to International Development at universities and colleges.

Steven and Monica Knorr Sinding

Steve and Monica left USAID in 1990. After a year at the World Bank and the Experiment in International Living, respectively, they moved to New York, where Steve directed the population program at the Rockefeller Foundation for the next eight years and Monica became the secretary and head of external affairs at the Population Council. Monica left the Council in 1995 to get a degree in social work at Smith, and then worked for several years as a geriatric care manager. In 1999 Steve moved from Rockefeller to Columbia University where he taught public health and international development courses until 2002. In that year Monica and Steve moved to London where Steve served for the next four years as Director General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

They returned to the States in 2006 and moved to lovely Manchester, VT. Monica has been heading up the local Bennington County Habitat for Humanity chapter and the Green Mountain Academy for Lifelong Learning — an adult education organization. Steve is on the board of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England and the Manchester Music Festival. He also chairs the board of the UK-based International HIV/AIDS Alliance and serves on the boards of Abt Associates, the African Population and Health Research Center in Nairobi, and the Guttmacher Institute. Both find time for plenty of skiing and other outdoor sports pleasures. They welcome visits from USAID friends far and near.

Glenn Slocum 

Glenn S

Glenn Slocum in Taormina – Italy

As a 1969 USAID IDI, Glenn Slocum enjoyed a six-month, first-ever overseas tour in Pakistan, traveling around the country and visiting Afghanistan.  Although he spent most of his 28-year career serving in French-speaking Africa (Cameroon, Senegal, Mauritania and Burundi), as well as four years in Paris at the OECD Club du Sahel, he also worked in the Africa Bureau in Washington for five years in between overseas assignments.  His final USAID direct-hire service was in Washington, as Director of the Office of East Africa, following a year at the National War College.

After retiring in 1997, Glenn joined colleagues as the fourth partner to form Associates for Global Change (AGC), which engages in development work with a variety of private and public organizations.  In addition to the traditional development work in poor countries funded by donors, one unusual area of focus was corporate social responsibility in international extractive industries, such as oil and minerals.  With AGC, Glenn also had a number of assignments with USAID, including two major studies: one of the record of the Office of Transition Initiatives upon its 10-year anniversary in 2000, and the other a study to update a 1984 USAID policy paper on local organizations in development.
In 2009, he left AGC to accept a number of temporary assignments with USAID as acting director in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Mali and Cote d’Ivoire, in addition to consulting assignments in Ghana and West Africa Regional.  Since 2014, he has been a senior development adviser in the “firehouse” of the Crisis Surge Support Staff (CS3) in the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance.
In addition to his international traveling, Glenn enjoys a second home in Ocean City, Maryland.  With all the years he has spent working in and on Africa, he has deep personal ties to the continent.  He provides assistance through an NGO, the Fund for African Relief and Education (FARE), which provides assistance to needy Africans, in such areas as students’ tuition and related needs, and assistance to victims of conflict and natural disasters.
Glenn would enjoy hearing from his colleagues and can be reached at

Jonathan Sperling

Jonathan Sperling started with USAID in October 1966 and was in the crowd TIC’d out in 1994. For 24 years, he served as program officer in Kenya, Thailand, Liberia, Indonesia, Tunisia and Pakistan. Since retirement, he has consulted with missions on project design, evaluation, strategies, and program work. Experience in the Baltics, Caucasus, Balkans, South Asia, WB/G, Sri Lanka and Colombia served him well in preparing new entry folks for life at USAID. He has been coaching since 2001, suffering through myriad hiring mechanisms. If you want to be in touch with him email

Thomas H. Staal

In 1985, Tom Staal was between jobs when he heard about the devastation of the famine in East Africa, highlighted by the song, “We Are the World.” Tom had grown up overseas with missionary parents, studied International Affairs and worked for over six years in Saudi Arabia, but had no humanitarian or development experience. World Vision was opening an office in Sudan and looking for someone who had worked in an Arab, Muslim country. So, Tom was off to Khartoum working with World Vision, a non-governmental organization with funding from some U.S. Government agency which he had never heard of – USAID – to provide humanitarian assistance and, as conditions improved, village level development work.  After almost three years, World Vision was leaving Sudan, and Tom applied to replace his USAID counterpart, Kate Farnsworth, who was moving on to Addis. Thus, he became a USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance Personal Service Contractor (OFDA PSC) and began his USAID journey, from OFDA to Food for Peace Foreign Service Officer to Project Development Officer to General Development Officer and into management.

Having done both humanitarian assistance and “regular” development work, Tom was seized early with the need to better integrate rather than treat the two distinct interventions separately. As Mission Director for Ethiopia with large humanitarian and development portfolios, he led the development of a strategy – the first Mission to use the term “resilience” in its strategy — which integrated the efforts, building on the work done by his predecessor, Bill Hammink. Though Tom had higher-level positions in Washington, he said that he considered the Ethiopia position as the pinnacle of his career as a development professional. He was gratified to have had the opportunity to continue that integration effort as Deputy and Acting Assistant Administrator of the Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance Bureau.

Tom retired from USAID in 2019 and summed up his USAID experience: “One of the wonderful things about a USAID career is the chance to do a variety of activities in multiple countries. I had 17 different assignments, serving 20 years overseas and 11 years in Washington. Even going to a war zone in Iraq provided me learning opportunities, and the chance to visit my boyhood home in Basrah. But the best part of my USAID career was the wonderful people I interacted and worked with, all toward a cause of making the world a better place.”

Tom is an active UAA and DACOR member. He resides with his wife Ann in the Washington Metropolitan area and welcomes hearing from his friends and former colleagues at

Miles Toder


Miles Toder retired from USAID in 2019 after leading Democracy and Governance Offices in Zambia, Kosovo, Iraq and Indonesia, followed by Senior Management Group positions in Pakistan and Beijing for a total of 18 years. Before working directly with USAID, he served as a chief of party for U.S funded initiatives in Afghanistan, Poland, and Zimbabwe; and provided technical assistance to the United Nations Development Program and Asian Development Bank. His international career was built on ten years of U.S. experience researching, teaching, and applying strategic planning tools and techniques at the state and local levels in Wisconsin, Michigan and Florida.

Miles managed to juggle work, family and fun through tennis, squash, golf and horseback riding. His wife Jeanine, an English as Second Language teacher, joined him abroad and taught in the international schools or served as a Community Liaison Officer at our embassies in Indonesia and Beijing. His two daughters grew up and attended schools in Peshawar, Islamabad, Warsaw, Lusaka and Harare before returning to the United States and careers far afield from international development, but enriched by experiences and friendships made abroad.

Miles is most proud of the some work he helped lead, including the following:

  • Rebuilding Afghan agriculture after the Soviet’s departure and before the Taliban’s rise in the mid-1990s;
  • Assistance in public finance to Poland as it prepared to join the European Union;
  • Establishment of alternative dispute resolution in Zambia as an adjunct to its court system;
  • Advising the first multi-party Parliament in Zimbabwe on establishing oversight of the Executive branch;
  • Assistance to Kosovo with its Constitution and ethnic reconciliation processes;
  • Return of governance functions to elected Iraqi leaders in Anbar Province;
  • Improving agricultural research, technology, and agribusiness in Pakistan’s Punjab Province; and
  • Partnering with allies, especially Japan and Korea, in mitigating the negative impacts of Chinese foreign aid and development finance.

Miles was grateful for the extraordinary USAID people he served with, especially the FSNs and new officers with whom he worked and helped advance their careers.  After retirement and joining the UAA Membership Committee, he returned to USAID to assist the Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance Center, support the cadre of development professionals around the world, and help recruit new officers.  With the ending of this appointment, Miles has returned to his domestic roots as an urban planner. He now serves on the board of his home-owners association in Sarasota, Florida and represents his and adjacent communities with the County and its Planning Commission.


Dianne Tsitsos

DTDianne Tsitsos retired from USAID in 2003 as a Senior Foreign Service Officer, Director of the Europe &Eurasia Program Office. Her last overseas assignment was as Mission Director in Armenia, following a stint as Deputy Mission Director for the Central Asian Republics. In an earlier Washington assignment, she was in charge of the Russia Desk, and prior to that she was a Housing Officer, serving as Division Chief for Urban Development and Housing in the new ENI Bureau. Earlier in her career she was deputy Director and then Director of the RHUDO for Central America and a Housing Officer in Sri Lanka.
After retiring to Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, she worked for FXM Associates, a small consulting firm owned by an old friend, where she focused on local and regional economic development projects for a wide variety of public and private sector clients. After 5 years of this, she panicked at the thought of never doing international work again and fled to short-term USAID assignments, mainly in the former Soviet states, but also in Morocco, her first overseas post.  After about 5 years of this, the travel became too onerous to bear, so she stopped work for an entire year, undertaking no volunteer or other socially useful activities. Then her old friend and former employer lost staff and dragged her back to work, which she accepted on the condition it involve no human interaction. On that basis she has been happily employed part-time at FXM. Friends who said she was the only person they knew who, when on her deathbed, would say she regretted not spending more time at the office, are vindicated.
She enjoys home life with husband Rick Ernst, who also continues to undertake consulting assignments, their two dogs, and three cats. Dianne is active with UAA and is a member of the 2016 Awards Committee.  She also serves on the Town Democratic Committee as Treasurer and is a new member of the Town’s Tree Committee.  In addition, she relishes working around the house, gardening and reading.  Although travel  -mainly to Europe since Rick was born in  Germany ­- is certainly a part of her life,  her bucket list contains only books.
She is happy to be contacted at or (508) 758-1308

Barbara Turner


Barbara Turner left USAID in 2005 after spending over 30 years as a Civil Service Officer with USAID, rising through the ranks from an Administrative Assistant and Secretary to Senior Executive Service positions as Deputy Assistant Administrator.  During these years she took leave of absences to complete a Master’s Degree in Public Health and spend 2 years at the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, always returning to USAID.  When she left USAID in 2005, she received a U.S. Government wide career service award from the Partnership for Public Service.
But, she could not leave the draw of development work and since 2005 has focused on her roots in public health, serving as President of University Research Co., LLC (URC).  URC has health programs in 40 countries around the world, including in the U.S. where they work with immigrant populations, particularly migrant farm workers on health and social services.  It is an interesting merger of domestic and international lessons.
Barbara is also engaged with a number of women’s groups supporting women moving up the professional ladder.  Snorkeling in the clear waters of the Florida Keys and the Gulf of Mexico has always attracted Barbara and she is spending increasing time in Florida these days, including condo shopping.  Lately, shelling on the barrier islands off Sanibel, Florida in the Gulf of Mexico is a new interest.  Something with warm water is a likely next career stop.

Ann Van Dusen

AVanDusen_ProfileAnn Van Dusen left USAID at the beginning of 2001 to be Executive Vice President of Save the Children in Westport, Connecticut with the certainty that this would be the next step in her move northward toward her beloved Vermont. Three years later she was back in Washington, getting reacquainted with this wonderful and exciting city and its preoccupation with all things political. The next few years were a wonderful combination of new adventures – philanthropy (both NGO Board work and consulting with foundations); political campaign activity (after years of being “Hatched” it was a total revelation); and teaching graduate classes at Georgetown and SAIS. And yes, occasional trips to Vermont!

In 2011, Carol Lancaster, Dean of Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, made Ann an offer she couldn’t refuse: come to Georgetown and design a new, practitioner-oriented Master’s graduate program in Global Human Development that addresses the knowledge and skills required of development practitioners in the 21st century. Oh yes, and get the program up and running in short order. Along the way, Ann consulted with many USAID alums and colleagues who have offered not only sound advice but also internships for students, guest lectures, and teaching (USAID faculty include Steve Radelet, Holly Wise, Maureen Lewis. Carol Lancaster and David Sprague). Lest anyone doubt it, Ann is ready to testify that the USAID alumni community is vibrant and generous! And the first Masters class in Global Human Development graduates In May 2014.

Ronald Venezia


After 30 years of USAID, Ronald F. Venezia retired to form an international consulting firm – Ronald F. Venezia Associates, Inc. As a subcontractor he provided services to the World Bank (WB) as a certified procurement advisor to WB activities in the former Soviet Union (1994-2000), and as director and advisor to Abt Associates for projects funded by the US Department of Labor (USDOL).

Ron served as Project Director for six-country Central American Occupation and Health Improvement project (2000-2003). This project provided training on occupational safety and health (OSH) to the region’s labor ministries, trained trainers in various civil society organizations and developed tools for apparel factories to learn the actual return on OSH investments. The toolkit was translated into Korean. The project’s own steering committee solicited and received funding from other donors after DOL funding ended.

Ron served as a subcontractor to Abt Associates in the design and implementation of another USDOL funded project for modernization of Labor Inspection Services in Central America and the Dominican Republic (2004-2010). The passage of the United States-Central America – Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) focused attention on the region’s labor inspection services. Ron possessed a unique insight into the dynamics of the labor inspection services. When the USDOL sought bids on CAFTA-DR project, Ron proposed that Abt Associates and the Costa Rican Foundation for Democracy (FUNPADEM) submit a joint proposal administered in FUNPADEM’s San Jose offices. They agreed. Ron oversaw the development of the project, which independent evaluators gave high marks.

Ron was cited as a “visionary”. Due to its success, the project received additional funding and was extended twice for a total of seven years and total financing of $23 million.

Ron’s provided near and long term vision for increasing the capacity of the labor ministries of the region, ultimately benefiting the citizens of six developing countries, and supporting US policy objectives. His photo also testifies to Ron’s long term vision.  It was taken during a visit to the Compalapa Credit Coop that he founded in Guatemala as a PCV in 1964. The Coop now has over 8000 clients and over $3 million in savings.

In 1996 Ron was asked to participate in the Department of State Oral History project. (see Ron retired from development consulting in 2012. He was a finalist for the 2014 UAA Alumni of the Year award. He would welcome hearing from his colleagues at

Paul and Kathleen Vitale
Winners, 2016 UAA Alumni Award

Paul and Kathleen Vitale are this year’s winners of the UAA’s Alumni of the Year award in the international category, a first for a USAID couple. They work together to document traditional hand-woven Mayan textiles, save the weaving techniques threatened with extinction in war-torn Guatemala, and highlight the weavers.  It is an exemplary partnership, utilizing the talents and skills of both to the benefit of people whose contributions to world culture might otherwise be lost.
In 2001 they inherited a collection of hand woven textiles from Kathleen’s mother, which led them to travel to some of the most remote and dangerous corners of Guatemala to record the disappearing skills and products of traditional Mayan weavers. Their NGO, “Endangered Threads Documentaries,” promotes the videos they have made on these weavers, publicizes the traditional weaving techniques, and raises funds to cover costs. Their work has been recognized by the American Association of Anthropology and shown at museums in San Francisco, San Jose, Berkeley, Seattle, Denver, Urbana, Providence, Miami, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Guatemala City.
Paul and Kathleen Vitale’s international work began when they both volunteered for the Peace Corps in 1963. Paul’s degree in city planning led to work in community development in Ecuador and self-help housing in Peru. Kathleen, with a background in art history, also taught and worked with local artisans. A 25-year USAID career followed, for Paul, focusing on urban and community development in Ecuador, Brazil, Peru, and Washington. Meanwhile, Kathleen turned to writing and photography, working and traveling in Ecuador, Peru and Brazil, and in the states becoming a prize-winning journalist in Reston, VA.
Family was also a big part of their activities, with three lively children, Grant, Beth, and Micaela.  Children figured prominently in Kathleen’s overseas work as she helped in the adoption of homeless children in Quito by American and European families, including Grant and Micaela in their own home.  She also found time to teach history and geography at a local school.
After retirement, Paul worked as an adjunct professor at the University of Oregon, leading seminars on world urbanization. After stints in journalism, Kathleen worked for IBM until moving to Oregon where she made training videos for docents at the University of Oregon Museum of Art and produced documentaries on American and Chinese artists. The couple moved to California in 2000, for family reasons, where they inherited their textile collection and began their mission to highlight Mayan weavers and give back to the Maya their ancient history of being superb textile artists by putting all their documentary work on Youtube.

Elzadia Washington


Elzadia in red sweater harvesting turnips with students from the Academics of West Memphis

Drawing on her roots in rural Arkansas, Elzadia “Zee” Washington started her career with USAID as an Agriculture Development Officer.  In her 30 plus years with USAID, she served in multiple positions, lived and worked in 8 countries – Mali, Belize, Cameroon, Egypt, Haiti, Uganda, Philippines and ended her career as a Mission Director in Namibia.    When asked which was her favorite country, her response is always the same – “don’t have one, each Post provided experiences my family and I will always cherish.”

When Elzadia retired in 2013 and relocated to Memphis, Tennessee, it was the first time in years that she, her husband and three daughters all lived on the same continent.   Upon retirement, Elzadia had two dream jobs. The first was to continue to work in disaster management, which came to fruition when she signed a five-year (annually renewed) PSC contract with OFDA to serve intermittently in response to humanitarian emergencies and disasters.  Prior to retiring, Elzadia brought 10 acres of land adjacent to her family farm located near West Memphis, Arkansas to fulfill her second dream: to build an 8-bedroom B&B on the land with each bedroom featuring a country she had lived in.    That has yet to happen, but she has taken up farming.    Today, she is the proud owner and manager of a 6-acre vegetable farm that produces high-quality, naturally grown vegetables for consumers at affordable prices.   Theinitial start-up phase involved lots of adaptability and experimentation, however, the second year has been a more settled phase – stable production cycles and less product variability.
Given the importance of agriculture in the Mid-South Delta Region and the need to increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, Elzadia has teamed up with the Academics of West Memphis to host an afterschool program for high school students entitled ” Let’s Move – Protect our Agricultural Heritage.”  The students are learning how food is grown, the importance of healthier eating and are acquiring an appreciation for farm life.  Her hope is that they will share this knowledge with family members and those in their communities.  Given her passion for the agriculture sector, Elzadia is also hoping that her students will develop a love for and seek careers in agriculture, environment, natural resources management or the food industry.
In addition to other accomplishments, Elzadia is actively engaged in the UAA Mentoring Program focused on her mentee’s needs and interests.  Elzadia is the president of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) local alumni chapter and also is a member of the UAPB Global River Basin Imitative Advisory Council, where she provides a global perspective to the higher education experience.  Friends may reach Elzadia 

                Leon S. “Skip” Waskin

Skip first retired from USAID at the end of 2010, but after two years as Senior Vice President for Stabilization and Development for Pax Mondial Group – an incredible learning experience with other donor organizations such as DFID and EU — he was lured back to USAID in 2012. A four-month assignment to Pakistan was extended to almost six years as Skip next headed the Karachi provincial office, then assumed the role of Embassy’s Assistance Coordinator.

After leaving Pakistan and USAID service in 2018, Skip joined DevTech Systems as its Senior Director for Operations. The work there keeps him in close contact with the Agency, including supervising the company’s contracts with USAID missions in Nigeria and Zambia. His work for DevTech has taken him to London, Abuja, back to Pakistan, and to Oslo where he participated in a U.S. Institute of Peace sponsored conference.

All Skip’s work and travel are made possible by the love and support of his wife Oyuntsetseg, whom he met while she was working on a USAID-funded project in Mongolia. Oyunaa, as she is known to everyone, is an amazingly talented professional portrait artist whose work has been displayed in galleries such as the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria. Oyunaa painted the portrait of Skip shown here.

Skip and Oyunaa are the very proud parents of two adult sons and a 12-year old daughter. They reside in Burke, and divide their time between there and Staunton, Virginia, where their daughter attends school. In Skip’s words, “The two joys of my life have been my family and my work in international development. I have been incredibly fortunate.”
He welcomes hearing from former USAID friends and colleagues at

Jerry Wein

Post retirement from USAID, Jerry Wein spent years working with development “.orgs” while remaining in McLean, Virginia. That nonsense ended three years ago when he and his wife, Martita Marx, pulled up roots and moved to their new home in God’s country called Bend, Oregon. Lifestyle changed but the pace of daily life has not. They volunteer in a free health clinic serving the uninsured, play lead roles in reducing wildfire risk in their heavily forested community, travel the Northwest, ski, and hike with fantastic panoramas provided free of charge. They have enjoyed sharing the Central Oregon-Cascades area with about 35 sets of houseguests. Jerry and Martita return several times a year to the DC area to see family and friends. When they yearn for a taste of the international scene they board a plane, most recently for a month split between Barcelona and Paris. Jerry can be contacted at

Mark Wentling

Mark Wentling continues building on 50 years of humanitarian service that began in 1967 as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras and Togo. Since arriving in Togo in 1970, he has been dedicated to working for the betterment of Africa. His work and travels over the past 46 years have taken him to all 54 African countries. He says he was born and raised in Kansas but made in Africa.

Following stints as Peace Corps Director in Gabon and Niger, he began working for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Niger in 1977, and served as USAID’s principal officer in Guinea, Togo/Benin, Angola, Somalia and Tanzania. He was promoted into the Senior U.S. Foreign Service in 1988.

Since his formal retirement from USAID in 1996, he worked under contract as USAID’s Senior Advisor for the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa and as a specialized consultant in Malawi, Senegal, South Africa and Zambia. He also served as USAID’s country manager in Niger and Burkina Faso in the 2006 to 2010 period.

Mark has also applied his extensive development experience to Non­Governmental Organizations (NGOs), CARE and World Vision, in Niger and Mozambique. In his last position with World Vision, he covered all of Africa from his base in Maputo and worked in a number of African countries. In 2011, he accepted a position as Country Director for Plan International in Burkina Faso. In 2015, he moved with his family to Lubbock, Texas where he assisted Breedlove Foods, a producer of humanitarian relief foods, and taught an honors course in international development at Texas Tech University. Most recently, he began working as a senior agricultural advisor with USAID’s West Africa Regional Mission in Accra, Ghana.

Mark was honored in 2014 with Wichita State University’s annual alumni achievement award. He’s also a graduate of Cornell University and the National War College. He has published three books … his African Trilogy…and numerous professional articles. The publication of his fourth book, Dead Cow Road ­ Life on the Front Lines of an International Crisis,” is forthcoming this year. He likes learning about other cultures and speaks a number of languages: French, Spanish, Portuguese, Ewe, Hausa and Kiswahili. He tries to reside as much as possible in Lubbock with his wife and three of his seven children. He plans to continue working as much as he can for as long as he can. Mark wishes to be known as a father, a humanitarian, an author and a teacher, and as someone who has a good and generous heart.

Paul White

WhiteDuring his long career with USAID, Paul White thrived during assignments in remote areas working with indigenous communities. In the process he learned six languages and became skilled at partnering with NGOs and local government. After retirement, he became involved with Toastmasters International, which trains and encourages members to develop their skills in public speaking. Not surprisingly, Paul used the familiar material of his far-flung USAID experience for his early speeches. His early speeches featured development success stories from around the world, as well as in specialized areas such as HIV/AIDS, family planning, appropriate technology, etc.  In no time, he was a skilled promoter of USAID and foreign aid.

As Paul came to appreciate the communications and leadership benefits of membership in Toastmasters, he turned to helping the organization expand and diversify its membership to include non-English speaking members in the US. He rose through the ranks to become the District Governor of the 10th largest Toastmasters district in the world and chartered almost 100 new clubs throughout the Washington DC area.  He also introduced the first bilingual clubs in the region, including Spanish-English, Chinese-English and Spanish-English.

Then using his Asian cultural affinity and fluency in Lao, Cambodian and Thai, Paul launched an effort to expand Toastmasters into new parts of Southeast Asia. After extensive travel in the region, he helped create new clubs and organized a new District including Laos, Cambodia and Thailand.

In recognition of his successful efforts, Paul received the organization’s highest honor, a rare Presidential Citation, at the Toastmasters International Convention in 2013 (see photo). Last summer he also traveled to Myanmar to launch a new Toastmasters program there. Today Paul feels that he is using the experience and skills he developed while at USAID “in perhaps smaller but every bit as important ways to help make our world a better place.”

Paul was nominated for the UAA Alumni of the Year award last year by Joan Silver.  Although he was not ultimately one of the finalists, his post-retirement activities are indeed inspiring in terms of new ways to build on past experiences and explore volunteer service with new organizations – in this case one with both local and global impact.

Stephen Wingert

Steve Wingert began his international development career in 1968 as a Peace Corps Volunteer assisting a USAID funded rice cooperative in Guatemala. After three years as a PCV he was contracted by USAID to design and manage its agricultural cooperative and credit union projects. At the time most USAID equipment and many of its forms were still labeled “ICA,” from USAID’s predecessor International Cooperation Administration. His coworkers dated back to the years of Truman’s Point IV program. Few current USAID employees are familiar with the blue mimeographed PIO/Ts and PIO/Cs that preceded (by several generations) MAARDS and GLAAS.

Steve Wingert photo at Morgans Cay

As a USAID Foreign Service Officer Steve served in Bolivia, Honduras, LAC Washington, Guatemala, and ended his career as Mission Director in Costa Rica. Since retiring in 1995 Steve has successfully completed over 100 consulting assignments in 29 countries, with work in Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. He has focused on assisting USAID Missions with strategic planning, program design, monitoring and evaluation, implementation, and organizational strengthening. As an example, he recently completed an assignment to assess the impact of the USAID/South Africa program by applying the criteria of aid effectiveness from the Paris Declaration and USAID Forward. In 1997 he created his own consulting firm, Wingerts Consulting, and has a roster of over 100 consultants, mainly USAID retirees, who have agreed to work with the firm on appropriate assignments.

Many USAID officers and retirees know of Steve because in 1980 he and his family purchased Morgans Cay, a small island near Utila in the Bay Islands of Honduras. Steve and his wife Marilee spend three months a year at the Cay, where the accompanying photo of Steve was taken. He is able to manage his consulting business from the Cay with a high speed internet connection. Others know of him because his daughter Anya Glenn and her husband Ted Glenn are both USAID Officers,currently stationed in Kinshasa. Marilee Wingert does volunteer work managing a scholarship program and provides other assistance for a woman’s organization in a small Mayan village in Guatemala made up of widows from three decades of conflict in that country. Their son Jeremy also works in the public sector as a multi-state corporate auditor for the State of California.

Ken and Vivian Yamashita

Ken Yamashita completed his third journey in development when he retired from USAID in December 2016, his previous journeys being completion of a PhD in public health from Johns Hopkins in 1980 and serving as a senior staff of a contractor.  His 27-year career with USAID

page3image3678251248included overseas assignments in Latin America, Africa, Europe and Eurasia, and Asia. He served as Mission Director in Kosovo, Colombia, and Afghanistan. Following Afghanistan, he returned to Washington where he was detailed to the Peace Corps as an appointee of the Obama Administration, serving initially as Regional Coordinator for the Americas and later Director for Global Operations. Ken considers this last assignment as the icing on the cake of a rewarding career. He feels humbled, honored and privileged to have served in the Administration of the first African American President of our country. Ken left Peace Corps and retired, feeling very optimistic about the future of our foreign affairs, as he saw first-hand the tenacity and resilience, the creativity and patience, and above all the compassion and humanity of the field staff of USAID and State, and the staff and Volunteers of Peace Corps.

The first three years of Ken’s retirement were busy settling into their new home, caring for aging parents, and supporting Mission leadership in the LAC region. At the behest of the LAC region, Ken served as an executive mentor and coach for Mission Directors and Deputy Directors. He traveled to several countries and worked closely with the leadership teams to improve communications, leadership skills, and interagency coordination. Ken believes that an essential ingredient to successful mentoring is to provide timely feedback, so being on the ground and in real time were essential.

As he embarks on his fourth year of retirement, Ken looks forward to connecting with regions of the United States that he has never visited. His next journey will be to get to know America, and of course, to spend lots of quality time with his family: His wife of 40 years Viviana, their daughter Yuri, their son Seiji, his wife Joanie, and their children, Aodhan and Liam. Ken considers that their extended family is more than a blend of Japanese, Cuban, and Irish; it is an American family.

Ken and Viviana welcome hearing from their UAA friends. They may be contacted at

Frank Young

As Frank Young recounts in his book, “47 Aerogrammes: A Passage Through India,” living in South India in the late 1960s inflamed his passion to work in development. But the journey to that profession took many detours including living in Taiwan, serving as legislative aide to a California congressman, and an internship with the Culinary Institute of America. He joined USAID in 1976 and was told he would go to Africa and the country Yemen. That suggested it would be an interesting career. It didn’t involve Yemen, but included the Philippines, India, Bangladesh and, finally, Ghana as Mission Director.

During his overseas tours, Frank found opportunities to pursue his second love, theater. He joined the Manila Theater Guild and starred in its production of “Grease,” performed in “Bye Bye Birdie” in New Delhi, and in Ghana played the “dame” in British pantomime productions at Christmas with the British Players.

Retirement proved elusive. After a two-year stint teaching at the National War College and a year as DAA/Africa, he left USAID in 2005. He spent four years in the private sector but returned to USAID as Acting AA/Asia in early 2010, joining George Laudato (AA/ME) and Janet Ballantyne (AA/LAC) as the old-timer’s triumvirate amidst the new leadership at USAID. After stints with the Development Leadership Initiative program, Foreign Service Institute, and Inspector General’s office at State, Frank left government in 2014.

In 2016, he left Bethesda with his wife, Pat, a retired Canadian FSO, for Sarasota, Florida. It was a difficult choice, because they left behind Frank’s daughter, her wife and their newborn grandson. In a busy retirement, he joined the board of the Sarasota World Affairs Council for two years, worked as poll watcher for three elections, mentored deputy mission directors for UAA, and then joined the Board of the Foreign Service Retirees Association of Florida, serving as its Chair in 2022. He still serves on that Board and enjoys leading Great Decisions seminars and talking on foreign policy topics at Osher Institute’s Ringling College. While not in Sarasota enjoying the city’s arts scene, he and Pat spend summers in Canada where their son lives, visiting their grandson and daughter in Ellicott City, MD on the way. He and Pat still travel, journeying to new parts of the world on a quest to join the “century club” (100 countries). They would welcome hearing from friends and colleagues at

Marilyn Zak

From an early age, Marilyn Zak’s parents recognized and accepted that her dream was to see the world.  After receiving bachelors and master’s degrees in international business administration and economics from the University of Washington, she spent a year in the private sector before joining USAID to follow that dream.  Her USAID career assignments provided excellent opportunities, and her accomplishments grew!

In her first assignment as international trade assistant in the Controller’s Office, Marilyn soon discovered one person at a company was falsely signing two different names.  Marilyn developed the legal case, which the Agency won and granted Marilyn the first of many awards.

After overseas assignments in Indonesia and Paraguay followed by assignment in the LAC Bureau new Office of Social and Civil Development, she was intrigued by and accepted an offer from the State Department’s Inspector General of Foreign Assistance to assume responsibility for Haiti.  She soon discovered that the U.S. Government was not dealing with civil society, thus resulting in a disconnect between what the majority of Haitians thought and that of Haitian officials and their American counterparts.  After the IG reported a multitude of serious problems, the IG’s Office was abolished.

For Marilyn, it meant a new assignment as Senior Policy Adviser for Human Rights, a new USAID program.  One of her proudest achievements there was development of a standard constitution for use by developing countries moving toward democracy.

She then attended the War College, the first female to do so, and was asked to teach there the following year.  This led to USAID using the War College to move up women from their traditional roles to higher management.

Following Deputy Director assignments to the Caribbean Affairs Office and the Jamaica Mission, Marilyn was selected as Mission Director to the Dominican Republic where she and her staff developed and implemented an election assistance program that resulted in the country’s most honest election just two years after its most fraudulent.

As Mission Director to Nicaragua, she led the design and implementation of a major emergency program that helped over 800,000 people recover from Hurricane Mitch.  A key Presidential election followed, and Marilyn used her election expertise and experience to develop and direct a program that ensured free and fair elections in 2001 with high voter turnout and unchallenged results.

Marilyn was active in establishing the Women’s Action Organization (WAO) of State, USAID and USIA and served as USAID Board Member.  WAO helped finance a class action suit against State, alleging discrimination against women’s assignments.  After years, they won. WAO-USAID analyzed USAID’s data and widely publicized WAO’s Profile of Women in USAID, after much research found a number of discriminatory policies.  An Equal Employment Opportunity Board was reestablished.

With her dream of seeing the world accomplished and her work in human rights, democracy, elections and women empowerment bearing fruit, Marilyn retired from USAID.  She continues to enjoy traveling and writing on many subjects.  She enjoys hearing from many UAA members and USAID friends from her home.