Ballantyne, Janet C. and Maureen Dugan. (2012). 50 Years in USAID: Stories from the Front Lines. Arlington, VA: Arlington Hall Press.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the U.S. Agency for International Development, the editors reached out to all agency staff, alumni and administrators to seek their thoughts on serving with USAID. This collection of 115 brief essays submitted in response to that invitation, organized by decade, is a volume in the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training Memoirs and Occasional Papers Series.
Chetwynd, Eric and William R. Miner 2016). Pioneering Urban Development Policies and Programs in USAID: A History of the Office of Urban Development (1970-1982).
In 1970, responding to increasing concern with rapid urbanization in developing countries, USAID launched a process leading to the first Agency-wide policy to address this issue. Bill Miner and Eric Chetwynd were directly involved in that process and have just completed a manuscript for publication, Pioneering Urban Development Policies and Programs in USAID (1970-1982). The book is in two parts; the first deals with the policy and program development process and the second with project development and field applications. Each chapter takes a hard look not only at the paths to success, but also the lessons learned along the way. The authors consider not only what happened, but also conjecture about what might have been done differently. In the final chapter, conclusions and lessons learned overall are presented with suggestions that could have useful implications for today’s urban development challenges.
Eric Chetwynd started his career at USAID in 1962 as Asia Overseas Intern then spent six years in Indonesia and Korea. After completing his PhD studies at Duke 1968-70 he returned to USAID, along with Bill Miner from Brandeis, to help produce an Agency Policy in Urban Development, establish the Office of Urban Development and then direct that office for 12 years. He retired from USAID in 1992 and affiliated with the Center for International Development Research, Sanford Institute of Public Policy at Duke and did independent consulting. Eric is currently living, playing and volunteering in Pittsboro, NC and Swan’s Island, ME.
Bill Miner was the first director of the Office of Urban Development. Bill graduated from Hiram College and the University of Michigan. After working in Detroit, he advised the government of Liberia as a UN expert before joining USAID in 1960. He returned to complete his Ph.D. at Brandais University. He served in USAID/Kenya and AFR before helping to establish and then manage the USAID Office of Urban Development.
Ali Ezzatyar (2016). The Last Mufti of Iranian Kurdistan: Ethnic and Religious Implications in the Greater Middle East, Palgrave Macmillan Press.
ISBN 978. 1-137-56525-9.
“A scholarly treat, and food for political thought, as well,” is how Tomas W. Simons Jr., a former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan and the author of Islam in a Globalizing World (2003), describes this book built around a biography of Iranian Kurdish leader Ahmad Moftizadeh (1933-1993). An unlikely Islamic scholar, Moftizadeh was an orthodox Sunni Muslim who was comfortable with the notion of Kurdish nationalism and at the same time socially progressive and devoutly nonviolent. A leader of Iran’s Kurdish population during the Iranian Revolution, he cooperated at first with the new regime until it began reneging on promises to the Kurds.
The detailed chronicle of Moftizadeh’s life and work, based on personal interviews and rare documentation in both Kurdish and Farsi, gives an insider’s view of the complex spiritual and political life of Iranian Kurds under the shahs and in the Islamic Republic. In the final section, the author discusses the evolution of Kurdish nationalism, arguing that Kurds have a uniquely constructive role to play as allies of the West in the broader region.
Ali Ezzatyar is a Foreign Service officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development. He is currently posted in Tel Aviv, having previously served as resident legal officer in the Office of the USAID Mission Director in Pakistan. Prior to his diplomatic career, he practiced law at various firms and served as executive director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Develop Postales Salvadorenas del Ayer ment in the Middle East at the University of California, Berkeley.
Grant, Stephen H. (2006). Peter Strickland: New London Shipmaster, Boston Merchant, First Consul to Senegal. Washington, DC: New Academia Publishing.
In 1883, the State Department appointed Peter Strickland as U.S. consul in Gorée Island, Senegal. He was the first American diplomat to work in West Africa, a major French colonial area. Strickland would remain in Senegal for more than a quarter of a century.
Stephen H. Grant’s interest in Strickland was sparked after purchasing an envelope on eBay that had been sent from Boston via Bordeaux to Strickland at Gorée Island in 1889. Strickland kept meticulously detailed diaries, which help to show how the duties of a 19th-century consular office differ from today’s. Instead of issuing visas and replacement passports, the main objective of Strickland and his contemporaries was to “monitor and facilitate American shipping abroad and … to look out for the welfare of American seamen.” Strickland sent 272 dispatches to the State Department in his 23 years as consul, trying to inform the U.S. diplomatic and commercial communities about the benefits of trade with Africa.
Stephen H. Grant served for 25 years with USAID and was posted in the Ivory Coast, El Salvador, Indonesia, Egypt, West Africa and Guinea. He is the author of Peter Strickland: New London Shipmaster, Boston Merchant, First Consul to Senegal (New Academia, 2006), as well as three books that use old picture postcards to recount social history.
Mr. Grant is currently a senior fellow at the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training. This book is part of the ADST-DACOR Diplomats and Diplomacy Series.
Grant, Stephen H. (2014). Collecting Shakespeare: The Story of Henry and Emily Folger. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
In Collecting Shakespeare, Stephen H. Grant recounts the American success story of Henry and Emily Folger of Brooklyn. Shortly after marrying in 1885, the Folgers began buying, cataloging and storing all manner of items about the Bard of Avon and his era. Emily earned a master’s degree in Shakespeare studies. The frugal couple financed their hobby with the fortune Henry earned as president of Standard Oil Company of New York, where he was a trusted associate of John D. Rockefeller. While several universities offered to house the couple’s collection, the Folgers wanted to give it to the American people. On Capitol Hill, the Folger Shakespeare Library welcomes more than 100,000 visitors a year and is also a vibrant cultural center for plays, concerts, lectures and poetry readings. The library provided Stephen H. Grant with unprecedented access to the primary sources within the Folger vault. He also drew on interviews with surviving Folger relatives, and visits to 35 related archives in the United States and in Britain.
Klaits, Alexander and Gulchin Gulmamadova-Klaits. (2006). Love and War in Afghanistan. Seven Stories Press.
Love and War in Afghanistan presents true stories of fourteen ordinary women and men who were then living in Northeastern Afghanistan. Young lovers who elope against the wishes of their kin; a mullah whose wit is his only defense against his armed captors; a defector from the Soviet army; a woman who is forced to stand up to gangsters in Tajikistan, their dramatic stories emerge in their own words. Whether in the sudden awakening of mercy in a Taliban militiaman, the lingering contempt of a woman for her husband’s first wife, the pain and confusion of flight into exile, or the resourcefulness of a child who must provide for an entire family, the real focus of these narratives is the strength of solitary individuals faced daily with their own vulnerability. Men, women, orphans, widows, widowers, Tajiks, Pashtuns, Uzbeks, Turkmens, schoolteachers, mullahs, former Taliban, mujahideen, big brothers, little sisters, captive wives, lovers in flight: Love and War in Afghanistan tells their stories, putting human faces onto a country torn by war. As renowned Afghan expert, Barnett Rubin, puts it: “This book puts a human face on international conflict and political violence like no work I have seen.”
Alex Klaits is currently the Deputy Mission Director at USAID/Tanzania. Before Tanzania, he served in the Middle East Bureau in Washington, covering Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Iraq and Morocco. Prior to that, Mr. Klaits was the director of democracy & governance offices in USAID missions in West Bank/Gaza and Egypt and he has also served in USAID/ Afghanistan. Prior to joining USAID in 2010, he worked for several international NGOs and the UN. Mr. Klaits has a BA from Vassar College, an MA from Stanford University and an MBA from UNC-Chapel Hill. Mr. Klaits co-author and wife, Gulchin Gulmamadova, has also worked for several international NGOs and the US Embassy in Israel. She currently works for the State Department’s Bureau of Near East Affairs.
Landor, Regina. (2015). Marry Me Stop. CreateSpace.
Caring for an ailing parent dealing with dementia is an incredibly difficult task—now imagine moving that parent to a new country on the other side of the world while dealing with these issues. That’s exactly what Regina Landor did when her 78-year-old mother’s health declined and she experienced a series of unpleasant stints in retirement homes. In Marry Me Stop, Landor honors the life of her mother, Miriam, with a two-part biography. The first part tells of Miriam’s difficult Depression-era childhood and travels abroad, as she sailed across the ocean on her own and worked in Europe before marrying and raising three children in the United States. The second part chronicles Miriam’s slide into dementia and relocation with her family to Bangladesh—a land that honors the elderly. Landor describes the raw realities of caring for someone with mental illness, capturing the challenges and frustrations as well as the humor and gratitude that her family has felt for the opportunity to be present with Miriam during this life-altering time.
Regina Landor, the wife of a USAID FSO, writes a travel blog and is author of Forever Traveling Home (CreateSpace, 2013). She currently lives in Dhaka with her husband, two sons and 81-year-old mother, and is co-founder of Thrive, a volunteer organization that provides healthy lunches to poor children in Dhaka.
Lezin, Arthur S. (2013). A Case of Loyalty: A Veteran Battles McCarthyism in the U.S. Navy Department. Charleston, SC: CreateSpace.
On Aug. 1, 1946, Ben Bernard Lezin was asked by the United States government to defend his loyalty to the country, or face termination from his engineering job with the Navy Department. Born in the Ukraine but a U.S. resident since age 12, Lezin was accused of having anti-American sentiments and of being a member of the Communist Party during the height of McCarthyism and the Red Scare.
As related by his son Arthur, Ben Lezin’s story eloquently represents the struggles of hundreds of other Americans, who were not communist sympathizers, to defend their loyalty to the very government that was feverishly discrediting them. In the end, Lezin would prove his credibility and save his career, but only after an arduous struggle that included intense scrutiny by the Navy Department and the FBI, as well as years of lost salary and work.
Lucke, Lewis W. (Amb.). (1998). Waiting for Rain: Life and Development in Mali, West Africa. Hanover, MA: Christopher Publishing House.
This is the story of a young and novice development professional who leaves the comfort of the US to live and work in the country of Mali, West Africa. Mali is the home of Timbuktu, the mud mosques of Mopti and a fascinating and authentic, unique culture. But is is also the home of the most intractable development problems on the planet and a country still suffering the effects of a recent major drought. Though not overly technical, this book deals with the professional challenges and personal experiences of living and trying to work effectively in one of most challenging and interesting countries on the planet.
Lewis Lucke worked for the US Agency for International Development in ten counties for over 27 years. He was the first head of USAID/Iraq in 2003-1004 and served as US Ambassador to Swaziland from 2004-2006. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona. Amb. Lucke most recently led the US response to the Haiti earthquake in 2010.
Natsios Andrew and Andrew Card (ed). (2021). Transforming Our World: President George H.W. Bush and American Foreign Policy. Rowman & Littlefield.
From the fall of the Soviet Union to the Gulf War, the presidency of George H. W. Bush dealt with foreign policy challenges that would cement the post-Cold War order for a generation. This book brings together a distinguished collection of foreign policy practitioners – career and political – who participated in the unfolding of international events as part the Bush administration to provide insider perspective by the people charged with carrying them out. They shed new light on and analyze President Bush’s role in world events during this historic period, his style of diplomacy, the organization and functioning of his foreign policy team, the consequences of his decisions, and his leadership skills. This book reminds readers of the difference American leadership in the world can make and how a president can manage a highly successful foreign policy.
Andrew Natzios was director of the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance during the George H.W. Bush administration and USAID Administrator during the George W. bush administration. Currently he is an executor professor at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University and director of the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs.
Michalopoulos, Constantine. Ending Global Poverty: Four Women’s Noble Conspiracy. (2020) Oxford Univ Press. ISBN 9780-19-885017-5.
Ending Global Poverty tells the story of Eveline Herfkens from the Netherland, Hilde F. Johnson from Norway, Clare Short from the United Kingdom, and Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul from Germany who joined forces to challenge the establishment policies of internaional institutions. Named for the Norwegian Abbey where they formalized their collaboration in 1999, the so-called Urstein Four embarked on a “conspiracy of implementation” using foreign aid as a tool to end global poverty, rather than pursue narrow political or commercial interests. They helped achieve primary education for women, used developing countries’ debt relief to lift individuals out of poverty and put development partners in charge of setting priorities and implementing programs of assistance. Their story of female empowerment and the importance of working together is a crucial lesson as the book focuses on the implications of this for today’s development pracrices, including the struggle to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Dr. Michalopoulos joined USAID as an Economist in 1969 and left in 1982 as Chief Economist (1981-2) He served only in Washington, mostly in PPC in many jobs including, Chief of the Trade and Payments Division and Director of the Office of Economic Affairs (1978-1980). He also served as Deputy Assistant Administrator for Economic Affairs in IIA (1976-1977) and acting Deputy Director of IDCA (1980-82). After 13 years with USAID he worked for many years at the World Bank retiring there in 2001. His work involved different aspects of AID policy ranging from aid levels, loan terms, and procurement, to analysis and research on various aspects of development policy and aid effectiveness. He received Superior Honor Awards for this work in 1975 and 1982 as well as a Superior Unit Award for his work in the Office of Economic Affairs in 1980. He says” “perhaps one of the awards describes best what I did for a living. The award commended me for ‘leadership in policy research and analysis over a wide range of international problems affecting the progress of the developing countries and in the formulation of A.I.D. Policy in these areas…”‘
Michalopolous, Constantine AID, Trade and Development” 50 Years of Globalization. Palgrave/Macmillan, (201&0. ISBN 978-3-319-65860-5.
This book offers a comprehensive historical analysis of the main development challenges of the last half century and the international community’s response through aid and trade. It is based on an insider’s perspective on the workings of bilateral and multilateral aid institutions as well as the WTO and what needs to be done to make them more effective and responsive to changing global needs.
Miedema, Virgil and Stephanie Spaid Miedema. (2014). Mussoorie and Landour: Footprints of the Past. New Delhi, IND: Rupa & Co.
In the early 1800s, the British founded twin hill stations in the Indian towns of Mussoorie and Landour, as refuges from the heat and dust of the country’s summer season. Both sites continue to attract many visitors today, thanks to their salubrious climate and leisurely way of life. While Mussoorie is more “touristy” and bustling, Landour is a quiet getaway for those seeking a break from city life. Much has changed over the years, but both places retain an old-world charm, adding to their appeal. This book takes the reader on a journey through their history, from the late 18th century—when Frederick Young, the founder of Mussoorie and Landour Cantonment, was born in Ireland— up to India’s attainment of independence in 1947. (A brief postscript brings the story up to today.) The authors, a Foreign Service father-daughter team, lived in India in the waning years of the 20th century and the early years of the new century, where they became acquainted with Mussoorie and Landour. Treasured leisure time there, away from the heat and bustle of New Delhi, combined with an interest in British colonial history, led to this book.
A retired FSO with USAID, Virgil Miedema spent more than 30 years in Nepal, Pakistan, Indonesia and India as a teacher, economic development officer and agro-marketing businessman. He is the author of Murree: A Glimpse Through the Forest (Riverby Books, 2003). Stephanie Spaid Miedema, a social science researcher, recently completed several years of United Nations-funded research in the Asia-Pacific region.
Mitchell, Robert E. (2014). A Concise History of Economists’ Assumptions about Markets: From Adam Smith to Joseph Schumpeter. Westport, CT: Praeger.
Here is a highly readable account of the evolution of economic thinking, as the subtitle states, from Adam Smith to Joseph Schumpeter. The focus is on the assumptions that economists make about the nature of markets and economies and their behavior through different eras as they attempt to identify the drivers of economic change. The book assesses the legacies of major economists, including Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, David Ricardo, Alfred Marshall, John Maynard Keynes, Karl Marx, Thorstein Veblen and Joseph Schumpeter. Each chapter covers the major economic, political and social challenges of the day to establish a realistic context for economists’ efforts to explain and predict contemporary economic developments. It also documents the differences between, as well as interaction among, the various schools of thought and models, and discusses the implications of this history for economics and the policy sciences in the decades ahead. Robert Mitchell retired in 1995 from the USAID Foreign Service following long-term postings in Egypt, Yemen and Guinea-Bissau. Prior to his diplomatic career, Mitchell directed two survey research centers and two long-term task forces for the Florida governor and state legislature, and served as the U.S. member on a United Nations special committee on planning for urban areas. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Norris, John. (2021) The Enduring Struggle: The History of the U.S. Agency for International Development and America’s Uneasy Transformation of the World. New York: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 978-1-5381-5466-3 (cloth); ISBN: 978-1-5381-5467-0 (electronic)
International affairs expert John Norris provides a compelling and rich story of the US Agency for International Development, or USAID. In totality, the work of USAID has touched millions of lives in ways that have been truly profound, both good and bad. On AID’s 60th anniversary, Norris shares history on an almost epic scale that remains largely untold. The book is hailed by many International affairs experts, including three former USAID Administrators — Henrietta Fore, Brian Atwood and Peter McPherson.
Pena, Jose. (2006) Inherit the Dust from the Four Winds of Revilla”. Xlibtris, ISBN: 1599260659.
Rich in period analysis, here is a fascinating historical perspective covering 250 years of existence of a 1750 Spanish settlement originally called “Villa del Señor San Ignacio de Loyola de Revilla” and now known as “Guerrero Viejo.” Near the Mexican-American border. Although many books cover the genealogical aspects of families that originated in this city, the historical contributions of the early pioneers, their descendents, and the controversy related to land grants, called “Porciones” — awarded by the King of Spain — have, for the most part, remained in the background. This, then, is the principal objective of this book. The book provides summaries on the evolution, history, wars, and problems of Mexico. Using some of his ancestors as a sample, the author shows the hardships they endured and discusses their contribution in the formation of the two great nations that the United States and Mexico have become.
At the same time, the book shows that the land grants (and heirs) took one of two alternate roads — depending on their location — when Texas and other territories were ceded to the United States. People and land grants located on the Mexican side were victims of the violent and blood soaked history that Mexico has had. On the other hand, those located on the U.S. side, were subjected to mischief and flagrant violations of the terms of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Sadly, in 1953, the Falcon Dam inundated Guerrero Viejo and many of the land grants.
Jose Pena had a 27-year career with USAID, assigned to 9 countries. His highest positions were as Deputy Regional Inspector General in Egypt and also for Latin America. After retirement, he directed a USAID health project in Guatemala. He is presently writing his memoirs.
Phillips, Rufus C. III. (2022). Stabilizing Fragile States. Why it Matters and What to Do About It. University Press of Kansas.
Published posthumously in April, 2022, this book argues for a new approach to dealing with failed and fragile states, a key to a more stable and humane world order. Phillips served in Vietnam and supported Edward Lansdale’s approach to winning the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people. The book presents the architecture for doing stabilization, centered on political action, discussing the cases of Somalia, Senegal, Iraq, Colombia and Afghanistan. This book was reviewed at length in the May 2022 edition of the Foreign Service Journal.
Rufus Philips was head of USAID/Vietnam’s Rural Affairs Office beginning in 1962. Phillips was born in Middletown, Ohio and attended Yale College from 1947 to 1951. He was a Central Intelligence Agency officer in Saigon in the 1950s then worked for USAID for several years.
Phillips was a protégé of General Edward Lansdale and participated in the 1962 RAND Counterinsurgency Symposium. Phillips was one of the architects of the Chieu Hoi program to persuade Vietcong fighters to defect. Phillips then lived in Fairfax County, Virginia and was president of the Inter-Continental Consultants, Inc. He served on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and lost a race for the United States House of Representatives in 1974. He passed away in December, 2021 at the age of 92.
Sagnier, Thierry J. (2015). The Fortunate Few, IVS Volunteers From Asia to the Andes. NCNM Press www.ncnm.edu/bookstore.
The Fortunate Few covers stories from the volunteers who served with the International Voluntary Services (IVS) in Asia, Africa, Central America and South America. Here, nearly one hundred of these volunteers speak about their service years and the impact their work had on their futures and the people they served, often at great cost to themselves. Many went on to work for USAID. Nearly a dozen volunteers died, victims of the armed conflict that raged across Southeast Asia with the war in Vietnam. It covers the history of American development efforts-from the Thomasites’ work in the Philippines to projects initiated by IVS in the Andes. It looks at the rewards of volunteerism and the history of how IVS effectiveness would eventually lead to the creation of a number of other international volunteer agencies, including the Peace Corps.
Thierry Sagnier is a writer and Pushcart Prize Nominee whose works have been published both in the United States and abroad. Not a USAID alumnus but included here with many USAID alumni as contributors to the stories and covers an organization that was set up at the instigation of ICA, USAID’s predecessor.
Schlesinger, Joel. (2020). The Risk-Takers: American Leaders in Desperate Times. Newman Spring Publishing.
This book explores the leadership performance of Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Robert E. Lee, Katharine Graham, and Franklin D. Roosevelt at desperate moments in American history. A study of their leadership styles over a period of two centuries suggests that today’s leaders might have something to gain from a back-looking perspective on this critical subject. Although this book is ostensibly about the five leaders, ultimately their performance provides a lens for the whole of the topic of leadership past and, especially, present.
Joel Schlesinger is a retired Senior Foreign Service Officer who served as Mission Director in Mali and as DAA for LPA. After his retirement Joel was a senior officer at World Learning. He holds a doctorate in organizational leadership and is currently a full professor at the Jack Welch Management Institute on Leadership.
Wehle, Louis Brandeis, Hidden Threads of History: Wilson Through Roosevelt. (1953). MacMillan.
Wehle, a lawyer and government official, was a member of the President’s White House Conference on Power Pooling, September 1936, a member of the American Committee at International Congress of Comparative Law and a general reporter at The Hague, 1937. In 1944-45 he was head of United States Foreign Economic Administration’s (ICA) overseas mission to the Netherlands.
Wilson, Thomas W, Jr. The Great Weapons Heresy: the J. Robert Oppenheimer Story. (1970).Houghton Mifflin.
Wilson was a newspaper reporter, foreign correspondent and worked with the Economic Cooperation Administration in London in the late 1940s.
Young, Gordon. (2011). Run for the Mountains. Bloomington, IN: Xlibris Corporation.
The mountains of Northern Thailand hold a culture of their own, characterized by personal strength, will power, tradition and navigating the land. As Chanu Hkeh, the subject of this biography, muses: “Run for the hills. That was something that would come up again and again in my life.” The Lahu name Chanu Hkeh means “Mr. Wild Cattle Dung” in English. After spontaneously giving birth to him under a crabapple tree in the wilderness of the mountains, Chanu Hkeh’s mother chose that name deliberately. In Lahu tribal culture, the uglier the name, the safer the child will be from evil. The spell held for 52 years, until Chanu Hkeh’s tragic death in a car accident. During those years, he lived a life of adventure, danger and joy in the corrupt opium-trading society of the Golden Triangle of Southeast Asia. But whether as a hunter, smuggler, bandit or prisoner, he never stopped running back periodically into the cover and comfort of the mountains. While working with Chanu Hkeh, Gordon Young spent long sessions around camp fires and the two formed a 15-year bond. In Run for the Mountains, Young tells the life story of his uniquely adventurous friend.
Gordon Young spent childhood years in Burma and North India, with World War II impacting heavily on his adventures and travels. Later he served the U.S. Army in Korea, obtained a B.S. at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, then moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand to work for the USAID. There he also did field collecting for museums, founded the now famous Chiang Mai Zoo with his father, and compiled the first significant informal ethnographic study of Thailand’s northern hill tribe peoples.
Wilson, Thomas W, Jr. The Great Weapons Heresy: the J. Robert Oppenheimer Story. (1970).Houghton Mifflin.
Wilson was a newspaper reporter, foreign correspondent and worked with the Economic Cooperation Administration in London in the late 1940s.