December 2012 Newsletter

USAID Alumni Association
December 2012 Newsletter


UAA Board Welcomes Two New Members

On October 18, 2012 two new members joined UAA Board to replace outgoing members Ann Van Dusen and David Sprague. After 143 votes received and counted, David Cohen and Nancy Pielemeier were elected by the UAA membership to serve on the Board for two years. The 2012-2013 UAA Board Members are: Frank Almaguer, Margaret Carpenter, David Cohen, George Hill, Jim Michel, Nancy Pielemeier, and Alex Shakow. Nancy Pielemeier will join Alex Shakow as co-chair of the Board for 2013. Frank Almaguer and George Hill will continue as Secretary and Treasurer, respectively.

The Board would like to thank all candidates for their interest and thank Ann Van Dusen and David Sprague for their service to the association.


New on

Missed the UAA Annual General Meeting? You can read all about it and also view a photo gallery at the top of the main page of the site.

Learn about the new UAA/E&E Memorandum of Understanding for a Mentoring Pilot Project. It is the second article on the main page of

The USAID “Where in the World” feature on has been updated. See who recently has been transferred, retired, promoted, etc.

In the Forum, catch up on the establishment of USAID’s new independent S&T office, the vanished General Counsel, the closure of the USAID/Russia Mission, the increase in the Federal Retiree COLA, “The U.S. Shouldn’t Hand Cuba an Alan Gross-for-Spies Deal” (Washington Post editorial) and a number of recent obituaries. While you are at it, use an interactive NY Times site to resolve the fiscal deficit or take the Pew Research Center quiz on the U.S. Global Image.

New in  Articles: “USAID in Russia: A Celebration of Partnership” (by Carol Peasley), “The Future of British Aid” (The Economist), “Possible Replacements Should A/AID Shah Depart” (Devex),  “It Doesn’t Take a Village”(The Economist), and “Aid Reaches Far to Buck Global Warming” (Washington Post).

New Links: The latest USAID Newsletter and Front Lines, IHC Success Stories and the IFC Doing Business Table. 


Do you have news, an article or event you would like to share?  Please send it or, better still, post it on the Forum. 


Quick Survey for Alumni

GIVE US YOUR OPINION! Please respond to a quick, anonymous survey and help the UAA Executive Committee chart its 2013 agenda. The survey can be accessed at the following link:


2012 AGM in Review

 2012 UAA Board Members and Committee Co-Chairs at the AGM


The 4th annual General meeting of the UAA membership was held on October 18 at the NRECA conference facilities in Arlington. Board Co-Chairs Ann VanDusen and Alex Shakow began the meeting with a report on the “state of the Association.”

Treasurer George Hill provided a presentation on the finances of the UAA. George emphasized the necessity to increase both the number of UAA contributing members and the timeliness of the contributions in order for the Association to fulfill its mandate.

The AGM included time set aside for dialogue with USAID Senior Staff. Assistant to the Administrator for Policy, Planning and Learning Bureau (PPL), Susan Reichle, and Counselor to the Agency, David Eckerson, made presentations and answered attendees’ questions on issues currently impacting USAID, including the budget and potential sequestration, relations with the State Department, acquisitions and contracts vs. direct grants to governments.


Deputy Administrator Donald Steinberg gives the keynote address

The keynote address by USAID Deputy Administrator Donald Steinberg focused on the topic of “Democratization in Development” and was warmly received. For those who were unable to attend the AGM, a summary of the keynote can be found on the UAA Website by clicking here

A highlight of this year’s AGM was a panel focused on alumni reflections assembled by Janet Ballantyne. Four alumni offered cogent presentations on career experiences. The panel included Bob Dakan, relating his experience in Laos, Carol Peasley on her posting in Nepal, Alex Shakow on his PPC and AID/Washington perspective, and Stacy Rhodes on his Haiti posting.

UAA Engagement With USAID:

Strengthening USAID Committee Co-Chairs David Cohen and Pamela Mandel noted that 60% of current USAID staff has been with USAID for three years or less.  This has created a substantial demand for a volunteer mentorship program.  To this end, an MOU for a pilot program was recently signed between the UAA and the Europe and Eurasia Bureau. Click here to see the MOU

Development Issues Committee representative Owen Cylke described the on-going dialogue with USAID policy staff on including urbanization as a cross-sectoral development theme on the USAID development agenda.  He also mentioned that the urbanization theme may be included in future UAA-DACOR Development Dialogue events.

Breakout Meetings: Each of the four UAA working committees held a breakout session attended by interested members.  For notes on each of the meetings: Membership, Outreach, Strengthening USAID, and Development Issues, click here .



Alumni are encouraged to browse the full AGM summary report, which includes notes from committee breakout sessions, the mentoring MOU, and the full text of Deputy Administrator Steinberg’s keynote. The report is available in MS Word and .pdf formats from UAA website by clicking here


Click here to see additional pictures in the AGM photo gallery.


UAA Signs Pilot Mentoring MOU with USAID E&E Bureau

UAA Co-Chairs Ann Van Dusen and Alex Shakow Sign Mentoring Pilot MOU with USAID/E&E AA Paige Alexander
On September 5, 2012 UAA Co-Chairs Ann Van Dusen and Alex Shakow signed an MOU with the Europe and Eurasia Bureau. The purpose of the agreement is provide a pilot experience in on-the-job mentoring to accelerate the development of Foreign Service Officers.  The pilot experience will provide a) training for mentors and mentees, b) four month mentoring experiences and c) evaluation of the experience.

Click here to view the MOU 

If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please contact UAA Strengthening USAID Co-Chair Pamela Mandel at