February 2012 Newsletter

USAID Alumni Association
February 2012
In This Issue:
  • New on the UAA Website
  • Alumni Speakers in Action
  • Alumni Profile: Keith Simmons
  • 2012 Membership Campaign
  • Save the Date! UAA Happy Hour Feb. 28th
  • Learn about UAA’s newest Board member
  • Read the 2012 UAA Business Plan and revised Ethics Policy
  • Be the first on your block to peruse the new UAA Brochure
  • In Alumni News, see an update on our kidnapped alumnus colleague
  • In the Forum, read the obituaries of recently deceased alumni Tony Schwarzwalder and Mirinda Foti.
  • Also in the Forum, learn about USAID’s newly established dissent channel and the computer über hacker Anonymous.
  • New in Articles:  President Obama on foreign aid, an interesting public service film on U.S. assistance; and an Economist article offering push back on Jeffery Sachs’ approach to aid
  • Newly included web Links: the 2011 Freedom House survey on political rights and civil liberties; Handbook 3, the Foreign Assistance Dashboard on all U.S. foreign aid, and the IMF eLibrary of Fund publications
USAID Alumni Speak Out
The UAA’s Speakers Bureau made a number of “placements” in the last year. For example, for the last 2 years, David Shear has delivered a series of lectures at Johns Hopkins’ continuing education program. Dwight Steen lectured students at Iowa State, and spent additional time on campus meeting with students and faculty and joining a symposium on issues related to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). And Larry Heilman has given a number of talks at Johns Hopkins’ continuing education program, covering such topics as USAID’s work in Bolivia, USAID’s Democracy programs, and U.S. assistance to Mexico, the democratic process in Mexico, and the war on drugs. Join the Speakers Bureau now! speakers@usaidalumni.org
Alumni Profile: Keith Simmons
by Charles Habis
Keith Simmons near Bwindi Impenetrable forest, Uganda
Keith Simmons in Uganda the day before Gorilla tracking in the Bwindi Impenetrable forest.
Keith 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.


UAA Launches Membership Campaign
Calling all UAA members! Please help us expand our membership by sending us the names and contact information of potential new members. Go through your address book today and find at least five former USAID colleagues who may not yet be UAA members. Send the contact information to kshort@usaidalumni.org, and we’ll do the rest.

This “Refer Five Friends” effort is one of several initiatives to expand membership that the UAA Board approved at its January meeting. The 2012 campaign will focus on:

  1. reaching out to a larger and more diverse group of USAID retirees around the globe,
  2. increasing the number of contributing members (whose donations keep the organization healthy), and
  3. expanding services to our members in support of their involvement in the development community at large.
In conjunction with this outreach campaign, the Membership Services Committee will sponsor more social events this year for residents of the Metropolitan Washington area. It will also support members who wish to organize social events outside the Washington Metro area and overseas.In support of the membership campaign, the Board also approved new levels of suggested annual contributions, in recognition of the fewer number of UAA-sponsored social and other events outside the Washington area to date (we hope to change that over time!)
  • Residents of Metro DC (within 50 miles of DC): $75
  • Residents in the US, beyond Metro DC: $50
  • Residents overseas and former FSNs: $25
A new category of “Friends of UAA” will recognize our angels who generously contribute $100 and above.


The UAA Membership Contribution Drive for 2012 has started


Remember, only contributing members can vote in the annual UAA elections. We want as many members as possible to be involved in UAA governance. Regardless of your location and the amount you can afford, we greatly appreciate your support. Please make your 2012 donation today, by going to the website (https://usaidalumni.org) or by sending your check to USAID Alumni Association, c/o Dacor Bacon House, 1801 F St., NW, Washington, DC 20006.


Mark Your Calendars! Upcoming UAA Happy Hour
Please Join Members of the UAA Board and Executive Committee for a
Date: Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Time: 5:00 PM- 7:00 PM
Location:  Continental Pool Lounge (the corner of North Moore and Lee Highway in Rosslyn, Virginia – one block north of the Rosslyn Metro Station)
No cover charge — Each member pays for his/her own food/drinks
More details to follow
USAID Alumni Association
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