June 2012 Minutes

Minutes of the UAA Executive Committee Meeting
Thursday, June 21, 2012
10:30 AM – 12:15 PM
TetraTech Office, Arlington, Virginia


Board Members Attending: Frank Almaguer, Margaret Carpenter, George Hill, Alex Shakow, David Sprague, Ann Van Dusen

Board Members Absent: Jim Michel

Committee Co-Chairs Attending: David Cohen, Curt Farrar, Paula Goddard, Pam Mandel, Larry Smucker, Nancy Tumavick

Committee Co-Chairs Absent: Brad Langmaid

UAA Assistant: Kristina Short


1. Review and Approval of the May Minutes: 

The minutes of the May Executive Committee meeting were reviewed and approved for posting on the UAA website.


2. Update on the Three-Year Strategic Plan: 

The Executive Committee discussed progress on the UAA Three-Year Strategic Plan, for which the primary audience is the 2012 Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Input has been received from two standing committees (Membership and Strengthening USAID). The Development Issues and Public Outreach committees will forward as soon as possible their action plans to George Hill for incorporation into a draft budget that will be distributed at the July next Executive Committee meeting. The focus of committee plans seems to be short term, i.e., reporting on what has been accomplished this year and plans for next year.  A longer-term outlook is needed for the Three-Year Plan.

Public Outreach: Ann Van Dusen noted difficulties in lining up UAA speakers outside the Beltway due to a multitude of factors, including finding alumni who will volunteer for outreach opportunities, difficulty in obtaining venues to speak, and the unpredictability of demand.  It was proposed that the Public Outreach and Membership committees work together to build up membership outside the DC area before renewing efforts outside the Beltway.

Also discussed was the possibility of identifying alumni in the Washington, DC area who are interested in speaking engagements outside the Beltway. Finding appropriate venues and covering travel costs of DC-based alumni could be co-sponsored by a local organization (such at the World Affairs Council).  This also may help in reaching out to alumni in those areas.

The Membership Committee discussed several potential strategies for member recruitment and how to contact individuals newly retired from USAID:

  • Formally designate 2-3 people to represent the UAA and ask USAID to grant them access.
  • UAA should re-open with USAID the desire of many retirees to receive appropriate security passes to enter at least some parts of USAID at the RRB. There is precedent in the State Department, which grants retirees special security passes to enter unescorted portions of the State Dept. Bldg.
  • Contact Paula Feeney, who serves on the FSI panel at the Retirement Seminar, to help use that venue to promote UAA membership.

The Membership Committee expressed a desire to know the number of individuals eligible to retire from USAID within the next four years, as well as the number of those who have less than three years in the Agency.  Demographic information received by the Strengthening USAID Committee during recent discussions with the E&E Bureau will be shared with the Membership Committee.

Next Steps: 

  1. Draft Committee three-year plans will be submitted from the Development Issues and Public Outreach committees; George will draw up a draft of the Plan to distribute, along with budgeted costs.
  2. David Cohen will contact and set up a meeting with Dave Eckerson (USAID’s new Counselor) to update him on UAA issues and work to place the USAID Counselor on the agenda for the AGM.
  3. Ann will work with at Human Resources at USAID to ensure that UAA brochures are placed in every retirement packet.


3. Leadership on DACOR/ UAA Relations:

Curt Farrar reported that Owen Cylke, who is the UAA point person for DACOR on the Development Issues Committee, is looking for a sense of priorities for the DACOR/UAA Development Dialogue Series (DDS).

The Executive Committee expressed concern that the UAA is not getting visibility or branding by DACOR in their notices on upcoming Development Dialogue programs.  UAA advocates for dual branding and inclusion of UAA as a co-sponsor of these events. Fred Schieck, who is an active DACOR and UAA participant, as well as Gary Merritt, former UAA Board member who has been covering this issue from the beginning and is the lead person on behalf of DACOR to carry out the Development Dialogue series, will be part of discussions with DACOR.

Ideas proposed to maintain the UAA-DACOR relationship moving forward include:

  1. The UAA will offer DACOR a set schedule of Dialogues so that DACOR can plan and publicize these in advance.
  2. Have Fred and Owen formally included in a functioning sub-committee of the Development Issues Committee to deal with the Development Dialogues program.  They will be invited to attend Executive Committee meetings when necessary to report directly about issues of program promotion and relationship with DACOR.

Next steps:

  1. Jim will be in touch with Fred and Owen to gauge interest, put them in touch with appropriate individuals at DACOR, as well as with one another, to serve as UAA representatives and a conduit for UAA/DDS outreach.
  2. Kristina will add Owen and Fred to the DDS distribution list so they can correspond directly with DACOR’s program coordinator and with the Executive Committee.


4. Update on mentoring MOU:

No formal agreement for the mentoring proposal has been received from the E&E Bureau. Pamela Mandel met with Andrew Maybrook and has contacted Roberta Mahoney, who requested more time.

Next Steps: Pamela Mandel will contact Andrew Maybrook and see if he knows where things stand with signing MOU.


5. Update on consultations on USAID’s urban policy: 

Curt Farrar, Larry Smucker, and Owen Cylke had lunch with Michael Donavan, head of the Urban Team at USAID PPL, who explained USAID’s approach to the issue. No conclusion regarding the role of UAA was reached at this meeting.

Next Steps: The Development Issues Committee will meet with Donavan again to outline specific goals with Urban Policy program and clarify the role of UAA in this process, then work to design a strategy for moving forward.


6. Items for the June/July Newsletter: 

  1. USAID Staff movements update (Kristina has received the latest list from USAID).
  2. Call for nominations for UAA Board membership and include a reminder that only contributing members can vote in board elections.  Two positions will be open on the Board (Ann and David S.)
  3. Date and location of AGM
  4. Alumnus profile – Jerry Bowers (David Cohen)
  5. Other (Summary of Spring Reception/ welcome to new members)
  6. Announcement for the July 28 family picnic event (draft provided by Nancy)
  7. Announcement for next “Efficient Cities” event
  8. “What’s New at usaidalumni.org” (David Cohen)

Next Steps: All content should be sent to Kristina Short by June 26th for an end of June release (Note: pushed to July due to storm-related complications).


7. Venue and Preliminary discussion of agenda for AGM: 

The UAA will finalize the contract with NRECA and put down the deposit. Kristina will send George contact information.  Charla Young is the coordinator at the NRECA Conference Center.

Preliminary suggestions for agenda items include conducting a 2012 alumni survey and reporting on “USAID Forward”.

Next Steps: All Executive Committee members will brainstorm by email over the next two weeks.


8. Affinity Groups: 

All Executive Committee members should look over the draft document shared by Alex and email comments to Alex for discussion at the July UAA Executive Committee meeting.


9.  Next Executive Committee Meeting: 

The July Executive Committee meeting will be held on Thursday, July 19, 2012 at 10:30 AM at TetraTech in Arlington. Frank Almaguer will chair this meeting due to both Ann Van Dusen and Alex Shakow being unable to attend.