June-July 2012 Newsletter

USAID Alumni Association
June/July 2012

Welcome to New Alumni

The UAA Executive Committee would like to take this opportunity to warmly welcome new alumni to the UAA. Since January 1, 2012, 36 new alumni have registered with the UAA. Click here to see the most up-to-date Alumni Directory.

If you need a password to view the directory, please email kshort@usaidalumni.org

Newly registered alumni include:

Gerald Britan
Beth Cypser
Garber Davidson
Abigail Golden-Vazquez
Stephen Klein
William Lefes
Maureen Lewis
John Popovich
Susan Ross
Sally Shelton-Colby
Rob Thurston
Alan Van Egmond
Abdi Wardere
Gordon H. West
Jerry Wood


The Alumni Directory was recently updated and a search capability added.

In the Forum, read Administrator Shah’s letter to the Agency, a report on the implications of USAID Forward, and several other brief, interesting articles.

Front Line’s “Where in the World” feature has moved to USAIDAlumni.org.
See who recently has been transferred, retired, promoted, etc.

Under Alumni News, read an update on kidnapped colleague Warren Weinstein.

New in Articles: “5 World Events that Could Swing the U.S. Presidential Election,” “African Child Mortality, The Best Story in Development,” USAID Plan to Double Direct Aid to Overseas Groups Could Hurt American Contractors,” “Hope Springs a Trap,” “Why Nations Fail” (book review), and “Africa and the Need for a New Development Discourse”

2012 Annual General Meeting and Board Elections

Mark Your Calendars!

Nominate UAA Board members and Attend the UAA Annual General Meeting on October
18, 2012


Summer will be over before you know it. Plan now to attend the 4th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the USAID Alumni Association – a fine opportunity to meet colleagues and friends and participate in lively discussions on trends and challenges for US foreign assistance.

An important feature of the AGM is elections for the UAA Board of Directors. This year, we have two Board positions to fill, and we are looking for nominations and self-nominations. Please send a short paragraph about your or your nominee’s background and interest in joining the UAA Board to elections@usaidalumni.org.

We have a new venue for the AGM this year. The AGM will be held at the National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (NRECA) headquarters at 4301 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22203. This location is convenient to the Ballston Metro stop and there is ample public parking in the area. As always, our meeting will include lunch and socializing. Additional information about the AGM will be coming soon!

UAA Summer Picnic Saturday, July 28th at Weather Lea Farm

Join us on Saturday, July 28 in Loudon County for the First Annual UAA Summer Picnic!!

This is truly a family opportunity with attractions to interest all age groups. Children are definitely welcomed. We encourage UAA members to invite prospective members to join us for the occasion.

The site we have selected is Weather Lea Farm, located near Leesburg, VA. Its proprietors are USAID retiree Pamela Baldwin and her husband Malcolm. Weather Lea’s 28 acres of open space and farmland are protected under a conservation easement. The original portion of the farmhouse — a log cabin on a stone foundation — was built circa 1794.The farm boasts sheep, llamas, vineyards of Viogner and Cabernet Franc grapes, a scenic pond, orchards and gardens. The mid-19th century barn and its surroundings will be the focal point of our picnic site.

Time: Barn is reserved from 11:30 to 3:30

Cost: No charge. Bring your own picnic basket and supplies. Soft drinks will be available.

Location: Approximately 45 minutes from I 495 Beltway in Virginia, near Lovettsville.

Please RSVP by July 15th to: kshort@usaidalumni.org

Alumni Profile: 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 Development Officer 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.

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.

Notices and Updates

Where in the World? – USAID Staff Movements

As mentioned in our May News Update, the UAA has taken over publishing information on USAID Staff Movements. From April 2012 – June 2012 there were 7 retirements, 93 promotions, and 110 individuals reassigned. Full details for April – June staff movements, as well as archived information, can be found at USAIDAlumni.org by clicking

New Senior Advisor for Development, Department of State

Effective today, Daniella Ballou-Aares has assumed the duties of Senior Advisor for Development to the Secretary of State. Ms. Ballou-Aares will advise the Secretary and the Department on strategies, policies, architecture and practices to strengthen and coordinate our diplomatic support and engagement on behalf of development priorities.

USAID Call for Alumni Recollections

USAID is interested in alumni recollections about government-to-government programs. What worked, what didn’t, what impact or difference they made? If you have observations you would like to share on this form of development assistance, please send them to office@usaidalumni.org