October 2013 Minutes

Minutes of the UAA Executive Committee Meeting
October 17, 2013
10:30 am – 12:30 pm
TetraTech, Arlington


Board Members Attending: Margaret Carpenter, George Hill, Jim Michel, Nancy Pielemeier, Alex Shakow

Board Members Not Attending: Frank Almaguer, David Cohen

Committee Co-Chairs Attending: Paula Goddard. Nancy Tumavick. Jerry Wood

Committee Co-Chairs Not Attending: Bill Anderson, Richard Blue, Owen Cylke, Marilynn Schmidt, Ann Van Dusen

AGM Committee: George Laudato

Executive Assistant: Kristina Short


1. Approval of September 19, 2013 Meeting Minutes: Minutes from the September 19, 2013 meeting of the Executive Committee were approved to be posted on the UAA website.

The meeting focused almost entirely on preparations for the AGM taking place on October 25.

2. Arrangements with USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah: George Laudato met with USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah in preparation for the UAA Annual General Meeting (AGM) on October 25, 2013. He reported that Administrator Shah was excited about the theme and structure of the AGM, in particular with the DLI involvement.

Administrator Shah requested that his keynote open with a short video of President Kennedy laying out foreign aid goals at the inception of USAID in 1961. The keynote will focus on USAID programmatic changes and the United States government position on ending extreme poverty by 2030 as an aspirational goal. The Administrator welcome a Q&A period and was looking forward to interaction with both DLIs and alumni in the same room.

Committee members discussed several options for managing the question and answer portion of the keynote, including: using notecards, as done at the 2011 AGM; asking those with questions to queue up behind microphones placed strategically in the room; the moderator asking the first question. It was agreed that the dual microphone structure will best allow questions to be asked in an organized fashion. It was also agreed that the short JFK film would be shown in the auditorium just before the break for lunch.

Action required: George Laudato will speak with the Wilson Center regarding microphone availability and will confirm that the UAA has sole use of the dining room. He will also arrange to get the film from A/AID’s office to the A/V staff at the WWC.

3. Program Arrangements:

Opening session arrangements: Nancy Pielemeier and Alex Shakow will organize the opening and closing of the first session, which will give overall picture of accomplishments of UAA this year. Each committee chair will have 5 minutes to talk about future plans and goals. This will provide attendees with a contact person and face for each committee, as well as emphasize the UAA as a diverse group of engaged individuals.

  • Jerry will speak for Mentoring
  • Ann will speak for Outreach
  • Paula will speak for Membership
  • Owen will speak for Development Issues

Additional suggestions on how to enhance program for opening session should be sent to Alex and Nancy.

The Panels: George Laudato spoke with Janet Ballantyne on October 16. DLI slots are completely full and, with enough participants for 6 panels, including both GS and FS employees. The structure has been set as:

  • 2 segments of 45 minutes each, each with 3 panels.
  • Panel topics are: Econ/ Private Sector; Education/Program; Democracy/Human Rights/ Governance/OFDA; Health; Program; Agriculture/Feed the Future.
  • Potential moderators include: Jim Michel for Democracy and Sigrid Anderson for Health.

Panel information, including the names of participations, topics, and locations, will be finalized and included with packet distributed to AGM attendees.

A recap will take place from 11:45 – 12:15, leaving roughly 3 minutes for each panel to report back. Committee members emphasized the importance of collecting the information and ideas coming out of panel discussions for later electronic distribution through the UAA website.

Action required:

  1. Janet Ballantyne will request that panel moderators collect main points for their session.
  2. Paula Goddard volunteered to collect notes from the moderators and be responsible of making sure plenary session material.

After considerable discussion on how to manage attendance at the panels, it was agreed that alumni would be assigned to two different panels are they arrive at the AGM. Each person will get 2 index cards with their groups for session I and session II, allowing for alumni who feel strongly about attending a particular panel to attend if they so choose.

  • Nancy Tumavick, Paula Goddard, Kristina Short, Linda Whitlock-Brown, and Ann Van Dusen will manage check-in and registration.
  • The UAA will provide signs to indicate the room in which each panel will be held and provide guidance to alumni switching between panels.
  • USAID’s new Chief Human Capital Officer Dr. Elizabeth Kolmstetter and John Pielemeier will introduce the panel segment of the program.

3. Logistics: Members of the Executive Committee will join George Laudato for a run-through on Tuesday, October 22 at 11 am with Maria-Stella Gatzoulis of WWC.

Kristina will send out an AGM e-notice to alumni on Monday, October 21 containing the following information:

  • Space is limited so RSVP now. Those who don’t pre-register and/or arrive late are not guaranteed a seat due to venue capacity.
  • Parking is available under the building, but costs $20 for the day and can quickly fill
  • Metro stop is Federal Triangle (Blue and Orange line)
  • Attendees need photo identification enter the building and should allow time to pass through security.
  • Encourage alumni to make their 2013 contribution or pay the $20 meeting fee online before the AGM.

Meeting information: Committee members agreed on the usefulness of providing an informational packet for attendees at registration. The packet will include:

  • Agenda for AGM
  • Names of all people in panels
  • 4 committee blurbs
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Report to Members

Action Required: Electronic versions of all documents should be sent to Alex Shakow, who volunteered to contact a printer. Brochures will be available for alumni to pick-up with their packets.

Catering: George Laudato informed committee members that coffee and pastries will be available in the morning, with water available during the morning break. There will be a variety of sandwiches with chips and cookies for lunch. All arrangements are being handled by the caterer for the Woodrow Wilson Center. The projected cost of catering is approximately $2600.

Registration: 77 alumni registered as of October 17, 2013. Accounting for walk-ins and projections based on previous years, the committee expects final attendance to be near the WWC capacity of 120.

Voting on the day of the AGM: Kristina will bring printed ballots and box. Ann Van Dusen will manage voting with the assistance of Anne Dammarell. As of October 17, 2013 150 alumni had voted online out of 245 eligible alumni.

Photography: Nancy Pielemeier and Nancy Tumavick spoke with Gary Waxmonsky, who is willing to attend the AGM and take photographs for part of the day. Several suggestions for photo moments were made:

  • Coffee Breaks for casual pictures of people mingling
  • Pictures of at least one set of panels
  • Lunchtime: Pictures of Raj during talk and Q&A

Closing remarks: Nancy Pielemeier will inform attendees that a survey will be going out and encourage alumni to get involved through joining committees and providing input. They will also encourage alumni to contact AID if they have feedback on USAID’s agenda based on AGM discussions.

Discussion is ongoing with respect to several issues, including:

  • What supplies are provided?
  • How to move people between floors during panel sessions
  • Make sure panelists are organized and know when they need to arrive. Also need to confirm who of the panel members will be at the lunch. Panelists will need to go directly to the rooms in which their panels will be held and not take up seats in the auditorium.
  • How to direct people from the front desk sign-in? Large sign down at front desk directing people upstairs. Will put a second sign upstairs near auditorium.

4. Other Business: The UAA Board formally appointed Marilynn Schmidt as co-chair of the Strengthening USAID committee.

a. Mentoring Programming: Training for next round of mentoring was cancelled due to government shutdown. The Strengthening USAID committee requested that anyone who knows potential contracting mentors contact Jerry Wood.

b. Upcoming Events: There was brief discussion of upcoming events, the details of which will be distributed after the AGM.

  • November 15: David Shear speaking at USAID training center on pandemic slaughter of rhinos and elephants. 10 -12
  • November 18, 2013: DACOR meeting with Geoff Lamb from Gates Foundation talking on “post-aid” development. 12 – 2
  • December 6 (tentative): Conversation Susan Reichle and Bambi Arellano at USAID training center. 10 -12

5. Next Executive Committee meeting: The November meeting of the Executive Committee will take place on November 21, 2013 from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm at TetraTech, Arlington.