October 31, 2011 Minutes

Minutes of the UAA Board and Executive Committee Meeting  

October 31, 2011
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
TetraTech Offices
Arlington, VA 


Board members in attendance: Frank Almaguer, Margaret Carpenter, George Hill, John Lovaas, Jim Michel, Alexander Shakow and Ann Van Dusen.

Committee co-chairs in attendance:  David Cohen, Paula Goddard and Nancy Tumavick

Other attendees:  Kristina Short (UAA Executive Assistant/ Intern).

Board members absent:  none

1. Approval of the Minutes of the October 13, 2011 meeting: It was decided that approval of the October 13, 2011 meeting minutes would be voted on by continuing members from the previous Board (Ann Van Dusen, John Lovaas and George Hill). The minutes were approved to be posted on the UAA website.

2. Transition Business:

Election of UAA Board Officers:

  • C0-Chairs: Alexander Shakow (new); Ann Van Dusen (continuing).
  • Secretary: Frank Almaguer (new).
  • Treasurer: George Hill (continuing).

Designation of Committee Co-Chairs and Board Liaison to Committees:

  • Membership Services: Nancy Tumavick, Paula Goddard (Co-Chairs); Margaret Carpenter (Board Liaison).
  • Communication and Events: Gary Merritt, John Westley (Co-Chairs); John Lovaas (Board Liaison).
  • Public Outreach: Ann Van Dusen, Brad Langmaid (Co-Chairs); Ann Van Dusen (Board Liaison).
  • Finance:  George Hill (Board Liaison).
  • Development Issues: Curt Farrar, Larry Smucker (Co-Chairs); Jim Michel (Board Liaison).
  • Strengthening USAID: David Cohen, Pamela Mandel (Co-Chairs); Frank Almaguer (Board Liaison).

In addition,

  • Jim Michel volunteered to undertake the task of updating the UAA Business Plan
  • Several Board members expressed ongoing concerns regarding the clarity of   Committee roles and responsibilities, which in some cases may overlap. Ann Van Dusen and David Cohen suggested that Committee Co-chairs and Board Liaisons for each Committee meet to formalize roles and duties based on the committee descriptions Paula Goddard drafted for the Annual General Meeting (AGM).
  • The Board discussed posting the reports from Committee breakout sessions at the AGM on the UAA website, as well as including highlights from each breakout session in the upcoming (December 2011) UAA Newsletter. Several Board members reiterated the interest of UAA members in what happens to input given during breakouts, with Jim Michel emphasizing the incorporation of feedback into future UAA plans.

Decision:  It was decided to ask the Co-Chairs of each Committee for a paragraph about issues discussed at the AGM.   Action: Ann Van Dusen.

3. Introduction to the Budget (George Hill):

George provided a breakdown of the UAA budget allocation for  2011-12, including:

  1. Salary for Executive Assistant ($10,000)
  2. Website Costs ($1,000)
  3. Annual General Meeting ($5,000-5,600)
  4. Program Support ($2,000 per committee)
  • Based on the above allocations, the UAA would need to reach a level of at least 200 dues-contributing members in order to finance all projected costs.  At the present time, some 120 members are paying dues. Various lower-cost options were discussed, including a substantial reduction in amounts budgeted for committee program support.
  • The Board discussed how to encourage more eligible individuals to join the UAA, as well as the role of USAID in facilitating the identification of eligible USAID alumni.  The Board also discussed how the UAA could provide additional ways for alumni to stay engaged. This matter will be the subject of on-going discussion at up-coming Board meetings.

4. The dual agenda of the UAA (Nancy Tumavick):

Some members desire the UAA to foster more social interaction among USAID alumni.  Others prefer to utilize the UAA as way to remain engaged on development policy issues. These are not, of course, mutually exclusive objectives. The idea of fostering “affinity groups” within the UAA membership was brought up by Ann as a way to increase ties among UAA members based on their involvement and interest in similar development issues (e.g., health) or regions (Africa, Latin America, etc.).  This issue will be the subject of further discussion within the Board.   Additional membership feedback will be encouraged.

5. Communication Protocols:

New Board members were made aware of the make-up of the UAA Board and UAA Executive Committee e-mail distribution lists (i.e., board@usaidalumni.org and execcomm@usaidalumni.org).  The UAA Executive Assistant was tasked with ensuring that these lists are kept current and linked to the recipients’ primary e-mail addresses.

6. Meeting times/venue going forward:

Paula confirmed that TetraTech was prepared to make available the continued use of its conference room in Rosslyn, Virginia.  Jim undertook the responsibility for coordinating with TetraTech on the availability of the TetraTech conference room for Board meetings. Board meetings will be held, assuming no major conflicts, on the 3rd Thursday of each month from 10:30 AM until 12:00 Noon. Invitation to attend these meetings is extended to Committee Co-Chairs.

7. Status of 50th Anniversary USAID Alumni Reflections book:

  • The question of why USAID wasn’t publishing the book was discussed. USAID apparently is pleased to offer the book to the UAA for its own internal distribution.  Copyright has not been offered to anyone else by USAID.  Specifically, the book will contain 230-240 pages and is contracted for an initial print run of 4,000 copies (financed by USAID and printed at a State Department press in Cairo).  Jim suggested the need for a conversation with Bambi Arellano, Counselor to USAID, regarding USAID intentions with the book and any concerns regarding distribution by UAA. Ann undertook to initiate this conversation.
  • Nancy provided a breakdown of the initial print run, with UAA receiving 500-1,000 copies. While no copies from the initial print run can be sold, there are issues of costs beyond the initial printing such as postage and sending copies to universities and other institutions.  The possibility of an e-book was proposed and the need to get the copyright was discussed. Some Board members pointed out that holding the copyright will allow UAA to sell books beyond the initial print run, while others were less certain about how sale of the book would benefit the UAA and its members. The Board discussed the book as an opportunity to provide something tangible to contributing UAA members. Follow-up to this discussion will be raised at the next Board meeting.

8. Post-Mortem Annual General Meeting (AGM):

  1. The Board discussed the need for summaries of open Board and Executive Committee meetings that can be shared with members.  There was agreement that every effort should be made to ensure that Minutes of meetings and other documents are posted in the UAA web site in a timely manner.
  2. Graphics and videos of the AGM are being edited and finalized and will be delivered to David Cohen to place in the UAA website as soon as possible. Transcripts from interviews of UAA members conducted by Ben Barber are being finalized.
  3. The initial call for feedback on the AGM send out by Paula, elicited positive feedback on Dr. Shah’s presentation, as well as on the session chaired by Janet Ballantyne and the budget outlook session headed by Mike Casella.
  4. Logistical issues remain regarding the AGM venue (in Clarendon) and difficulties faced by attendees in finding adequate parking.
  5. There needs to be better integration of Committee meetings/breakout sessions into the agenda and deliberations of the AGM. It was discussed that, in the future, it might be helpful for Committees to designate a spokesperson to provide a summary report of the issues discussed in the breakout sessions to the broader attendees at the AGM.
  6. Frank Almaguer raised the possibility of bringing in USAID regional and/or subject matter experts at future AGMs to discuss/update UAA participants on policy, technical and regional issues of  interest to specific subgroups of the UAA membership
  7. The board also briefly discussed the possibility of moving to a less than full day AGM format.

9. The next UAA Board Meeting will be held on November 17, 2011 from 10:30 am until 12:00 noon at TetraTech in Arlington.


Minutes compiled 11/06/11 by Kristina Short, Executive Assistant
Reviewed and edited 11/06/11 by Board Secretary Frank Almaguer
Distributed electronically in draft on 11/08/11
Final draft prepared by FA with additional input from Board members on 11/14/11
Minutes approved by UAA Board on 11/17/11