A Resume Never Read

On the road …again!
Afghanistan to Zambia
Chronicles of a Footloose Forester
By Dick Pellek


A Résumé Never Read


With the massive outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa in recent months, the Footloose Forester was reminded that the US Agency for International Development, or U.S.A.I.D., is one of the leading organizations in attempting to combat it.  The fight may be long and worrisome, but the efforts are in keeping with the best traditions of USAID.

Year in and year out, the American Congress has poured billions of dollars into our foreign assistance programs, despite the outcry among taxpayers and even some members of Congress. So far, however; the medical, technical, and financial assistance to the Ebola stricken area has been a modest $40 million or so. Congress may get a pass from criticism this time around, but the full résumé of USAID making the world a better place to live may never be championed.  Some résumés never get read, or even considered.




In modern industry and commerce in the United States, selecting candidates for employment has undergone major changes over the past two decades.  When thousands of résumés arrive in response to a few openings, human resources specialists are inclined to screen them early, through somewhat controversial methods.  For example, one human resources supervisor told the Footloose Forester that XYZ Corporation never even read those résumés that were longer than two pages. A scanner did the job of screening, and anything longer than two pages was kicked out. That is to say, a computer-assisted methodology decided on the merits of the résumés themselves.  Woe to those otherwise qualified candidates who were not informed of the hiring policies of XYZ Corporation (a phony name for a real company that has thousands of employees, world-wide.)  In the interest of full disclosure, the Footloose Forester was, at the time, the Deputy Director of the Western Pennsylvania Professional Employment Network.  It was not just a case of making stuff up.

Knowing what works and what doesn’t has always been one of the keys in getting a job and then keeping it. The rules change with the times, but potential employers seldom let on just what criteria they use, lest too many clever applicants game the system in their own favor and thus making it more difficult for the employers to decide on the real merits of the candidates.  Lots of worthy applicants are out there, but not all of what the potential employers need to know is contained in résumés, many of which are ill-conceived, despite the richness of the past experiences contained therein.

The Footloose Forester had less than a stellar record when it came to obtaining gainful employment, via the use of résumés.  At one low period in employment prospects, he signed up with a “temp” agency that assured him that his streamlined and recent résumé would be sent out and seen by 10,000 potential employers.  The only thing is, he was not contacted by any of them, and got only one interview in a two-year period. Little wonder then that the Footloose Forester is not a firm believer in magic bullets; even those résumés that have been crafted in response to known construction criteria and containing the requisite credentials and work experience.  And so it is, that the attached résumé from his past has never been read.  It was intended to be a record for future reference, just in case a potential employer was looking for specific experience in certain geographical areas.



Selected Resume of Experience


Richard R. Pellek

When we speak of experience, it is expected that the reader will, no--must assume--that the candidates have the requisite experience.  But how relevant is that experience?  Nobody knows what the future will bring, so we must rely on what lessons the past has taught us. It is up to those choosing the candidates to decide what is relevant.  My role is to inform the selection committee that I have the kinds of things that you may be looking for.  Included among them, in no particular order, are:


¨Major inputs into the Zambia Country Program Strategic Plan (CPSP): Zambia

¨Drafting a Scope of Work (SOW) for Title II and Natural Resources Management: Ethiopia

¨Major inputs to Project Identification Document (PID) and Project Paper (PP) for: Kenya Natural                     Resources Project (615-0247): Kenya

¨Contributor to PP design of Project SAGER: Kenya

¨Pesticide Use Evaluation, SAVEM Project: Madagascar

¨Contributor to Non-Project Assistance (NPA) program on environment: Madagascar

¨PAIP design and NPA study in forest products sector: Madagascar

¨Project orientation assessment, natural resources management portfolio review: Rwanda

¨PP amendment, and SOW for: Food Production Research proposal: Rwanda

¨Natural resources management orientation and monitoring: Botswana

¨Drafted concept paper for natural resources management project: Namibia

¨Monitoring and orientation of NRM project: Namibia

¨Monitoring and steering committee activities in agroforestry: Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda

¨Wrote concept paper on buffer zone management in sub-Sahara Africa

¨Drafted paper on donor support through policy reform: “Transferring the Benefits of Agroforestry  Research to the Farm – NOW!!!” for workshop on Environment and the Poor: Kenya and Tanzania

¨Submitted concept paper to African Wildlife Foundation in support of grant to AWF: Tanzania

¨Participated in PAIP and PAAD activities of project KEAPEM: Madagascar

¨Contributed in project planning for Moremi Game Reserve Management Plan under the umbrella of a regional SADCC project (695-0251):  Botswana

¨Contributed to National Agricultural Research Project (615-0229) agenda: Kenya

¨Crafted Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) for Agricultural Sector Assistance Program: Malawi

¨Project orientation and review of project NRM (695-0251): Botswana

¨Participant: Burundi Agribusiness Policy & Enterprise Support Program and Project PID/PAIP: Burundi

¨PID and PP activity, project COBRA (615-0247): Kenya

¨Project reconnaissance and PID development, Natural Resources Sector: Namibia

¨Crafted background paper and proposed SOW in environmental sector: Zambia

¨Participated in workshop on natural resources indicators, tools and applications: Uganda

¨Provided USAID colleagues with computer disks and archives of cables, reports and documents on environmental issues

¨Participated in crafting a project: Development Through Conservation: Uganda        

¨Drafted SOW for multi-disciplinary team of environmentalists: Zambia

¨Wrote concept paper on natural resources, for Mission strategy portfolio: Namibia

¨Participated in PAAD activity, KEAPEM project in support of biodiversity: Madagascar

¨Revised IEE for Agricultural Sector Assistance Program: Malawi

¨Monitored NRM Project (690-0251) and assisted Mission in preparation of API: Botswana

¨Developed concept papers: USAID and GIS; USAID Strategy on Forest Resource Utilization; Environmental Staffing and the Role of NPA in the 1990s

¨Participated in USAID workshop on environmental procedures: Namibia

¨Project review and implementation: Anjouan Sustainable Agricultural Project: Comoros

¨Project Evaluation, Anjouan ASAP: Comoros

¨Participated as manager and represented REDSO/ESA in USAID network conference of R&D/AGR/IARC: Kenya

¨Participated in writing Mission CPSP: Burundi

¨Managed project and grant to: African Pest & Envt. Mgmt. Foundation: Kenya, Uganda and Burundi

¨Conducted sector assessment studies in forestry/ soil conservation for Mission strategy: Ethiopia

¨Wrote evaluation report of USAID Cooperative Agreement with ICRAF, the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry, as the USAID monitor of agroforestry grant activity in East Africa.

¨Contributed inputs into design of Monitoring & Evaluation Plan: Malawi

¨Technical review of World Vision-Kenya project, Morulem Irrigation Project: Kenya

¨Participated in group discussions of IFPRI/ICRAF/CIFOR policy/administration planning: Kenya

¨Attended International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing Congress: Washington, D.C.

¨Participated in development of Mission CPSP, with environmental themes: Ethiopia

¨Reviewed Mission environmental and NRM portfolio to support extensions or new projects: Tanzania

¨Project monitoring and drafting SOW for range management projects:  Lesotho

¨Project design inputs to Department of Research and Environmental Affairs: Malawi

¨Conducted preliminary environmental assessment of Community NRM Project (632-0228): Lesotho

¨Evaluation team: Rwenzori Mountains Conservation & Development Project (Grant 617-0119): Uganda

¨Participated in AFRENA/EA Zonal Planning Workshop: Uganda

¨Participated in Atlas Workshop on natural resources management: Gabon

¨Participated in UN Environmental Programme workshop on desertification: Kenya

¨Participated: World Bank workshop on envt. economics & Natl. Envt. Action Plans: Kenya

¨Participated in USAID workshop on natural resources/environment: The Gambia

¨Participated in World Bank workshop: “Strategy for Forest Sector in sub-Saharan Africa: Kenya

¨Participated in UNEP conference: African Elephant Conservation Coordinating Group: Kenya

¨Reviewed Title II programs in natural resources management in private sector: Ethiopia

¨Participated in mid-term evaluation of Action Plan for the Environment: Uganda

¨Wrote proposed grant to the College of African Wildlife Management: Tanzania

¨Wrote concept paper on aspects of SAVEM and KEAPEM projects: Madagascar

¨Wrote Scoping Statement for NGO operations in country: Madagascar

¨Drafted sector assessment, environment/natural resources: Zambia

¨Participated in UNEP Conference Between Rhinoceros Range States and Consumer States, Donors on Financing the Conservation of the Rhinoceros: Kenya

¨Wrote IEE for African Root Crop Network project: Malawi

¨Revised IEE for Grant to Displaced Persons: Rwanda





 Agroforestry Research Network, East Africa    



Assessment of Program Impact


 Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research



Country Program Strategic Plan


 Environmental Impact Review           


Initial Environmental Examination


 International Centre for Research in Agroforestry         


Non-Governmental Organization


 Non Project Assistance


 Natural Resources Management


 Program Assistance Approval Document


Project Assistance Implementation Plan


Project Identification Document         


Project Paper


 Regional Economic Development Services Office, East and Southern Africa


Scope of Work


 United Nations Environmental Programme


United States Agency for International Development


 [VGC1]                PAAD    = Project Assistance Approval Document

                             PID       = Project Identification Document

                             PAIP     = Project Assistance Implementation Plan

                             PP        = Project Paper

                             IEE       = Initial Environmental Examination

Hope in Adversity
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