Steve McLaughlin

Steve sent an update on his current activities in 2021 now that he and his wife Margaret are fully retired.


Since moving to Cape Cod in the fall of 2019, I haven’t completely settled on all the activities that will keep me fully engaged in my "rewirement," using Jan Droegkamp's definition of retirement. On the cerebral side, however, I am involved in the "Wake Up Cape Cod" group that meets regularly to discuss global issues and determine how to raise them within the Cape community.  


I am also pursuing my long-standing interest in genealogy which has resulted in my discovering previously unknown cousins from family identity DNA tests that has led to a steady filling out of my family tree. I still await, though, a return to full vocal music accessibility before deciding how to put choral singing back into my life.[12-21]


Steve wrote about his activities in 2018:


I continue doing independent consulting in evaluation of (mostly) educational programs in developing and conflict/transition countries. My assignments in recent years, like my earlier work, have ranged widely in purposes and places: a retrospective evaluation of a long-completed USAID education project (Ghana) as part of a multi-country comparative study; creation of a generic evaluation design for assessing Peace Corps' small project grant program based on two countries' experiences (Ukraine and Senegal); an evaluation of USAID's efforts to assist development of a reliable and transparent merit-based mechanism for university admission (Ukraine); and separate evaluations of a USAID youth development project and a private school system for girls who were denied education by conservative cultural norms (Afghanistan). Let it be said that the early start I got in education evaluation methodology from David Kinsey at CIE lives on.


Although partly retired but ready to take on interesting assignments, I along with my wife Margaret continue to live in Washington, D.C.—for the second time after an earlier incarnation from 1987 to 1999. When not engaged in the now occasional consultancies, my days are filled with satisfying volunteer activities. One of these is assisting unemployed individuals—often, the formerly incarcerated—to write their resumes and apply for jobs online at a center of Samaritan Ministries, which has made me aware of the inequity of our justice system for, and the unfulfilled potential of, so many Americans.  


To compensate for my own unrealized musical proclivities since college years, I sing bass in a Capitol Hill church choir. My and Margaret's participation in a tour of the Holy Land in 2015 led us and another traveler on that pilgrimage to solicit modest financial support back home for a small group of Jewish Israeli and Palestinian psychologists addressing the seemingly intractable conflict through joint training of trauma-reducing therapies. And, since mid-2017, I began (trying) to master Tai Chi as a personal challenge to mind and body. We will see what else is in store with Life 2.0.


My biggest undertaking over the past nine months is initiating a 50th anniversary reunion of my Peace Corps Volunteer group in Sierra Leone. Scheduled in mid-October 2018, the reunion has proved to be more demanding to plan than I imagined, but locating long out-of-touch colleagues and discovering our different life paths after a common overseas experience has been unusually rewarding.


Margaret and I continue to enjoy the rich cultural opportunities that go with living in Washington, D.C. and keeping in touch with friends around New England until the time when we will relocate back to Cape Cod. [2-18]





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