IU McKinney Alumnus Finds International Connections Between Indiana and the World
Terry Slywka, ’96, has spent the last 10 years working overseas on legal reform projects in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
“I have found the international connections between Indiana and the world are much greater than many think,” Slywka said.
After spending eight years in the former Soviet Union, specifically Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, Slywka has been in Kosovo for the last two years. He works as Chief of Party, or the field project leader, for U.S. Agency for International Development, also known as USAID. He leads a staff of about 50 experts and is in charge of the USAID Business Enabling Environment Program, a three year project which runs through 2013.
Kosovo, supported by Slywka’s project, had by far the greatest improvement in business-related laws and processes from 2011-2012 in the World Bank and International Finance Corporation report “Doing Business 2013.” Kosovo also had the single greatest improvement in any indicator; in this case it was “Protecting Investors,” due to increased corporate disclosure, avoidance of conflict of interest and director liability provisions.
But it’s not all about the technical aspects of this kind of work, Slywka said.
“We also work closely with citizens and all the usual parties in the development industry, trying to find the roots of economic development and good governance in local legal and cultural traditions, while avoiding the cut and paste approach of rote replication of policies and laws from other countries,” he said. “At the same time, the work has driven a bit of personal introspection about the role of law in various countries (and how people manage their interpersonal relationships), the commonality of the human condition, the unlimited potential and capability of people around the world, and what we as America means to the world.”