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Peace Corps: Sunset Positions – An Unstructured Situation
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Tom Bissell Reviews The Triumph of Christianity (Uzbekistan)
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PC Sunset Positions
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Former Peace Corps Official Guilty of Violating Conflict of Interest Law
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The IT office at the Peace Corps is undergoing a leadership shakeup (DC)
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Review–The Lost City of the Monkey by Douglas Preston (Honduras)
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Mark Gearan Appointed to Head IOP at Harvard’s Kennedy School
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Review — CULTURE MAP by Erin Meyer (Botswana)
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First RPCV Conference 1965 Washington, D.C.
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Mark Jacobs (Paraguay) gives keynote address at Virginia Lessons From Abroad Conference Longwood University

Peace Corps: Sunset Positions – An Unstructured Situation

Marian Haley Beil  has posted the list of the five pages of the Peace Corps positions which are being sunset.    This information was obtained from FOIA 17-0166, submitted in August 2017 and received on February 9th, 2018.  Here is the background: Peace Corps is caught in a riptide of conflicting directives. It must reduce its staff by 20%; address the “Management Challenges” identified by the OIG; and, continue to place and support serving Volunteers. All of this must be done effectively, efficiently and equitably. The support of the RPCV community is going to be more important than ever. Let us look more closely at each “challenge”, beginning with the 20% staff reduction. In May of 2017, President Trump directed all federal agencies to prepare a plan to reduce staff by 20%. Acting Peace Corps Director RPCV Crowley had each department prepare a list of jobs to be “sunset”.In August of 2017, Crowley announced the survey was complete and tht reduction . . .

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Tom Bissell Reviews The Triumph of Christianity (Uzbekistan)

A little over a week ago,  Denis Nolan (Ethiopia 1964-66), reviewed on this site: Apostle: Travels Among the Tombs of the Twelve written by Tom Bissell (Uzbekistan 1996). This Sunday, February 18th, in the Book Section of The New York Times, Tom reviews the new book by Bart D. Ehrman entitled, The Triumph of Christianity. While Ehrman’s book has received some mixed reviews (check out the WSJ) Tom sums up his lengthy review with this wise comment (and reason alone to read the book) “Reading about how an entire culture’s precepts and traditions can be overthrown without anyone being able to stop it may not be heartening at this particular historical moment. All the more reason to spend time in the company of such a humane, thoughtful and intelligent historian.” A collection of Bissell’s essays entitled, Magic Hours, is being reissued in paperback in March.  

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Former Peace Corps Official Guilty of Violating Conflict of Interest Law

The Peace Corps has just published  the following News Release.  It is important to note that a member of the Peace Corps staff alerted tne Office of General Counsel which led to this conviction. The News Release does not name the NGO.  We will try and find out. Later: POLITICO is reporting that the NGO was Seed Global Health.  Here is the link: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/05/buckingham-charity-lobbying-charge-391975 John Coyne, Peace Corps World Wide has reported on the relationship: Here is  one link: http://peacecorpsworldwide.org/the-peace-corps-in-bed-with-seed-global-health-foundation/ Press Release Peace Corps referral results in successful criminal prosecution The Peace Corps announced that its investigation and referral of a criminal case to the Department of Justice led to the successful prosecution of a former official charged with violating conflict of interest law. Former Peace Corps employee Warren “Buck” Buckingham admitted to violating a criminal conflict of interest law and agreed to pay a $10,000 penalty as part of a deferred . . .

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The IT office at the Peace Corps is undergoing a leadership shakeup (DC)

Peace Corps CIO exits after 3 months By Chase Gunter Feb 15, 2018 The IT office at the Peace Corps is undergoing a leadership shakeup. Rick Endres, who took over as Peace Corps CIO in October, is no longer in the position, an agency spokesperson confirmed. Deputy CIO Scott Knell, who served as the agency’s acting CIO from January through October 2017, is once again acting CIO. The CIO job at the Peace Corps is a career position, not a politically appointed one. The agency’s CIO is charged with managing a global network and infrastructure that includes the D.C. headquarters and overseas posts that support staff and more than 7,400 volunteers worldwide. The Trump administration is requesting $31.2 million for Peace Corps OCIO operations for FY2019, down from $42 million in 2017. The agency’s overall budget request is $396 million. The agency is currently in the midst of a technology . . .

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Review–The Lost City of the Monkey by Douglas Preston (Honduras)

The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston Published by Grand Central Publishing 326 pages January 2017 Kindle $9.49, Hardback $10.81, Paper $9.49 According to the author of The Lost City of the Monkey God, Douglas Preston, two Peace Corps Volunteers were instrumental in discovering an ancient ossuary in the Mosquitia of Honduras, which would turn out to be the most important archaeological find since discovering Copan. In April 1994, Timothy Berg (Honduras 1993-95)  and Greg Cabe (Honduras 1993-95) explored some caves on the Talgua River and, walking in a shallow stream, entered into one of the largest caves where, to their surprise, they ran across a ledge littered with pre-Columbian artifacts and eventually, something strangely elongated and “frosted like sugar candy, covered with glittering crystals of calcite. The discovery of an abandoned metropolis occurred almost eighteen years later in 2012, when the author joined a team of scientists and . . .

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Mark Gearan Appointed to Head IOP at Harvard’s Kennedy School

Mark Gearan, who’s spent much of his career in politics and academia, is the new director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School. Mark, who was Director of the Peace Corps from 1995-99, growing up in Gardner, Mass, and  worked on former Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis’s 1988 presidential campaign, and in President Clinton’s White House. Most recently, and for over 18 years, he was President of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in upstate New York. “The IOP exposes students to the practical world of politics and public service in order to inspire and help the students enter that world later in their lives,” said Douglas Elmendorf, Dean of the Harvard Kennedy School. “Our students will benefit greatly from Mark’s deep knowledge of both public service and higher education.” “I am honored to serve as the next director of the Institute of Politics.  The mission to inspire and prepare Harvard . . .

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Review — CULTURE MAP by Erin Meyer (Botswana)

  The Culture Map: Breaking Through The Invisible Boundaries of Global Business by Erin Meyer (Botswana 1993-95) Public Affairs Books 288 pages 2014 $26.99 (hardcover), $10.98 (paperback), $9.99 (Kindle)   Reviewed by Laurette Bennhold-Samaan (PC/HQ 1994-01) • The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Globe Business, is beneficial even for a 30+ year seasoned interculturalist as myself having lived and worked globally with multiple nationalities. I was born in Egypt to an Egyptian father and an American mother of Armenian origin.While Erin Meyer, the author, “was not born into a multicultural family to parents who took her around the world,” she and I share much in common—a former professor, interculturalist, Peace Corps experience and most importantly the love and understanding of the impact culture has on shaping us as individuals and our personalities. I can personally relate to almost every one of Erin’s illustrative examples. The Culture Map provides us with a smart, . . .

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First RPCV Conference 1965 Washington, D.C.

CITIZEN IN A TIME OF CHANGE THE RETURNED PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER 1965 PEACE CORPS CONFERENCE March 5-7 1965 Harris Wofford, Editor,conference report Thanks to the ‘heads up’ from Geri Critchley (Senegal 2971-72) who saved the report of the first Returned Peace Corps Conference held at the State Department. The list of RPCVs who attended are on pages 85,86,87  of this 90+ report. Click on the link below to read or download the report. (Note: JCoyne)  1965 RPCV Conference Report Low-Res

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Mark Jacobs (Paraguay) gives keynote address at Virginia Lessons From Abroad Conference Longwood University

  The Lessons From Abroad (LFA) organization seeks to help students make sense of their education abroad experience after they have returned home. LFA offers programming, resources, and research that establishes a community of learners who successfully integrate their international experience in all facets of their academic, personal, and professional lives. LFA also provides practitioners in the field of higher education opportunities for collaboration, research and professional development. They asked Mark Jacobs  (Paraguay 1978-80) to speak to their students returning from overseas. What follows is Mark being introduced by the Director of the college’s Study Abroad program and  what Mark had to tell the students of Longwood University of Virginia. — JCoyne •   Introduction by Emily Kane, Ph.D. Director of Study Abroad program at Longwood University It’s my great pleasure to introduce you all to Mark Jacobs, our keynote speaker today. Jacobs is the author of five books and over . . .

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