Archive - March 16, 2017

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The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 7

The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 7

Elaine Chao was appointed Peace Corps Director by President Bush on October 8, 1991. She resigned on November 13, 1992. I believe her thirteen months as Director is the shortest tour. When I interviewed her in her first months at the Peace Corps, she had already made one tour to Africa and sitting in her office she broke down in tears recalling how the PCVs were living overseas. This was first of many ‘teardowns’ she would have in speaking to RPCV groups. It became a standard joke and RPCVs began to laugh at her when she had her outbursts. Hey, this is the Peace Corps, what did you expect? Later I would learn on her first trip to West Africa and visiting a female volunteer living in a village and seeing how the young woman was dealing with life in the developing world, she burst out, “Does your mother know . . .

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