Archive - 2019

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PCV Care Packages
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Big data is Peace Corps’ ticket to renewed policy relevance (and mojo) (Malawi)
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Charles Nelson, Program Development and Coordination
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Campus Recruitment–Those Were the Days!
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Original Staff at the Peace Corps, 1961 (Part Two)
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Being in the Peace Corps is Mentally Exhausting
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Original Staff at the Peace Corps, 1961 (Part One)
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RPCV Cartoon by James Cloutier (Kenya)
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PCV Cartoon by James Cloutier (Kenya)
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Morocco’s First Peace Corps Staff

Big data is Peace Corps’ ticket to renewed policy relevance (and mojo) (Malawi)

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Dan Campbell (El Salvador 1974-77) • Big data is Peace Corps’ ticket to renewed policy relevance (and mojo) by Michael Buckler, opinion contributor — 01/10/19 The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of the hill Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen recently spoke at the Center for Strategic and International Studies about the future of the iconic agency under her watch. As a former Peace Corps teacher in Malawi (2006-08), I was struck by Director Olsen’s honesty regarding the agency’s need to “demonstrate results” in addition to sharing “wonderful” stories. Director Olsen framed Peace Corps as a “strategic point in longer-term development efforts,” with volunteers providing “data points” to development partners such as USAID. These words suggest a seismic shift for a staunchly qualitative agency searching for relevancy in an increasingly quantitative world. Director Olsen appeared to identify Congress as the catalyst: “the Hill . . .

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Charles Nelson, Program Development and Coordination

This division developed general guidelines and policies for program development and operations and recommends the allocation of resources among regions and types of projects. It developed and negotiated all project proposals which were interregional in scope. Charles Nelson worked his way through Lincoln University with the usual college jobs—washing dishes, working as a library researcher—and one of the marked distinction—making corn flakes during the summers at the Kellogg’s factory in his home town of Battle Creek, Michigan.   After graduating in the social and behavioral sciences, Nelson went through Officers Candidate School in the Army and was assigned in 1942 to a tank-destroyer battalion with which he landed at Omaha Beach in France after D-day. The battalion participated in three European campaigns as it rolled across France, Germany and Austria. The advance ended at Innsbruck where at the end of the war Nelson moved into the military government, serving as . . .

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Original Staff at the Peace Corps, 1961 (Part Two)

The Peace Corps’ original executive secretary was Bradley Patterson Jr., who had been one of the State Department’s veteran executive secretaries. A mountain climber by avocation, Patterson helped set up the first Cabinet secretariat and then served as assistant secretary to the Cabinet under President Eisenhower, where his performance led to  his receiving the Arthur S. Flemming Award for 1960. His duties have taken him to international conferences and to George Washington University, where he lectured on public administration. He left the Peace Corps to become special assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury. The man who set up the Medical Division was Dr. Lee J. Gehrig, an honor graduate of the University of Minnesota Medical School and veteran surgeon with the U.S. Public Health Service. Part of his career was spent roaming Alaska in a campaign against tuberculosis and part on the high seas—as ship’s physician aboard the three-masted . . .

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Original Staff at the Peace Corps, 1961 (Part One)

The first face that the visitor to Peace Corps headquarters usually saw belonged to receptionist Helene Farrall. Helene, who studied at the University of Maryland and had worked for the American Friends of the Middle East. She wa born and raised in Faulkner, Md. and she still lived there. Her dedication to the Peace Corps was shown by the fact that she undertook a daily commute of 45 miles in each direction.       John D. Rockefeller IV, was a Far East program officer in charge of the Philippines and North Borneo/Sarawak. Previously he was special assistant to the Director and ran the talent search. “Jay” went to Harvard, his travelled widely throughout Asia, did postgraduate study in Chinese affairs at Yale, and spent three Peace Corps-type years as a student and teacher in a Japanese university. He has written on Japanese affairs for both the New York Times magazine and Life. . . .

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Morocco’s First Peace Corps Staff

On May 2, 1962, the Peace Corps sent Lawrence Williams to Rabat, the capital city of independent Morocco. Williams, then operations officer for French-speaking Africa, joined in discussions which soon led to Peace Corps programs in three countries of West Africa—Morocco, Senegal and the Ivory Coast. These discussions were comparatively brief—a sign that in its second year the Peace Corps was becoming an established institution around the world. In mid-June, Williams went to the Ivory Coast for two weeks, returned briefly to Rabat, and on June 29, took off to Dakar in Senegal. By July 8, he was back in Washington. The program in Morocco called for English teachers and rural community action workers where the emphasis was on surveying and irrigation. The 56 Volunteers who were to carry out this program went into training at California State Polytechnic in San Luis Obispo on October 12, 1962. They arrived in . . .

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