Author - Joanne Roll

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Latest Update: Unoffical Guide to Resource for Peace Corps History
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Update on the Returned Peace Corps Oral History Project
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Health Justice for Peace Corps Volunteers posts new request
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Confirmation Hearing for Peace Corps Director Nominee Jody Olsen
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Jody Olsen’s testimony in her confirmation hearing before the US Congress Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
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Peace Corps: Sunset Positions – An Unstructured Situation
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Former Peace Corps Official Guilty of Violating Conflict of Interest Law
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UPDATE: RPCV Oral History Archives Project
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CBS Reports and Peace Corps Responds
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The Peace Corps Plan In The Event of a Government Shutdown

Latest Update: Unoffical Guide to Resource for Peace Corps History

An unofficial guide to the locations of resources describing the Peace Corps, and its history.  This list is a cooperative effort with Alana deJoseph, producer of the documentary in progress, A Towering Task, her team and the many archivists and librarians at the places cited. Thank you to all . — J Roll This list of locations is independent of the Peace Corps and was created without the assistance or authorization of the Peace Corps.  The archives and/or organizations each maintain their collections and have their own rules and procedures for accepting donations and accessing the collection. It is necessary to contact each directly for further information. (Update: April 30, 2018   This is the latest information we have. Please comment, correct and contribute.) Peace Corps is a federal agency staffed by civilian service employees, who may or may not have served in the Peace Corps and who are responsible for . . .

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Update on the Returned Peace Corps Oral History Project

One of the many hidden treasures of Peace Corps history is the RPCV Oral History Collection at the JFK Library, begun more than seventeen years ago by RPCV Robert Klein,(Ghana I). Bob interviewed members of Ghana I for his book, Being First: An Informal History of the Early Peace Corps Robert Klein (Ghana 1961-63) Wheatmark, 2010* and realized how valuable those taped interviews were. He decided to expand to interview as many RPCVs as possible, at his own expense. For years, he crisscrossed the country, interviewing RPCVs and teaching them how to interview others. The JFK Library agreed to archive the tapes. Bob Klein died in 2012 and his work was carried on by his good friend, Phyllis Noble.  Sadly, Phyllis, too has passed on.  But, the JFK Oral History project lives on.  RPCVs have continued this incredibly important work.  Now they have affiliated with the National Peace Corps Association. Here . . .

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Health Justice for Peace Corps Volunteers posts new request

Health Justice for Peace Corps Volunteers advocates for serving Volunteers and RPCVs. The group has been successful in bringing attention to the serious health related problems serving Volunteers may have incountry as well as the problems facing RPCVs with service connected medical conditions. Members have worked, not only with Peace Corps, but  also Congress seeking solutions. Both the pending Sam Farr Peace Corps Enchancement Act HR2259, which HJPCV has specifically worked for as well as the pending  Nick Castle Reform Act of 2018, S2286, reflect the attention they have brought to these important issues Now, a serving Volunteer wishes to gain support to ask Peace Corps to change existing STI testing guides. HJPCV supports her efforts:  From the HJPCV Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Health-Justice-for-Peace-Corps-Volunteers-252575374823790/ “A currently serving Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon is reaching out to PCVs and RPCVs to bring the attention of the Peace Corps to an important health issue . . .

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Confirmation Hearing for Peace Corps Director Nominee Jody Olsen

Listen to a video recording of Jody Olsen’s appearance for her confirmation hearing before Senate Committe on Foreign Relations. Kevin Edward Moley, nominee for the position of Assistant Secretary of State, was also interviewed by this panel at the same time that Olsen was interviewed. The interchange between Moley and members of the Committee was very interesting,  informative, and substantial. In my opinion, the questions for Jody Olsen were more pro forma and yielded little information of how she might act as Director.  The meeting runs about one hour. https://www.foreign.senate.gov/hearings/nominations-022718  

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Jody Olsen’s testimony in her confirmation hearing before the US Congress Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

Statement for the Record Dr. Josephine (Jody) K. Olsen Nominee for Peace Corps Director Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee February 27, 2018 2:30 p.m.  Chairman Young, Ranking Member Merkley, and other distinguished Members of the Committee; it is an honor and a privilege to appear before you today as the President’s nominee to lead the Peace Corps. I am grateful to President Trump for his trust and confidence. I am also grateful to all those who helped me prepare for today. I also want to recognize my daughter, son-in-law, and brother, who are here, and family who are watching live. I vividly remember standing in a classroom before 40 students at the Lycée de Garçon de Sousse on my first day as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tunisia. I was 22 years old, nervous, and had no idea what my first words would be. In Arabic, French or English. . . .

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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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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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UPDATE: RPCV Oral History Archives Project

Here is an important  announcement received from Patrica Wand (Colombia 63-65) and Evelyn Ganzglass (Somalia 1966 –1968)  on behalf of the RPCV Oral History Archives Project. “We are pleased to announce that we applied for Affiliate Group status for the RPCV Oral History Archives Project (OHAP) and in December the request was granted by National Peace Corps Association (NPCA).  This is a wonderful year-end tribute to Phyllis Noble,(Nigeria 65-67) who died in 2017, and to Robert Klein,(Ghana  61-63) OHAP Founder,who died in 2012, for their essential contributions to the Project. And there’s more good news.   Three RPCVs have joined us in forming a leadership team for the RPCV Oral History Archives Project. Amy Amessoudji  (Guinea 1995-1997) Cedar Wolf  (Namibia 2006-2008) Harry Bennett  (Belize 2002-2004),   Fundraising is underway to pay for digitizing over 520 analog interviews in the JFK Library. Interviews since 2015 are recorded electronically and over 100 are now available in the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Collection at the JFK Library. . . .

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CBS Reports and Peace Corps Responds

The ongoing controversy over the safety and security of serving Volunteers has yet another chapter. The Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011 mandated Peace Corps to implement policy and program changes to reduce the risk of sexual assault to Volunteers and to provide adequate support for those who were victims. The legislation created an independent Sexual Assault Advisory Council to monitor progress in implementing the legislation. The Peace Corps Office of Inspector General has also evaluated Peace Corps progress. Reports indicated that Peace Corps was moving forward but “challenges” to full compliance remained. Kellie Greene was hired and then terminated as the first Peace Corps Victim Advocate Officer. She filed a “whistle blowers” complaint and the Office of Special Council reviewed it. The report issued by the OSC was published here at Peace Corps World Wide. Peace Corps lacks certain sexual assault prevention measures says OSC Now comes . . .

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The Peace Corps Plan In The Event of a Government Shutdown

Update:  As of today, January 18, 2018, Peace Corps has published its Operations Plan in the Absence of Appropriatons.  It would appear that the policy to maintain Volunteers in the field, at least in the short term, is still policy as is printed below.  Read the plan here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.peacecorps.gov/documents/open-government/Peace_Corps_Operations_Plan_in_the_Absence_of_Appropriations.pdf If by midnight, January 19, 2019, Congress fails to pass a budget or a Continuing Resolution to continue funding for the federal government,  then there will be a  Government Shutdown.  Peace Corps issued a plan to show how it would continue operations if there were to be a government shutdown in December of 2017.  In December, Congress avoided a government shutdown by passing a Continuing Resolution which is set to expire on January 19, 2019, at midnight. Here is the  important policy statement from the plan published November 2017. 5. POLICY A. Any lapse in funding is expected to be temporary and . . .

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