This was in the Al Kamen’s Washington Post column, In The Loop, this morning. Kamen was a PCV in the Dominican Republic in the early Sixties.
What with President Obama’s emphasis on volunteerism domestically and internationally, it seemed odd that there has been no announcement of a new Peace Corps director. One name circulating as a top contender for the post is James Arena-DeRosa, now New England regional manager for the Peace Corps in Boston. Arena-DeRosa also teaches developmental research and advocacy at Brandeis University and worked with the aid organization Oxfam International.
“Some folks in the returned-volunteer community, a powerful and active lobby, may be less than delighted about this. There’s a strong feeling among some former volunteers — not shared by all of us — that service overseas is a prerequisite for the job, especially with so many former volunteers available. Arena-DeRosa reportedly enjoys strong support from Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) and from some key players on the Hill.
“Meanwhile, the Obama budget is giving Peace Corps devotees major agita. Despite Obama’s past boosterism, it appears that the agency’s proposed budget is up only 10 percent next year and that the number of volunteers is projected to rise by 20 percent, to 9,000, by 2012. It peaks at 11,000 by the end of 2016, short of the doubling Obama talked about by 2012.”