August 21, 2012

Dear Colleagues:

For the past three years, I have had the privilege to lead one of the most beloved and valued agencies in the United States federal government.  It has been a distinct honor to serve as the Director of the Peace Corps in President Obama’s Administration and tocrop-photo-peace-corps-bld further his policy of broader global engagement.  That is why it is with a heavy heart that I announce my decision to step down as Peace Corps Director effective September 17, 2012.

This has been a difficult choice because serving in this position has been the highlight of my public service career.  It has brought my personal journey in government full circle - from Peace Corps Volunteer to Director.   It is time, however, for me to shift my focus to my family.

It has been an honor to lead an outstanding team who support our remarkable Volunteers day in and day out.   I will forever marvel at the dedication, intellect and skill of the Peace Corps team working around the globe.  Your work and commitment have been crucial to achieving our shared success.

Volunteers embody our three enduring goals.  I have had the opportunity to see them empower girls and bolster the skills of future leaders.  They teach English, math and science and reduce the spread of preventable diseases like HIV/AIDS and Malaria. They open a window to the world in the countries they serve and back home as well.  During my tenure as Director of the Peace Corps, I have met thousands of Americans across our nation who are Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and have committed their life’s work to service.

Carrie Hessler-Radelet, Deputy Director of the Peace Corps, will begin serving as Acting Peace Corps Director upon my departure.  I am confident that the superb team, under her and Chief of Staff Stacy Rhodes’ continued strong leadership will lead the Peace Corps to great success as it heads into the next 50 years.

I will always be grateful for your commitment to the ideals set forth by our founder Sargent Shriver.   It has indeed been a remarkable journey to serve side by side with you.  Thank you.


Aaron S. Williams