Joanne Roll (Colombia 1963-65) who blogs on the site at: Peace Corps: Public Records was kind enough to send me this email after we learned of the death of Dr. Textor. I thought you might like to see it. As you may know Robert, in the fall of 1961, then a graduate student consultant at the Peace Corps, wrote the original memo “In, Up & Out,” for his boss, Franklin Williams, who gave the memo to Shriver and it, almost overnight, became Peace Corps policy.

In that memo is this passage on the selection criteria for Peace Corps Representatives, i.e. Country Directors. It is, I think, generally agreed that the position of the CD is the most important one in the Peace Corps. Here’s what Bob thought.

“The candidate…should be the opposite of ethnocentric. He should start out with a genuine humility toward other peoples’ way of life.

Photo by Don Messerschmidt

Photo by Don Messerschmidt

 It should be an article of conviction with him that he has much to learn from the culture of the host country. He should be prepared, at a level deeply within his psychological make-up, to learn as well as to teach…..The candidate should have a deep realization that the value judgment is a dangerous weapon and that the local culture must be carefully and sensitively learned first, before one has earned the right to prescribe change.” 

Well said, Bob!