Sarge with Colombia I, Summer of 1961
where returned Volunteers share their expertise and experiences
Sarge with Colombia I, Summer of 1961
Check out: http://www.kinkyfriedman.com/events/
Clilck the venue name to go to their website.
Friday, Oct 2
The Loneliest Man I Ever Met Tour
Friday, Oct 9
Saturday, Oct 10
Sunday, Oct 11
Monday, Oct 12
Tuesday, Oct 13
Wednesday, Oct 14
Thursday, Oct 15
Friday, Oct 16
Saturday, Oct 17
Monday, Oct 19
Wednesday, Oct 21
Thursday, Oct 22
Saturday, Oct 24
Sunday, Oct 25
Monday, Oct 26
Tuesday, Oct 27
Wednesday, Oct 28
Thursday, Oct 29
Friday, Oct 30
Saturday, Oct 31
Monday, Nov 2
Tuesday, Nov 3
Wednesday, Nov 4
Thursday, Nov 5
Friday, Nov 6
Sunday, Nov 8
Tuesday, Nov 10
Thursday, Nov 12
Monday, Nov 23
Thanks for the ‘Heads Up’ from Sally Collier (Ethiopia 1962-64; CD Swaziland 1995-96; Zimabwe 1997-2000)
AUGUST 18, 2015
For far too many people in the United States, the issue of “illegal immigration” evokes visions of people crossing the border from Mexico, intent on taking American jobs and using government services without paying taxes. Those images are either gross exaggerations or outright lies. For example, it is now well established that undocumented immigrants pay tens of billions of dollars in taxes in the United States each year, at the federal and state-and-local levels. Nonetheless, right-wing politicians in this country continue to stoke fear and hatred, and opposition to a “path to citizenship” has become a litmus-test issue in the Republican presidential contest.
As depressing as that ongoing problem is, it is important to remember that xenophobic, race-based discrimination also continues to cause problems elsewhere in the world. One of the most disturbing ethnic-fueled crises is occurring right now in the Dominican Republic (DR), which received an influx of Haitian refugees after a catastrophic earthquake in 2010. That refugee crisis inflamed long-simmering tensions between Haitians and Dominicans. The Dominican Republic is the richer of the two countries on the island of Hispaniola, and conflict between the two groups has existed for decades. Haitians tend to be poorer, even those ethnic Haitians who live in the DR, as they are pushed to the edges of the economy and live (at best) subsistence existences. Because Haitians tend to be darker-skinned, they are easily targeted for discrimination.
Many Americans saw the excellent 2004 film “Hotel Rwanda,” an Oscar-nominated dramatization of the events surrounding the 1994 Rwandan genocide in which 800,000 people were slaughtered, including up to three-quarters of the targeted Tutsi population (as well as many Hutu who opposed the genocide that was being carried out in their name). The United Nations and the western powers were aware of the killing, but at crucial moments failed to stop or even slow the attempted genocide.
Although the Rwandan genocide has quite appropriately become an important touchstone to remind us of the consequences of inaction, in some ways its horrors dull the senses to other serious international crimes and humanitarian disasters. Anything less than the atrocities of Rwanda in 1994 can somehow seem like a minor event. What we need to remember is that early action can prevent matters from getting out of hand. And even if a situation does not (yet) involve mass killing, mass displacements are also serious human rights violations.
Interestingly, what is needed in the Haitian-Dominican situation today is not aggressive intervention of the sort that would have made all the difference in Rwanda. Instead, as I will explain below, the best approach for the United States now is simply to withdraw financial support for the DR security forces. Rather than rousing ourselves to do more, we can simply decide to do less. Before explaining how this would work, however, it is important to explain just what the government of the DR is trying to do.
Many ethnic Haitians have lived in the DR for generations. Although they are “Haitian,” they are Haitian in the same sense that I am Scottish, or that my wife is German. Imagine an exchange between an “American” and me:
The American: “You’ve been deemed not to be a real U.S. citizen, so you have to go back to where you came from.”
Me: “You mean … Connecticut?”
A: “No, where your father came from.”
M: “Oh, Ohio.”
A: “Grandfather, then.”
A: “Yeah, that one!”
Although it is possible to present this in a humorous way, stripping people of their citizenship-even people whose parents actually did live in another country-and forcing them to return to countries that might not even recognize them, effectively leaving them without a country, is a human rights violation. Yet in 2013, “the Dominican Republic’s highest court issue[d] a ruling that stripped hundreds of thousands of people of their Dominican citizenship, based on a retroactive reinterpretation of the country’s nationality laws.” There could have been no question whom this ruling would affect most, because “the vast majority of those impacted are of Haitian descent, particularly those born to undocumented parents between 1929 and 2010, with an estimated 200,000 people made stateless by the ruling.”
In response to some international pressure, the Dominican government has recently tried to respond to criticism, reportedly offering assurances that no Dominican-born person will be deported, and promising case-by-case adjudication of claims. Even so, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights found in 2014 that the DR had engaged in “a systematic pattern of expulsions of Haitians and persons of Haitian descent based on discriminatory concepts, including collective expulsions.” Moreover, the case-by-case adjudications will require people at risk of deportation to produce documents proving where they were born, which is often expensive or impossible for this vulnerable, targeted population.
Isn’t International Law Hard to Enforce? Yes, but U.S. Law-and Funding-Is What Matters Here
In any international human rights dispute, it can be frustrating to try to figure out what could be done, even if there were the will to do it. It is not simply a matter of calling the FBI to arrest a domestic terrorist, or working with Interpol to track down an international fugitive. (Even those situations, of course, can become complicated very quickly.) We must often ask, for example, what happens if relevant international law does not exist, or if the relevant countries have not ratified the relevant treaties. What, in any case, can one country do about a problem in another country, within an international legal system that uses national sovereignty as the cornerstone of the law?
Fortunately, that problem is only in the background with respect to the current crisis in the DR. Although there are certainly difficult issues of international law in play, there is a law in the United States that permits (and, in some cases, actually requires) the American government to respond to human rights violations. The so-called Leahy Amendments grant the Secretary of State the authority to withhold funding from the security forces of governments that have violated human rights (or, to be more formal, for which there is credible evidence of a gross human rights violation).
In the current situation, the DR security forces are carrying out the illegal deportation orders, moving people into filthy and unsafe refugee camps on the border between the two countries. The letter below details other worrisome aspects of the current situation in the DR, pointing to a developing human rights catastrophe.
Unfortunately, the Leahy laws are riddled with exemptions and limitations, so it is probably not the case that the United States would be required under those laws to withhold funding.
Fortunately, there are other options. Most directly, the United States Congress could simply decide to exercise the power of the purse, declining to provide financial support to a regime that would use those funds to further a system of mass deportation. Even if current law does not require us to do so, this is an opportunity to pass an important new law.
As the saying goes, money talks. And no matter what the Dominican government might say in response to rulings by international tribunals, the prospect of losing millions of dollars of U.S. aid would focus that government’s attention in a way that talking never could. As I noted above, moreover, this would amount to the United States applying pressure by omission-that is, refusing to “meddle in the internal affairs of a sovereign country” to make that country understand that the United States cannot allow itself to be the enabler of that country’s human rights violations.
The Letter from Peace Corps Workers Who Have Returned from the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is the destination for large numbers of U.S. Peace Corps volunteers. Three former DR-based Peace Corps Country Directors recently sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, urging the United States to enforce the Leahy Laws and stop financial assistance to the Dominican military and police. The letter was co-signed by 560 returned DR-based Peace Corps volunteers. Such a letter is unprecedented, yet it is a morally required statement of concern from people who have spent large amounts of time in the DR. Both The Nation and CNN recently provided positive coverage of the letter.
There are situations in which international diplomacy is nuanced and difficult. It seems clear that this is not one of them. We have an opportunity to use U.S. leverage to prevent a developing crisis, which has already inflicted suffering on thousands of people, from becoming worse.
Because of the importance of the letter from the Peace Corps volunteers, I am ending this column by reproducing that letter in its entirety:
Honorable John F. Kerry
Secretary of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520
cc: Honorable Roberta S. Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of Western Hemisphere Affairs
cc: Honorable Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont
Dear Secretary Kerry,
As 560 returned Peace Corps volunteers and three Country Directors who served in the Dominican Republic, we are grateful for the privilege of having spent years living, working with, and learning from the Dominican people. It is due to our deep and abiding concern for the most vulnerable members of Dominican society that we are writing to you about the crisis of statelessness among Dominicans of Haitian descent. We urge you to end U.S. involvement in the violation of their human rights: enforce the Leahy Amendments to the Foreign Assistance Act and annual Department of Defense appropriations.
The Leahy laws state that no U.S. assistance shall be furnished to any unit of the security forces of a foreign country if there is credible information that such a unit has committed a gross violation of human rights. Given the Dominican government’s disregard for international law with respect to the status of its citizens of Haitian descent; the violent track record of Dominican security forces receiving funding and training from the United States; and the Dominican Armed Forces’ readiness to execute a potentially massive campaign of rights-violating expulsions, we ask that the United States suspend its military aid to the Dominican government.
In 2013, the Dominican Constitutional Court issued a ruling (168-13) that effectively stripped hundreds of thousands of people, primarily those of Haitian descent, of their Dominican citizenship. This ruling stands in direct contravention of international human rights law-specifically the American Convention on Human Rights, which the Dominican government ratified in 1978. This convention enshrines the right to a nationality and prohibits its arbitrary deprivation. Many Dominicans of Haitian ancestry, including those whose families have resided in the Dominican Republic for generations, were rendered stateless and face forcible deportation to a country where many have no ties whatsoever. A subsequent Dominican law (169-14), which addressed the court’s ruling, further entrenched the negation of the right to citizenship on the basis of one’s place of birth, and retroactively conferred citizenship on the basis of the immigration status of one’s parents.
In 2014, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) ruled in a binding decision that the Dominican government practiced “a systematic pattern of expulsions of Haitians and persons of Haitian descent based on discriminatory concepts, including collective expulsions.” The decision called for redress to victims who suffered illegal deportations, the denial of identity documents, and arbitrary deprivation of nationality. The IACHR furthermore deemed Dominican Law 169-14 “an impediment to the full exercise of the right to nationality of the victims” and a violation of “the right to identity, and the right to equal protection of the law recognized in Article 24″ of the American Convention on Human Rights, which are binding obligations.
The Dominican government’s dismissive reaction to the IACHR ruling demonstrated a “shocking disregard for international law,” according to Amnesty International. Dominican security forces have been tasked with implementing these illegal migration policies, according to the declarations of Dominican Defense Minister Máximo William Muñoz Delgado and the head of the General Directorate of Migration, Rubén Darío Paulino Sem. The security forces that appear poised to carry out mass deportations within the country, including the U.S.-trained border patrol agency, CESFRONT, have received more than $17.5 million in assistance from the United States since 2013, the year that the Constitutional Court handed down its ruling.
The Department of State has acknowledged that Dominican security forces have committed gross violations of human rights, including extrajudicial killings and torture. In one instance, according to a 2013 State Department report, migration agents and National Police officers “forcefully entered the home of 31-year-old Haitian immigrant Jean Robert Lors during a mass repatriation round-up” and beat him so severely-allegedly “with the butts of their weapons”- that he died shortly thereafter. A “widespread perception of official impunity” for such egregious acts coupled with routine discrimination against Haitian migrants and their descendants makes it a virtual certainty that darker-skinned Dominicans will suffer severe violations of their human rights as a result of the government’s unlawful policies on migration and citizenship. Indeed, the State Department concluded that within the Dominican Republic, “the most serious human rights problem was discrimination against Haitian migrants and their descendants, including the Constitutional Tribunal’s September 2013 ruling.”
It is exactly this sort of financial assistance to security forces that the Leahy Amendments are designed to curtail, as the State Department demonstrated when it suspended police aid to Saint Lucia in 2013. If the United States is serious about protecting universally recognized human rights, we must no longer abet such actions in the Dominican Republic, much less be complicit in an impending intensification of human rights abuses. In our view, it appears impossible for the Dominican government to move forward with the implementation of its human rights-violating, internationally condemned citizenship laws without involving its security forces in yet more widespread and severe abuses.
We wish to clarify that we make our recommendation not in opposition to the people of the Dominican Republic, but rather against an official U.S. policy of funding and training Dominican security forces that are both responsible for gross human rights violations and positioned to commit many more abuses without a sharp signal from the United States that such practices are unacceptable. By continuing to offer its military aid to the Dominican security forces, the United States is undermining internal efforts by a variety of organizations and individuals in Dominican civil society to protect vulnerable people, defend human rights, and bring the country into compliance with international law. We urge you to suspend U.S. assistance to Dominican security forces and stand up for human rights in the Dominican Republic at this critical moment.
We would greatly appreciate the opportunity to speak with your office about this matter; to this end, a small group of us kindly request a meeting with Assistant Secretary Jacobson at her convenience to further discuss our proposal and address any concerns you may have.
Art Flanagan, Peace Corps Country Director (2011-2014)
Romeo Massey, Peace Corps Country Director (2005-2011)
Dan Salcedo, Peace Corps Country Director (1999-2002)
Neil H. Buchanan, a Justia columnist, is an economist and legal scholar, a Professor of Law at The George Washington University, and a Senior Fellow at the Taxation Law and Policy Research Institute, Monash University (Melbourne, Australia). He blogs at DorfonLaw.org, and he is the author of The Debt Ceiling Disasters: How the Republicans Created an Unnecessary Constitutional Crisis and How the Democrats Can Fight Back.
PEACE CORPS 22 CFR Part 305 RIN 0420-AA26
Eligibility and Standards for Peace Corps Volunteer Service
AGENCY: Peace Corps.
ACTION: Proposed rule.
SUMMARY: This proposed regulation would restate and update the requirements for eligibility for Peace Corps Volunteer service, and the factors considered in the assessment and selection of eligible applicants for training and service. The requirements and factors for eligibility and selection were last published in 1984. A revision of the regulation is necessary to conform to changes in Federal laws and regulations, particularly with respect to those prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability, and to reflect policy changes made by the Peace Corps.
DATES: Comments due on or before August 31, 2015.
ADDRESSES: Address all comments to Anthony F. Marra, Associate General Counsel, Peace Corps, 1111 20th Street NW., Washington, DC 20526. Comments may also be sent electronically to the following email address: pcfr@ peacecorps.gov.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Colin Jones, Office of the General Counsel, Policy and Program Analyst, 1111 20th Street NW., Washington, DC 20526, and 202-692-2164.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2501 et seq.), the Peace Corps is authorized to enroll qualified US citizens and nationals as Volunteers to serve abroad, under conditions of hardship if necessary, (i) to help the people of interested countries meet their need for trained personnel, particularly in meeting the basic needs of those living in the poorest areas of such countries, (ii) to help promote a better understanding of the American people on the part of the people served, and (iii) to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of the American people. The Peace Corps is authorized to establish the terms and conditions of enrollment of Volunteers, as well as the terms and conditions of service. The proposed rule would revise and update rules concerning eligibility and selection standards for Peace Corps Volunteer service, which were last published in the Federal Register over 30 years ago (49 FR 38939, October 2, 1984), and entered into effect November 1, 1984, and currently appear at 22 CFR part 305.
More at: Federal Register: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-31/pdf/2015-18789.pdf
[Editor's Note: Now, this is a great idea for helping RPCVs and I congratulate the Office Third Goal and Returned Volunteer Services for getting it done. I don't know if and when the Office has done this elsewhere in the U.S., but this is the first time I've seen it in NYC and the Northeast. ]
Northeast Regional RPCV Career Conference & United Nations Career Day
Thursday, July 9, 2015 - Friday, July 10, 2015
NYU-Wasserman Center for Career Development 133 E. 13th Street, 2nd floor New York, NY 10003
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. EDT
Register today to attend these two special RPCV Career Events taking place back-to-back in New York City in July. Whether you are interested in practicing your interviewing skills and polishing your resume, meeting with RPCV-friendly employers at a career fair, or learning how to get your foot in the door at the United Nations (UN), we have something for you.
***Note: This event is open only to returned Peace Corps Volunteers.
Thursday, July 9, 2015: Northeast Regional RPCV Career Conference
8:30 - 9:00 a.m. Registration
9:00 - 9:15 a.m. Welcome and Overview
9:15 - 10:45 a.m. Storytelling in the Job Search: The Elevator Pitch & Interviewing
10:45 - 11:45 a.m. Resume Writing 101
11:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Tips for Making the Most of the Career Fair
12:00 - 12:30 p.m. Leveraging Noncompetitive Eligibility (NCE) in the Federal Job Search
12:30 - 2:00 p.m. Lunch (on your own)
1:00 - 1:30 p.m. Peace Corps Response Info Session (optional)
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Friday, July 10, 2015: United Nations (UN) Career Day
8:30 - 9:30 a.m. Registration
9:30 - 10:00 a.m. Welcome Career Fair featuring RPCV-friendly employers
10:00 - 11:00 a.m. Demystifying the UN - an Overview with Q&A
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Working at the UN Panel
12:30 - 2:00 p.m. Lunch (on your own)
2:00 - 3:30 p.m. Networking/Conversations with UN Staff
3:30 - 4:00 p.m. Q&A/Wrap Up
4:30 - 7:30 p.m. Networking Happy Hour with RPCVs of Greater NYC/Brooklyn @ the Brazen Fox (106 3rd Ave., New York, NY 10003)
Employers registered to attend the RPCV Career Fair as of June 15, 2015:
Camphill Communities of North America
Coney Island Prep
Context Matters, Inc.
EF English First
Hotel Trades Council
One Acre Fund
Options for College
Peace Corps Response
Richmond Teacher Residency
Save the Children
University Research Company, LLC
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Department of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Labor
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
U.S. Housing and Urban Development
U.S. General Services Administration
U.S. General Services Administration - Office of Inspector General
U.S. Social Security Administration
The New School
Peace Corps Fellows graduate schools registered to attend as of June 15, 2015:
Antioch University New England
Bard College: Center for Environmental Policy & Master of Arts in Teaching
Brandeis University: Heller School for Social Policy and Management
Columbia University: School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)
Clark University: International Development, Community and Environment & Graduate School of Management
Drexel University: Thomas R. Kline School of Law
New York University
Rutgers-Camden: Public Affairs
SIT Graduate Institute
University of Pennsylvania: Fels Institute of Government
University of Rochester: Simon Business School
The Peace Corps is committed to providing access, equal opportunity, and reasonable accommodation in its programs, activities, volunteer service, and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this event, please contact email@example.com at least 10 days in advance.
Office of Third Goal and Returned Volunteer Services
Now this is a good idea..the only failing, I see, is that the group (it appears) will not be going to Finca Vigia, Museo Hemingway in Havana. This Museo is supported by The Finca Vigia Foundation, named after Hemingway’s home (which means “lookout farm” in Spanish), has for years worked with Cuban authorities to preserve the estate, restore Hemingway’s fishing boat, the Pilar, and conserve the author’s documents. One of the key figure in this foundation–connecting it directly to RPCVs is Bob Vila (Panama 1969-70) who was a PCV architect as a Volunteer, and later hosted This Old House on PBS. His current website is: www.bobvila.com.
The Finca Vigía Foundation, a small American non-profit working in Havana, has navigated the shoals of US/Cuban relations to create a bi-national project that has saved one of the most significant monuments of American literature. In doing so, the Foundation has built bridges between Cuban and American professionals, won the support of both governments, and provided training for Cuban preservationists. Hemingway loved Cuba and Cubans still love Hemingway. Finca Vigía (Lookout Farm) - consisting of a large main house, numerous outbuildings, and extensive gardens - was Hemingway’s primary home from 1939 to 1960.
But never mind. Perhaps the Finca Vigía is on the list of sight. If you go, then ask to see it.
Some details for the upcoming trip to Cuba.
Learn from and about our rapidly-changing neighbor in the Caribbean - Cuba - while connecting with Peace Corps friends old and new. Join us on this exclusive NPCA Next Step Travel - Cuba program this October.
This trip is operated by Global Exchange. Learn more about Global Exchange here.
$3,950 per person
Max. group size: 25
This exclusive opportunity is open to NPCA members and their guests only. Due to limited availability, we kindly request that members invite no more than one non-member guest (who must specify the accompanying member name in the special needs area of the registration form).
The Peace Corps Commemorative national design competition received 180 submissions on June 12, 2015. From June 13 until Friday June 26, the 12 members of our distinguished Stage I Jury reviewed, 180 design concepts. This first round of reviews yielded a short list of 40 submissions. The Jury then convened in Washington this past weekend to review the short list, deliberate and recommend Finalists and honorable mentions to the PCCF board. https://www.peacecorpsdesign.net/
The Stage I Jury has recommended three Stage II Finalists:
* Jonathan Benner & John Bassett (BassettBenner)
* Laurel McSherry, Nathan Heavers & Rebecca May (VPI)
* Travis Price, Amir Ebadi & Kelly Davies Grace (Travis Price Architects)
Recommended by the Jury for honorable mention are the following:
* Benjamin Cadena (Studio Cadena)
* Jane Weinzapfel & Yu-Liang Hsu (Leers Weinzapfel Associates)
* Janet Bloomberg, Richard Loosle-Ortega, Matthew Dougherty, Jorge Concepcion & Andrew Baldwin (KUBE architecture)
* William Marquand, AIA
* William O’Brien, Jr., Justin Gallagher & Benjamin Halpern (Collective-LOK)
STAGE I JURY
Robert Campbell in 1996 received the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism for his writing on architecture in the Boston Globe . He has written over 100 articles for other publications, including a regular column, “Critique,” for Architectural Record magazine. The Chicago Tribune wrote that his book, Cityscapes of Boston: An American City Through Time , authored in collaboration with photographer Peter Vanderwarker, “belongs on the bookshelf of anyone who cares about the fate of the American city.” He has reviewed books on architecture, urbanism, popular culture, and poetry for the New York Times . A practicing architect and consultant to cultural institutions, Mr. Campbell is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was an artist in residence at the American Academy in Rome. As a student at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, he won the Kelley thesis prize and the Appleton traveling fellowship, and he has taught architectural design at several universities.
Kelly Dianne Cook is Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she teaches landscape history, theory and design studios. Prof. Cook is currently working on a book entitled Ruins, Ruined Bodies: The Ornamental Landscape in Renaissance France . She recently finished initial research on paper streets streets planned but never built and vacant urban spaces, a project funded by the National Science Foundation. She has worked on numerous ancient garden excavations in the Mediterranean region and has conducted research in the Balkans, recently writing on Sarajevo as a unique urban landscape. Concepts of nature and environment in scientific and intellectual history comprise another of her research interests. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from SUNY Binghamton and a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from SUNYESF (Syracuse, NY), Prof. Cook received her Ph.D. in the History of Art from Cornell University.
Charlene Espinoza is co-founder of Bosh Bosh, Inc., a nongovernmental organization that helps promote development and social welfare in Liberia through educating and empowering rural females. Through design, fabrication and sale of fashion products, Bosh Bosh provides employment and educational opportunities for women? offers programs in afterschool education? and grants full scholarships to female scholars. Growing up in California and Mexico, she received a B.A. degree in interior design and first worked as a commercial designer at an architecture firm before joining the Peace Corps and serving in Liberia. The Bosh Bosh idea grew out of her Peace Corps experience when, during efforts to improve the female dropout rate, she realized that many problems resulted from lack of funds. The Brookings Institution invited her to discuss community led projects focused on girl’s education, and during the launch of Michelle Obama’s “Let Girls Learn” initiative, the President and First Lady of the United States recognized Ms. Espinoza at the White House for her involvement with Peace Corps and Bosh Bosh.
Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman holds the Dwight Stanford Chair in American Foreign Relations at San Diego State University, and is a Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace. Her books include: All You Need is Love: The Peace Corps and the 1960s , American Umpire , Major Problems in American History from 1865 to the Present, Broken Promises: A Novel of the Civil War, and The Rich Neighbor Policy. She served for six years on the Historical Advisory Committee of the U.S. State Department, and has received grants from the Fulbright Commission, Woodrow Wilson International Center, Organization of American States, American Philosophical Society, John F. Kennedy Library and other distinguished institutions. In 2008, she served on the jury for the Pulitzer Prize in History. She has written for the New York Times, Jerusalem Post, Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, Washington Independent, San Diego Union, and Reuters .
Manuela King is a distinguished, award winning landscape architect and principal in the San Francisco based firm RHAA, where she has helped promote the firm’s growth and has led the firm’s diverse national and international landscape architecture practice for 29 years. Among her projects in Northern California are the Opus One Winery in Napa? the Mexican Cultural Heritage Gardens in San Jose? corporate campuses for Google and Yahoo? and Lakeview Commons at El Dorado Beach in South Lake Tahoe. Her landscape architecture work not only exhibits artistic expression and high design creativity, it also responds to specific and often challenging site conditions, achieves sustainability and proactively engages the community. A member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Ms. King earned a B.S. degree at Pennsylvania State University and subsequently Bachelor and Master of Landscape Architecture degrees at the University of Oregon.
George C. Koch is an artist, arts advocate and leader of arts organizations, and an experienced federal government agency official. He currently serves as Chair Emeritus for Artomatic, Inc. and is the CEO and President of the Center for the Creative Economy. Founder of A. Salon, Ltd., an artist’s service organization in Washington, D.C., he is also a founding member of the Arts and Culture Committee of the Metropolitan Washington Council, AFLCIO? the Cultural Development
Corporation? the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington? and the D.C. Fringe Festival. Mr. Koch served five terms as a Commissioner with the District of Columbia Commission on Arts and Humanities, D.C.’s State Arts Agency, and five terms as an officer of the National Artists Equity Association and Artists Equity Fund. After serving in the Peace Corps in Liberia from 1962 to 1964, he worked for the Office of Economic Opportunity. Subsequently at the Department of Labor, he held a variety of leadership positions advancing federal manpower and technology efforts. Then, from 2006 to 2011, he focused on education as Director for Government Implementation for the Advanced Distributed Learning Co-laboratory.
Robert A. Peck is Director of Consulting for the Southeast Region of Gensler, an international design firm. A nationally honored advocate for high quality architecture, smart growth and sustainability, he served in the Clinton and Obama administrations as Commissioner of the U.S. General Services Administration’s Public Buildings Service and helped launch GSA’s Design Excellence program, under which the Federal government returned to its lost practice of building buildings “worthy of the American people.” He has worked at the Office of Management and Budget, the National Endowment for the Arts, the White House and the Federal Communications Commission. An attorney, Mr. Peck was associate counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and was chief of staff to the late U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (DNY). In the nonprofit sector, he served as fulltime president of the Greater Washington Board of Trade? vice president for public affairs at the American Institute of Architects? president of the DC Preservation League? and member of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and the Federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. Named an Honorary Member by both the AIA and the American Society of Landscape Architects, he also received the AIA’s Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture. A U.S. Army Reserve Special Forces (Green Beret) officer, he earned his B.A. cum laude with distinction in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and his J.D. from Yale Law School? was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design? and was a visiting lecturer at Yale College.
Martin Puryear is a distinguished artist whose work has been exhibited the world over, including a 2007 traveling exhibition organized by The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Recently President Obama awarded him the National Medal of Arts. Born in Washington, D.C., he began exploring traditional craft methods in his youth. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Art from the Catholic University of America, he spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching in Sierra Leone where he learned traditional woodworking techniques. He subsequently studied at the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts and Yale University’s MFA sculpture program. In 1977, Mr. Puryear had his first solo exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship to investigate architecture and garden design in Japan and later a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. In 20032004 he served as a juror for the World Trade Center Site Memorial design competition.
Joby Taylor is Director of the Shriver Peaceworker Fellows Program, a graduate program for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. He is also Affiliate Faculty in UMBC’s Language, Literacy, & Culture Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program. He teaches diverse undergraduate and graduate courses incorporating service learning, place based learning and civic engagement as strategies to orient students toward lifelong learning and service with real, immediate applications. Mr. Taylor served in the Peace Corps in Gabon, Africa, where he helped build an elementary school, and he has worked in diverse international settings since. He has published and presented on topics ranging from innovations in pedagogy to local histories of civil rights and peace activism. His book Metaphors We Serve By is a collection of essays on the history and future of national service and service learning. An active member of the National Peace Corps Association, he is currently Vice Chair of the NPCA Board of Directors.
Michael Vergason is a landscape architect recognized nationally and internationally for his unique talent, passion and sensitivity as a creative design practitioner and teacher. Especially notable are his exquisite, artfully hand drawn sketches. His beautifully executed, award winning work balances and enhances the relationship between natural and built systems, evidenced by projects such as the Petra Archeological Park in Jordan? the American Cemetery in Normandy, France? and the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial in Washington, DC. He has taught design at the University of Virginia, in 2006 as the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor in Architecture? at the University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation as the 2007 Kea Distinguished Professor at Harvard University and at Dumbarton Oaks. A Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and the American Academy in Rome, he holds degrees in both architecture and landscape architecture.
James Ward, a classically trained musician, is currently President and CEO of The Phoenix Symphony Association as well as a partner in the venture capital firm, Alsop Louie Partners. He was President of Lucas Arts and Sr. Vice President of Lucas film, Ltd., where he promoted the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” franchises. Mr. Ward’s 30 year career began in advertising, involving him in major global product introductions such as Apple Computer’s original Power Book, Microsoft’s Windows ‘95 with the Rolling Stones and Nike’s introduction of Tiger Woods. A member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, he was a 2007 Emmy nominee as Executive Producer for a Prime Time Non Fiction Special. He is a board member of the Electronic Media Association and The Downtown Phoenix Partnership. His recognition include: a Top 100 Advertising Age Marketer? EPM’s Entertainment Marketer of the Year? and chair of the Group 2 CEO’s of the League of American Orchestras. Mr. Ward received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Hanover College, where he is a Trustee, and a Master of International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Donald Watson is an architect and urban planner, environmental design researcher and writer, and painter. A Peace Corps volunteer architect in Tunisia from 1962 to 1965, he subsequently dedicated much of his distinguished, award winning professional career to design education. He chaired for 20 years the Master of Environmental Design program at Yale University’s School of Architecture, then headed to Troy, N.Y., to serve as Professor and Dean of Architecture at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Retiring from academia in 2000, he continued working as a consultant to the United Nations, the World Bank, U.S. AID, Save The Children, and Mercy Corps, among others. He has worked in over thirty countries promoting sustainable development and design aimed at achieving natural disaster resilience. His authorship and editorship of professional reference texts include Time Saver Standards archival titles on Architecture, Urban Design, and Building Materials and Systems.
Working for the Peace Corps inspired Playa del Rey’s Barbara Hunt, 71, to get her doctorate
(thanks to William Evensen for the ‘Heads Up’ on this story from Cal State L.A.)
Playa del Rey resident Barbara Hunt, 71, received her doctorate in educational leadership from Cal State L.A. on June 12, 2015.
Hunt’s doctoral degree gives her the academic equivalent of a trifecta at the school, where she previously earned her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and a master’s degree in health and safety.
Currently a professor of environmental science and biology at Woodbury University in Burbank, Hunt said she hopes her latest academic achievement will inspire and motivate her twin grandsons and other young people.
“This shows that you can always reach out for that brass ring no matter how old you are, no matter your emotional or physical circumstances, no matter where you find yourself in life,” Hunt said in an interview days before she received her doctorate.
The educational leadership doctoral program was created in 2009 for students who wish to become leaders in educational settings.
The degree program involves a particular focus on the challenges in urban education, according to the university’s Charter College of Education.”Barbara is a role model and inspiration for all of our students and our community,” said Robert Lopez, Cal State L.A.’s director of communications.
“She’s shown that it’s never too late to follow your dreams.”
For Hunt, obtaining her doctoral degree represents the culmination of all of her academic experiences, both as a student and an educator for more than 30 years.
“It’s like the icing on the cake. I’m very excited about this next chapter of my career,” she said.
Lois Andre-Bechley, Hunt’s dissertation chair and adviser, said Hunt was the ideal doctoral student.
“Her lifetime of experience gives her a maturity and a sense of balance. She brought a calm and balance to the classroom that was really special. When she’s in the room with other grad students from other backgrounds, she becomes a leader in the class,” Andre-Benchley said.
Doctor Hunt’s career goes something like this:
She enrolled as an undergraduate student at Cal State L.A. in 1962. Hunt obtained her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and master’s degree in health and safety from Cal State L.A. She also earned her credentials in secondary, administrative and community college credentials from the University.
She spent several years teaching at Palisades High School before establishing four childcare centers on Los Angeles’ Westside. She served as chief administrator of the centers for 17 years.
When her two children graduated from college, Hunt sold her childcare centers and joined the Peace Corps. She traveled to Ghana, West Africa, where she trained small business entrepreneurs. She then helped the agency’s Washington D.C. headquarters develop HIV/AIDS volunteer curriculum. Her efforts led to standardized training that was used across West Africa.
The Peace Corps then assigned her to Malawi in East Africa, where she worked at Domasi Teachers College to train elementary school teachers to teach science.
One of those experiences was a three-year stint beginning in 1998 with the Peace Corps, a program run by the U.S. government in which volunteers are sent aboard to provide technical assistance in humanitarian efforts.
Ironically, it was during her travels to Ghana in West Africa and later to Malawi in East Africa to train elementary school educators in teaching science when Hunt first considered pursuing her doctoral degree.
“You meet so many people from all over the world when you’re with the Peace Corps, and as I got to know some of them they would ask, ‘Why don’t you have a doctorate?’” Hunt recalled. “So when I came back home I decided that I would get my doctorate.
“Seeing how people in other counties lived reminded Hunt that no matter where you live, people are largely products of their experiences, which proved to her that teachers are never too old learn.”
In the United States, we have so many advantages, and many times we take them for granted. You can meet people from other countries who may not have the same educational experiences that many of us have but they have a wealth of knowledge and experience that is relevant to where they live,” Hunt said.
“My experience in the Peace Corps taught me that it’s really critical to appreciate each person and what they can give to a society.”
Hunt wants her students to know that they don’t have to make the dean’s list to become a success.
“I’m the B student who really worked hard. And if I can do it, anyone can do it,” she said.
Bob Calvert was hired by Sargent Shriver in the early days of the agency to set up a Placement Office for RPCVs returning home. He was a wonderful man, low keyed with a great sense of humor. This office he created for the agency did not last, of course, and today as most newly returned PCVs quickly realize, the agency turns their back on RPCVs. It wasn’t so when Calvert was around.
Robert Calvert Jr., decorated WWII veteran, Peace Corps administrator, publisher-advocate for women and minorities, and beloved family man, died on June 11, 2015 at his home in Silver Spring, MD. He had been a long-time resident of Garrett Park. Bob was born December 23, 1922 in Santa Barbara, CA to Robert and Mary Calvert, the oldest of their three children, and raised in Scarsdale, NY. World War II was a defining experience in Bob’s life. He scored well on an Army entrance exam and was offered a safe assignment, but he turned it down, choosing to serve in the infantry in direct combat. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge as a rifle squad leader and platoon sergeant in an armored infantry company of the 4th Armored Division.
Wounded by German machine gun fire, he recovered in France in the final days of the war and joined the occupation army in Germany. He was a recipient of the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, and Presidential Unit Citation. Bob returned to Oberlin College in 1946 where he met Janice Mills. After they graduated, they married and began a rich and rewarding life together that lasted nearly 60 years until her death in 2007.
Bob had a varied and prolific career. He left an early career in banking to pursue an EdD from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1952.
He became a college placement officer at the University of Illinois and Cal Berkeley. He joined the Peace Corps in 1963 where he created the Career Information Service for returning volunteers. In 1967, he was hired as one of the founding administrators of the University of District of Columbia (then, Federal City College). He subsequently joined the National Center for Educational Statistics and retired from the U.S. Department of Education in 1983. From a modest and accidental beginning, he created the Garrett Park Press, a small publishing company specializing in financial aid and job placement materials for women and minorities. He operated this company into his 80s. Bob’s interests in history and adventure inspired travel, and he moved to Riderwood in Silver Spring in 2007, which gave him more time to travel.
At Riderwood, he reconnected with former friend and Federal City College colleague, now, the Rev. Kathy Jordan. Bob and Kathy became great friends and traveled extensively together. In 2010, Bob completed his quest to visit all 3000 counties in the United States.
Bob is survived by four children and their spouses, Bruce and Mary Calvert of Lawrenceville, NJ; Betsy Calvert and Charles Taylor of Ware, MA; Cathie (Calvert) and George Miller of Garrett Park; and George and LeVerne Calvert of Ada, MI. He is also survived by nine grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.
A funeral service will be held at St. Luke’s Chapel, 7208 Main Street, Queenstown, MD on Saturday, June 27 at 3 p.m. Interment will occur at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. Anyone wishing to make a memorial donation could consider the any of the following: United Church of Ware, 49 Church St, Ware, MA 01082; Circle Fellowship Church, 3110 Gracefield Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20904; or New York Avenue Church, 1313 New York Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20005. - See more at: http://www.pumphreyfuneralhome.com/obituary/Robert-Calvert-Jr./Garrett-Park-MD/1517858
An article in today’s Phnom Penh Post states that Meas Muth’s son hosted a Peace Corps Volunteer in 2013-14 during In-Country Training. The Peace Corps in-country has confirmed that fact.
The news article written by reporters Charles Rollet and May Titthara and was published today, Monday, June 29, 2015. This is the article:
A current volunteer for the United States’ Peace Corps program in Cambodia lived with alleged Khmer Rouge war criminal Meas Muth for several months last year as part of his official service in Battambang’s Samlot district, the program has acknowledged.
Muth, 76, lives freely despite being charged in Case 003 by the Khmer Rouge tribunal for allegedly executing, enslaving and torturing enemies of the regime, including many foreigners, during his time as one of the Khmer Rouge’s top commanders.
But that history didn’t stop the Peace Corps from selecting Muth’s son, Meas Sophors, as the host “father” for volunteer Ben Larracey in 2013.
Peace Corps host families are paid, which means the federally funded program compensated Muth’s family a little over $100 a month for almost two years.
Larracey settled into Sophors’ house at the start of his two-year service in September 2013, moving in with Muth only a few months later at the start of 2014.
Larracey has since returned to live with Muth’s son, who remains close to his father and lives in the same remote district.
In an interview at his home last week, Muth said he allowed the volunteer into his family because he no longer had any desire for revenge against his former “enemy”.
“I have not forgiven my enemy, but my enemy does nothing to me [now], so I will not do anything back against them,” he said as he puffed on tobacco wrapped in leaves under his stilted house in Samlot.
While Muth said the volunteer only stayed at his son’s house, it is well-known in Samlot that a Peace Corps volunteer once lived at Muth’s nearby home for reasons that remain unclear.
Larracey and Sophors both declined to comment for this story.
According to Hout Sokhom, the director of the Samlot high school where Larracey had taught English as part of his service, the volunteer lived with Muth while his son’s house was undergoing repairs.
Larracey was due to finish teaching at the school in July, Sokhom said.
Former Battambang Peace Corps volunteer Nicholas Branch remembers visiting Larracey at Muth’s house one day in the summer of 2014, “six or seven” months after Larracey began living there.
Branch said he was performing a site visit with Alissa Bellot, Peace Corps Cambodia’s director of programming and training.
“Every Peace Corps person gets their site visited just to see how they’re doing,” Branch said, adding that he and Bellot met Muth during the visit.
Branch described the alleged war criminal as “a very quiet guy”.
Bellot did not reply to later questions about the site visit, but had previously said that “we have a very extensive vetting process for all of our homestay families”.
When asked for comment, the Peace Corps office in Washington, DC, did not explain why a volunteer once lived at Meas Muth’s home and was hosted by Muth’s family.
Nevertheless, the Peace Corps said it had taken quick action following the enquiry, removing Larracey from the family of Meas Sophors on Thursday and saying it would re-examine its procedures.
“As soon as Peace Corps Headquarters learned of this situation, immediate action was taken and the Volunteer in question was removed from their site. Peace Corps will review its processes, as volunteer safety and security is the agency’s top priority,” a statement from a Peace Corps spokesperson reads.
“Peace Corps takes the responsibility to place volunteers in safe and productive homestays extremely seriously.”
When he was visited last week, Muth said Larracey’s stay came out of a new-found good will towards his former sworn enemy.
“If they agree to give me happiness, I can also give happiness back.”
According to Muth, Larracey would periodically come to visit his house on Saturdays while he lived with his son, and eat jackfruit or durian – although the volunteer always paid for the fruit.
“I am a man who does not like to talk much, so I just say ‘hello’ and ‘how are you?’ in the Khmer language to him.”
On March 3, Khmer Rouge tribunal investigating judge Mark Harmon charged Muth in absentia with “murder, extermination, enslavement, imprisonment, persecution on political and ethnic grounds, and other inhumane acts” for actions the former navy commander allegedly committed at the S-21 and Wat Enta Nhien security centres, on islands, and at sea.
Although Meas Muth is wanted by the ECCC – of which the United States is a major donor – he has never been put on trial for his alleged crimes due to vociferous opposition from Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has said prosecuting any cases beyond the current Case 002 would foment a “civil war”.
Earlier this month, documents released by the ECCC revealed that Cambodian judicial police had failed to act on a December arrest warrant issued to bring Muth to trial, prompting renewed allegations of government interference in the court’s proceedings.
Muth’s defence, however, in a statement released on Friday, rejected the legitimacy of the warrant, saying it is invalid because it lacks the signature of Harmon’s national counterpart, You Bunleng.
It remains unclear exactly how the Peace Corps allowed a volunteer to stay with a highly politically sensitive alleged war criminal, especially as the United States says it “long supported the goal of prosecuting those most responsible for the atrocities perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge regime” in a statement from its embassy last August.
But the ball may have started rolling with Lot Bunthoeun, who lives close to Meas Sophors’ house.
Bunthoeun said he had been approached by the US Embassy to host a Peace Corps volunteer, but he declined the request as he was moving soon.
He referred them to Sophors’ house instead.
“The condition of renting the house was to provide food for Peace Corps in the evening, and [in return] they give us $110 per month,” he said.
The first group of Peace Corps volunteers arrived in Cambodia in 2007, according to Peace Corps Cambodia’s website. Since then, over 300 volunteers have served in the country.
“Living with a family helps our volunteers integrate into the communities in which they work, study local culture and traditions, and learn to speak Khmer, the local language,” the site reads.
John Coyne Babbles is a collection of comments, opinions, musings, and outrages from this RPCV who served with the first group (1962-64) in Ethiopia.