The Peace Corps

Agency history, current news and stories of the people who are/were both on staff and Volunteers.

1
Maureen Orth’s Book Vulgar Favors (Colombia)
2
Carole Sojka’s Bitter Vengeance: A Mystery Short Story (Somali)
3
NPCA responds to Trump’s reported remarks
4
Letter to the NYTIMES — Andrew McCormick (Ghana)
5
Peace Corps Chief nominee Olsen (Tunisia) met with widespread approval
6
CHASING HEISENBERG by Michael Joseloff (Tunisia)
7
Nancy Tongue of Health Justice for Peace Corps Volunteers follows up on sexual assault report
8
Peace Corps lacks certain sexual assault prevention measures says OSC
9
Baltimore Sun: Olsen Nomination (Tunisia)
10
President Donald J. Trump announces Jody Olsen (Tunisia) to be director of the Peace Corps

Maureen Orth’s Book Vulgar Favors (Colombia)

American Crime Story: Author Maureen Orth On the “Fact-Based Reporting” of Her Book Vulgar Favors Before Andrew Cunanan shot designer Gianni Versace on the front steps of his Miami home in July 1997, Vanity Fair contributor Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66) was already steeped in the mind of the serial killer. That murder is portrayed in the upcoming FX series American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, which is based on Orth’s book Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History. At the time of the murder, Orth had spent two months reporting for Vanity Fair on Cunanan and the events that might have led to him to kill four other people before finally targeting Versace. Even before law enforcement announced that Cunanan was a suspect, Orth and the fact checkers at Vanity Fair had a hunch they knew exactly who had pulled the trigger at Ocean Drive. The full story at: https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018/01/still-watching-versace-episode-2-maureen-orth

Read More

Carole Sojka’s Bitter Vengeance: A Mystery Short Story (Somali)

  Carole Sojka (Somali 1962-64) is the author of two mystery novels set in Florida featuring a female police detective named Andi Battaglia and her male partner, Greg Lamont. She has also published a stand-alone mystery novel, Psychic Damage, set in Southern California. She has had a number of short stories published in various venues and is also on the board of Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles. Here is the link to her most recent story: http://kingsriverlife.com/01/13/bitter-vengeance-a-mystery-short-story/    

Read More

NPCA responds to Trump’s reported remarks

  On Friday, the National Peace Corps Association released the following statement in the aftermath of news reports pertaining to President Trump’s Thursday comments on U.S. immigration policy. – JR • Last week, National Peace Corps Association praised President Trump for his excellent nomination for Peace Corps Director. Today, however, we are obliged to take exception to the disparaging remarks apparently made in reference to the countries – and therein the citizens – which our Peace Corps community has embraced and adopted as our second homes. Since 1961, nearly 90,000 Peace Corps Volunteers served – and continue to serve – nations in Africa. More than 500 served in Haiti, while nearly 2,500 volunteers served in El Salvador. What we know better than most through living and working side-by-side with the people of these countries is that the vast majority of them are overwhelmingly generous, highly resourceful, extremely hardworking and tremendously . . .

Read More

Letter to the NYTIMES — Andrew McCormick (Ghana)

Thanks to the ‘heads up’ from Carol Scott (Ethiopia 1966-68). — JC • To the Editor: President Trump should skip Mar-a-Lago and spend a weekend in Mankessim, Ghana, on the farm of my friend Adjei, whom I first met nearly 40 years ago while serving in the Peace Corps. Contrary to his racist stereotyping, the president would learn from Adjei about the brutal economics of successfully farming eight acres using only a machete in the relentless tropical heat. He would see a work ethic that shames our own. Despite having a small house with no electricity or running water, Adjei and his wife have educated five children on a daily income equal to a cappuccino. There are tens of millions of rural Africans living like Adjei. President Trump should get to know at least one. ANDREW MCCORMICK VILLANOVA, PA.

Read More

Peace Corps Chief nominee Olsen (Tunisia) met with widespread approval

The nomination of RPCV Josephine Olsen (Tunisia 1966-68) continues to get rave approval from the NPCA and other RPCVs, some of whom even know this woman. I assume, based on her Peace Corps history, that Jody got the position as a ‘final thank you’ from her good friend Senator Orrin Hatch. I suspect also, like Hatch and most Republicans, she voted for and supports the president and considers it an “honor” to represent the president in our Peace Corps countries, which Trump has now famously called “shitholes.” I assume Jody Olsen is not ‘womanly enough’ to denounce that statement since no other Republican Senator or Congressman has either. What is most concerning to me–at my advanced age–is whether, as a senior citizen, Jody, in her mid-’70s, is up for the job and able to fulfill her duties as she has recently (March 2017) spoken openly and eloquently about her Stage . . .

Read More

CHASING HEISENBERG by Michael Joseloff (Tunisia)

Michael Joseloff (Tunisia 1967-69) just published, on January 9, 2018, an Amazon eBook Chasing Heisenberg: The Race for the Atom Bomb that tells the story of The Manhattan Project through the lives of three top Allied scientists and Hitler’s chief atomic scientist, a former friend, turned bitter enemy. Joseloff’s interest in the atom bomb dates back to 1993, when he produced a segment for The NewsHour on the “father of the bomb,” J. Robert Oppenheimer. Michael is a four-time Emmy Award-winning news and documentary producer. He was a producer with The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour (PBS) from 1983 to 1995. His documentaries have aired on PBS, including the acclaimed series FRONTLINE, The History Channel, Discovery, CNBC, A&E, and other major cable TV channels. As Michael related, “The Peace Corps started me down the road that eventually led to Chasing Heisenberg.  I used USAID supplied documentaries in my teaching in Tunisia.  One week they sent me a film of Apollo . . .

Read More

Nancy Tongue of Health Justice for Peace Corps Volunteers follows up on sexual assault report

  Nancy Tongue, founder of Health Justice for Peace Corps Volunteers has sent us the following notice. She is asking for help in locating anyone who has experienced assault in the last few years and would be willing to work with Kellie Green’s lawyers.  Nancy  and the Health Justice for Peace Corps Volunteers are also working to pass legislation, Sam Farr Peace Corps Enhancement Act. HR 2259.  This legislation would improve health care for serving Volunteers and also RPCVs.  It also would extend the life of the Peace Corps Sexual Assault Advisory Council, mandated by the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011.  Nancy’s notice does include a link to the Office of Special Counsel report, posted earlier by John Coyne, as well as the background story of former Advocate. Kellie Green. From Nancy Tongue: Hi Everyone, Some of you may or may not know that Kellie Greene had . . .

Read More

Peace Corps lacks certain sexual assault prevention measures says OSC

  Office of Special Counsel Finds Despite Progress, Peace Corps Lacks Certain Sexual Assault Prevention Measures, Encourages Clear Policies to Protect Volunteers FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Jill Gerber, (202) 804‐7065; jgerber@osc.gov WASHINGTON, D.C./Jan. 5, 2018 – The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) concluded that despite significant progress, the Peace Corps has failed to implement certain sexual assault prevention measures. OSC also encouraged clearer policies and training to better protect volunteers.  The conclusions came after the Peace Corps completed a report prompted by whistleblower disclosures to OSC. “I have determined that while the report contains the information required by statute, some of the findings are not reasonable,” Special Counsel Henry J. Kerner wrote to President Trump.   “I encourage the Peace Corps to establish clear, consistent, and effective policies to ensure the prevention of sexual assault and other crimes against volunteers, timely responses to safety risks, and the provision of adequate . . .

Read More

Baltimore Sun: Olsen Nomination (Tunisia)

  Thanks to the ‘heads up’ from Neil Boyer (Ethiopia 1962-64). — JC • Trump to nominate Marylander Josephine Olsen to lead Peace Corps John FritzeContact Reporter The Baltimore Sun   A visiting professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work who is a veteran official at the Peace Corps will be named to lead the organization of global volunteers, the White House said Wednesday. Josephine Olsen of Silver Spring has taught at the University of Maryland, Baltimore for eight years and is the director of the school’s Center for Global Education Initiatives. She served as the Peace Corp’s acting director during the first months of the Obama administration. FROM OUR PARTNERS: The List: The Post predicts what’s in and out for 2018 Her nomination comes at a challenging time for the Peace Corps, created by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 to promote democracy during the Cold War. . . .

Read More

President Donald J. Trump announces Jody Olsen (Tunisia) to be director of the Peace Corps

President Donald J. Trump today announced his intent to nominate Jody Olsen to be next director of the Peace Corps.    Josephine Olsen of Maryland, to be Director of the Peace Corps. Ms. Olsen, Ph.D., is senior lecturer at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and has served for the past eight years as a visiting professor at the School of Social Work and Director, Center for Global Education Initiatives. She has taught on issues of international health and social services, and has authored numerous articles and spoken frequently at academic conferences on teaching and studying abroad. Before joining the faculty, Ms. Olsen was Deputy and Acting Director of the Peace Corps from 2001 – 2009. She was also a Peace Corps volunteer in Tunisia, a country director, a regional director, and agency chief of staff. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Utah and both her M.S.W. and Ph.D. from . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2016. Peace Corps Worldwide.