The Peace Corps

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

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New Book on Bobby Kennedy by Chris Matthews (Swaziland 1968-70)
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The Peace Corps Lives on in Name Only (Mali)
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Peace Corps press release on deployment of HQ staff to FEMA
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OUR SOULS AT NIGHT by Kent Haruf (Turkey) now a film
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Peace Corps staff helping Homeland Security
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Still No Nomination for Peace Corps Director
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Report: Chao has used government planes seven times this year
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Kevin Quigley (Thailand) named to NEBHE
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Could you qualify for the Peace Corps today?
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Christopher Hill (Cameroon) new Professor of Diplomacy at Denver University

New Book on Bobby Kennedy by Chris Matthews (Swaziland 1968-70)

Amazon Has This To Say: With his bestselling biography Jack Kennedy, Chris Matthews shared a new look of one of America’s most beloved Presidents and the patriotic spirit that defined him. Now, with Bobby, Matthews returns with a gripping, in-depth, behind-the-scenes portrait of one of the great figures of the American twentieth century. Overlooked by his father, and overshadowed by his war-hero brother, Bobby Kennedy was the perpetual underdog. When he had the chance to become a naval officer like Jack, Bobby turned it down, choosing instead to join the Navy as a common sailor. It was a life-changing experience that led him to connect with voters from all walks of life: young or old, black or white, rich or poor. They were the people who turned out for him in his 1968 campaign. RFK would prove himself to be the rarest of politicians—both a pragmatist who knew how to get the . . .

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The Peace Corps Lives on in Name Only (Mali)

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Mark Wentling (Honduras 1967–69, Togo 1970–73; PC Staff: Togo, Gabon, Niger 1973–77) “Near where I now live in Bamako is where the old Peace Corps Mali office was. The sign still hangs on the front wall of this office. Security concerns forced Peace Corps Mali to close its operations in late 2015. For the same reasons, Peace Corps Niger closed in 2011, and last month Peace Corps Burkina Faso closed. There are now no Peace Corps Volunteers in the inland Sahel Region in Africa. Really sad for me as these are some of my favorite Peace Corps countries. These three countries were among the oldest Peace Corps programs, having existed 45 years or more ”

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Peace Corps press release on deployment of HQ staff to FEMA

Thanks to the ‘heads up’ from Joanne Roll (Colombia 1963-65) A small but mighty team of staff members have answered the call to serve as part of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Surge Capacity Force to support communities affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Front: Jason Steele; Middle: Tiffany Tai, Elyssa Musaraca, Angela Hamilton, Lori Frola, Ashanty Cruz; Back: Bhoj Rai, Nicholas Leichliter, Dylan Bilbao, Sarah Timpy, Stephanie Wade On September 9, the Department of Homeland Security requested assistance from all federal agencies in the activation of DHS’s Surge Capacity Force. The Peace Corps was asked to send volunteers from among our employees to mobilize immediately and serve for 45 days in hurricane affected areas. The agency moved swiftly and eleven individuals were identified and mobilized immediately.  Four more volunteers from headquarters — Melissa Howe-Boudrye, Thomas Geraghty, Colin Jones, and Rachel Teter — are expected to deploy in the . . .

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OUR SOULS AT NIGHT by Kent Haruf (Turkey) now a film

Review by Xan Brooks The Guardian September 1, 2017 Adapted from the Kent Haruf novel, Our Souls at Night is your classic Hollywood weepie, so immaculately played that it confounds crass preconceptions. It arrived in Venice saddled with a premise that could hardly sound more cloying, together with an unfortunate title that has had hardened British hacks giggling like schoolboys at the back of the class. Critics get their first sniff of Our Souls at Night! Two thumbs up: Our Souls at Night! But Ritesh Batra’s film comes cynic-proofed. It won me over from the very first scene. Louis (Robert Redford) is a widower who lives on the sleepy fringes of small-town Colorado, where he is unable to get much shut-eye of his own. He’s always up before the sun comes up, with the radio on and the newspaper open, just another lonesome old man living an Edward Hopper existence. . . .

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Peace Corps staff helping Homeland Security

I’ve heard that the Peace Corps has decided to get involved in the relief effort caused by the recent hurricanes. But not with Volunteers like the Crisis Corps (Response) where Volunteers worded with the communities affected by these hurricanes. Peace Corps has sent staff and managers, mostly from HQ, to be “detailed” to the Department of Homeland Security. They will work with Homeland and be paid by Homeland. I believe they will all work in DC. Does this give new meaning to the Peace Corps . . . flexible? This has not yet been covered by the press. . .Peace Corps working alongside Homeland Security! What would Sarge say?

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Still No Nomination for Peace Corps Director

The National Peace Corps Association has discussed the new political appointees to the Peace Corps and notes that we still do not have a nomination for Peace Corps Director.  None of the appointees profiled here are RPCVs. Since 2007, when then President Bush appointed RPCV Ronald Tschetter Peace Corps Director, each Director has been a RPCV. John Coyne notes Carol Bellamy (Guatemala 1963-65) and that Mark Schneider (ElSalvador 1966-68) both were RPCVs and had the directorship. There is an interesting article in Government Executive suggesting that the deadline for temporary appointments to leadership postions in the federal government is approaching in November. Many vacancies remain. Currently, the Peace Corps Director is a temporary appointment.  Her leadership team is dominated by temporary appointments.  At the Peace Corps Connect Gathering last August, Ashley Bell suggested that we might have a Deputy Director before we had a permanent Director. Read the article about November deadlines, . . .

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Report: Chao has used government planes seven times this year

The Hill BY MELANIE ZANONA – 10/05/17 01:39 PM ED Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao flew on taxpayer-funded government planes seven times this year, The Washington Post reported Thursday. It appears the flights were taken when cheaper options wouldn’t work, last-minute changes were made to Chao’s schedule or it was more time-efficient to do so. As Transportation chief, Chao has access to a small fleet of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) jets that have served the travel needs of other Transportation secretaries and are regularly loaned out to other government agencies. But the revelations come as the Trump administration faces heavy scrutiny for Cabinet members’ use of private planes. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned on Friday after Politico reported he spent more than $1 million of taxpayer money on military flights and private jets this year. And a House GOP chairman is investigating Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke over his reported use of charter flights, including a $12,000 one from a dinner hosted by a former campaign donor. A . . .

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Kevin Quigley (Thailand) named to NEBHE

  PRESS RELEASE Marlboro College President Kevin F F Quigley (Thailand 1976-79) has been named to the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) by Vermont Gov Phillip B. Scott. Before joining Marlboro, Quigley served as Peace Corps country director in Thailand, and as president and CEO of the National Peace Corps Association, a global alumni organization for the more than 200,000 former Peace Corps staff and volunteers.  Quigley has a deep appreciation for academia, holding degrees from Swarthmore College, National University of Ireland, Columbia University and Georgetown University. He has been a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow at 12 liberal arts colleges from 2004 to 2012, and a faculty-practitioner graduate instructor teaching about international studies and management from 1995 to 2011. Earlier, he was guest scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the recipient of several other international professional fellowships. He is the author of For Democracy’s . . .

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Could you qualify for the Peace Corps today?

  Lora King served as an agriculture and environment Volunteer in Ethiopia from 2012-14. She primarily worked with farmers on crop production, but also worked with students from local primary and secondary schools, and on after-school clubs and summer camps. She currently works as a Peace Corps Placement Officer for Ethiopia. • To qualify for the Peace Corps by Lora King (Ethiopia 2012–14)   AS A PLACEMENT OFFICER,  I often get asked at the end of the interview, “How can I be more competitive for this position?” This is a great question and one that I’d encourage anyone applying to become a Peace Corps Volunteer to think about. Why do I need to be more competitive? In 2015, the Peace Corps received a 40-year high of nearly 23,000 applications for approximately 4,000 open positions. Hard skills are some of the first things I see when I look at an application, and I’d . . .

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Christopher Hill (Cameroon) new Professor of Diplomacy at Denver University

  From The Denver Post — • DU creates professor of diplomacy post, aims for a bigger role in world events By MONTE WHALEY | mwhaley@denverpost.com | The Denver Post October 3, 2017 at 5:37 pm     “The University of Denver says it wants to play a bigger role in world events and is kickstarting those efforts by giving former ambassador to Iraq Christopher R. Hill [Cameroon 1974–76] a new job. Hill, dean of DU’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies for the past seven years, on Tuesday was named chief adviser to the chancellor for global engagement and professor of the practice of diplomacy, a first-of-its-kind role for a major American university, school officials said. In this newly created role, Hill will provide leadership on the global stage, drawing upon his experience and relationships with people, governments and organizations around the world, DU chancellor Rebecca Chopp said. “We are living . . .

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