The Peace Corps

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

1
Peru’s First Peace Corps Staff
2
Tanganyika’s First Peace Corps Staff
3
Where is Elaine Chao? Not Working, I’d Say
4
Should Cold Hard Cash $$$ Replace PCVs?
5
 Witness to the Resurrection in Celebration of the Life and Legacy of C Payne Lucas
6
Ethiopia’s First Peace Corps Staff, Part Seven (Final)
7
Maureen Orth wins Emmy (Colombia)
8
C. Payne Lucas and Kevin Lowther’s Book on the Peace Corps (Sierra Leone)
9
The Senate has passed health care legislation to improve care for Peace Corps Volunteers
10
Peace Corps Office of Inspector General announces criminal case against former trainee

Peru’s First Peace Corps Staff

Frank Mankiewicz was born in New York City into a family whose members are importantly involved in the American cinema. His father, Herman J. Mankiewicz was an Academy Award winner for the screen play, “Citizen Kane;” his brother, Don, wrote the prize novel, “Trial;” and the film version of “I want to Live;” and his uncle, Joseph, directed “Cleopatra” in the Elizabeth Taylor version, as well as, “All About Eve.” Frank got in one year at Haverford College before both World War II and his 18th birthday came along. He enlisted as a private and was sent to the Army Special Training Program, “because, I assume, I spoke French. Anyway, the Army had a rule—if you knew one language, you had to learn another, and when I arrived at City College of New York for ASTP, they assigned me to a Spanish class. I studied Spanish seven hours a day . . .

Read More

Tanganyika’s First Peace Corps Staff

  Lee St. Lawrence,* later to be Peace Corps Regional Director for the Far East, was the first person in the agency to conduct program negotiations overseas. This was in Tanganyika [renamed Tanzania in 1964] in March, 1961. The negotiations resulted in a program in which 30 Volunteer surveyors, geologists and engineers, went into training at Texas Western University in El Paso, inaugurated Peace Corps’ own Outward Bound site, Camp Crozier, in Puerto Rico, and climbed off a plane in Dar es Salaam on September 27, 1961.   Robert Hellawell Several months before the Volunteers arrived in tanganyika, Sargent Shriver had a discussion with Associate General Counsel Robert Hellawell about the problems of getting first-rate people to run the programs overseas. Hellawell asked, “Would you consider me?” Shriver later reported, “I was amazed. There was Bob, a competent, dedicated lawyer, and he wanted to go to Africa for the Peace Corps. This . . .

Read More

Where is Elaine Chao? Not Working, I’d Say

Elaine Chao was briefly the Peace Corps Director, from October 1991 to November 1992. She was appointed by Bush and held the position for about 14 months. She is famous for saying, when visiting a PCV in West Africa in the woman’s village, and seeing her mud hut, “Does your mother know how you’re living?” Chao was also well known for scheduling daily hair appointments frequently when overseas, and for breaking down in tears when describing the conditions that PCVs lived in as Volunteers. It got so embarrassing for RPCVs listening to her lament, that they began laughing at her when she started crying. Thanks for the heads-up on this article in Politics from Dale Gilles (Liberia 1964–67) POLITICS Where is Elaine Chao? ‘Private’ time fills long stretches of the Transportation secretary’s daily calendar, according to POLITICO’s review of 14 months of records. By Tanya Snyder, Kathryn A. Wolfe, Beatrice Jin Transportation Secretary . . .

Read More

Should Cold Hard Cash $$$ Replace PCVs?

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Joanne Roll (Colombia 1963-65) Foreign aid as a cash-only transaction? It’s worth a try. By Christine Emba Columnist September 26 Washington Post “The United States is the world’s largest giver in the world, by far, of foreign aid,” said President Trump during his address to the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday. Unlike some other claims he made during that speech, this happens to be true. In 2018, the United States budgeted nearly $40 billion for foreign aid, for interventions ranging from global health initiatives to disaster relief. But trumpeting — or, in Trump’s case, complaining about — the big numbers leaves an essential question unanswered: Are we giving our money well ? This month, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) released the results of a landmark study on the best strategies for poverty reduction. Past evaluations relied on comparing aid recipients with control groups that received no aid. The ones who were given aid tended to . . .

Read More

 Witness to the Resurrection in Celebration of the Life and Legacy of C Payne Lucas

COMMENTS AT C PAYNE LUCAS’s  “Witness to the Resurrection in Celebration of the Life and Legacy of C Payne Lucas” AFRICARE created an opportunity for the first time for African Americans across the USA to contribute to Africa In a substantive way. C. Payne would not accept a raise. The board had to convince him after many years that he had to accept a raise because his salary was keeping the staff’s salaries too low. Africare was first located in the basement of the Niger Embassy. He then found a building that needed a lot of repairs in an undesirable (at the time) location in DC, With his legendary persuasive and visionary skills, C Payne bought it for a low price with many donations. No one could say “no” to C. Payne. He could persuade anyone to do anything –  anywhere all of the time. He was a combination of a . . .

Read More

Ethiopia’s First Peace Corps Staff, Part Seven (Final)

Born in Castleton, Va., Don Romine was raised at the base of the Blue Ridge. He attended Winchester Business College while working summers as a carpenter’s helper in Culpeper. For two and a half years, beginning in January, 1954, he ran a farm in Castleton. After working as a stock clerk for the Merrill Motor Company in Washington, Va., he joined the government as a clerk for the National Security Council. In March, 1961, he became a statistical clerk for the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission. He was enthusiastic enough about the Peace Corps to take a drop of two civil service grades in order to get into the Washington staff, which he did on August 23, 1961. Two months later, he became an administrative aide to Bill Moyers, then Associate Director for Public Affairs. In this role, he was named supervisor of all Peace Corps publications, a job he . . .

Read More

Maureen Orth wins Emmy (Colombia)

RPCV Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66) won an Emmy for Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Limited Series Or Movie “Best Limited Series for “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” based on her book Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History. It was presented on September 17, 21018 at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards. The Emmy Awards honored the best in U.S. prime time television programming from June 1, 2017 until May 31, 2018, as chosen by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. The ceremony was held on September 17, 2018, at the Microsoft Theater in Downtown Los Angeles, California, and was broadcast by NBC. Congratulations, Maureen!

Read More

C. Payne Lucas and Kevin Lowther’s Book on the Peace Corps (Sierra Leone)

  Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Joanne Roll (Colombia 1963-65) In 1978, C. Payne Lucas and Kevin Lowther  published Keeping Kennedy’s Promise: The Peace Corps, Unmet Hope of the New Frontier. It was critical of some aspects of Peace Corps. Kevin wrote a follow-up summary of the book in 2002, and repeated the criticisms.  Here are Kevin Lowther’s comments on the book. • Keeping Kennedy’s Promise: The Peace Corps’ Moment of Truth Kevin Lowther (Sierra Leone –65)   The Peace Corps — and the society from which it springs — has not always faced hard truths. This was so when we first published Keeping Kennedy’s Promise in 1978. It is no less true today, in a world — and a country —which needs the Peace Corps even more than it did at its founding in 1961. Many of those who helped to create and build the Peace Corps in the 1960s regarded . . .

Read More

The Senate has passed health care legislation to improve care for Peace Corps Volunteers

  Congratulations to the RPCV advocacy group, “Health Justice for Peace Corps Volunteers” who have worked so hard for years to get improved health care for Volunteers and RPCVs. From their Face Book page, about an hour ago: Success on our to obtain legislation to improve care for Peace Corps Volunteers!!!! The House Bill: HR 2259 – “The Sam Farr and Nick Castle Peace Corps Reform Act” was signed by the Senate today and awaits being signed into law by the President. It is a step forward. Unfortunately, the increase in disability income was dropped as were many other improvements we had written into the bill. Rep. Judge Ted Poe noted in his submitted remarks to the committee, “I fought long and hard to increase the disability payment provided to disabled returned volunteers so they can make ends meet. I hope that this provision will one day become law. Peace . . .

Read More

Peace Corps Office of Inspector General announces criminal case against former trainee

The Peace Corps Office of Inspector General announced that yesterday, September 19, 2018, a former Peace Corps trainee was charged with three counts of video voyeurism stemming from conduct he engaged in while a trainee in Zambia. Matthew Walker, 30, was charged by an information in the Northern District of Florida at the U.S. District Court in Panama City, Florida. As alleged in the information, Walker was a Peace Corps trainee in Zambia in 2016. On three occasions Walker is alleged to have used his GoPro camera to record a fellow trainee, without consent, while the fellow trainee was naked and changing in areas where the fellow trainee had a reasonable expectation of privacy.  The name of the victim is being withheld from the public to protect the victim’s privacy. Inspector General Kathy A. Buller said of the matter, “Our Volunteers are some of the best and brightest that America . . .

Read More

Copyright © 2016. Peace Corps Worldwide.