The Peace Corps

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

1
Who was Warren Wiggins? (PC/HQ)
2
A lost essay of Warren Wiggins (PC/HQ)
3
Position description for Director of the Peace Corps
4
Kinky Friedman’s bio published (Borneo)
5
Bill Josephson Has Something To Say About Thomas M. Hall
6
Loneliness, Libertinism, Anxiety: Recollections of Rachel Lu (Uzbekistan)
7
Talking with Peter S. Rush Author of Wild World (Cameroon)
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Why We Have A Peace Corps–Sargent Shriver
9
Bye, Bye Peace Corps??
10
RPCV Writers & Foreign Service Authors in the News & Print

Who was Warren Wiggins? (PC/HQ)

  Warren W. Wiggins: Bold Treatise Shaped Peace Corps’ Mission By Patricia Sullivan, Staff Writer Washington Post  Sunday, April 15, 2007 Warren W. Wiggins, 84, the major architect and organizer of the Peace Corps who wrote the basic philosophical document that shaped its mission, died of atypical Parkinson’s syndrome April 13 at his home in Haymarket. In 1961, Mr. Wiggins, who became one of the top leaders of the high-profile agency in its earliest years, was an unknown foreign policy adviser whose brief paper, “The Towering Task,” landed in the lap of the Peace Corps’ first director, R. Sargent Shriver, just as he was trying to figure out how to turn President John F. Kennedy’s campaign promise into a working federal department. The response to it became legendary in the agency as “the midnight ride of Warren Wiggins.” Shriver, burrowing through correspondence shortly after midnight on Feb. 6, 1961, was electrified . . .

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A lost essay of Warren Wiggins (PC/HQ)

  Thanks for the heads-up from Alana DeJoseph’s (Mali 1992-94) who forwarded this essay by Warren Wiggins, co-author with Bill Josephson, of “The Towering Task” the founding document that Shriver used in creating the Peace Corps. Warren’s daughter, Karen Wiggins-Dowler, sent the article to Alana, writing: “I was going through a box of family archives when I ran across this Peace Corps reflection written by my father. I don’t know if you have finished your research yet but thought that you would enjoy reading the reflection especially about the “risk” assessment with the creation of the Peace Corps.” Karen also is kind enough to let me post her father’s short essay so all of us in the worldwide Peace Corps Community might have the opportunity to read, after all these years, what one of the key founders had to say about the Peace Corps becoming a reality. — JC • What . . .

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Position description for Director of the Peace Corps

  The unofficial newsletter, Gov Exec, reports: “Nov. 16 looms large for government leaders paying attention to the 1998 Federal Vacancies Reform Act. The law stipulates that 300 days after a president is sworn in, officials who have been serving in an acting capacity since that time lose much of their authority.  I do not know how of if this would apply to the position of Peace Corps Director and Deputy Director.  I would welcome information if anyone knows more.  However, I thought I would post the postion description for Director of the Peace Corps, if it is not too late to apply! I note that among the requirements is the statement: Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (preferred). — JC • POSITION DESCRIPTION OVERVIEW Senate Committee Foreign Relations Agency Mission The Peace Corps is an independent U.S government agency considered the preeminent leader in international volunteer service, with more than 220,000 . . .

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Kinky Friedman’s bio published (Borneo)

  About the book Kinky Friedman (Borneo 1967-69) has always maintained his Kinkster persona and hidden Richard Friedman from the public eye. Using one-liners, humor, and occasional rudeness, he follows the advice of his friend Bob Dylan to keep an aura of mystery. Author Mary Lou Sullivan spent many contentious days and nights at Kinky’s Texas Hill Country ranch before he trusted her enough to open up and speak candidly. Best known as an irreverent cigar-chomping Jewish country-and-western singer turned author, turned politician, Kinky has dined on monkey brains in the jungles of Borneo, supped with presidents, and vacationed with Bob Dylan in the tiny fishing village of Yelapa, Mexico. A satirist who loves pushing the envelope, he’s been attacked onstage, received bomb threats, and put on the only show in Austin City Limits’ history deemed too offensive to air. From the 1970s music scene in L.A. with Tom Waits . . .

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Bill Josephson Has Something To Say About Thomas M. Hall

In a note from Bill Josephson, Founding Counsel of the Peace Corps from 1961-66, Bill wrote about Thomas M. Hill’s essay entitled The Peace Corps, A lot of bucks for very little bang? saying:              The United States Consumer Price Index by Major Group 1915-2015 All Items was 31.5 in 1965.  In 2015, it was 237, an increase of 7.5 times.  Another way to make the point is that what cost $31.5 in 1965 would cost $205.50 more in 2015. From 1961 to 1966, the Peace Corps said that it held the per volunteer cost steady at $30,000 each.  $30,000 times 7.5 is $225,000. If my math is right, which it may not be, it’s no longer (at 83) one of my strong points, the Peace Corps at $56,500 a volunteer is even more of a bargain than it was in 1965. Comments and criticisms more than . . .

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Loneliness, Libertinism, Anxiety: Recollections of Rachel Lu (Uzbekistan)

Loneliness, Libertinism, Anxiety: Recollections of a Peace Corps Volunteer by RACHEL LU (Uzbekistan 2002-04) November 6, 2017 National Review Surely we can maintain some standards of decency and decorum, even if we don’t all agree that fornication is a sin. I’d been in the United States Peace Corps for all of 48 hours when I received my first bag of taxpayer-funded condoms. In the Peace Corps, they don’t waste time with foreplay. This was in 2002, when I was stationed at a health sanatorium north of Tashkent, one of 50 Volunteers in training. After dinner on our second day, we were ordered to report to the clinic for the first of several rounds of vaccinations. First came the needles and then came the candy, but along with the sweets I was given a brown paper bag. I looked. “Oh, thanks,” I said, “but I don’t need this.” I handed it . . .

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Talking with Peter S. Rush Author of Wild World (Cameroon)

Peter Rush was in Cameroon from 1972-73 after graduating from Brown University with a BA in International Relations. He then earned a masters in Creative Writing from the University of Florida and has been a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, and a police officer. He is currently the CEO of a global management firm. We interviewed Peter received about his first novel. Peter, tell us a little bit about yourself and where you were in the Peace Corps.  I went to Brown and served in the Peace Corps in 1972-73. I was assigned to a little village in northern Cameroon which in the present day has been impacted by the Boko Harum group from Nigeria. In fact, many of the villages in my area have been destroyed. What was your assignment overseas? I taught at a GEG school (College Enseignment General)- teaching English (ESL) because Cameroon is officially bilingual English and French as . . .

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Why We Have A Peace Corps–Sargent Shriver

Sargent Shriver’s Speech at the National Conference of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and Staff, Washington, D.C. September 20, 1986 Mine is an impossible task, to describe the challenge facing the Peace Corps is to describe the most profound problems facing the entire world, and the problems within each one of us which prevent us from fulfilling our potential to overcome those problems. In a mere speech, I am not able to fulfill an assignment of that magnitude. Forgive me, if, then, I say that you know as well as I that hunger, disease, poverty, fear and anxiety afflict more human beings now than ever in recorded history. You know we live face-to-face with total disaster and death through nuclear war. You know that all of us in the Peace Corps constitute merely a handful of persons seeking perfection in a world population of billions struggling for mere survival. “Oh! Lord, . . .

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Bye, Bye Peace Corps??

A review of Thomas M. Hill’s article,  Peace Corps: A lot of bucks for very little bang? Is Mr. Hill’s article the opening salvo in an attempt to discredit, diminish and perhaps even ultimately destroy Peace Corps? Or is the article just a simple reflection of former Foreign Service Officer Hill’s disdainful dissatisfaction with the Peace Corps? I don’t know. What I do know is that discussion and analysis about improving Peace Corps or any organization is always necessary and should be encouraged. What I also know is such analysis must be rooted in evidence. Opinion should be labeled and not paraded as fact. Assumptions need to be questioned. As we go about such a task, we should be mindful there are about 7000 serving Volunteers doing difficult work in an increasingly unstable world and their service must be respected, I intend to cite the public record to challenge some of the statements Mr. . . .

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RPCV Writers & Foreign Service Authors in the News & Print

The Foreign Service Journal covers foreign affairs from an insider’s perspective, providing thought-provoking articles on international issues, the practice of diplomacy and the U.S. Foreign Service. Including the AFSA News section, The Journal is published monthly (January-February and July-August issues combined) by the American Foreign Service Association. The November issue focuses on Foreign Service authors. Mark Wentling (Honduras 1967–69, Togo 1970–73; PC Staff: Togo, Gabon, Niger 1973–77) new book, Dead Cow Road: Life on the Front Lines of an International Crisis is featured on on this page.http://www.afsa.org/sites/default/files/flipping_book/1117/index.html#38   A former U.S. foreign service officer, Mark Jacobs (Paraguay 1978-80) has published more than 125 stories in magazines including The Atlantic, Playboy, The Idaho Review, The S0uthrn Review, and The Kenyon Review. His latest publication is in the Hudson Review. http://hudsonreview.com/2017/10/other-mens-fields/#.Wfn13baZPsk    

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