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One PCV’s Story (Afghanistan)
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Day Two Of Innocence, the Peace Corps in 1961-1962
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The Peace Corps community mourns the tragic loss of two serving Volunteers
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Former Peace Corps Director Mark Gearan leaves HWS with a bang (and Bill Clinton)
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Days Of Innocence, The Peace Corps in 1961-1962
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RPCV Helen Lowman (Thailand) named President and CEO of Keep America Beautiful
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Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Netflix CEO RPCV Reed Hastings to discuss Spirit of Service and Idealism
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Peter Hessler’s “Talk Like an Egyptian” article in current New Yorker
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Protests greet Charles Murray (Thailand) at Indiana
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RPCV Ned Butler (Panama) gave a talk about the Guna (Kuna) tribe of the San Blas Islands

One PCV’s Story (Afghanistan)

  Baktash Ahadi was born in Kabul in 1981. His family had to flee during the Soviet Invasion in 1984. After spending over a year and half in Pakistan between refugee camps and makeshift homes, his family was given asylum in the United States and started their new life in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Baktash started his career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mozambique from 2005 to 2007. He then went into management consulting with Booz Allen Hamilton before serving as a military translator in Afghanistan for three years. His experience not only brought him closer to his roots, but also instilled a sense of responsibility to educate others on the realities on the ground in Afghanistan. Baktash joined FRAME BY FRAME as an ambassador for that same reason — to shed light on the country’s complexities through human stories. Here is RPCV Baktash Ahadi’s story. — JC     MY STORY . . .

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The Peace Corps community mourns the tragic loss of two serving Volunteers

  Peace Corps service is not without real risks, as these two tragedies demonstrate. • CBS4News in Denver, Colorado reported on the death of PCV Cody Oser in Panama, recently. Cody Oser was an Engineering Graduate of Colorado State University. Oser’s father, Steven, tells CBS4 there is “absolutely no foul play.”His son’s body was found in the shallow water of a creek. “He was going down by a river and going across some boulders and he slipped,” said his father.” In a news release, acting Peace Corps director Sheila Crowley said, “His impressive engineering skills made him stand out as a volunteer because he dedicated himself to working with communities around the world to find solutions to their technological needs. His passing is a profound loss for the Peace Corps community as we mourn along with his family and friends.” The news report concluded: “The family is already starting an effort . . .

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Former Peace Corps Director Mark Gearan leaves HWS with a bang (and Bill Clinton)

  Mark Gearan, who worked on the nomination of Bill Clinton and then as Senior Staff in the White House before becoming Director of the Peace Corps in 1995, has asked his friend and the former president to be the commencement speaker at Hobart and William Smith College this spring. Mark D. Gearan, the longest-serving president in the history of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, has already announced that he will conclude his duties as president at the end of the 2016-17 academic year. At the time of his appointment in 1999, Gearan was one of the youngest college presidents in the nation and a “non-traditional” choice given his background as Director of the Peace Corps and White House senior staff member. When he concludes his presidency in 2017, he will have served for 18 years, leading the Colleges through a period of unprecedented growth. Gearan, with help from his . . .

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RPCV Helen Lowman (Thailand) named President and CEO of Keep America Beautiful

  Keep America Beautiful announced on April 11, 2017 that Helen Lowman (Thailand 1988-91), who served as an appointee of President Barack Obama at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and with the Peace Corps, has been named the organization’s new president and CEO. She will assume the role on May 1. From 2010 to 2017, Lowman served as an appointee of the President of the United States in the senior foreign service and the senior executive service. Most recently, she was Director-Individual and Community Preparedness at FEMA in Washington, D.C., overseeing programs to increase citizen and community preparedness while encouraging disaster and crisis resilience. Previously, she served in a variety of roles with the Peace Corps, directing Recruitment Office in DC as an Associate Director. She earlier served as Regional Director-Europe, Middle East and Asia, Peace Corps’ largest geographic region. Earlier in her career, Lowman managed environmental education events . . .

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Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Netflix CEO RPCV Reed Hastings to discuss Spirit of Service and Idealism

  Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao, who was briefly a director of the Peace Corps (1991-92), and RPCV Netflix CEO Reed Hastings (Swaziland 1983-86), will reflect on their experiences as leaders in government and business and discuss the need for a spirit of service and idealism. The talk will be moderated by Ann Compton, former White House correspondent for ABC News. The discussion, “Inspiring a Sense of Service and Idealism,” will highlight the evolution of the Peace Corps and how its ideals remain relevant today—five decades after its founding.  The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 18, in the Coolidge Auditorium on the ground level of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.  Tickets are not needed, but an RSVP is required to specialevents@loc.gov. In recognition of the centennial of the birth of President John F. Kennedy, . . .

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Peter Hessler’s “Talk Like an Egyptian” article in current New Yorker

Peter Hessler (China 1996-98) has another long and entertaining piece in the current New Yorker entitled “Talk Like an Egyptian: Learning Arabic during Tabrir and after.” Peter is now back in the States and working on a book about the five years he spent reporting from Egypt.  

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Protests greet Charles Murray (Thailand) at Indiana

Tuesday students rallied outside as Charles Murray (Thailand 1965-67), the controversial co-author of The Bell Curve, gave a talk at Indiana University at Bloomington. Scores of faculty members signed an open letter calling the invitation to Murray — by the campus chapter of the American Enterprise Institute — “highly irresponsible and detrimental to the university community.” Police were visible outside the building where Murray spoke. Students shared on Twitter some of the signs and chalkings that opposed his visit. Murray’s talk took place without disruptions, although chants from those outside could be heard. The event was open to all Indiana students and faculty members, but attendees needed to reserve tickets in advance.

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RPCV Ned Butler (Panama) gave a talk about the Guna (Kuna) tribe of the San Blas Islands

  Thanks to the ‘heads up’ from Dan Campbell (El Salvador 1974-77) • Former volunteer talks about changes in Panamanian tribe Mount Desert Islander (Bar Harbor, Maine) March 31, 2017     BAR HARBOR, MAINE — Ned Butler presented a talk and slide show about the Guna (Kuna) tribe of the San Blas Islands in Panama when he visited the Jesup Memorial Library on Friday, April 7. When Butler was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the 1960s, he spent time working on tribal development projects with members of the tribe. His talk explored the history and development of the Guna tribe over the past 50 years. Butler covered the history of the tribe as well as why the tribe decided to invite the Peace Corps to the region to help with tribal community development. He also highlighted three of the projects that the Peace Corps has worked on and the role that . . .

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