This is a terrific Peace Corps celebration event that was first aired on the University of California at Santa Barbara website on February 28, 2011. It is 86 minutes long, but it worth your time watching it. Three smart RPCVs talk to a crowd that I guess is mostly RPCVs and university students. (Thanks to Tom Hebert (Nigeria 1962-64) for the ‘heads-up.’

The three speakers are Sarah Chayes (Morocco 1984-86) who was on the short list to be Peace Corps Director. I don’t know this woman but those who do, love her; Thomas Tighe (Thailand 1986-88) who I do know and who is a terrific guy and was chief of staff under Mark Gearan; Gordon Radley (Malawi 1969-70) recent president of LucasFilms, and someone I know slightly, and is someone who goes out of his way to help others.

I haven’t seen or been to any of the celebrations, but this one is hard to top. Check it out. (Oh, you have to get by the introductions done by the ‘establishment.’ Sorry.)

Also available on YouTube.

Some quick background on the speakers:

Thomas Tighe is the President and CEO of Direct Relief International, a nonprofit humanitarian medical organization. Direct Relief is funded entirely with private support, provides medical material assistance to locally run health programs around the world. Since Tom came to the organization from the Peace Corps this non-profit, located in Santa Barbara, has made cash grants of more than $30 million and furnished more than $1.3 billion of essential medicines.

Sarah Chayes is the daughter of law professor and John F. Kennedy administration. She went to Phillips Academy, then Harvard, where she majored in history, and then to Morocco as a PCV. When she came home, she got a master’s in history and Middle Eastern studies from Harvard. Next, she worked in Paris as a journalist, and a reporter for NPR. Since 2002 she has lived in Kandahar, She speaks Pashto, and in 2005 established the Arghand Cooperative, a non-profit to help farmers.

She is the author of The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban published in 2006.

Gordon Radley works with private and start-up companies in the entertainment business, having just retired from Lucasfilm Ltd. where he had been president since 1992.  Prior to Lucasfilm he was at Twentieth Century Fox and did independent productions. Before that he was in Malawi  and did training in Western Samoa. He is also a trustee for foundations working on AIDS relief in Africa and on the preservation of island cultures and environments throughout the world.