When Gaddi Vasquez left the agency on September 7, 2006, he was replaced quickly by another Republican, Ron Tschetter, on September 26. Ron was an RPCV, having served in India with his wife from 1966-68. Ron was from Wisconsin, had a career in finance, and after the Peace Corps would move to Florida and retirement. At the agency, I’m told, he focused his attention on getting older Volunteers. (I will forgive him from changed the name I had given my idea, “Crisis Corps” to “Response Corps.”) Ron would be Director until January 16, 2009. During his tenure, the attrition rate increased to 35%, the highest since the first Gulf War.
But there were positive movements with the Peace Corps for Ron. In the fall of 2007, 59% of all Volunteers were women. (In the 1960s, 65% of all PCVs were men.) Ethnic minority Volunteers jumped to 17%. Unfortunately, he would not be able to increase the number of PCV over the age of 50. The number remained at 5%.
Ron would leave his political appointment with the election of President Obama, but it would take the Obama Administration until August 7, 2009 to appoint Aaron Williams (Dominican Republic 1967-70). It was during this period when there was no Director that the agency experienced the worst attack of violence against a PCV. In March 2009, Kate Puzey was violently murdered in her home just weeks before the end of her tour. Her death would overshadow the Peace Corps for the next decade.