What is the Peace Corps/Office of External Affairs, anyway?

http://files.peacecorps.gov/documents/MS-131-Policy.pdf

Peace Corps Act, 22 U.S.C. 2501, et seq. 3.0 Organization

“The Office of External Affairs is headed by the Associate Director for External Affairs. The Associate Director for External Affairs reports directly to the Chief of Staff. The Office of External Affairs includes four sub-units: the Office of Strategic Partnerships and Intergovernmental Affairs; the Office of Gifts and Grants Management; the Office of Communications; and the Office of Congressional Relations. Each office is headed by a Director or Officer who reports to the Associate Director for External Affairs.

4.0 Office Missions

4.1 Office of External Affairs

The mission of the Office of External Affairs to provide coordination and support for the Peace Corps external engagement with other agencies and partners, the media and Congress.

4.2 Office of Gifts and Grants Management

The mission of the Office of Gifts and Grants Management is to oversee and manage the solicitation and acceptance of monetary and in-kind gifts to the agency and to oversee small grants programs.

4.3 Office of Strategic Partnerships and Intergovernmental Affairs

The mission of the Office of Strategic Partnerships and Intergovernmental Affairs is to promote, develop, and manage the Peace Corps strategic partnerships and relationships with U.S. Government agencies, state and local governments, non-governmental organizations, multilateral institutions, and corporations.

4.4 Office of Communications

It is the mission of the Office of Communications to increase the awareness and understanding of the Peace Corps and the work of Volunteers.

4.5 Office of Congressional Relations

It is the mission of the Office of Congressional Relations to develop the Peace Corps’ legislative strategy, coordinate activities related to all legislative issues and interests, and serve as the official liaison between the Peace Corps Director and members of Congress and congressional staff.”

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The following are my comments.  I think the most potentially important responsibility of the Associate Director of External Affairs is this one:

4.3 Office of Strategic Partnerships and Intergovernmental Affairs

The mission of the Office of Strategic Partnerships and Intergovernmental Affairs is to promote, develop, and manage the Peace Corps strategic partnerships and relationships with U.S. Government agencies, state and local governments, non-governmental organizations, multilateral institutions, and corporations.

These decisions will determine with whom Volunteers will work or not work.  The agency, I presume, is undergoing a review of strategic partnerships with all non-governmental organizations who may support through counseling or referral, abortions services.  (See: http://peacecorpsworldwide.org/how-will-the-reinstated-mexico-city-policy-impact-peace-corps-programs/) I presume that  these decisions will also determine how Volunteers interact with the State Department, its departments  and its operations, as well as other organizations.  I hope as the agency moves into the future, such decisions and the changes they may bring will be readily available to the public.

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