Archive - May 11, 2009

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RPCV New Assistant Secretary Of State For Africa
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No peace at the Peace Corps

RPCV New Assistant Secretary Of State For Africa

Johnnie Carson was officially sworn in as assistant secretary of state for African affairs this month, making him the Obama administration’s top official charged with directing U.S. policy toward Africa. Carson is a career diplomat, and a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania (1965-68), and a lifelong friend of Africa. His 37-year Foreign Service career includes ambassadorships to Kenya (1999-2003), Zimbabwe (1995-1997), and Uganda (1991-1994); and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs (1997-1999). Earlier in his career he had assignments in Portugal (1982-1986), Botswana (1986-1990), Mozambique (1975-1978), and Nigeria (1969-1971). He has also served as desk officer in the Africa section at State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (1971-1974); Staff Officer for the Secretary of State (1978-1979), and Staff Director for the Africa Subcommittee of the US House of Representatives (1979-1982). In the mid-nineties in the Clinton Administration Carson was offered the deputy slot for the . . .

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No peace at the Peace Corps

This was in the Al Kamen’s Washington Post column, In The Loop, this morning. Kamen was a PCV in the Dominican Republic  in the early Sixties. What with President Obama’s emphasis on volunteerism domestically and internationally, it seemed odd that there has been no announcement of a new Peace Corps director. One name circulating as a top contender for the post is James Arena–DeRosa, now New England regional manager for the Peace Corps in Boston. Arena-DeRosa also teaches developmental research and advocacy at Brandeis University and worked with the aid organization Oxfam International. “Some folks in the returned-volunteer community, a powerful and active lobby, may be less than delighted about this. There’s a strong feeling among some former volunteers — not shared by all of us — that service overseas is a prerequisite for the job, especially with so many former volunteers available. Arena-DeRosa reportedly enjoys strong support from Massachusetts . . .

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