Archive - December 2, 2011

William Evensen Writes About: The Enigmatic Five-Year Rule

William Evensen Writes About: The Enigmatic Five-Year Rule

Peace Corps’ Enigmatic Five-Year Rule: Updating the ‘In-Up-Out’ Myth by W.M. Evensen ( Peru 1964-66) Long ago I decided to make the cross-country trip to attend Peace Corps’ Fiftieth Birthday Party. I wanted to revisit the heroic beginnings, marvel at Peace Corps’ low-cost accomplishments, the indigenous leaders discovered, the NGOs invented. As it turned out, I found out some modern day things about the Peace Corps that left me bummed and bewildered. My trip to the 50th ended up shattering my most cherished Peace Corps belief: Sargent Shriver’s clever answer to bureaucratic Alzheimer’s, his legendary ‘In-Up-Out’ Five Year Rule, that limited staff to five years service. Because of Shriver’s trenchant ‘In-Up-Out’ Five Year Rule, bureaucratic careerism would not hamper the Peace Corps. Instead, the Agency would be re-born, again and again, by the hiring of newly returned PCVs – the ‘Up’ element: the best of the best – to run a . . .

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