Author - Joanne Roll

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The Five Year Rule – Where it came from and why it is important to RPCVs
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Office of Inspector General of the Peace Corps denies Dr. Textor opportunity to see a preview of its evaluation of the so-called “Five Year Rule”
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Three Goals, Five Years
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Peace Corps to host Web-EX for Peace Corps Response Applicants – Open to all
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Leaving El Salvador 1980 Final
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Angry PCVs write Celeste: Leaving El Salvador 1979 – 80 Part Four
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If The Ambassador says, “GO,” and The Peace Corps Director says, “NO” Leaving El Salvador 1979-80 Part Three
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October 15, 1979 COUP! Now What? Leaving El Salvador 1979 -1980 Part Two
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Leaving El Salvador for the First Time 9.1.79 – 3.31.1980 Part One
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Leaving El Salvador -1979 -80 The private National Security Archive at George Washington University and the public documents describing the events leading to that Peace Corps departure.
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University of Denver – Josef Korbel School of International Relations and the Peace Corps Community Welcomed Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams (Dominican Republic 1968 -1971) to Denver
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National Public Service Museum and Student Center planned with a spot for the Public Service Volunteer Experience
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The House of Representatives passed 406 to 0 the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Act of 2011
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Friends of Nigeria Archive at American University
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“The Early Days of the Peace Corps” – Video copies available

The Five Year Rule – Where it came from and why it is important to RPCVs

UPDATE:  Peace Corps has just released the long awaited Inspector General’s review of the Five Year Rule.  To read this report in its PDF form, go to peacecorps.gov; scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Office of the Inspector General. The report will be the first one listed, Click on it for the PDF. I expect that a direct link will be posted to Peace Corps Worldwide, soon. Of remarkable note is the fact that the Inspector General’s report quotes extensively from Dr. Textor’s original memo. Dr. Robert B. Textor proposed in an memo on December 11, 1961 a personnel policy for the Peace Corps. In 2011, he revisited the memo and wrote an essay describing his memo and the analysis that promoted it.  The entire essay can be and should be read at: http://www.stanford.edu/~rbtextor/History_of_In_Up_Out_Policy.pdf I would like to quote from that essay: “This essay deals with . . .

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Office of Inspector General of the Peace Corps denies Dr. Textor opportunity to see a preview of its evaluation of the so-called “Five Year Rule”

The Office of the Inspector General of the Peace Corps will publish its yearlong review of the “Five Year Rule” within the next “two to three weeks.” Fifty years ago, Dr. Robert Textor authored the original “In, Up, and Out” memo that morphed into the Five Year Rule. Unfortunately, he is scheduled for surgery on June 29th.  He made a reasonable request to be allowed to see the final review before his surgery. The Office of the Inspector General of the Peace Corps considered the request for two days and then denied it without explanation. Dr. Robert Textor was a young Anthropologist who was called to Peace Corps Washington in June of 1961 to consult the fledging agency. As an Anthropologist who had done field work in Thailand, Textor knew how critically important “transcultural experience” was. He wanted to make sure that Peace Corps Washington could capture the “transcultural experience” . . .

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Three Goals, Five Years

The first number speaks to the Goals of the Peace Corps spelled out, with typical Kennedy eloquence, fifty years ago. The second is the Five Year Rule that defines the unique tenure law in the Peace Corps personnel system, limiting most appointments to a total of five years. The Goals are timeless, but the rule of “Five Years” may be changing. Last year, Inspector General of the Peace Corps announced a review of the Five Year Rule. The final draft of that evaluation and its recommendations are being reviewed. The Inspector General expects to publish the final report anytime within the next 30 days. I make the argument that Peace Corps has been most successful in accomplishing Goal Two – Helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served- and Three-Helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served. These . . .

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Peace Corps to host Web-EX for Peace Corps Response Applicants – Open to all

From the Peace Corps Response website: http://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=response.events May 03, 2012 Peace Corps Response Application Workshop (Web-Ex)
12:00 p.m. (EST) Register Check out our new and easy application process in a virtual information session May 3rd. Learn how to set up search agents, apply for multiple positions and check your application status at any time during the application process. We will also provide insider tips on how to get your application noticed by a Recruiter! Peace Corps Response provides opportunities for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) and experienced professionals to undertake challenging, short (3-12 month) assignments in various program areas around the world. Attend this webinar to find out more information about our exciting new programs, upcoming assignments, and how to apply.
 Please register at least 24 hours in advance. Peace Corps Response is being expanded to include non-RPCVs.  Historically, Peace Corps has not been able to meet the demand for trained Personnel. This . . .

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Leaving El Salvador 1980 Final

  The following document summarizes how events dictated the final decision: “Summary of Events Leading to the Withdrawal of Peace Corps Volunteers from El Salvador” (DNSA/GWU:Collection: El Salvador, The Making of U.S. Policy 1977-1984, Item Number: ES00332)   In early January, PC Deputy Director William Sykes and LAC Regional Director Paul Bell traveled to El Salvador to assess the situation. After much dialogue with PCVs, PC staff, American Embassy and GOES officials, the recommendation was given to Peace Corps Director Richard Celeste not to withdraw the PCVS. (My note: there is an attachment referenced describing the reasons behind this recommendation. I could not locate it. It is cited as ” Attachment I, Appendix A.”).  It was hoped that the second Civilian military junta…would be able to stabilize the situation in El Salvador… However, violence continued to escalate.  On January 31, 1980, PC Director Celeste made the decision to pull the volunteers . . .

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Angry PCVs write Celeste: Leaving El Salvador 1979 – 80 Part Four

  On February 27th, 13 Volunteers who had been evacuated to Guatemala wrote and signed a letter to Celeste. In the December 27th letter, entitled, “Volunteers Perspectives on the Voluntary Evacuation, December 1979 ((DNSA/GWU, Collection: El Salvador – The Making of U.S. Policy, 1977 – 1984.  Item Number:  ES00340), Volunteers wrote: Dear Mr. Celeste: We are Peace Corps Volunteers from El Salvador, Central America.  We arrived a few days ago in a few days ago in Guatemala on a strong but confusing “suggestion” from the director that we leave El Salvador. We are but a part of the entire Peace Corps Volunteer personel in El Salvador. The others are in the United States, Honduras or are still in-country. Quite naturally we are upset….We recognize the immense strain the Peace Corps Staff, and ourselves, have been functioning under but feel this is a very poor excuse for the inefficient and ineffective . . .

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If The Ambassador says, “GO,” and The Peace Corps Director says, “NO” Leaving El Salvador 1979-80 Part Three

  The memo to the State Department, December 18, 1979,  (DNSA/GWU, Collection: El Salvador – The Making of U.S. Policy, 1977 – 1984. Item Number: ES00326) TO:  Brandon Grove, Deputy Assistant Secretary, ARA FROM:  Richard Celeste, Director, PC SUBJECT;  Peace Corps Presence in El Salvador I have not seen the most recent cables from El Salvador, but it is my understanding that Ambassador Devine first recommended that the Peace Corps reduce its presence in El Salvador to 10 PCVs and 4 or 5 FSN staff members, and that he has subsequently recommended the complete withdrawal of Peace Corps. Although I have asked that Paul Bell continue to discuss this issue with you and Brewster Hemmenway, I do want you to know that I have not agreed to either the “draw-down” to 10 Volunteers, or to the total withdrawal of the Peace Corps from El Salvador, and I intend to appeal . . .

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October 15, 1979 COUP! Now What? Leaving El Salvador 1979 -1980 Part Two

  In an ACTION Memorandum, dated October 16, 1979, (DNSA-GWU Collection: El Salvador: The Making of U.S. Policy 1977 – 1984:  Item Number ES00248) Washington staffer Bill Reese responds to to LAC Regional Director Paul Bell’s, request for suggestions. The memo is entitled: “Some Thoughts on El Salvador, prior to October 1979 Coup.” Reese identifies himself as “Your Devil’s Advocate” but his concerns and suggestions are very serious. Reese argues that there is a need for “contingency plans” beyond just evacuation.  He appears to me to be most concerned with the issues of Peace Corps Trainees. He writes: 2. November PST – STOP. Transferring out PCVs in Oct-Nov to place new Vs in February? The Fall 80 Vs in February will be at their weakest, as all new Vs are that early on: –less than good Spanish –new jobs –no housing, or at best a new neighborhood –less than full . . .

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Leaving El Salvador for the First Time 9.1.79 – 3.31.1980 Part One

When is a country too dangerous for Peace Corps Volunteers to remain? And who decides? Host Country officials? Peace Corps staff?  Peace Corps Volunteers? Or, the State Department?  These questions are foundational issues for Peace Corps.  The collection, “El Salvador: The Making of U.S. Policy, 1977 -1984” (National Security Archive, George Washington University, Washington D. C)- includes 20 public documents in which we can see how Peace Corps answered these questions during a turbulent time in El Salvador, some 32 years ago.  The website for the National Security Archive is: www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/ Please note: “These materials are reproduced from www.nsarchive.org with the permission of the National Security Archive.” The documents consist of correspondence between Peace Corps in country staff and Peace Corps Washington; between Peace Corps staff and the State Department; and, between Peace Corps Volunteers assigned to El Salvador and Peace Corps Washington. Today, Peace Corps has withdrawn programs from Honduras . . .

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Leaving El Salvador -1979 -80 The private National Security Archive at George Washington University and the public documents describing the events leading to that Peace Corps departure.

These public documents describe the correspondence between Peace Corps and the State Department. The discussion centered on the issues surrounding the closing of El Salvador in 1979 – 1980 to Peace Corps programs.  But, first, for those who are not familiar with the National Security Archive at George Washington University, let me introduce you. The private National Security Archive at George Washington University is a gem, a valuable source of public documents for historians and those of us who would know more about our country’s diplomatic and military history. Many of the documents relate to countries in which Volunteers have served. Visit the website at: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/ From that website: The National Security Archive is an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The Archive collects and publishes declassified documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A tax-exempt public charity, the Archive receives . . .

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University of Denver – Josef Korbel School of International Relations and the Peace Corps Community Welcomed Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams (Dominican Republic 1968 -1971) to Denver

RPCVs had the opportunity to meet and greet the Peace Corps Director at the Denver University reception, on Tuesday, January 24th.  As the crowd gathered, Williams agreed to talk about Peace Corps Response. I introduced myself as a blogger on John Coyne’s Peace Corps Worldwide, with some questions. Williams said, “Fine, I know John Coyne, everybody knows John Coyne.” Then, all I had to say was  “Peace Corps Response,” and Williams launched into a speech about the John Coyne posting last Saturday, January 21st, describing the policy change allowing non- RPCVs to be members of Peace Corps Response Teams. First, Williams wanted to know why the issue of the CIA was even raised. He said that the standard policy about prohibiting those who had worked for intelligence agencies was in effect for non-RPCVs applying for the Response Team. I told him I could not find that on the website.  He . . .

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National Public Service Museum and Student Center planned with a spot for the Public Service Volunteer Experience

ASPA is the American Society for Public Administration. The organization’s website is: http://www.aspanet.org/scriptcontent/index.cfm The ASPA Board has endorsed the goal of “establishing a National Public Service Museum and Student Center to serve as a place for American Youth to learn about the current challenges and past accomplishments of public servants.” In an article in the August/September 2011 issue of The ASPA Times, Richard Baum, Chair of the ASPA Museum Project Team, describes the project in detail: “The Museum, to be based in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, would present information abut government policies and programs in a dynamic, interactive manner, taking a page from newer museums, such as the journalism focused Washington -based Newseum. It would serve as a place for youth, through class or family visits, to gain a better understanding of what government actually does and how and it does it”… The new Museum will show the government’s . . .

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The House of Representatives passed 406 to 0 the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Act of 2011

This legislation is unique that it has bi-partisan support and represents the kind of cooperation between parties for which we all can be grateful.   The speeches earlier lauded  the Peace Corps Volunteer and the bravery of the RPCV women of First Response Action who worked for this legislation.  The Senate has already passed the bill. It now goes to the President for his signature and it will then become law. This link should show the House Proceedings for November 1, 2011 http://houselive.gov/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=5588&meta_id=

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Friends of Nigeria Archive at American University

American University in cooperation with the Peace Corps alumni group, Friends of Nigeria, has established an Archive to preserve items from Peace Corps Volunteers who have served in Nigeria. The Archive is over a year old and is another example of the special association between American University and Nigeria. American University of Nigeria is affiliated with American University.  For further information on this archive, please contact Susan McElrath, the archivist for this collection, copy and paste this email:  archives@american.edu In an earlier posting, I had identified the Friends of Colombia Peace Corps Archive at American University as the only Peace Corps country to have its own archive. The Friends of Nigeria Archive at American University is also a member of that very select group of two.  Many their number increase.

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“The Early Days of the Peace Corps” – Video copies available

Watch Bill Moyers “channeling” LBJ. You will laugh and then cry.  Last Spring, the National Archives and Record Administration in conjunction with the Peace Corps hosted a panel discussion, described as follows: Peace Corps 50th Anniversary Thursday, March 17, at 7 p.m. William G. McGowan Theater The Early Years of the Peace Corps Panelists included award-winning broadcaster and journalist, Bill Moyers; former U.S. Ambassador Jack Hood Vaughn; and Senator Harris Wofford – all of whom held leadership roles during the agency’s early years, as well as Mary Ann Orlando, Shriver’s administrative assistant and right hand “man.”  Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams introduced the panel. The proceedings were video recorded and that DVD is now a public record. Marian Haley Beil plans to post the video on this website, Peace Corps Worldwide, sometime after September 26th.  Peace Corps does not have plans to put this video on the government website.  However, it . . .

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