C. Payne Lucas dies at 85

 

C. Payne Lucas, early Peace Corps Director in Togo (1963)  and co-founder of Africare, passed away peacefully on Saturday, September 15th.

His stewardship of Africare for many years build the organization to unparalleled status in the African development community. It all began for C. Payne in the Peace Corps as CD for Togo.

In November 1963 Payne arrived in Togo on temporary orders from PC/HQ. He had been there for a few days, living in the Benin Hotel, when the Acting Director, Robert Haves, decided to return to L.A. and rescue his law practice. This left Lucas in command of a complicated program. He quickly showed that he could handle it.
Payne had come to the Peace Corps after being a research intern with the Democratic National Committee. He saw the Peace Corps, he said at the time, “as an instrument of foreign aid in areas where AID had been unsuccessful.” In May, 1962, he joined the African Regional Office as operations officer for Ghana and Sierra Leone. “It was lucky that I started concentrating on French,” he said at the time because six month latter he was in Togo.
He would return to HQ after his tour in Togo and become African Regional Manager before leaving the agency to start Africare.

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