WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Peace Corps today celebrated the ceremonial swearing of Carol Spahn (Romania 1994-96) as the 21st Director of the agency, following her unanimous confirmation by the United States Senate in December 2022. She was joined by Representative John Garamendi (D-CA), (Ethiopia 1966-68) who administered the oath of office and other invited guests, including Jody Olsen, Director of the Peace Corps (2018-2021); Carrie Hessler Radelet, Director of the Peace Corps (2012-2017); Aaron Williams, Director of the Peace Corps (2009-2012); Mark Schneider, Director of the Peace Corps (1999-2001); and Former Transportation and Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, Director of the Peace Corps (1991-1992).
“It is the honor of a lifetime to serve as the 21st Director of the Peace Corps, an agency with a mission I believe in deeply,” said Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn. “At this pivotal moment in history, we all have the responsibility to be intentional in both word and deed, to lead with the power of our example. The Peace Corps has a critical role to play, and I am incredibly inspired by the staff, Volunteers and community members around the world who have stepped up to meet this moment.”
Under Director Spahn’s leadership, the agency will prioritize: 1) continuing to return volunteers to service abroad following the 2020 global evacuation due to COVID-19; 2) modernizing and expanding service opportunities while retaining the critical components of the Peace Corps’ approach to service that drives long-term impact in communities around the world; and 3) connecting Peace Corps Volunteers with the largest generation of youth in history to address a range of development goals, from food security and disease prevention to gender equity, and economic growth.
Since being appointed as Acting Director in 2021, Director Spahn has led the agency’s efforts to return over 900 Volunteers to service in 46 countries around the world. Further, the agency has: 1) piloted a new virtual service model; 2) strengthened Volunteer safety and security systems; 3) expanded medical services for Volunteers; 4) invested in attracting and retaining a Volunteer corps that represent the full diversity of America; and 5) notably, welcomed the inaugural cohort of Peace Corps Viet Nam Volunteers.
Spahn’s full testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is available here.