“Following up on the idea he launched at the University of Michigan, President Kennedy signed an executive order establishing the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961. Three days later, R. Sargent Shriver became its first Director. Deployment was rapid: Volunteers began serving in five countries in 1961. In just under six years, Director Shriver developed programs in 55 countries with more than 14,500 Volunteers.”
Peace Corps is one of President Kennedy’s greatest living legacies. I never had the privilege of serving as a PCV, but I did have the honor of working for Peace Corps HQs for four years — in the department that handles the recruitment and placement of Volunteers — and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I love that I am still connected to so many of my Peace Corps friends.
Here I am in 1995 with the first Director of Peace Corps…my friend and my hero, the late Sargent Shriver.
Kristen Gislason Callow