Reading though George Packer’s (Togo 1982-83) 590 page book: Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and The End of the American Century I came across two paragraphs on Holbrooke’s brief career working for the Peace Corps.
On page 144 of his book, Packer writes how Holbrooke left his position with Kissinger and the State Department and decides to leave the country. George writes, “After working on staffs for five years, he [Holbrooke] also wanted to be in charge of something. That was impossible for an FSO-4, which he had just become, on the normal unimaginative embassy career path. So he looked into the Peace Corps, asked for a country program to run, and studied Arabic at the Foreign Service Institute….”
He was given Morocco by Joe Blatchford, the Peace Corps Director, and he lasted one year (1970-71) on the job.
There isn’t much to tell you about the Peace Corps years. Holbrooke had 176 people and a half-million-dollar budget to supervise. He traveled around the country and was popular with the volunteers. “I wish I had half a dozen Holbrookes working for me,” the rating officer wrote in his evaluation. Holbrooke would call it the best job he ever had. But Morocco never go under his skin. He was waiting out the Nixon administration.