In 1947, John Alexander followed his graduation from the George Washington University, where he received his degree in economics, by entering Government service. He was promptly sent overseas, the beginning for him of ten years’ uninterrupted activity in the nation’s Foreign Service. Before he returned to take an administrator’s desk in Washington, he had acquire a working familiarity with the overseas side of foreign aid operations.
Starting out as an economist with the U.S. Military Government in Germany, Alexander worked for two years on taxation and budget problems in Berlin and Stuttgart. He was then transferred to the U.S. Commissioner’s Office under the State Department and assigned first to Frankfurt, then to Bonn.
He concluded his German tour with the Economic Cooperation Administration, a predecessor agency to AID, working on problems of occupation costs and the financing of the North Atlantic Treaty Organizing.
In 1954, Alexander was sent half way around the world to Manila, where he was assigned as Chief of the Economic Development Division of the ICA Mission to the Philippines. Working under his direction were fie to seven American advisers to key departments in the Philippines government. Mixed into his Far East tour were assignments as economic adviser and aid program planner in Laos and Korea.
An assignment in the Philippines meant for Alexander a return to familiar country. Ge had been sent there during his three year with the Signal Corps in World War II, a period of service which slice his undergraduate experience into two parts. Although he enrolled at George Washington when the war over, he had previously attended Western Maryland College, where he raced as a varsity two-miler and held national ranking as a college boxer.
Based in Washington since 1957, Alexander was assigned to the development of aid programs for the emerging nations of Africa as the ICA regional economist for that continent. Travel on official missions to Africa at this time presented him with extended, first-hand views of the problems of these new nations.
In 1961, he had become responsible for the U.S. aid program in Nigeria when he was asked by Sargent Shriver to join seven other Government officers on a task force study group charged with launching the Peace Corps.
He joined the new agency shortly after it was organized and was placed in charge of its African programs.
In addition to all that, Alexander is married to former Juanita Shaw Gans of Goshen, Va. and the father of five sons.
“Some students today
are more serious than
any I have ever known
in the past. I have
been amazed at the
hundreds of Americans
kids who have thrown
their future to the
winds in order to go
out and take it on
the chin for the