Obama Does It: An RPCV!


Office of the Press Secretary

July 14, 2009
President Obama Announces Intent to Nominate Aaron Williams as Director of the Peace Corps

williams-a WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama today announced his intent to nominate Aaron Williams to be Director of the Peace Corps.

President Obama said, “America was built on a belief that the best progress comes from ordinary citizens working to bring about the change they believe in.  Through a lifetime of service, Aaron Williams has embodied the very best of that American ideal.  I am grateful for his service and honored to nominate him to direct the critical work of the Peace Corps.”

The announcement comes as the President prepares to throw out the first pitch at tonight’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game and appear in a video with all five living presidents to spotlight the stories of five of Major League Baseball’s “All-Stars Among Us,” Americans who have undertaken extraordinary service in their communities.  Answering the President’s call to service through United We Serve, Major League Baseball has dedicated this year’s All-Star Game and the events surrounding it to highlighting the critical importance of community service. United We Serve is the President’s initiative encouraging all Americans to engage in sustained and meaningful service in their communities.

Aaron Williams, Nominee for Director of the Peace Corps

Currently a Vice President for International Business Development with RTI International, Aaron Williams has over 25 years of experience in the design and implementation of worldwide assistance programs. As a senior manager at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where he attained the rank of Career Minister in the US Senior Foreign Service, and as Executive Vice President at the International Youth Foundation, Mr. Williams established innovative public-private partnerships around the world.  As USAID Mission Director in South Africa, Mr. Williams led a billion dollar foreign assistance program during President Nelson Mandela’s administration. In addition to his work in South Africa, he has extensive experience in the strategic design and management of assistance programs in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East; including long-term assignments in Honduras, Haiti, Costa Rica, and Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean islands region. In addition to his tenure with USAID, Mr. Williams served on the Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid at USAID.  Mr. Williams was awarded the USAID Distinguished Career Service Award and the Presidential Award for Distinguished Service twice.  He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and he serves on the Advisory Board of the Ron Brown Scholar Program, the Board of Directors of CARE, and the Board of Directors of the National Peace Corps Association.  Mr. Williams served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic (1967-70).  Upon completing his service, he became the Coordinator of Minority Recruitment and Project Evaluation Officer for the Peace Corps in Chicago (1970-71). Mr. Williams is fluent in Spanish. He is a graduate of Chicago State University, and has an MBA from the University of Wisconsin.


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