Peace Corps has been working to establish a program in Vietnam since 2004 and today much has been done in anticipation of Peace Corps in Vietnam next year. Read: “Annual Report July 2020 to July 2021
Building a Foundation” Peace Corps Vietnam
From that report:
“The Peace Corps opening in Viet Nam represents decades of work involving hundreds of people with a collective vision for promoting closer people-to-people ties between the United States and Viet Nam.
In 2004, Le Van Bang Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs formally invited Peace Corps to Vietnam. Two years later, Peace Corps sent a four-person assessment team led by John L. Williams, the then Peace Corps Thailand Country Director, to Viet Nam to conduct a new country assessment. The report concluded that Viet Nam would provide a welcoming environment in which Volunteers would be successful.
On May 24, 2016, during President Obama’s only official trip to Ha Noi, the Bilateral Agreement setting forth the framework for Peace Corps to open and operate in Viet Nam was signed. The agreement was signed by former Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet and Vietnam’s Ambassador to the United States, Pham Quang Vinh in the presence of Secretary of State John Kerry.
In 2019, given the length of negotiations between the United States and Viet Nam to implement the Bilateral Agreement, then Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen requested a second Peace Corps assessment. The assessment was led by Mark Vander Vort, Chief of Operations for the Europe, Mediterranean, and Asia Region. The findings were consistent to the first assessment in 2004.
In July 2020, the Peace Corps Implementing Agreement for Viet Nam was signed setting forth Peace Corps Viet Nam’soperational plan. The signing was part of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Viet Nam and the United States. Due to COVID-19, the agreement was signed on two dates:
- July 10, 2020 the Vice Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Van Phuc signed the Agreement in Ha Noi, Viet Nam alongside Ambassador Daniel J Kritenbrink.
- July 17, 2020 the agreement was signed in ink by Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen during a small event held at the Peace Corps office in Washington, D.C.The inaugural Peace Corps staff arrived between October and December 2020 to establish an office and create a program.Up to 20 Peace Corps Volunteers each year beginning in 2022 will begin their service as English Language teachers in schools located in Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City. There will be up to 40 Volunteers serving at any given time by 2023.”