Peace Corps press release on deployment of HQ staff to FEMA

Thanks to the ‘heads up’ from Joanne Roll (Colombia 1963-65)
A small but mighty team of staff members have answered the call to serve as part of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Surge Capacity Force to support communities affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

Peace Corps team in Caribbean
Front: Jason Steele; Middle: Tiffany Tai, Elyssa Musaraca, Angela Hamilton, Lori Frola, Ashanty Cruz; Back: Bhoj Rai, Nicholas Leichliter, Dylan Bilbao, Sarah Timpy, Stephanie Wade

On September 9, the Department of Homeland Security requested assistance from all federal agencies in the activation of DHS’s Surge Capacity Force. The Peace Corps was asked to send volunteers from among our employees to mobilize immediately and serve for 45 days in hurricane affected areas. The agency moved swiftly and eleven individuals were identified and mobilized immediately.  Four more volunteers from headquarters — Melissa Howe-Boudrye, Thomas Geraghty, Colin Jones, and Rachel Teter — are expected to deploy in the next few days.

Please join us in saluting those already in the field: Tiffany Tai, Ashanty Cruz, Lori Frola, Angela Hamilton, Elyssa Musaraca, Sarah Timpy, Nicholas Leichliter, Bhoj Rai, Dylan Bilbao, Stephanie Wade, and Jason Steele — Peace Corps staff members who volunteered to deploy immediately to regions affected by the recent storms, and help ensure that survivors receive the resources and assistance they urgently require.  They will engage directly with disaster survivors, helping them to navigate available programs and apply for federal disaster assistance.

To our Surge Capacity Force team members: we are proud of each and every one of you for volunteering to serve, and we know you will represent the Peace Corps well. Thank you, on behalf of the agency, for your service.


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  • The following quote from AZ’S NEWSROOM a month ago (ARNOLD ZEITLIN, of GHANA 1 days back in 1961):

    “We cannot make good news out of bad practice.”–Edward R. Murrow

    Joanne Roll’s heads-up offers us the opportunity to think about this matter and not just let it surge past us.

  • I have an RPCV friend who went to New Orleans after Katarina with Crisis Corps. In those days, the group of Response Volunteers was known as the Crisis Corps. It was composed only of RPCVs. I think that was the first and evidently the only time that RPCVs, under the direction of Peace Corps, actually worked within the United States. My recollection is that those RPCVs did the same work as these employees will.

    This deployment consists of salaried employees of Peace Corps. Peace Corps is in the midst of a 20% staff reduction, as ordered for all federal agencies by the current President. So the assumption may well be that there are redundant positions at Peace Corps. My question would be are these staff members not really necessary at Peace Corps? If not, are there essential functions at Peace Corps that are put on hold. I also wonder how many of these employees are RPCVs.

    If there is anyone who did work with Crisis Corps in New Orleans after Katarina, it would be really good if they would check in here and let us know what they did, then.

  • Linkedin is a good resource. I found resumes for seven of the 11 staff going to FEMA. These seven are all RPCVs and have been working as recruiters, in one capacity or another. I think this is a good thing.

    • This is a website independent of Peace Corps. If you want information about Peace Corps, here is the link:

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