Peter James Caws, early Peace Corps supporter, passed away on April 20th



Peter James Caws never worked at the Peace Corps but he was an important person to help the agency in its early days. Late in 1962, when Pat Kennedy, first director of the Division of Volunteer Support (DVS),  began to think about how to support Volunteers when they were completing the service. Pat wanted to create a Career Information Service, but the new agency did not have money to establish such an office.

Pat decided to look outside the government for funding. At the time Peter Caws, a British citizen, was at the Carnegie Corporation in New York. Pat went to meet Caws, who had his Ph.D. in philosophy from Yale and was an officer at the corporation. Caws liked Kennedy’s idea for helping returning Volunteers, knowing that many RPCVs would be entering graduate studies.

Caws convinced Carnegie to give the agency $100,000 to establish the Career Center before Congress got around to giving the agency money to establish an Information Center.

In 1963 Bob Calvert, head of the University of California Berkeley’s Placement Service, arrived in D.C. to direct the office.

Peter Caws, later became a professor at the University of Kansas, City University of New York, and from 1982-2017 at George Washington University. Caws passed away on April 20th at the age of 88.





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  • It’s like I used to hear “it take a village to raise a kid”. It took more than a few prominent leaders to make the Peace Corps and help it develop..

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