Project Concern International celebrates the Peace Corps, March 1 Anniversary, and RPCV employees

(l to r) Mark O’Donnell (Honduras  ) PCI COO; PCDirector Carrie Hessler-Radelet; Gaddie Vasquez (PCDirector 2002-06) never a PCV, Board of PCI; Bob Sullivan (Ethiopia 1968-70) Board PCI

Former Peace Corps Director takes helm of International Development Organization

SAN DIEGO—Carrie Hessler-Radelet was selected as the new President & CEO of Project Concern International (PCI) by its Board of Directors on February 3. Hessler-Radelet will lead PCI’s efforts working with families and communities in 16 countries to enhance health, end hunger, and overcome hardship.

It was 56-years-ago today that President Kennedy established the Peace Corps and began a legacy of Americans serving abroad. Over the years, the Peace Corps has attracted more than 225,000 motivated changemakers to promote world peace and friendship in 141 countries across the globe.

The international development community is full of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs), and that is especially true here at PCI. While we have employed RPCVs across the organization, we are especially proud to have a leadership team full of both Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and others with deep ties to the Peace Corps.

Carrie Hessler-Radelet spent three years as Director of the Peace Corps. She also served the Peace Corps as a volunteer (Western Samoa) and as a Public Affairs Manager for the Peace Corps Regional Office in Boston. She’s the fourth generation in her family to serve in the Peace Corps.

Other PCI RPCV employees

Kara West
Operations Officer, Latin America, PCI; Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Nicaragua

Kara Returned Peace Corps, Nicaragua

“As a Peace Corps Volunteer, I was introduced to bottom-up development and learned firsthand how important it is for a community to provide input, planning, and their own resources (time and effort) into planning a community development project. I came to understand that these components are vital to the success and sustainability of any project. This picture shows the opening ceremony of the school computer lab, which the community identified as a need during my service.  School teachers, parents, and students all worked together to establish the school’s first computer lab which served over 1,000 children in the area helping a rural town to come closer to bridging the vast technology gap between them and the students living in cities. I was drawn to PCI because our programming designs and core methodology center on those same components which make the Peace Corps such an impactful organization, empowering communities themselves to overcome any challenges they may face.”

Stephanie Gaffney
Program Officer, Tanzania, PCI; Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Tanzania

Stephanie Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Tanzania

“In Tanzania, joy can be seen daily in the smiling eyes and laughter of Tanzanians. And this is what became the most important thing to me as a Peace Corps Volunteer. No matter where you come from, what you do, how poor or rich you are, how old or young you are, how high your education level is, what language you speak, or anything else, people everywhere can connect over laughter and joy. Nothing beats the relationships you form with people when serving as a volunteer and it is something that I will never forget. I still consider those I lived with in my village as friends and family and will forever be thankful to have worked and lived with them.”

Kelley Matney
DC Office Coordinator, PCI; Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Paraguay

Kelley Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Paraguay

“Life is all about perspective. There are many times in Peace Corps (and in life!) where you feel like a failure, but, perspective is everything. No failure is a real failure unless it keeps you from learning. If you never fail, that means you aren’t pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. Like I said, life is all about perspective because when you choose to look at life with a positive lens then even failure isn’t a negative thing.”

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