The Peace Corps in the Time of Trump, Part 8

Carol Bellamy was nominated to be Peace Corps Director by Bill Clinton. The Senate confirmed her for the position on October 7, 1993. Leaving Bears Steams, where she was managing director, she was Peace Corps Director until May 1, 1995. President Clinton then nominated her to be head of UNICEF.

One of Carol’s many claims to fame is that she is the first RPCV (Guatemala 1963-65) to be Director of the agency. How she got the appointing is an interesting and typical Washington story of how people get jobs in D.C.

Carol Bellamy

Carol Bellamy

Maureen Orth (Columbia 1964-66) attending a Georgetown party shortly after Clinton was elected mentioned to the president-elect that the Peace Corps never had an RPCV director. Maureen told me, “Clinton’s eyes widened, hearing that news.”

It was clear he understood he could be the one to nominate a ‘first” for the job.

 

Clinton also would nominate Chuck Baquet (Somalia 1965-67) a former Ambassador, to be the Deputy Director at the Peace Corps. Before that happened, Chuck went to see Sarge Shriver and got his blessing. I presume that didn’t hurt his nomination.

This would be the first time both positions of leadership at the Peace Corps were held by RPCVs. It had only taken 32 years for that to happen.

It should be noted, however, that Jack Hogan (Venezuela 1964-66) who spent more than fourteen years as a volunteer and staff at the Peace Corps was really the ‘first’ PCV director. When Barbara Zartman took over from Elaine Chao in November 1992 she moved quickly and on her own two days after Clinton won the election to assign Volunteers to Russia. (This former political operative from Rochester, NY wanted credit for herself.) Zartman, who had been made deputy Peace Corps Director by Bush was acting on her own and she ran up against Congressman Lee Hamilton of Indiana. She was immediately terminated as ‘acting’ and Clinton appointed Jack Hogan as Acting Director. Hogan ran the agency until Bellamy cleared confirmation in October 1992, therefore, he was the ‘director’ for 11 months, almost as long as Elaine Chao held the position.

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