Who Is This Rajeev Goyal Guy?

Several of  you have emailed me to ask ‘what’s the skinny on this Rajeev Goyal guy?’ To give  you a quick summary, over the last two goyal-r-2years, Rajeev has been our indefatigable advocate of Peace Corps growth.  Without any formal training in lobbying or advocacy, guided by a team of advisors, he met with over 200 Congressional staff members to contest the anemic funding posture of Peace Corps.  Following a simple prescription of “squeeky wheel gets the grease,” he has organized 10,000 former volunteers, to pressure their elected representatives in a respectful, informed manner to vote for new funding to rejuvenate Peace Corps, which is half the size it was in 1966 despite 20 countries that want volunteers. He changed what was a marginal issue into a national news story, galvanizing the media (with the help of RPCV writers and journalists) into a watchdog for the President’s promise of doubling.

Yesterday, as you know, the Senate passed a $60 million increase, the largest dollar increase in the 49-year history of Peace Corps, $27 million more than President Obama’s request.  With 150 Champions in Congress, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, on record officially supporting doubling the Peace Corps budget by 2012, we have created a new platform that can do a lot more.

Rajeev and his colleagues continue to fight for more Peace Corps funding to fuel new growth and innovation through www.pushforpeacecorps.org.  Over the last several weeks they have been asking us to call President Obama (202-456-1111) to keep his promise of 16,000 Peace Corps volunteers by providing a substantial funding increase in fiscal year 2011 (the budget for which will be forged by February 2010).  Over 3,000 calls have been made to President Obama already.

Rajeev is the son of immigrants from Rajasthan, India, and he acquired his J.D. from NYU and BA in English Lit. from Brown University.  He sits on several non-profit boards including Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust.

Since 2001, he has raised funds and overseen development for five new ‘farm schools’ in eastern Nepal.

Rajeev is 30 years old.

As Congressman Sam Farr said at a Hill reception last week where the $60 million funding increase was announced, “He is a danger in politics.”

If you haven’t seen this short view of Rajeev on NBC News, take a look.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/vp/29898341#29898341

8 Comments

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  • …and Rajeev is what Peace Corps is all about! No monuments, just a positive and very flexible attitude to make a difference for Peace Corps…for all of us! Thanks Rajeev…I want to meet you someday but feel I already know you! Volunteers will hear of you from your supporters…see you at the 50th! Bob
    PS: Thanks John!
    Bob Arias
    Peace Corps Response Volunteer/Panama 2009-2010
    RPCV Colombia, 1964-66

  • Thanks, Rajeev. Fine, imaginative, persistent work. Your research & coordination essential, so that busy supporters can feel confident weighing in at the right places, in the right way, & at the right moments.

    Thanks, also, to John Coyne for your informative, daily, lively blogging.

    Bob Terry, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) I, 1961-63. http://www.rcterry.com

  • I was very impressed with Rajeev, and with the response by the US Congress. The only way to really win hearts and minds is with Peace Corps Volunteers, not drones and guns. I was a Volunteer in Colombia from 1964 to 1966. The goals and ideals of the Peace Corps have remained with me ever since.

  • I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Alena

  • Thank you, Alena…When Marian Beil and I started the site, we planned that it would be a resource for RPCVs and others who have lived and worked overseas. We are not yet a year old and we continue to build the site and (we hope) improve it. Thanks for your support.
    John

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