Why This RPCV Should Be The Next Peace Corps Director

It’s that time of year again. Time to pick a new Peace Corps Director with a new Administration. The President and his people get to fill 30 top level positions in the Peace Corps Administration, from director to heads of divisions. They are called Schedule C Appointments. The next Director, however, will not have the opportunity to put together ‘his or her team’ as the appointees come usually from the campaign workers. Historically the ‘jobs’ are in great demand. In previous administrations, there have been many RPCVs who didn’t want to go to the White House. They wanted to go back to the Peace Corps and “fix it” (in their minds) from what it was when they were PCVs. Other political types have seen the job as glamorous and full of overseas travel and cushy jobs. (Of course, those were Schedule C types who had never been near a PCV.)

Bill Clinton was the first person to honor the service of Volunteers by putting a former Volunteer, Carol Bellamy, as Director on October 7, 1993. Maureen Orth mentioned to Clinton in his President-Elect days that no president had given the position to an RPCV. “His eyes lit up when he heard that,” she remembers.

Will Donald Trump continue this tradition? (Of course, he might ask, “What’s the Peace Corps?) None of his children from his litany of wives have become Peace Corps Volunteers. The name ‘peace corps’ might not be a household name in Trump Tower.

Nevertheless, I have a candidate, an RPCV who served with the first group to Ethiopia from 1962-64 who fulfills many of the Trump goals and standards and view of the world. His name is Leo Cecchini.

As an “old bald white male’ he voted for Trump and is a fervent support of The Donald. My candidate knows Trump will make “America Great Again.” Here are Leo’s qualifications. That appear to be exactly what the President-Elect is seeking in his new administration.

  • Republican (like Trump is now)
  • Old Bald White Man ( Trump’s core voters)
  • Ethnic American -Italian (Trump is Scottish)
  • Worked as a Foreign Service Officer in Spain (more than Trump)
  • Businessman with several companies that went bust (not unlike Trump)
  • Real Estate Salesman in Florida (like Trump)
  • Lives in Florida ( Trump does sometimes)
  • Owns a house in a foreign country (like Trump)
  • Only married once (two less than Trump, but trying to catch up)
  • Two professional daughters (one better than Trump)
  • Formerly on Board of NPCA (Trump wants to know “what’s the NPCA?)
  • Doesn’t play golf (that alone makes him better than Trump)

So, vote for Leo Cecchini! (Or as we say in Chicago) “Vote early and often”

Leo Cecchini Make the Peace Corps Great Again

Leo Cecchini
Make the Peace Corps Great Again




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  • John, Yes I wish it was that simple–voting early and often but my guess is that a lot more goes into the selection process.

    I do agree that Leo seems to be an ideal candidate for the reasons you provide–but based on the candidates Trump is looking at for other foreign affairs position I can’t imagine he’d waste an opportunity to find someone totally loyal to him or actively involved in his campaign.

    Just wondering what Leo said about your profile/nomination?



    • Mark

      John loves chiding me. He has a thing about those who were Foreign Service Officers and I had a full career with retirement. Like Trump I have had businesses that won and those that failed, the trick is to make sure the winners outnumber the losers. I guess I should show up for my interview wearing my “I’m A Deplorable” and “Make America Great Again” cap.

      • Go for it Leo! I’m sure you’d look great in the red “make America Great Again” ball cap. I look forward to hearing if anything comes out of this interchange. Cheers, Mark

  • Leo has never been in the military, which I see as a Plus, but Trump et.al., may not. I suspect that if Peace Corps is not suspended, then military veterans will staff the agency. Ironically, that was true initially; Shriver was a Navy veteran as were so many men in the early 60s. But, they had seen war and tried to stop it.

    I still think, seriously, that Charles Murray is a possible candidate.

  • Leo…if John says nice things about you, he wants something! A friend he can beat in golf!!!
    Good luck…see that Trump and staff see the core values of Peace Corps, and what we bring back! It changed our lives.
    Bob…just kidding John, you are awesome my friend!

  • Leo for PCD!!! I’m all for it!!!! Who else!!!! He’s a bit old, however, but with daily naps its doable!! I think we’re about the same age although he retains the Florida glow!

    Move PC/Headquarters to Florida would work! somewhere close to Central Command!

    Leo’s a winner, a friend for decades! Why Not! We could do a helluva lot worse under Donald!!

    Warmest to you, Leo, trust all is well!


  • Actually, I have been submitting letters with my name as suggestion for appointment as the next Peace Corps Director.

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