Former Peace Corps Director Remembered in Senate
By Jonathan Pearson on Tuesday, July 20th, 2010
A decade after his sudden death, former Peace Corps Director and United States Senator Paul Coverdell was remembered Tuesday during remarks on the Senate floor which paid tribute to his thirty years of public service.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Coverdell was willing to take on any task, yet never sought the spotlight. Regarding his appointment to the Peace Corps by President George H. W. Bush in 1989, McConnell noted that Coverdell is credited for sending the first volunteers to Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Georgia Senators Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss also paid tribute to their former colleague. “Anything that Paul undertook, he put his whole heart and soul into it,” said Chambliss. “That was the case with the Peace Corps.”
Chambliss noted that Coverdell began the World Wise Schools program, in which volunteers in the field are matched with U.S. classrooms. He also recalled attending the ceremony in which Peace Corps Headquarters was named after Coverdell. “To hear the many tributes and personal stories from volunteers was truly humbling and very moving.”
Coverdell served in the Georgia State Senate for nineteen years before becoming Peace Corps’ eleventh director. He served two terms in the United States Senate until his death in 2000.