Williams to Step Down as Peace Corps Director
By Jonathan Pearson on Tuesday, August 21st, 2012
Citing personal and family considerations, Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams announced he is stepping down as Director of the Peace Corps, effective September 17th.
A former member of the Board of Directors of the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) and former Director of the Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation, Williams served as Peace Corps Director for the past three years. He is the eighteenth individual to serve as director, the third Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV), and the fifth director to serve prior to his appointment as either an RPCV or former staff (Williams was a Volunteer in the Dominican Republic from 1967 to 1970).
Deputy Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet (Samoa 81-83) will assume the role of Acting Director of the agency.
During Williams’ tenure, which included the 50th anniversary celebration of the Peace Corps, the agency reached its highest level of funding in its history, returned to five nations, saw its number of Volunteers and trainees in the field surpass 9,000 – a more than 40 year high, and saw minority volunteer recruitment reach 20% for the first time in its history.
Soon after he assumed his position as Director, Williams initiated an agency-wide assessment and strategic plan that has to date resulted in important advancements. These include an annual portfolio review of countries to better determine where and how to deploy Volunteers in the field, and a narrowing of Peace Corps’ programmatic focus to better train and support volunteers.
In response to public attention and concerns raised by volunteers, Williams worked with Congress and members of the Peace Corps community to secure passage of the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act, aimed at providing more support for Volunteers victimized by violence.
“As an RPCV who understood and was a friend of the Peace Corps, Aaron led the agency to new highs and made significant institutional and programmatic improvements,” said NPCA President Kevin Quigley. “He positioned the Peace Corps as a leading development and service organization for the 21st century. All of us at the NPCA extend our appreciation to Aaron for his leadership and wish him the best in his future endeavors. We know the Peace Corps will never be far from his heart.”
Follow this link to read the Peace Corps press release about Director Williams’ pending departure.
For comment from the White House, click here.
For a comment from Sen. Patrick Leahy (VT), click here.
For a statement from Rep. John Garamendi (CA), click here.