October Featured Advocate – Kevin Quigley
By Jonathan Pearson on Wednesday, October 10th, 2012
For the past nine years, the National Peace Corps Association and its community of former Peace Corps staff, returned volunteers and others who believe in the ideals and mission of the Peace Corps, have been ably led by Kevin F. F. Quigley (Thailand 76-79).
That leadership very much included the vision, guidance and commitment Kevin provided to revitalizing NPCA’s advocacy program during his tenure.
Kevin brought solid hands-on experience to that effort. Prior to leading the NPCA, Kevin’s past work included serving as Legislative Director for Senator John Heinz (R-PA), and working as a Budget Examiner for the Office of Management and Budget, focusing on international affairs funding.
In 2004 testimony before the House International Relations Committee, Kevin reflected on recent travels he had made around the country to meet with leaders and members of 25 of NPCA’s affiliate groups:
“I have…talked about the Peace Corps experience with more than a thousand former volunteers and staff in small and large groups. The one common theme through all of these discussions is that Peace Corps service is a defining experience that continues to shape our lives. Among the community of those who have served, there is broad, deep and passionate support for Peace Corps, which often leads to ongoing service back home. This community understands the vital importance of having volunteers working overseas–as they have done in more than 130 countries–to promote peace through training individuals in their host country, educating them about the United States, and upon their return educating Americans about the country in which they served. This reflects Peace Corps’ three goals, which are perceived as every bit as vital today as when Peace Corps was established…”
It is important to note that every singular action by every individual is critical to the success of an advocacy initiative. Over the past decade, Kevin’s leadership have been essential to some of our most successful efforts.
Kevin immediately identified the importance in 2005 to amend military recruitment legislation to keep a clear line of distinction between military service and Peace Corps service, and helped to set the appropriate presentation and tone to ensure that amendment was successful.
Tens of thousands of individuals helped to guide and give voice to NPCA’s More Peace Corps Campaign. Kevin gave initial voice to the effort with a commentary in the Winter 2007 edition of WorldView magazine. Results from the campaign included the largest single-year appropriation for the Peace Corps in its history, nearly 1,000 additional volunteers in the field, and a revitalized examination on not only how to make the Peace Corps bigger, but also what steps need to be taken to make it better and bolder.
It was also Kevin’s vision and leadership that led to the formation of the Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation, promoting the concept that along with tributes to past presidents and military conflicts, the
area near our national mall should also recognize the lasting historic significance that the founding of the Peace Corps has played in our evolving American story. While the enabling legislation is not yet passed, your efforts have significantly advanced Senate and House legislation, with a chance for victory later this year.
In our 50th anniversary year, Kevin collaborated with the leadership of Civic Enterprises and Peter D. Hart Research Associates to commission the largest known survey of the Peace Corps community. More than 11,000 RPCVs participated in the survey, which provided further insight to the long-term perspectives and impacts the Peace Corps has on individual Americans and America in particular.
Most recently, Kevin helped facilitate a connection between Peace Corps leadership and a newly forming group of returned volunteers who are seeking support for those who face debilitating illness and injury in the aftermath of their service.
Kevin’s commitment to the values and ideals of the Peace Corps continue. While he leaves the NPCA, he remains in the Peace Corps family, as he begins training to become the next Country Director of Thailand, his country of service.
In honor of these and many other contributions to the NPCA community, RPCV Congressman Sam Farr (D-CA) recognized Kevin with these remarks before the House of Representatives on September 20th, 2012.
Thank you Kevin for your past and ongoing service to the Peace Corps community.