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Peace Corps Connect to the Future

On July 18, 2020, we hosted Peace Corps Connect to the Future: A Global Ideas Summit. Thank you to all the members of the Peace Corps community who made possible the summit and town halls in the weeks leading up to it.


We have been asking: What are the big ideas for the Peace Corps, the NPCA, and the Peace Corps community going forward? 


If you missed the summit or want to share ideas and inspiration from it, here’s the video of the entire summit. 

Watch a recording of Peace Corps Connect to the Future


And while we’ve reached the summit, it’s not all downhill from here. We’ll be sharing more from the summit in the days ahead. The agenda for the summit is included below, along with links to videos and remarks from the event. Here is just one of the insights from the summit, from Wofford Global Citizen Award Winner Kul Chandra Gautam of Nepal: 

“Let us remember that solidarity, unlike charity, is a two-way street. The Peace Corps experience is just as important for the education and enlightenment of the Peace Corps Volunteers as it is for them to help their host communities. More than any other group of Americans, I believe that Returned Peace Corps Volunteers can instill a sense of a more enlightened America as part of, not apart from, a more just, peaceful, and prosperous world. So, I hope and count on the Peace Corps to survive and thrive, and help build an enlightened post-COVID America and world.”

If we succeed in that work, it will be because we do it together. We hope you'll be part of the next critical steps as we seek to transform Peace Corps for a changed world. It’s time to put ideas into action.

In service,
Glenn Blumhorst
President & CEO
National Peace Corps Association

July 2020


Peace Corps Connect to the Future: A Global Ideas Summit


Welcome — Tributes, and a Moment of Silence

Glenn Blumhorst, President & CEO, NPCA
A welcome to our first virtual summit. Read his remarks and watch a video of his welcoming address here.


Peace Corps Today

Dr. Jody Olsen, Peace Corps Director

The 20th Director of the Peace Corps, Olsen discussed the many challenges we’re facing as a community. Watch a video of her address and read her remarks here. Olsen served as a Volunteer in Tunisia (1966–68) and has served as Country Director of Togo, held leadership positions within the agency, and as visiting professor at University of Maryland-Baltimore School of Social Work and Director of the University’s Center for Global Education Initiatives. She wrote this essay forthcoming in WorldView magazine chronicling the events that led to global evacuation of Volunteers.


Host Country Perspectives on Peace Corps

Three recipients of the Harris Wofford Global Citizen Award reflect on the work Peace Corps has done — and still has before it.

Nepal | Kul Chandra Gautam
Diplomat, public policy expert, and peace advocate — and former Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF. Read Kul Chandra Gautam’s remarks and watch the video here.

Guatemala | Luis Argueta
Film director and producer whose work helps audiences better understand people on the margins — including “The Silence of Neto,” Guatemala’s first Oscar submission. Read Luis Argueta’s remarks and watch the video here.

Kenya | Dr. Mohamud Sheikh Nurein Said
Volunteer, philanthropist, and humanitarian engaged in a wide range of medical service and human rights activities on the local, national, and international levels. Read Mohamud Said’s remarks and watch the video here.

Facilitator | Anne Baker
Vice President, National Peace Corps Association


Big Ideas for the Peace Corps Community

Summarizing ideas generated by the Peace Corps community through a series of town halls, hosted July 8–16.

From Ideas to Action l Reimagining the Future of the Peace Corps


RPCVs discuss their experiences — and how we can transform this moment in Peace Corps history. Read the discussion, see video highlights — or watch the full conversation here.

Marieme Foote, Evacuated RPCV | Benin 2018–20
Rok Locksley, Evacuated RPCV | Philippines 2018–20
Juana Bordas | RPCV Chile 1966–68

  in conversation with
Glenn Blumhorst, President & CEO, NPCA | RPCV Guatemala 1988–91

A Special Invitation for 2021

Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., MBA | President of Howard University
President Frederick announces that Howard University is working with NPCA to host the 2021 Peace Corps Connect and 60th anniversary of Peace Corps commemoration. Watch a video of his remarks here.


Where Do We Go from Here?

Maricarmen Smith-Martinez, NPCA Board Chair
A Volunteer in Costa Rica 2006–08, Smith-Martinez is Director of the International Development Sector for Bixal and has more than 15 years of experience managing nonprofit and government projects. Read her remarks and watch a video here.


Featuring musical guest and NPCA Board Director Katie Long


Stories about the unfinished business of evacuated Peace Corps Volunteers
Watch first-person videos and read about the unfinished business of Peace Corps Volunteers around the world.