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Peace Corps Achievements – May and June 2024

News and updates from the Peace Corps community — across the country, around the world, and spanning generations of returned Volunteers and staff.

Compiled by Peter V. Deekle

Sierra Plato (pictured, Costa Rica 2016–18) celebrated her one year work anniversary in March as a program specialist in Chicago with the Peace Corps Office of University Programs. Michael Carson (Kenya 1989–91) was appointed the new president of the International Storytelling Center (ISC) in April. Christophe Andre Tocco (Morocco, 1996–98) has been nominated to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania by President Biden. We also share the stories of Darlene Grant (Cambodia, 2009-11), Doug Ricket (2003-05), and Sheila Crowley (Ukraine, 2001-03).

 
 

CAMBODIA

Darlene Grant (2009–11) was highlighted in a profile piece written by Peace Corps in February titled “Darlene Grant: Defining a Life of Service.” The piece shares how Grant joined the Peace Corps at age 49 and served for two years before briefly returning to her academic position at the University of Texas (Austin). Her time with the Peace Corps didn’t end there as she later served as the Peace Corps Country Director for Mongolia (2012–15) and Kosovo (2015–19). In 2020, she became the Senior Advisor to the Director of the Peace Corps. Read more.

 
 
 
 

COSTA RICA

Sierra Plato (2016–18) celebrated her one year work anniversary in March as a program specialist in Chicago with the Peace Corps Office of University Programs. Prior to her current position, Plato worked for the agency as a senior regional recruiter for North Carolina, where she built and fostered relationships with more than 40 universities and community partners. With a passion for service, women’s empowerment, and building cross-cultural connections, she took a temporary assignment with the State Department in the Afghan resettlement initiative during the winter of 2021. During that assignment she Served as Women’s Center Coordinator and Special Cases Protection Liaison for the most vulnerable of Afghan refugee guests. Read more.

 
 
 
 

GAMBIA

Doug Ricket (2003–05), co-founder and CEO of PayJoy, was the featured guest on the May 7 episode of the Fintech Leaders podcast. During the podcast, he shared how his Peace Corps service shaped him and his ambition to work with emerging markets. Listen to the podcast episode here.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

KENYA

Michael Carson (1989–91) was named the new president of the International Storytelling Center (ISC) in April. Located in Jonesborough, Tennessee, ISC is the premiere educational, arts, and cultural institution dedicated to building better lives through the art of storytelling. Carson brings to the role a variety of leadership experience working with public and nonprofit organizations in the States and abroad. Read more

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

MOROCCO

Christophe Andre Tocco (1996–98) has been nominated to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania by President Biden. He is currently the Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator in the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Bureau for Planning, Learning and Resource Management where he oversees the Office of Policy Implementation and Analytics, and the Program Office. He brings over 20 years of experience in managing and executing international development and humanitarian programs throughout Africa, including his time serving in the Peace Corp in Morocco. Read more.

 
 
 
 
 

UKRAINE

Sheila Crowley (2001–03) was appointed as the new Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the National Endowment for Democracy on April 16, 2024. She previously served as the Executive Vice President and COO at Global Communities, a global development non-profit that provides solutions to humanitarian assistance, sustainable development, and financial inclusion in over 30 countries across the globe. She also sits on multiple NGO boards including Partners for Good in Jordan, and Mines Advisory Group – US, Vitas Romania and Vitas Iraq Advisory Board. Read more. 


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