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January 25, 2023

Reporting on Ukraine

Two returned Volunteers who served in Ukraine now play key roles as journalists reporting on that country.   By NPCA Staff   Sabra Ayres (Ukraine 1995–97) was named chief correspondent for Ukraine at the Associated Press (AP) in September. She manages and coordinates AP’s coverage of Ukraine, including text, photography, and video storytelling. Ayres has nearly two decades of reporting that covered U.S. state and national politics, international relations, and developing democracies—with bylines from Ukraine, Russia, Afghanistan, Europe, and India. Christopher Miller (Ukraine 2010–12) has joined the Financial Times as Ukraine correspondent. He has previously covered Ukraine for Politico, BuzzFeed News, and Radio...

April 25, 2022

To Mark 30 Years, Peace Corps in Mongolia Is Honored with the Polar Star

The highest award given to foreign citizens was presented to Country Director Kim Mansaray. By NPCA Staff Photos courtesy the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia    For the 30th anniversary of the Peace Corps in Mongolia, last summer Country Director Kim Mansaray — who served as a Volunteer herself in Sierra Leone 1983–85 — was presented with the highest award given to foreign citizens: the Order of the Polar Star. In a ceremony with Deputy Foreign Minister Munkhjin Batsumber of Mongolia, the award was bestowed on Peace Corps Mongolia and its leadership for peace-building efforts in the country. Nearly 1,500 Volunteers have served in...

April 21, 2022

Peace Corps ‘Jeopardy!’

Four recent contestants — and one champion By NPCA Staff Geographer Charles Fogelman. Photo courtesy “Jeopardy!” Here’s your clue: This University of Illinois geographer served with the Peace Corps in Lesotho 2003–05, once hosted Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso for dinner in Harlem, nailed questions in the category “The Equator” … and became champion on “Jeopardy!” on February 16. Answer: Who is Charles Fogelman? The one-day winner on the show was one of four recent RPCV contestants. The day before, Jimmy Rollins (Albania 2005–07), an international economic development consultant with Deloitte, leaned on his knowledge of Hemingway to finish second on the show. In...

April 18, 2022

Park Experience, Antarctic Service, a National Press Foundation Award — and a Recently Appointed Rep in Raleigh

Recognition for three members of the Peace Corps community. And an RPCV appointed to the North Carolina Legislature. By NPCA Staff Photo: Shelton Johnson, recipient of the 2022 American Park Experience Award. Courtesy National Park Service   Shelton Johnson | Liberia 1982–83 Shelton Johnson received the 2022 American Park Experience Award for his years of advocating for diversity in national parks and helping families and youth feel welcome by seeing their stories told there. Johnson has worked for the past 35 years as a ranger with the National Park Service at Yellowstone and now Yosemite National Park. His storytelling talents landed him a prominent...

April 18, 2022

Return to Mogadishu

Larry André is the new U.S. ambassador to Somalia. Photo courtesy the U.S. Secretary of Defense   Larry André, who served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal 1983–85, is the new U.S. ambassador to Somalia. A career foreign service officer, he arrived in Mogadishu in January. It wasn’t his first visit. Back in 2007, André developed the U.S. mission in Somalia. In his current post, he will seek to foster peace and democracy in the country — at a time when Somalia is facing its worst drought in a decade. André previously served as U.S. ambassador to Djibouti and Mauritania and worked with...

April 15, 2022

Stories of the Human Heart

Founded in 2003, StoryCorps shares stories to deepen connections between people and create a just, compassionate world. Sandra Clark is the first woman of color to lead the nonprofit as StoryCorps CEO. By Tiffany James   Photo courtesy StoryCorps   In February Sandra Clark (Guinea-Bissau 1990–94) took on a new role as CEO of StoryCorps — the nonprofit organization that, through stories, has sought to deepen connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world since its founding in 2003. Clark is the second person and first woman of color to serve as StoryCorps CEO. During a panel discussion at NPCA’s 2022 Shriver Leadership Summit in March, Clark spoke about how...

December 19, 2021

A More Sustainable Food System

C.D. Glin takes on responsibilities as vice president, global head of philanthropy for the PepsiCo Foundation   By NPCA Staff   C.D. Glin (South Africa 1997–99) took on responsibilities as vice president, global head of philanthropy for the PepsiCo Foundation in May. He oversees daily management of the foundation and focuses work toward a more sustainable food system. Glin had been president and CEO of the U.S. African Development Foundation, an Africa-focused philanthropic organization established by Congress to invest grant capital, build capacity, and scale locally owned, sustainable solutions for underserved and agricultural-dependent populations. He was the first director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the...

December 19, 2021

Civic Engagement and Democracy

Javier Valdés takes on responsibilities as U.S. Director of Civic Engagement and Government for the Ford Foundation   By NPCA Staff     Javier Valdés (Guatemala 1999–2001) took on responsibilities as U.S. Director of Civic Engagement and Government for the Ford Foundation in August. Valdés was previously co-executive director at Make the Road New York, the state’s largest immigration advocacy organization. Valdés has been instrumental in increasing affordable housing, expanding translation services in government offices, and reducing bias in policing. Among his goals now: play a pivotal role in the Ford Foundation’s ambitions to strengthen representation, participation, and leadership in U.S. democracy.

December 17, 2021

Ending Gender-Based Violence: A Briefing with Katrina Fotovat

For the first time, the U.S. government has put forward a national strategy on gender equity and equality. A top priority: end gender-based violence at home and globally.   By NPCA Staff   This fall the White House released the first-ever U.S. National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality. Among the priorities: “elimination of gender-based violence at home and globally,” noted Katrina Fotovat (Moldova 2000–02) in a conversation with journalists on World AIDS Day, December 1. Fotovat is the Senior Official to the Secretary of State in the Office of Global Women’s Issues, a role she has held since January 2021. She has over 20...

December 17, 2021

Guns and Public Health

The CDC is again funding research on gun violence. Emergency room physician Megan Ranney is working on research-based solutions. Photo by Anthony Ricci/Shutterstock By NPCA Staff   After years of gun violence declining in the U.S., it is again on the rise. Offering some hope of understanding — and ameliorating — it is this: Last year, after 25 years of Congress refusing to allow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to back research on gun violence, funding was authorized. Emergency room physician Megan Ranney (Côte d’Ivoire 1998–2000) leads the Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health in Rhode Island. She was among the...