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Franklin Williams Award

  • Steven Saum posted an article
    Celebrate Peace Corps Day by honoring the 2023 recipients of the Franklin H. Williams Award. see more

    Celebrate Peace Corps Day by honoring the 2023 recipients of the Franklin H. Williams Award.


    By NPCA Staff


    The Franklin H. Williams Award is presented by the Peace Corps agency and honors ethnically diverse Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who have demonstrated a commitment to civic engagement, service, diversity, inclusion, world peace, and to the Peace Corps’ Third Goal — to strengthen Americans’ understanding of the world and its peoples.

    An advocate for civil rights and an early architect of the Peace Corps, Franklin Williams also served as ambassador to the U.N. and U.S. ambassador to Ghana.

    The award was established in 1999, and past winners include Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative; Ambassador Charles Baquet III; and Sia Barbara Ferguson Kamara, who served as associate commissioner of Health and Human Services.

    The ceremony takes place at Planet Word in Washington, D.C. at 7 p.m. Eastern. More information here.

     January 28, 2023
  • Orrin Luc posted an article
    Works by Robert Frank, John Perkins, and Sheldon Gen see more

    Under the Influence

    Putting Peer Pressure to Work

    By Robert Frank

    Princeton University Press 


    Reviewed by NPCA Staff


    Robert H. Frank (Nepal 1966–68) is a pioneer and champion of behavioral economics, and in his many books, essays, and interviews he addresses moral sentiments, positional goods, expenditure cascades, the ever-widening income gap, the role of luck in our lives, and, most recently, the power of behavioral contagion. In Under the Influence, Frank tackles behavioral contagion, seeking to explain how to unlock the latent power of social context and harness it for good. Our environments encourage smoking, bullying, tax cheating, sexual predation, problem drinking, and wasteful energy use. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

    In the wake of the hottest years on record, only robust measures to curb greenhouse gases promise relief from more frequent and intense storms, droughts, flooding, wildfires, and famines. Frank describes how the strongest predictor of our willingness to support climate-friendly policies, install solar panels, or buy an electric car is the number of people we know who have already done so.

    A Cornell professor and influential teacher of economics since 1972, Frank retired from teaching in July 2020. He is the H.J. Louis Professor Emeritus of Management and Professor Emeritus of Economics at Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos.



    Touching the Jaguar

    Transforming Fear into Action to Change Your Life and the World

    By John Perkins



    Before John Perkins advised the World Bank, United Nations, Fortune 500 corporations, and governments, he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer (1968–71) in Ecuador. Many readers know him from his 2005 bestseller Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, a salacious exposé of transnational conspiracies to use international development to enrich the coffers of bit consulting and engineering firms while fueling global instability and latter-day colonialism. Touching the Jaguar updates some aspects of Confessions. But it takes its title from the story of how, as a Peace Corps Volunteer, Perkins’ life was saved by an Amazon shaman who taught him to “touch the jaguar” and transform his fears into positive action. And he reveals how shamanism converted him to a crusader for transforming a failing Death Economy (exploiting resources that are declining at accelerating rates) into a Life Economy (cleaning up pollution, recycling, and developing green technologies).




    Nonprofits in Advocacy Policy

    Their Strategies and Stories

    By Sheldon Gen and Amy Conley Wright



    This is a text designed for those working in nonprofit advocacy as well as studying it. Sheldon Gen (Kenya 1990–92) is an associate professor at San Francisco State University, where he focuses on public policy studies. A recipient of the 2020 Franklin Williams Award from the Peace Corps, Gen is the son of immigrants who fled China’s Communist revolution for California’s San Joaquin Valley. He was originally trained as an engineer and has worked with the EPA, the U.S. Air Force, and the Peace Corps.


    Story updated May 3, 2022.

     April 15, 2022