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Peace Corps Funding

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    With Your Participation - We can Reach This Goal! see more

    UPDATE: On Friday afternoon, President Trump signed into law the $2.2 trillion emergency stimulus package passed in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier in the day.

    Final approval of the emergency stimulus package means $88 million will be forwarded to Peace Corps to assist with the cost of evacuating 7,300 volunteers from 61 countries and support initial transition assistance.

    "This funding reinforces the federal commitment to the Peace Corps, and we are grateful for this action to support the agency and its Volunteers during this difficult time", said National Peace Corps Association president and CEO Glenn Blumhorst. "While this package addresses critical short-term issues, we continue to work with Congress as the evacuated RPCVs will face additional challenges in the coming weeks and months."

    NPCA is already in communication with congressional offices to discuss next steps for an anticipated next round of legislation. Congress needs to hear from you. That's why we are asking you to take action now with your members of Congress to press for ongoing support for evacuated Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

    During this extraordinary moment, we require a committed response from the Peace Corps community and the broad, deep reservoir of everyday citizens who believe in the mission and goals of Peace Corps service.


    That's why we are issuing a challenge to mobilize and send 100,000 messages to Congress

    The final approval of this massive stimulus package is good news for Peace Corps. But our work doesn't end there. Numerous offices are indicating that the bill finalized on Friday—the third stimulus bill passed into law—will not be the last.

    Conversations are underway to make sure that future legislation addresses some of the longer term needs evacuees will likely face, including some form of joblessness support, extended health care support where needed, adequate mental health support, possible enhancements to Coverdell Fellowship programs for prospective graduate students, and possible domestic deployment opportunities so skilled Returned Peace Corps Volunteers can help fight the pandemic. 

    Beyond that, an ongoing mobilization is needed to remind our lawmakers and our fellow citizens that Peace Corps remains open and is preparing to re-deploy as soon as possible.

    In the days, weeks, and months ahead, take action! 

    Want to help coordinate advocacy efforts in your community/region? Contact us!

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    With your help we can get a record number of signatures on this annual letter. see more

    A bipartisan letter from two members of Congress calls on colleagues to sign on to strong support for Peace Corps during this critical time. To ensure support, your Representative needs to hear from you in the next two weeks.

    By Jonathan Pearson


    Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) and Garret Graves (R-LA), Co-Chairs of the House Peace Corps Caucus, have issued a letter to colleagues in the House of Representative calling for robust funding for Peace Corps. They are asking the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State/Foreign Operations for some long-needed support — and to bolster funding as the agency undertakes to send Volunteers back into the field. (For details, see the letter at the end of this post.)

    The goal: Increase Peace Corps funding for Fiscal Year 2022 from $410 million to $450 million.

    The task for the Peace Corps community: Reach out to members of the House and get them to sign on — before the deadline of April 23.

    Our show of support is critical to ensure robust funding for the Peace Corps. We have only two weeks to deliver. 


    Take Action

    This is an action only for the House of Representatives. A similar action in the Senate is expected later. We’ll share that news as soon as we have it. 

    Here’s what you can do today: Contact your Representative and urge them to sign on to the Garamendi-Graves Peace Corps funding Dear Colleague letter.

    Share this news post with others you know who support the Peace Corps and urge them to take action, too. Peace Corps Volunteers can help tackle problems in communities around the world — and they’re being enlisted to help across the United States during the pandemic. Let’s make sure they have the support they need to get the job done.


    Take Action Now



    Who Has Signed the Letter?

    Here are the lawmakers who signed the Garamendi-Graves Peace Corps Funding Dear Colleague Letter for Fiscal Year 2022. 


    DEADLINE to sign on: Friday, April 23, 2021

    SIGNATURES as of Wednesday, April 14, 6:00 PM: 84

    ADDITIONAL SIGNATURES NEEDED to surpass 2019 record: 98


    Alabama: Sewell

    Alaska: Young

    American Samoa: Radewagan

    Arizona: Gallego, Grijalva

    California: Bass, Bera, Carbajal, Cardenas, Chu, Costa, DeSaulniers, Garamendi (co-author), Mike Levin, Lieu, Lowenthal, Matsui, McNerney, Panetta, Swalwell, Takano, Vargas

    Colorado: Neguse

    Connecticut: Courtney, Hayes, Larson

    Delaware: Blunt Rochester

    District of Columbia: Norton

    Florida: Deutch

    Georgia: Hank Johnson, McBath, David Scott

    Hawai'i: Kahele

    Illinois: Bustos, Davis, Foster, Chuy Garcia, Schakowsky

    Indiana: Carson

    Kansas: Davids

    Louisiana: Graves (co-author)

    Maine: Golden

    Maryland: Sarbanes

    Massachusetts: Keating, Lynch, McGovern, Moulton, Trahan

    Minnesota: Craig, Phillips

    Nevada: Horsford, Titus

    New Jersey: Malinowski, Norcross, Pallone, Pascrell, Payne, Sires, Van Drew

    New York: Delgado, Jones, Katko, Sean Patrick Maloney, Tonko, Torres

    Northern Marianas: Sablan

    Ohio: Beatty

    Oregon: Bonamici, DeFazio

    Pennsylvania: Fitzpatrick

    Puerto Rico: Gonzalez-Colon

    Rhode Island: Langevin

    Texas: Allred, Castro, Vicente Gonzalez, Green, Jackson-Lee

    Vermont: Welch

    Virginia: Beyer, Connolly, Luria

    Washington: DelBene

    Wisconsin: Kind, Moore


    Don’t see your Representative listed yet? Then they need to hear from you! Thanks for rallying others to join you in supporting Peace Corps at this critical time.

    Here’s the Text from the Letter

    Read it below — or download the PDF.


    April 28, 2021


    The Honorable Barbara Lee, Chairwoman
    Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs
    Committee on Appropriations
    U.S. House of Representatives

    The Honorable Hal Rogers, Ranking Member
    Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs
    Committee on Appropriations
    U.S. House of Representatives


    Dear Chairwoman Lee and Ranking Member Rogers:

    Thank you for your commitment to the Peace Corps. Because of your efforts, the agency is poised for even greater impact at a time when the unique role of the Peace Corps is urgently needed. To ensure the Peace Corps has the resources needed to further its mission, we respectfully ask that you appropriate $450 million for fiscal year 2022.

    Public support for Peace Corps remains strong, and its programs continue to renew and expand, but the agency’s potential is severely limited by its essentially flat funding levels in the past six years. The agency’s budget allocation has not increased beyond $410.5 million since fiscal year 2016. Providing $450 million for fiscal year 2022 would allow the Peace Corps to resume in-country Volunteer activities once safe and prudent to do so, and support the longstanding goal of deploying of 10,000 volunteers worldwide.

    More Americans want to serve than the Peace Corps has the funding to absorb. The ratio of annual applications to available Volunteer positions currently stands at over 4:1. Retired General Stanley McChrystal has called this gap between applicants and service opportunities “democratic energy wasted and a generation of patriotism needlessly squandered.” Additionally, six years of essentially flat funding has compelled the agency to cut both pre-service and in-service training days to meet budget restrictions, meaning Volunteers get less time for language, technical, and cross-cultural training.

    The Peace Corps works to accomplish its legislative mandate within the context of unique security challenges, and the agency has taken steps to improve the health and safety of its Volunteers as it implements provisions within the Sam Farr Nick Castle Peace Corps Reform Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-256). However, there remain residual health care policy issues within the agency that require increased budgetary support. In particular, we need increased funding and compensation levels for Volunteers temporarily or permanently disabled as a result of their service abroad.

    Similar to members of our military and diplomatic corps, Peace Corps Volunteers take an oath to serve our country, and do so often in remote, challenging environments. Increased funding is necessary to ensure that Peace Corps can fulfill its commitment to the health and safety of American citizens who choose to serve.

    We thank you for your efforts to provide Peace Corps with the resources it needs to fuel the next generation of American leadership, and we respectfully ask that you make this $450 million investment in the agency for fiscal year 2022.




    John Garamendi
    Member of Congress


    Garret Graves
    Member of Congress



    Story updated April 7, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. 

    Jonathan Pearson is Director of Advocacy for National Peace Corps Association. Write him at

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    What will Peace Corps’ future hold? It’s up to us. And work is underway. see more

    On March 1 we kicked off a season of advocacy in support of the Peace Corps. And we’re working to transform it for a changed world. On March 1, Rep. John Garamendi introduced comprehensive Peace Corps legislation.


    By Jonathan Pearson


    For 17 years, one of National Peace Corps Association’s key contributions to Peace Corps Week is our National Days of Advocacy. This Peace Corps 60th anniversary year is marked by a global pandemic and social distancing, as well as national crisis that includes a U.S. Capitol closed to visitors. In spite of these unprecedented challenges, our advocacy mobilization carries on. And during the months of March and April, your involvement is needed like never before.


    Our March 1 Kickoff

    Our Days of Advocacy kickoff began on March 1 (Peace Corps Day). More than 250 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) former Peace Corps staff and other supporters joined a meeting which featured remarks by Peace Corps champions in Congress including RPCV Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), and Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA). Several advocacy leaders shared their planned activities in the coming weeks and many joined individual state/regional breakout meetings to discuss further plans for mobilization.

    It's not too late to get involved in our National Days of Advocacy. In fact, we are just getting started!


    Take Individual Action Right Now

    Follow this link to write to your members of Congress. Share this link with others. We need every citizen who believes in the importance of the Peace Corps to contact Congress at this consequential moment in Peace Corps history!


    Get Involved

    Check out our 2021 Days of Advocacy map to see if any activities — virtual meetings with congressional offices, virtual letter writing, advocacy workshops, and more — are already in the works. If there’s no activity already scheduled in your area, fill out this form and help lead one!


    Virtual Workshop Recording

    If you are new to advocacy, follow this link for details on how to plan and carry out effective virtual advocacy meetings. And, here is a video recording of our March 9th Virtual Advocacy 101 Workshop.



    More Resources:

    Visit our State Resources page for a one-page document about Peace Corps activity in your state (which you can download and use as a leave behind document for congressional office meetings), and to see profiles of every member of Congress.

    Follow this link for our generic, two page leave behind document that you can share with congressional offices.


    Issues: Funding, Peace Corps Legislation, COVID Relief, Jobs

    Our Days of Advocacy Agenda is still taking shape. We’ll update this page as more information becomes available. During March and April 2021, here are some of our key Peace Corps–related advocacy issues:

    Peace Corps Funding

    Our advocacy to support strong Peace Corps funding begins now, as Congress begins to work on federal appropriations for Fiscal Year 2022 (which begins October 1, 2021). In the weeks to come, we anticipate intensive mobilization to urge members to sign annual Senate and House Peace Corps Funding “Dear Colleague” letters. Right now, our specific request is that you ask senators and representatives include strong funding for the Peace Corps when they submit their individual requests to their respective Appropriations Committee. The Peace Corps Reauthorization Act (see below) recommends a roughly 10 percent increase in FY 22 funding for Peace Corps — from $410 Million to $450 Million — to support redeployment and key reforms.

    Click here to read our Peace Corps Funding issue brief and talking points.

    Click here to read the House Peace Corps Funding Dear Colleague letter.

    Click here for a letter writing action to support the House Dear Colleague letter.

    Comprehensive Peace Corps Legislation

    On March 1, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer John Garamendi (D-CA) and Representative Garret Graves (R-LA) introduced the Peace Corps Reauthorization Act (H.R. 1456) in the House of Representatives. Read Congressman Garamendi's press release, which includes a link to the legislation and an outline of the many provisions to support, improve, and honor the work of Peace Corps Volunteers and those who have returned.

    At this time there is no companion legislation in the Senate.

    Click here to read our Peace Corps Reauthorization Act issue brief and talking points.

    Click here for a one–page document you can give to your representatives during House meetings. 

    COVID Relief and Jobs Legislation

    In both the Senate and the House, identical legislation has been introduced to mobilize resources, confront the COVID-19 pandemic, and prioritize the hiring of RPCVs (among others) in the response. The Health Force, Resilience Force and Jobs To Fight COVID-19 Act of 2021 (Senate Bill 32; House Bill 460) is starting to gain co-sponsors. Thank your members if they are already a co-sponsor. If they are not, ask them to co-sponsor this legislation. Click here to read our issue brief and talking points.


    Story updated April 7, 2021 at 5:00 PM Eastern Time. 

     Jonathan Pearson is the Director of Advocacy for National Peace Corps Association.

  • Brian Sekelsky posted an article
    Highlights and recordings from a week of celebration and discussion about the future of Peace Corps see more

    Highlights and recordings from a week of celebration and wide-ranging discussion about the future of Peace Corps. And a review of some of the stories you don’t want to miss.

    Edited and Produced by Jake Arce and Orrin Luc

    On March 1, 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed executive order 10924, establishing the Peace Corps with the hopes of promoting world peace and friendship. Peace Corps Week is a time for us as a community to commemorate and recognize all of the ways that Peace Corps has made an impact — in individual lives and in communities around the world.

    This year we mark six decades. But this is also an unprecedented time for the Peace Corps. In March 2020, all Volunteers serving around the world were evacuated because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a community-driven effort, National Peace Corps Association is working to help transform Peace Corps: to reimagine, reshape, and retool the agency for a changed world. So while we celebrate this historic milestone, we also focus on the work that must be done in the present to make a better and stronger Peace Corps for the future.

    Here are highlights of events held to celebrate Peace Corps Week 2021. Included here are events for which we have recordings and links. Listings will be updated as more events become available.

    Scroll down for a look at some news stories, opinion pieces, and slide shows that were published during Peace Corps Week. 

    Be sure to sign up for our newsletter (at the bottom of our homepage) and to follow us on social media for the latest. And, of course, be sure to join NPCA (the basic level is free!) to receive WorldView magazine and explore stories in greater depth. 





    Monday, March 1 

    RPCV Rep. John Garamendi introduces Comprehensive Peace Corps Legislation

    On March 1st 2021, RPCV Representatives Garret Graves (R-LA) and John Garamendi (D-CA) introduced the Peace Corps Reauthorization Act (H.R. 1456) in the House of Representatives. We invite readers to view Congressman Garamendi's press release, where readers can find a link to the legislation and the many provisions to improve and honor the work of Peace Corps Community.

    The key points of The Peace Corps Reauthorization Act of 2021 include:

    • Authorizes $600 million in annual funding by fiscal year 2025 for the Peace Corps to support the goal of deploying 10,0000 volunteers worldwide, once safe and prudent to do so following the subsidence of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is an increase over the flat $410 million funding level provided by Congress in recent years.

    • Expedites re-enrollment of volunteers whose service ended involuntarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic and allows volunteers to resume in-country service, once safe and prudent to do so.

    • Directs the Peace Corps to provide benefits (readjustment allowance, health insurance, noncompetitive eligibility status for federal hiring) to Volunteers whose service ended involuntarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • Guarantees three months of health insurance coverage for returned Volunteers paid by the Peace Corps, with the option to renew for additional three months at individual expense. Currently, the Peace Corps only offers automatic enrollment for 2 months of paid health insurance coverage, with the option to renew for another month at individual expense.

    • Requires the Peace Corps to outline various public and private health insurance coverage options to returned Volunteers, including for returned volunteers under the age of 25 with coverage on their parent’s health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

    • Includes the Menstrual Equity in the Peace Corps Act sponsored by Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) since 2020.

    • Extends whistleblower and anti-retaliatory protections that currently apply to Peace Corps contractors to Peace Corps volunteers, including protections against reprisals by any Peace Corps employee, volunteer supervisor, or outside contractor.

    • Includes the Respect for Peace Corps Volunteers Act sponsored by Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ) since 2013.

    • Extends Peace Corps Volunteers’ 12-month hiring preference for most federal job openings during any federal hiring freeze, government shutdown, public health emergency (such as COVID-19 pandemic), or while a Volunteer receives federal worker’s compensation benefits for any injury during their Peace Corps service.

    • Directs the Peace Corps and U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security to update plans and protocols for Peace Corps Colunteer security support and protection in foreign countries.

    • Increases the federal workers’ compensation rate for all Peace Corps volunteers injured or disabled during their service from a GS-7 to a GS-11 level, the same rate provided for Peace Corps volunteers with dependent children under current law.

    Read our Peace Corps Reauthorization Act issue brief and talking points. There is no companion legislation in the Senate at the present moment.



    Celebrating 60 Years of Service and Friendship – A Conversation with Peace Corps Directors


    Peace Corps at University Wisconsin-Madison hosted former Peace Corps Directors for a broad-ranging discussion and personal insights into their time directing the agency. The former directors also provided their advice on the Peace Corps going forth, along with recommendations for the Biden Administration. The conversation was moderated by RPCV Donna Shalala.

    Many directors highlighted that the pandemic had actually increased the need for Volunteers — and now is the time to make a difference. Former Director Mark Gearan (1995–99) put it so: “We’re at a point now in our nation’s history and country where the importance of service, national and community service, could not be more important.” 

    View a recording of the conversation here. 


    Former Directors: “If I had three minutes to talk to President Biden about the Peace Corps…” 

    Nick Craw: “My first request would be to double the size of the program.” 

    Richard Celeste: “Double it!” 

    Gaddi Vasquez: “Grow and expand the Peace Corps.” 

    Aaron Williams: “Now is the time.”


    More takeaways:

    Donna Shalala | Former Representative of Florida in U.S. Congress, Former Secretary of Health and Human Services (RPCV Iran 1962–64) 

    “The Peace Corps has always been bipartisan. It has always had the support of both parties. Some of the most significant budget increases were during Republican presidency, so that has been very important for the Peace Corps.”


    Jody Olsen | Peace Corps Director 2018–21 

    “Our 60 years, our 245,000 returned Peace Corps Volunteers, is what has kept us strong this last year, and is what is going to get us back as soon as possible.” 


    Carol Bellamy | Peace Corps Director 1993–95 

    “What was always the same were the Volunteers: They were flexible, the ingenuity was incredible, and they figured out how to make things work.”


    Elaine Chao | Peace Corps Director 1991–92 

    “We talked to the former communist heads of all these countries, and they all knew about Peace Corps, and they all wanted us to be there. And it was just amazing to them that Americans, young Americans, would be willing to go to their country, work basically for nothing for two years, and help people that they’ve never met. That was something so moving to them.” 


    Aaron Williams | Peace Corps Director 2009–12 

    “It’s a privilege to serve as Peace Corps Director. It’s a sacred privilege, too, because we’re entrusted with this iconic American institution that Sargent Shriver created. And one that provides young Americans a chance to serve around the world and promote world peace and friendship — and to present the full scope of American diversity.”


    Ron Tschetter | Peace Corps Director 2006–09 

    “I went over to swear in the first group and we had a wonderful exchange of thoughts and ideas and then we went to the swearing in part of it and I raised my hand and started the process and as I looked out over the group of Volunteers, there were three or four of them who were in tears because of the emotion of what was happening... I think it told me what it really means to the Volunteers.”


    Gaddi Vasquez (Peace Corps Director from 2002-2006): 

    “Opening Mexico was one of the great memories of my time as director of the Peace Corps because it is a country that has great opportunities for Peace Corps Volunteers and I think thus far has proven to be a very robust program.” 


    Richard Celeste | Peace Corps Director 2002–06 

    “I think that the changes here in this country and around the world as a consequence of the pandemic are going to be a challenge and an opportunity for us.”


    Mark Schneider (Peace Corps Director from 1999-2001): 

    “The Volunteers that I’ve come in contact with over the years across the globe really continue that tradition of service and commitment to their country, to their family, and to their community and trying to convey something that will help others.” 


    Carrie Hessler-Radelet (Peace Corps Director from 2014-2017): 

    “Peace Corps is really aware now, it has made more policy changes. It’s trained every single volunteer and staff person. It’s built an office of advocacy. Specialized training and training in trauma and informed care for first responders, an anonymous hotline hosted by a similar organization, and a Sexual Assault Advisory Council.”


    Mark Gearan (Peace Corps Director from 1995-1999):

    “We’re at a point now in our nation’s history and country where the importance of service, national and community service, could not be more important. It’s what unites us, and Volunteers would say that it crosses the boundaries of difference. We know the needs exist both domestically and globally for service. So as we celebrate this 60th anniversary of the Peace Corps, which is well placed — the 70th anniversary of the Peace Corps, and the 70th anniversary of President Kennedy’s call to service, can really be a major accomplishment in the next ten years to enhance the threads of service.”



    Tuesday, March 2 

    Women of Peace Corps Legacy | Former Women Peace Corps Directors: A Conversation



    Withdrawing volunteers was “the most difficult decision I made in my life.” 
    —Jody Olsen, Peace Corps Director 2018–21

    The Women of Peace Corps Legacy hosted four women who have served as Peace Corps Director for a conversation on their experiences as directors and Volunteers, tackling the challenges of administering the agency to, as Carrie Hessler-Radelet recounted, being a victim of sexual assault. Jody Olsen discussed how the pandemic led to the unprecedented decision in 2020 to evacuate all Volunteers — and the tremendous organizational efforts that took around the world. “We weren’t aware of what was happening country by country,” Olsen said. “Suddenly, what was a gentle wave was becoming a big wave and a big tsunami.”

    Watch the discussion here.



    Wednesday, March 3

    Museum of the Peace Corps Experience and Katzen Arts Center at American University

    Exhibit Opening – “Peace Corps at 60: Inside the Volunteer Experience”





    It’s about stories connecting people and communities. “Peace Corps at 60: Inside the Volunteer Experience" is curated by Jack Rasmussen, Director of American University Museum; Aly Schuman, Alper Initiative for Washington Art Fellow; and RPCV Patricia A. Wand, Co-Chair of Museum of the Peace Corps Experience. The virtual exhibition showcases objects and stories from more than 30 Volunteers.



    Thursday, March 4 

    Smithsonian Folklife Festival | The Peace Corps at 60 and Beyond: “A Towering Task” Screening & Discussion

    “Rebuilding world peace and friendship, one relationship at a time.”



    This pivotal moment allows us to look back on 60 years of Peace Corps promoting world peace and friendship, while also looking forward to the next chapter of Peace Corps history. The Smithsonian Folklife Festival began in 1967, not long after the Peace Corps, with many similar goals — especially to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of world cultures. In 2011, the Folklife Festival commemorated the agency’s 50th anniversary with a program that featured Peace Corps volunteers and their partners from 16 countries.

    In 2021, the Festival once more explores the agency’s significance and impact by hosting a discussion with: Acting Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn; Director of “A Towering Task” Alana DeJoseph; and RPCVs Rayna Green and Rahama Wright. All discussed their time in the Peace Corps, along with recommendations for improvement going forward — especially in the wake of the COVID pandemic, and deeply felt need to foster diversity.  



    Carol Spahn: Host countries are hoping to have Volunteers back soon. The need to continue sending Peace Corps Volunteers out to the host communities in the future will help to further her goal of “rebuilding world peace and friendship, one relationship at a time.”

    Rahama Wright: The experience of Volunteering drives home for communities and Volunteers alike that they “share a common humanity.” Wright also brought up some of her current initiatives in Northern Ghana, in relation to SheaYeleen butter products and production in 14 different villages.  


    Peace Corps Agency | 60 Years of Service: RPCVs’ Impact on the Fields of Philanthropy and Corporate Social Responsibility



    From Peace Corps to work in global philanthropy and social causes: panelists brought to bear their experience and expertise over the past several decades, tackling social issues through nonprofit work, social initiatives, and partnering with the private sector. On hand for the event, from left: Stephany Guachamin Coyago, Manager, Leadership Advancement Programs, Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (RPCV/Peru); Harris Bostic, Senior Advisor, Tides (RPCV/Guinea); and Bruce McNamer, President, The Builders Initiative (RPCV/Paraguay).

    Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff opened up the discussion by praising the work of the Peace Corps around the world, and he addressed how Volunteers have made an impact abroad over the past 60 years.


    “Peace Corps Volunteers are moving mountains and tackling some of the most pressing global issues on a grassroots level.”
    — Douglas Emhoff


    Emhoff also discussed the importance of the Peace Corps in representing the values and diversity of the United States. “Peace Corps volunteers are moving mountains and tackling some of the most pressing global issues on a grassroots level,” he said. He also stated that the commitment of Volunteers show by serving — and promoting service — has offered  inspiration to many Americans.



    Saturday, March 6

    Sacramento Valley RPCVs | Peace Corps 60th Anniversary with Representative John Garamendi



    RPCV Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) and his wife and fellow RPCV Patti Garamendi took part in a conversation with Peace Corps recruiter John Keller for Sacramento Valley . RPCVs in California. The Garamendis served with the Peace Corps in Ethiopia. On March 1 of this year, John Garamendi introduced the Peace Corps Reauthorization Act of 2021, which includes authorizing $600 million in annual funding by fiscal year 2025 for the Peace Corps and expediting re-enrollment of volunteers whose service ended involuntarily due to the COVID-19.  

    Read our Peace Corps Reauthorization Act issue brief and talking points.  There is no companion legislation in the Senate, at the present moment.

    Watch the conversation with Congressman John and Patricia Garamendi here. 



    Peace Corps Week Encore — Tuesday, March 9

    The 60th Anniversary of the Peace Corps: The History of the Program and What Lies Ahead



    In President Kennedy’s first days in office, he asked Sargent Shriver to create the Peace Corps, which over the last 60 years has sent over 250,000 Americans to more than 140 countries to serve as global citizens. Mark Shriver, President of the Save the Children Action Network (left), and Glenn Blumhorst, President of National Peace Corps Association, took part in a conversation at Kennedy’s campaign promise and forward to what lies ahead for the Peace Corps. The event was hosted by Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Elizabeth J. Wilson, the inaugural director of the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society and Professor in the Environmental Studies Department at Dartmouth. It was sponsored by the Dartmouth Center for Social Impact, the Dickey Center, and the Rockefeller Center.

    “The Peace Corps seeks peace through service, not through economic strength nor military power,” Shriver said, quoting a speech delivered by his father, Sargent Shriver, who served as first Director of the Peace Corps. And, as Blumhorst noted, “the cause of building peace is far from finished.”

    Dive into Darmouth’s history with Peace Corps — and connections around the globe.

    Watch the event here: The 60th Anniversary of the Peace Corps – The History of the Program and What Lies Ahead | Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy, Dartmouth College 





    The Peace Corps remains “one of America’s greatest achievements, appealing to our highest instincts.”

    — Maureen Orth, special correspondent for Vanity Fair, Colombia RPCV, and founder of the Marina Orth Foundation



    Maureen Orth, Former Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III, and NPCA President Glenn Blumhorst are featured in American Way magazine in a special feature on Peace Corps’ 60th Anniversary. The profile chronicles the work of these three Volunteers as examples of leadership and inspiration..



    The Chicago Tribune: “Abolishing the Peace Corps would be a mistake”


    Chicago Tribune editorial board member and Returned Corps Volunteer Lara Weber answers the question posed for her years ago: "Why should you, a white woman, go work in Africa?" For her personally, it began with: “I liked the Peace Corps’ grassroots approach to development work - that we would be working as partners with local community members, not as ‘experts’ or advisers.” 

    She makes the case for why Peace Corps can and should continue to make an impact. Read her piece in the Chicago Tribune and a response from NPCA here.



    Listen Up: Colorado Public Radio talks to evacuated Volunteers — and takes a deep dive into future recommendations for the Peace Corps


    Alana DeJoseph digging well in Mali - Challenges Ahead
    “What really personally hurt the most was not being able to say goodbye to the two women I worked with and then my kids,” evacuated Volunteer Hunter Herold tells Colorado Public Radio. Herold and Dylan Evans were Volunteers evacuated from Kosovo in March 2020 as COVID-19 swept the globe. Calvin Brophy was serving as a Volunteer in Ethiopia. They tell their stories to host Ryan Warner. And Alana DeJoseph, director of the documentary “A Towering Task,” takes a deep dive into her service as a Volunteer in Mali in the 1990s and the humbling lessons it offered. She explores making of her Peace Corps documentary, and how we need to reimagine and retool Peace Corps for a changed world — including how the Peace Corps community needs to address systemic racism, financial barriers to serving, health care benefits, and more.



    NBC News: The Peace Corps Turns 60


    NBC News serves up a feature on where Peace Corps has been — and the challenges the agency faces today. The segment includes Harvard University’s Professor Fredrik Logevall, Senior Advisor to the Director of the Peace Corps Darlene Grant, and Peace Corps Volunteer Ben Whong. It also addresses Peace Corps’ struggles and successes with adjusting to pandemic life.

    One Takeaway from Darlene Grant:

    “I served as a Peace Corps volunteer after 18 years as a faculty member at the University of Texas. I chose to serve 2009–11 in Cambodia. It changed the trajectory of my career, the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers will tell you what they received from the people in their host country and communities was so much more than what they gave.”


    What We Can Do Together: Senator Elizabeth Warren to the Peace Corps Community


    “I strongly believe in what we can do together,” says Senator Elizabeth Warren. “Thank you for pouring your heart into your work.” A message of gratitude in honor of 60 years of service by Peace Corps Volunteers around the world — working with communities to build a better future together when it comes to education, health, food security, and so much more.



    Thank you for making our state, the nation, and the world a better place: Colorado Governor Jared Polis to Volunteers


    “Peace Corps has three goals, and it’s the third goal in particular — to promote the understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans — that I particularly want to celebrate,” says Colorado Governor Jared Polis in a video message of thanks. “Returned Peace Corps Volunteers spend 27 months in their host countries contributing to their development and success. But it’s really what they do after, both here in the U.S. and abroad, that makes the Peace Corps such a transformational program. RPCVs continue to serve, including on the front lines of the pandemic here in Colorado. And their cross-cultural fluency helps us move forward as a Colorado for all.”




    The Seattle Times: “May we live the motto of my beloved Peace Corps in Cameroon: ‘We are together.’”


    Grant Friedman, left, worked as a health and education Volunteer in Cameroon from September 2019 through March 2020. His time as a Volunteer was cut short abroad due to the pandemic, but he paints an optimistic picture for the future of the Peace Corps and its vital role in fostering meaningful international development. Here’s what he wrote for the Seattle Times.



    Washington Post Opinion:

    How can the Peace Corps be reimagined and revitalized for the 21st century? “One path forward is looking to our past: a new commitment to and reorientation of the United States Peace Corps that could work with a renewed focus, not as a tool of foreign aid, but as a way for all Americans to engage, listen to and learn from the rest of the world,” writes Lacy Feigh. She served as a Volunteer in Ethiopia and is completed her doctorate in history at University of Pennsylvania. She wrote this compelling this compelling piece for the Washington Post.



    Through the Decades: 60 Years of Peace Corps Photos

    The Peace Corps agency put together this celebratory photo series charting Peace Corps’ evolution through the decades over the past 60 years.


    Story updated March 24, 2021 at 10 p.m.


    Jake Arce is a graduate student at American University’s School of International Service and is working as an intern with WorldView magazine.

    Orrin Luc serves as Digital Content Manager for National Peace Corps Association. He served with the Peace Corps in El Salvador and Mexico. 

  • Ana Victoria Cruz posted an article
    Peace Corps will keep level funding of $410.5 million in 2021. see more

    Level funding for Peace Corps in its Fiscal Year 2021 spending package is just one of several Peace Corps community victories as the 116th Congress moves towards adjournment.

     By Jonathan Pearson


    Congress delivered a funding victory for Peace Corps: holding steady on funding as the agency prepares for redeployment of Volunteers in 2021 after an unprecedented global evacuation in 2020. In negotiations for a Fiscal Year 2021 spending package, Congress faced a choice of three very different routes:

    1. Maintain level funding for the agency at $410.5 million, as it makes plans to begin redeploying Volunteers in 2021; this was the route recommended by the House of Representatives.
    2. Accept cuts of up to $51 million, trimming the budget to $359 million as was proposed by the Senate Appropriations Committee.
    3. Agreeing to a compromise figure between the House and Senate recommendations.

    As both chambers prepared for votes on the evening of December 21, 2020 release of the agreed-upon spending document revealed that Congress would move forward with the House recommendation of level Peace Corps funding, which is critical for investing in efforts to ensure the health and safety of Volunteers and the communities where they serve.

    “We are extremely grateful to our Capitol Hill Peace Corps champions for their efforts to make sure Peace Corps remains strong with level funding to help it begin the process of redeploying thousands of Volunteers in the field,” said National Peace Corps Association President Glenn Blumhorst. “I also want to thank the thousands of members of the Peace Corps community who wrote a letter, made a phone call, reached out to neighbors and friends, or took action through the media. The fight to sustain funding for Peace Corps is your victory.”

    That’s not the only victory in the closing days of this Congress.


    Congress Gives Final Passage to Commemorative Time Extension

    Joseph Kennedy III (D-MA) served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Dominican Republic. After he was elected to the House of Representatives in 2012, one of the first pieces of legislation he introduced and passed provided congressional authorization for the creation of a Peace Corps Commemorative in Washington, D.C. On the afternoon of December 17, 2020, in the closing days of his fourth – and final – term in the House of Representatives, one of Congressman Kennedy’s final accomplishments included securing House passage of a time extension that will allow work on the commemorative to move forward without interruption.

    Late on December 20, 2020, the United Sates Senate followed suit, quickly and unanimously approving the legislation.

    The Senate sponsors of companion legislation, Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued a press release after the Senate vote, paying tribute to Peace Corps Volunteers and praising the unanimous bipartisan support for the project. “For more than 50 years, the Peace Corps has served as a powerful vehicle for volunteers who wish to use their talents to carry America’s humanitarian values to other parts of the world,” said Senator Portman. “By reauthorizing this project, we can ensure the Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation can finish this important project and honor those Americans who have donated their time and talent to serving others. I am pleased my colleagues in the Senate passed this important legislation so that it will now be sent to the president’s desk." 


     Watch: “A lasting tribute” — Representative Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) and Representative Rob Wittman (R-VA) pay tribute to the service of Peace Corps Volunteers over 60 years and ask for passage of the bill.

    The Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation has made great progress on this project, with design selection, site selection near the National Mall, and unanimous approval by the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts in September on the revised design concept.


    Rendering of Peace Corps Commemorative at Peace Corps Park. Courtesy of Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation.


    “A lasting tribute to the legacy of the Peace Corps”

    Congressman Joe Kennedy’s departure marks the end of an era. Since 1947, a Kennedy has had a seat in Congress with only two brief interruptions. The first, Joe Kennedy’s great uncle John F. Kennedy, created the Peace Corps by executive order in March 1961.   

    Speaking on the House floor, Representative Rob Wittman (R-VA) noted that it is fitting for the Peace Corps Commemorative legislation to be sponsored by President Kennedy’s grand-nephew. Representative Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) said the commemorative will serve as a “lasting tribute to the legacy of the Peace Corps.”

    On December 9, Joe Kennedy delivered his farewell remarks to the House and spoke of how it is the task of each generation to expand the meaning of “we” in the phrase “We the people,” the opening words of the U.S. Constitution. “Our future is big and bright,” Kennedy said, “bit it will take everything — and everyone — to reach it.”

    “Today the House unanimously passed a seven-year Commemorative authorization extension, among Rep. Kennedy’s final bills before ending his House term," said Roger Lewis, President of the Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation. “Americans who have served as Volunteers, worked for the Peace Corps or share Peace Corps ideals and values, are profoundly grateful for Rep. Kennedy’s steadfast commitment to and support of the Peace Corps and its historic mission.”


    Access for Menstrual Hygiene Products for Volunteers

    After meeting with and speaking to female Peace Corps Volunteers, Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY) introduced legislation in March 2020 to ensure access to menstrual hygiene products for Volunteers. House Bill 6118 called upon Peace Corps to develop a comprehensive policy to ensure Volunteers needing such products have adequate access wherever they are serving. 

    While the legislation did not pass, what it was aiming for will guide Peace Corps’ work going forward: In the Fiscal Year 2021 State/Foreign Operations Appropriations package, language pertaining to this legislation was included in the final agreement. The language instructs Peace Corps to provide a strategy, within 90 days after passage of the legislation, to ensure all Volunteers who need feminine hygiene products have access to them, regardless of country of service. The language further states that the strategy shall take into consideration availability of products in-country, the price of those products, and the local cultural norms surrounding menstruation.


    Peace Corps Redeployment and Evacuees

    High on the congressional priority list for passage each year is the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Included in the 4,500 page document that has passed both chambers is reporting requirements pertaining to Peace Corps redeployment and Volunteers who were evacuated earlier in 2020.

    Introduced by Congressman Dean Phillips (D-MN), the legislation calls for a report to Congress from Peace Corps three months after bill passage on efforts of the agency to:

    • Provide an update on offering a redeployed Peace Corps assignment to all evacuees who wish to continue service;
    • Obtain approval from countries of service to allow the return of Peace Corps Volunteers;
    • Provide adequate health and safety measures including COVID-19 contingency plans; and
    • Identify any need for additional appropriations or new statutory authorities and the changes in global conditions that would be necessary to achieve the goal of safely enrolling 7,300 Peace Corps Volunteers during the one-year period beginning on the date on which Peace Corps operations resume.

    President Trump has indicated that he will veto the NDAA on issues not related to Peace Corps. The president has until December 23 to do so. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated he plans to call the Senate back into session on January 29th for a vote to override a veto should it be issued.

    Last Updated December 22, 2020 at 6 AM.

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    Your voice can prevent a $51 million cut to Peace Corps funding see more

    As Peace Corps prepares to redeploy Volunteers in early 2021, the work for Peace Corps’ future begins in earnest. And right now we need to make sure there’s funding for the towering task ahead.

    By Jonathan Pearson 


    Congress is working toward a December 11, 2020 deadline to agree on a Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 spending bill. And they have a $51 million Peace Corps funding difference to resolve.

    Earlier this year, the House of Representatives approved an FY 2021 appropriations bill that includes level funding of $410.5 million for Peace Corps. But the Senate Appropriations Committee has put forth a spending bill that proposes cutting Peace Corps funding by $51 million — down to $359.5 million.


    Take Action

    Urge your Senator & Representative to Support Peace Corps Funding


    Six Reasons to Support Level Peace Corps Funding 

    Maybe you’ve heard rumblings along these lines: “Why should we provide the same funding to Peace Corps when there are no Volunteers in the field?” 

    Here are six reasons for starters:

    1. Redeployment Opportunities: Peace Corps plans to begin redeploying Volunteers in January 2021 in Cambodia and Saint Lucia. Further announcements could be coming soon. All 60 countries where Volunteers were serving prior to the pandemic have expressed interest in having Volunteers return. And, with positive news emerging about vaccines and other health protections, the prospects for significant redeployment in FY 2021 are on the rise.
    2. Flat Funding For Years: Fiscal Year 2021 would mark the sixth consecutive year in which Congress has not provided a funding increase to Peace Corps. This flat funding has limited opportunities and forced the agency to scale back some programming. During this period, adjusting for inflation, Peace Corps’ effective purchasing power has been reduced by up to $40 million.
    3. Health and Safety: The health, safety, and security of Volunteers is regularly cited as Peace Corps’ top priority. Rigthly so, it’s a critical concern when it comes to Congressional oversight. Redeploying Volunteers in a world living with COVID will come with additional costs. We owe it to the Volunteers and the communities where they serve to make sure that these heightened needs are met.
    4. Moment for Greatness: The current pause in Peace Corps service presents a unique moment to re-imagine, reshape, and retool Peace Corps for a changed world. NPCA has just released a community-driven report, “Peace Corps Connect to the Future,” that lists dozens of recommendations to reform and improve the Peace Corps. Implementing some of these recommendations requires new investment; and other longstanding reforms that have been called for have not been implemented because of funding. Now is the time to for bold change so that Peace Corps can meet the challenges of our new age. And, as we prepare to mark the 60th anniversary of Peace Corps in 2021, we can recommit to a Peace Corps whose impact in the years ahead will be even broader and more profound. 
    5. Opportunity for All: Among the critical recommendations in the ”Peace Corps Connect to the Future“ report is a call to break down racial and economic barriers to serving in the Peace Corps. Service as Volunteers should be accessible and welcoming for all qualified individuals who wish to serve their country. Building and sustaining this effort will require an ongoing commitment — and financial resources to make good on the promise.
    6. Serve, Serve, Serve! At home and abroad, we recognize the need for people and communities to come together in the spirit of serving together in solidarity. When it comes to Peace Corps Volunteers overseas — and investing the skills and valuable experience of returned Volunteers here at home — this is a time to build. There is bipartisan support for expanding service by Americans. Peace Corps can and should lead the way.


  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    Legislation includes $88 million rescission of Peace Corps funding see more

    Legislation would jeopardize funds that provided for health and safety of more than 7,300 evacuated Peace Corps Volunteers amid global pandemic. Let’s keep that from happening.

    While there has been significant legislation introduced to support Peace Corps and evacuated volunteers, a South Carolina Congressman has announced legislation that would — in part — rescind the $88 million in emergency appropriations approved earlier for Peace Corps.

    Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC) has introduced H.R. 6657, the Working Under Humanity’s Actual Needs (WUHAN) Rescissions Act, which calls for eliminating more than $27 billion from the CARES Act legislation that was overwhelmingly approved by Congress and signed by President Trump in late March. Included in the new legislation is the proposed return of the $88 million appropriated for Peace Corps which covered evacuation and initial support costs for 7,300 volunteers. Read Representative Duncan's press release here.


    The legislation “would seem to indicate that the health and safety of the 7,300 affected Peace Corps Volunteers was unrelated to the pandemic and that bringing them home safely was wasteful spending.”
         —Glenn Blumhorst, National Peace Corps Association 


    “Through this action and his comments, Congressman Duncan would seem to indicate that the health and safety of the 7,300 affected Peace Corps Volunteers was unrelated to the pandemic and that bringing them home safely was wasteful spending,” said NPCA President Glenn Blumhorst. “This proposal is the height of irresponsibility and we are confident it will face a resounding, bi-partisan rejection in the House of Representatives.”

    Many lawmakers – Democrats and Republicans – have been stepping up with legislation to show strong support for Peace Corps, the evacuees, and eventual redeployment. Follow this link for a summary of previous developments.

    Along with Representative Jeff Duncan, these are the other ten original co-sponsors of the legislation: Bradley Byrne (R-AL), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Paul Gosar, (R-AZ), Ken Buck (R-CO), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Ross Spano (R-FL), Kevin Hern (R-OK), Scott Perry (R-PA), Ralph Norman (R-SC) and Alex Mooney (R-WV).


    Take Action Now

    Follow this link to express strong opposition to this proposal with your member of the House of Representatives.

    You can also support our ongoing efforts to help evacuated Volunteers — and ensure they have the resources they need — by making a gift here.

     Write to Congress


    Updated May 6 5:15 p.m.

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    House panel recommends steady funding for Peace Corps moving forward see more

    Appropriations Committee in House of Representatives signals ongoing Congressional support. But this is just a first step.

    By Jonathan Pearson


    Amid growing talk of another round of COVID-19 emergency relief legislation, Congress is moving along with some of its regular responsibilities. This includes the annual appropriations process where the initial, early returns pertaining to Peace Corps are positive.

    Early Thursday afternoon, the full House Appropriations Committee passed (on a party line vote) a proposed Fiscal Year 2021 State/Foreign Operations spending plan that includes steady funding of $410.5 million for Peace Corps. The bill will next go to the full House of Representatives for consideration.

    “This is only a first step. There is a long way to go. We must remain vigilant and engaged as a community like never before.”
       — NPCA President and CEO Glenn Blumhorst

    “In this period of intense global challenges coupled with deep concerns about our national economy, this action by Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey and the full committee is a promising sign for Peace Corps,” said National Peace Corps Association President and CEO Glenn Blumhorst. “This is only a first step. There is a long way to go. We must remain vigilant and engaged as a community like never before. But this week’s action by the Appropriations Committee is a key confirmation of ongoing congressional support for Peace Corps.”

    Today’s vote followed similar approval Monday by the Appropriations Subcommittee for State/Foreign Operations. Read this summary of the proposed spending plan for Fiscal Year 2021.

    Read this statement on the overall spending plan from the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.

    Representative Ed Case (D-HI) stated that any nation — whether friend or foe — would attest that Peace Corps has been and remains as one of the best projections of U.S. values around the world.

    At least one lawmaker referenced Peace Corps’ importance during discussion prior to today’s passage. In his Thursday remarks, Representative Ed Case (D-HI) stated that any nation — whether friend or foe — would attest that Peace Corps has been and remains as one of the best projections of U.S. values around the world.

    Support for strong FY 2021 Peace Corps funding was led earlier this year by the Co-Chairs of the House Peace Corps Caucus – RPCV John Garamendi (D-CA), RPCV Joe Kennedy III (D-MA), and Garrett Graves (R-LA) – who issued their annual Peace Corps funding Dear Colleague letter. With active support from the NPCA community, this letter was signed by a bipartisan group of 167 House members.


  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    Can we surpass last year's record number of signatures on this letter? see more

    While action on the annual House Peace Corps funding letter has concluded, opportunities for Senators to sign onto their version of this important letter continues. However, this is the final week for Senators to sign the letter.



    A bipartisan Senate letter asking for robust funding for Peace Corps in fiscal year 2021 is co-authored by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Susan Collins (R-ME).

    Take Action with your Senators**

    • If you wish, you can read the Senate letter here.
    • Ask your Senator(s) to "sign the Feinstein-Collins Peace Corps funding Dear Colleague letter that is now circulating".
    • TAKE ACTION HERE: Write and ask you Senator(s) to sign the letter (or, thank them if they already signed! - see list below).
    • Find the phone number of your Senators if you want to contact them by phone.

    Deadline to sign on: Friday April 10th.

    Signatures as of Tuesday, April 7, 9:00 AM: 27 (see list below)

    Additional Signatures Needed to Reach Last Year's Record: 14

    (** Along with the Peace Corps letter, we encourage you to urge your Senator(s) to also sign a similar letter - being circulated by Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Richard Durbin (D-IL), requesting strong funding for all international affairs funding, including Peace Corps)


    Senators who signed the Feinstein-Collins Peace Corps Funding Dear Colleague Letter (List of Current Signers Below)

    California: Feinstein (co-author)

    Connecticut: Blumenthal, Murphy

    Colorado: Bennet

    Delaware: Carper, Coons

    Hawaii: Schatz

    Illinois: Duckworth

    Maine: Collins (co-author), King

    Maryland: Cardin, Van Hollen

    Massachusetts: Warren

    Michigan: Peters, Stabenow

    Minnesota: Klobuchar

    Nevada: Rosen

    New Hampshire: Hassan, Shaheen

    North Carolina: Tillis

    Ohio: Brown

    Oregon: Wyden

    Rhode Island: Reed, Whitehouse

    Vermont: Sanders

    Virginia: Kaine

    Washington: Cantwell



    House of Representatives

    The co-chairs of the House of Representatives Peace Corps Caucus, RPCVs John Garamendi (D-CA) and Joe Kennedy (D-MA), and Representative Garrett Graves (R-LA) circulated a letter that their colleagues can sign, asking that Peace Corps funding for the fiscal year that begins this coming October (FY 2021) be increased to $450 million.


    Our thanks to all who reached out to their House Reps on this important action.

    We await a final update on signers of this letter.

    You can read the House letter here.


    Lawmakers who Signed the Garamendi - Graves - Kennedy Peace Corps Funding Dear Colleague Letter (List of Current Signers Below)

    Deadline to sign on: Thursday March 12, 2020 (a final signature count is still pending)

    Signatures as of Thursday, March 12, 4:00 PM: 167

    Additional Signatures Needed to Surpass Last Year's Record: 15


    Alabama: Sewell

    Alaska: Young

    American Samoa: Radewagan

    Arizona: Gallego, Grijalva

    California: Barragan, Bass, Bera, Brownley, Carbajal, Chu, Cisneros, Costa, Susan Davis, DeSaulniers, Eshoo, Garamendi (co-author), Harder, Khanna, LaMalfa, Barbara Lee, Mike Levin, Lieu, Lofgren, Lowenthal, Matsui, McNerney, Napolitano, Panetta, Scott Peters, Porter, Rouda, Roybal-Allard, Sanchez, Schiff, Speier, Swalwell, Takano, Vargas, Waters

    Colorado: DeGette, Neguse, Perlmutter, Tipton

    Connecticut: Courtney, DeLauro, Hayes, Himes, Larson

    Delaware: Blunt Rochester

    District of Columbia: Norton

    Florida: Castor, Deutch, Hastings, Murphy, Shalala

    Georgia: Bishop, Hank Johnson, Lewis, David Scott

    Hawaii: Gabbard

    Illinois: Bustos, Casten, Davis, Foster, Garcia, Kelly, Lipinski, Rush, Schakowsky, Schneider

    Indiana: Carson

    Iowa: Steve King, Loebsack

    Kansas: Davids

    Kentucky: Barr, Yarmuth

    Louisiana: Graves (co-author)

    Maine: Golden, Pingree

    Maryland: Brown, Raskin, Ruppersberger, Sarbanes, Trone

    Massachusetts: Kennedy (co-author), Keating, Lynch, McGovern, Moulton, Pressley, Trahan

    Michigan: Dingell, Kildee, Andy Levin, Slotkin, Tlaib

    Minnesota: Craig, Peterson, Phillips

    Mississippi: Thompson

    Nevada: Horsford, Lee, Titus

    New Hampshire: Kuster, Pappas

    New Jersey: Gottheimer, Kim, Malinowski, Pallone, Pascrell Jr., Payne Jr., Sires, Chris Smith, Van Drew

    New Mexico: Haaland

    New York: Clarke, Delgado, Engel, Espaillat, Higgins, Katko, Sean Patrick Maloney, Meeks, Morelle, Rice, Suozzi, Tonko, Velazquez

    North Carolina: Adams, Butterfield

    Northern Marianas: Sablan

    Ohio: Beatty

    Oregon: Blumenauer, Bonamici, DeFazio

    Pennsylvania: Boyle, Evans, Fitzpatrick, Wild

    Puerto Rico: Gonzalez-Colon

    Rhode Island: Ciciline

    Tennessee: Cohen

    Texas: Allred, Castro, Doggett, Escobar, Vicente Gonzalez, Green, Jackson-Lee, Veasey, Vela

    Vermont: Welch

    Virginia: Beyer, Connolly, Luria, McEachin, Spanberger, Wexton

    Washington: DelBene, Heck, Jayapal, Larsen, Schrier, Adam Smith

    Wisconsin: Kind, Moore


  • House legislation includes proposals for RPCV evacuees to continue service. see more

    New Peace Corps legislation continues to emerge to help evacuated Volunteers, this time in the House of Representatives. On April 30, Representatives Dean Phillips (D-MN) and Don Young (R-AK) announced the “Utilizing and Supporting Evacuated Peace Corps Volunteers Act,” which addresses several issues to support present and future needs of evacuated Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. The legislation is also supported by Representatives John Garamendi (D-CA), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), and Jennifer Wexton (D-VA).

    In a press release issued by Representative Phillips, National Peace Corps Association President Glenn Blumhorst notes that “At the heart of this legislation are initiatives to engage these volunteers in what they do best — opportunities to continue serving others, both here at home to contain and overcome the pandemic, and overseas as soon as conditions permit Peace Corps to redeploy.”

    ​​​The Phillips-Young legislation would:

    • Extend the opportunity for evacuated RPCVs to continue to purchase health insurance through Peace Corps beyond the current three months.
    • Instruct the Corporation for National and Community Service to expedite opportunities through which evacuated RPCVs can be assigned to programs aimed at combating the COVID-19 pandemic here at home.
    • Expedite opportunities for evacuated RPCVs to return to Peace Corps service once it is practicable for the agency to begin redeploying volunteers overseas.

    In light of the many lives being lost during the pandemic, the legislation also includes language of the no-cost, bi-partisan “Respect for Peace Corps Volunteers Act,” legislation that would allow the Peace Corps logo to be included on grave markers or in death notices.


    “At the heart of this legislation are initiatives to engage these volunteers in what they do best — opportunities to continue serving others, both here at home to contain and overcome the pandemic, and overseas as soon as conditions permit Peace Corps to redeploy.”
       — Glenn Blumhorst, President & CEO, National Peace Corps Association


    2020 Progress: Efforts to Help Evacuated Peace Corps Volunteers

    National Peace Corps Association has been working with Congress on a variety of Peace Corps initiatives. The announcement of the Phillips-Young House legislation is the latest in a long string of positive steps to support Peace Corps and recent evacuees.

    • Evacuee Unemployment Compensation Confirmed (April 28): The U.S. Labor Department issued guidelines which confirmed evacuated RPCVs are eligible for unemployment under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Act. Read more here.
    • National Health Corps Letter (April 21): In a letter to House leadership, Representatives Ami Bera (D-CA), Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Bill Foster (D-IL) propose the creation of a National Health Corps to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically referencing evacuated RPCVs as a resource. Read more here.
    • Markey Legislation (April 13): Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) announced legislation that seeks to mobilize U.S. citizens — especially evacuated Peace Corps Volunteers — to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.
    • Record Senate Funding Letter (April 10): A record 42 Senators signed the annual Peace Corps funding Dear Colleague letter. Led by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the letter requests robust funding for Peace Corps in Fiscal Year 2021, which begins October 1. Read more here.
    • Murphy Legislation (April 3): Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) announced legislation to address unemployment and health care benefits for Peace Corps evacuees, expand service opportunities, and promote the return of Peace Corps programs overseas. Read more here.
    • Bi-Cameral Letters (April 2): Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Congressman Dean Phillips (D-MN) led joint Senate/House letters on the need for evacuees to have jobless protections and the need for evacuees to have opportunities to utilize their skills to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.
    • Peace Corps Stimulus (March 27): Congress passed and President Trump signed a $2.2 trillion stimulus package to respond to the pandemic. Included in that package was $88 million to cover the evacuation of 7,300 volunteers and provide initial readjustment support for the evacuees. Read more here.
    • House Peace Corps Funding Letter (March 13): A bi-partisan group of 167 lawmakers signed a House Peace Corps funding letter requesting $450 million for Peace Corps in fiscal year 2021. The letter was issued by leaders of the Peace Corps Caucus RPCVs John Garamendi (D-CA) and Joseph Kennedy III (D-MA), and Representative Garrett Graves (R-LA). Read more here.
    • Capitol Hill Advocacy Day (March 5): More than 200 members of the Peace Corps community conducted more than 220 meetings on Capitol Hill during NPCA’s 16th annual National Days of Action in Support of the Peace Corps. We were joined by 35 Peace Corps Volunteers from China, evacuated five weeks earlier, to speak to the importance of their work. See photo album here.
    • Former Directors Support Independence (January 7): NPCA issued a letter authored and signed by ten former Peace Corps directors opposing Senate legislation to place Peace Corps under the authority of the State Department. Read more here.


     Support our Efforts



    Story Updated 01 May 2020 11 a.m.

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    Approximately 40% of Congress signed these letters. see more

    In face of the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the United States Senate are expressing strong long-term support for the operation and eventual re-deployment of Peace Corps Volunteers.

    A record 42 Senators signed an annual "Dear Colleague" letter circulated by Susan Collins (R-ME) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) asking for robust funding for Peace Corps in the next fiscal year (FY 2021) which will commence on October 1st.

    Written to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for State and Foreign Operations on March 3rd, the letter refers to Peace Corps as "an iconic and vibrant part of the American identity." You can read the full text of the Senate letter here.

    "Never has this annual Senate letter been more important than this year," said National Peace Corps Association President and CEO Glenn Blumhorst. "Senators Collins and Feinstein have demonstrated wonderful bi-partisan leadership in advancing this letter, and the record number of Senate signatures indicates the strong commitment to return Peace Corps Volunteers to service at the earliest time possible."

    Coupled with a similarly strong and bi-partisan letter circulated last month in the House of Representatives (signed by 167 members), approximately 40% of Congress signed these letters.


    Thank Your Senators


    Senators who signed the Feinstein-Collins Peace Corps Funding Dear Colleague Letter (List of Current Signers Below)

    Arizona: Sinema

    California: Feinstein (co-author), Harris

    Connecticut: Blumenthal, Murphy

    Colorado: Bennet

    Delaware: Carper, Coons

    Hawaii: Hirono, Schatz

    Illinois: Duckworth, Durbin

    Maine: Collins (co-author), King

    Maryland: Cardin, Van Hollen

    Massachusetts: Markey, Warren

    Michigan: Peters, Stabenow

    Minnesota: Klobuchar, Smith

    Nevada: Rosen

    New Hampshire: Hassan, Shaheen

    New Jersey: Booker, Menendez

    New Mexico: Heinrich, Udall

    New York: Gillibrand

    North Carolina: Tillis

    Ohio: Brown

    Oregon: Merkley, Wyden

    Rhode Island: Reed, Whitehouse

    Vermont: Sanders

    Virginia: Kaine, Warner

    Washington: Cantwell

    West Virginia: Manchin

    Wisconsin: Baldwin


  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    It is time to Protect Peace Corps - Like Never Before see more

    As Congress continues to develop legislation to provide emergency relief related to the coronavirus, it is imperative that the needs of Peace Corps - and its approximately 7,000 evacuated volunteers - are also taken into account.


    Your Action is Urgently Needed:


    National Peace Corps Association posted this new action which is directed at all Senators and members of the House of Representatives.  The action urges financial support for Peace Corps to cover the extraordinary costs associated with the global suspension of programs.

    It also urges support to address the many financial, health and other support needs evacuated volunteers are facing as they come home.

    Peace Corps has taken an initial step in addressing these needs, announcing that payment of its post-service insurance offering to volunteers will be extended from 30 days to 60 days.

    UPDATE: The White House has requested $73 million in additional funding for Peace Corps to assist with costs in bringing volunteers home.

    UPDATE: In your letters, include the number of recently serving volunteers from your state.


    Go Beyond Your Letters to Congress

    The congressional action will allow you to:

    • Edit the message and personalize it, speaking to your Peace Corps experience.
    • Send a tweet to your lawmakers.
    • Reach well beyond the immediate Peace Corps community to ask other family, friends and neighbors to help protect the Peace Corps.
    • Craft and submit a local letter to the editor urging support for Peace Corps and its evacuated volunteers.

    Thank you so much for taking action as we embark on a new, challenging chapter to protect the Peace Corps and support returned volunteers.


  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    This is the fourth time President Trump is proposing Peace Corps cuts. see more

    President Trump proposed a $9.3 million cut in baseline funding for the Peace Corps for Fiscal Year 2021. His proposal—sent to Congress this week—would provide $401.2 million for the agency, down from the current $410.5 million budget. 

    The request marks only the second time in the nearly 60-year history of the Peace Corps in which a president has proposed cutting agency funding for four consecutive years. In the previous three years, Congress responded by restoring the proposed cuts. However, the end result has been five consecutive years of flat funding for the agency.

    In its budget justification report to Congress, Peace Corps says the budget will allow the agency "to continue supporting more than 6,700 Volunteers and trainees serving in 61 countries". However, that number is approximately eight percent below the 7,334 volunteers and trainees reported during the agency's annual census, conducted on September 30, 2019.

    "In this period of growing prosperity, it is a shame that Peace Corps funding remains flat for five consecutive years,” said National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) President and CEO Glenn Blumhorst. “Now, the Administration once again proposes cuts that will further reduce Peace Corps' ability to meet the demand for volunteers around the world. We expect Congress will reject this budget cut and we hope Congress will find a way to give Peace Corps a raise in Fiscal Year 2021."

    While Peace Corps' proposed budget represents a two percent reduction in funding, a much deeper 22 percent cut is proposed for the entire International Affairs Budget. The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition issued this statement in response to those cuts.

    As has been the case in each of the past three years, the White House has proposed the elimination of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which includes various domestic service programs including Americorps and Senior Corps. Voices for National Service issued this statement in response to the proposed elimination of CNCS.

    Necessary funding for Peace Corps will be a primary point of focus during NPCA’s upcoming National Days of Action in Support of the Peace Corps. Contact Community Engagement Associate Arianna Richard at arianna@peacecorpsconnect to find out more about organizing an advocacy event in your area during March or April.

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    Agency slated to receive $410 million for fifth consecutive year see more

    After weeks of negotiations, Congress approved and President Trump signed a $1.4 trillion federal spending bill for the current fiscal year (FY 2020) that includes level funding of $410.5 million for Peace Corps.

    The House of Representatives approved the spending package on December 17th, while the Senate ratified the package on December 19th. President Trump signed the legislation on December 20th, the day when a continuing resolution to keep the government operating was set to expire.

    While we realize our lawmakers have many difficult decisions before them when putting together our federal budget, it is disappointing they chose to flat fund Peace Corps once again,” said NPCA President Glenn Blumhorst. “Other than a very minimal – one tenth of one percent increase in spending last year, this will mark the fifth consecutive year that Peace Corps will be forced to manage its operations with the same amount of funding. When inflation is factored in, the agency will need to sustain operations with tens of millions of dollars less in purchasing power. Peace Corps is already experiencing negative impacts, at a time when the needs and importance of international service is as important as ever.”

    While Congress only funded Peace Corps at current levels, it rejected the Trump Administration’s recommendation to cut funding by more than $14 million. The president has proposed cutting Peace Corps’ budget each of the past three years.

    Read more about congressional action on the federal budget by clicking here. Read more about FY 2020 funding for international affairs programs by clicking here.

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    Did your affiliate group sign this year's letter? see more

    With a new federal fiscal year underway and Congress yet to determine if Peace Corps funding will get an increase or continue to remain stagnant, it may seem strange to be turning any attention to the next budget cycle. But within the executive branch, staff at the Office of Management and Budget are hard at work preparing their recommendations for Congress for the 2021 Fiscal Year budget, which the president will present to Congress early next year.

    Since 2013, NPCA has responded by seeking the assistance of our affiliate groups to bring the voice of the Peace Corps community to the White House. This is done in the form of an affiliate group sign-on letter urging the president to request strong funding for the Peace Corps.

    Affiliate group leaders responded forcefully this year, 124 group representatives signed the letter, representing more than 68,000 of their members. That's a new record, surpassing the 115 group signatures collected in 2013.

    This year's letter highlights the announcement made earlier this year to begin a program in Montenegro, and points to the ongoing desire from foreign countries to establish or increase Peace Corps programs. It highlights Peace Corps' significant role in supporting the Trump administration's Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative. At the same time, it also expresses disappointment that the president's previous three budget requests have called for Peace Corps funding cuts, a presidential recommendation not seen in over four decades.

    You can read the annual NPCA affiliate group letter to the president here.

    Our thanks to the many affiliate groups and leaders who joined together in common cause.