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WorldView | Special Anniversary Edition

Fall 2021

The Peace Corps at Sixty

December 17, 2021

Peace Corps Begins Sending Invitations: Return to Service in 2022

Eight posts have met criteria for Volunteers to return. Invitations are out for five: Belize, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Zambia. And the agency is recruiting returned Volunteers for the Virtual Service Pilot. Colombia mural: one of the countries to for which Peace Corps has sent out invitations for Volunteers to return in 2022. […]

December 18, 2021

President’s Letter: After the Fall of Afghanistan, We Need the Rise of the Peace Corps

The United States needs to engage with the world — but not with top-down military-first policies. By Reed Hastings and Glenn Blumhorst Illustration by Melinda Beck   Americans spent the past two decades trying to rebuild Afghanistan from the top down. Our military led the way, with huge sacrifice, and the American people spent more than $2 […]

December 25, 2021

We Can Do It! Again!

The U.S. is profoundly polarized — politically, culturally, socially, and economically. That was true during the Gilded Age, too. Halfway between then and now, John F. Kennedy exhorted his fellow Americans, “Ask not what your country can do for you — but what you can do for your country.” So what happened? And how do […]

December 26, 2021

From the Editor: Honoring Your Stories

Sixty years of Peace Corps. Volunteers returning to service. And a first for this magazine.   Illustration by Tim O’Brien      By Steven Boyd Saum   A year ago the cover of WorldView bore the image of a dove encaged by a COVID-like molecule and asked: “What’s the role of Peace Corps now?” It’s a question we’re still […]

December 17, 2021

Peace Corps Reauthorization Act Passes Its First Hurdle

In a time of partisan rancor, the House Foreign Affairs Committee passes the bill with ringing bipartisan approval: a vote of 44 to 4.   By Jonathan Pearson   It is a sweeping piece of Peace Corps legislation, addressing everything from Volunteer health, safety, and security, to enhanced support and recognition, to expanded opportunities through […]

Historic Beginnings — and Six Decades of Service

Mark the Moment: September 22, 1961 — the Day that John F. Kennedy Signed the Peace Corps Act

When President John F. Kennedy signed the Peace Corps Act into law, it permanently established the Peace Corps as an independent agency. But forging the legislation and getting it through Congress didn’t happen on their own. We take a look at those beginnings and share some stories few have heard. And we look ahead to what the Peace Corps must become.

A conversation with Bill JosephsonBill MoyersJoe Kennedy III, and Marieme Foote

December 21, 2021

Honoring Those Who Have Served

A wreath-laying ceremony at the John F. Kennedy Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery on September 22, 2021   Photography by Eli Wittum   Pictured: Honoring a legacy: Three Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who served in Colombia. From left, they are Museum of the Peace Corps Experience co-founder Patricia Wand (1963–65), former Congressman Sam Farr (1964–66), and […]

December 25, 2021

The Peace Corps at Sixty: A Timeline of Six Decades of Service — and Snapshots from the Wider World

Some moments that have defined the Peace Corps from 1960 to today. Plus a year-by-year look at countries where Peace Corps programs began.   Researched by Ellery Pollard, Emi Krishnamurthy, Sarah Steindl, Nathalie Vadnais, and Orrin Luc At right: the 10th-anniversary Peace Corps stamp, issued in 1972. Image courtesy Peace Corps     As part […]

“I signed onto the Peace Corps Reauthorization Act because we need volunteer service now more than ever to support healthy & resilient communities … #PeaceCorpsNow.”

     —Betty McCollum, Member, U.S. House of Representatives

on Twitter on September 22, 2021, marking the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Peace Corps Act. McCollum also circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter in fall 2021 calling for robust Peace Corps funding.

Mirror the Face of Our Nation - The past: The program you may not know about that inspired JFK. The future: How we change what America looks like abroad.

December 20, 2021

Mirror the Face of Our Nation: Strategies for Increasing African American Inclusion in the Peace Corps and International Careers

The past: The program you may not know about that inspired JFK. The future: How we change what America looks like abroad. Photo: Rep. Karen Bass, who delivered welcoming remarks for the event, part of the Ronald H. Brown Series, on September 14, 2021.   On September 14, 2021, the Constituency for Africa hosted, and National […]

December 19, 2021

Diversity and Global Credibility

We need to have a diverse and talented corps of professionals in our foreign affairs agencies — and in the wider development community. That matters when it comes to leadership and credibility alike.   By Aaron Williams Peace Corps Director 2009–12   The beauty and inherent value of the Peace Corps is that it provides a […]

December 20, 2021

An Inclusive State Department Is a National Security Imperative

Our public service institutions, whether it’s Peace Corps or the Department of State, must do better. And your work is how we change that.   Photo by Freddie Everett / State Department   By Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, U.S. Department of State   I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Oman […]

December 20, 2021

Operation Crossroads Africa and the “Progenitors of the Peace Corps”

The program you may not know about that inspired JFK. And that has been sending U.S. volunteers abroad since 1958.   By Reverend Dr. Jonathan Weaver   The man who was the visionary behind Crossroads Africa, Dr. James Robinson, in many ways has not gotten the recognition he deserves. Dr. Robinson first traveled to Africa in […]

December 20, 2021

Don’t Look for Representation, Look for a Systemic Problem Solver

Part of the discussion on “Building a Community of Black RPCVs: Recruitment Challenges and Opportunities”   Photo courtesy Howard Dodson   By Howard Dodson Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador 1964–67 | Director, Howard University Libraries   I wanted to join the Peace Corps the day Kennedy announced it was going to happen. I was a junior in undergraduate […]

December 20, 2021

Put Together Skill, Knowledge, and Commitment with Opportunities and Support

Part of the discussion on “Building a Community of Black RPCVs: Recruitment Challenges and Opportunities”   Photo courtesy Sia Barbara Kamara     By Sia Barbara Kamara Peace Corps Volunteer Liberia 1963–65 | Educational Consultant   I live in Washington, D.C. But I grew up in what would be considered public housing in North Carolina. I […]

December 20, 2021

First Comes Belonging

Part of the discussion on “Building a Community of Black RPCVs: Recruitment Challenges and Opportunities”   Photo courtesy Hermence Matsotsa-Cross   By Hermence Matsotsa-Cross Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo 1999–2001 | Founder and CEO of Ubuntu Speaks   Below are edited excerpts. Watch the full program here.   My father was a Volunteer in Gabon in the early […]

Peace Corps Connect 2021 - Highlights from the 60th-anniversary conference for the Peace Corps community.

December 18, 2021

Peace Corps Connect 2021: Mobilizing for a Lifetime of Service and Impact — Stories for WorldView Magazine

The 60th anniversary conference marks six decades of service by Volunteers around the world. And the special anniversary edition of WorldView magazine includes excerpts of some conversations from the conference. You’ll also find select videos from the conference available through links below.   By Glenn Blumhorst and Corey Arnez Griffin   This is a pivotal moment for the Peace […]

December 21, 2021

Unprecedented Anniversary: A Conversation with Acting Director of the Peace Corps Carol Spahn

No Volunteers in the field. Battling COVID-19 — and the global rollout of virtual volunteering. Remarks and Q&A with Acting Director of the Peace Corps Carol Spahn as part of Peace Corps Connect 2021.   Pictured: In Morocco, partners and volunteer participants team up as part of the Virtual Service Pilot — which has fostered […]

December 21, 2021

Learning History, Not Hate

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Leading in a Time of Adversity. A conversation convened as Part of Peace Corps Connect 2021.   Image by Shutterstock   Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are currently the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group in the U.S., but the story of the U.S. AAPI population dates back decades — […]

December 22, 2021

Peace Corps Safety and Security: Looking at a Decade of Legislation for Change

Progress, failures, and what’s on the horizon: a conversation convened for Peace Corps Connect 2021   Illustration by Anna + Elena = Balbusso     On September 26, 2011, as the Peace Corps community marked 50 years of Volunteers serving in communities around the world, the U.S. Senate passed the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act, which was signed […]

December 19, 2021

Evacuation: Service cut short by medical crisis, the draft, and COVID-19

Evacuated Peace Corps Volunteers: Then and Now, We Continue to Serve — a conversation convened as part of Peace Corps Connect 2021. Pictured: “Gül” in Turkish, “rose” in English. Margo Jones served as a Volunteer in the village of Asagisayak, then in the city of Bolu. Photo by Ken St. Louis   On September 25, 2021, Jodi […]

News and Updates

April 18, 2022

A Tenth Anniversary Edition of Voices from the Peace Corps: Fifty Years of Kentucky Volunteers

Voices from the Peace Corps Fifty Years of Kentucky Volunteers By Angene Wilson and Jack Wilson University Press of Kentucky   Review by Steven Boyd Saum   A decade ago, Angene and Jack Wilson published Voices from the Peace Corps. Now comes a tenth anniversary edition with a foreword by National Peace Corps Association President and CEO Glenn […]

April 18, 2022

Some 2,000 Peace Corps Volunteers Served in Korea. They Have Also Helped Shape the Study of That Nation in the United States.

Peace Corps Volunteers and the Making of Korean Studies in the United States Edited by Seung-kyung Kim and Michael Robinson Center for Korea Studies, University of Washington   Reviewed by Steven Boyd Saum   The Peace Corps sent more than 2,000 Volunteers to South Korea 1966–81, to teach English and advise on healthcare. “Their experiences affected their […]

April 17, 2022

How People Experience Idealism, Why It Dies, and Why That Matters

The Death of Idealism Development and Anti-Politics in the Peace Corps By Meghan Elizabeth Kallman Columbia University Press   Reviewed by Steven Boyd Saum   You might surmise from its title that this is not a book that casts the Peace Corps experience in a particularly rosy light. You would be right, sort of. But Meghan Elizabeth Kallman […]

December 14, 2021

Update: Preventing, Reporting, and Responding to Sexual Assault in the Peace Corps

USA Today publishes a follow-up to an in-depth investigation published earlier this spring. And the public has an opportunity to comment on the Peace Corps agency’s Sexual Assault Risk Reduction and Response program. By Steven Boyd Saum   On December 12, 2021, USA Today published an important follow-up to an April 2021 story by journalists Donovan Slack and Tricia L. Nodolny on sexual assault in […]

December 16, 2021

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program Was Supposed to Benefit Returned Volunteers. It Hasn’t.

So returned Volunteers are rallying to try to fix that. And NPCA is working with them to help. By Jonathan Pearson   In October 2021, the U.S. Department of Education announced an overhaul of the troubled Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. Applicants who devote ten years of work in the public service sector (and make 120 […]

December 17, 2021

“Terrific Ambassadors”: Peace Corps Community Relationship Building in Kentucky

Peace Corps Community Relationship Building in Kentucky Photo: Andy Barr (R-KY), who paid tribute to Returned Peace Corps Volunteers’ work in his home state during hearings of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in September   By Jonathan Pearson   Citizen advocacy isn’t easy. It sometimes takes a sustained, committed effort to engage a lawmaker and their […]

September 25, 2021

Announcing the Winner of the 2021 Sargent Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service: Sherry Manning, Founder of Global Seed Savers

Global Seed Savers has trained more than 5,000 Filipino farmers in seed saving, established three seed libraries, and is building a movement across the country to restore the traditional practice of saving seed and building seed sovereignty. By NPCA Staff   National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) is pleased to announce the winner of the 2021 Sargent […]

September 26, 2021

Meet the 2021 Winner of the Loret Miller Ruppe Award: Peace Corps Community for Refugees

What began as an effort by five people to support refugees has grown to a network of 1,200 individuals. And they have led the way in the Peace Corps community in working with refugees during the current Afghanistan crisis.   By NPCA Staff   Peace Corps Community for Refugees is this year’s recipient of the Loret Miller Ruppe […]

September 27, 2021

Here Are Three Outstanding Leaders in the Peace Corps Community Honored with 2021 Awards by the Women of Peace Corps Legacy

Nancy Kelly of Health Volunteers Overseas and Amy Maglio of the Women’s Global Education Project are recognized with the Deborah Harding Women of Achievement Award. Estee Katcoff, founder of the Superkids Foundation, is recognized with the Kate Raftery Emerging Leaders Award.   By NPCA Staff   As part of the global virtual conference Peace Corps […]

December 18, 2021

Honors from the Library of Congress for Friends of Tonga

A virtual read-aloud program brings recognition from the 2021 Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program.   By NPCA Staff   Friends of Tonga, established by Returned Peace Corps Volunteers in 2018, got some well-earned recognition this fall: 2021 Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program Best Practice Honoree. It was the creation of a virtual read-aloud program that brought […]

December 17, 2021

New Documentary: Peace Corps Response to COVID

On December 2 the agency premiered a film chronicling the work by Peace Corps Response Volunteers in 2021 to help fight COVID-19 in the United States. By NPCA Staff   In 2021, for the second time in the agency’s 60-year history, Peace Corps Response Volunteers deployed in the U.S., at the request of FEMA, to […]

December 16, 2021

Global Reentry: Live [Virtual] Career Office Hours Twice a Month

Mini-coaching dialogues on résumé critiques, mock interviews, job search strategy, and more Photo courtesy Envato   By NPCA Staff   Wondering how to build the career you desire or execute an effective job search? National Peace Corps Association’s Global Reentry Program has launched twice-monthly Live [Virtual] Career Office Hours to provide assistance for small groups […]

December 16, 2021

Peace Corps Days of Advocacy 2022: In Person?

National Peace Corps Association hopes to host in-person meetings as part of Capitol Hill Advocacy Day on March 3, 2022. This is an opportunity to meet with members of Congress and staff. The last in-person meetings were in March 2020, just days before the Capitol shut down. Health and safety concerns mean we can’t yet […]

People and Ideas

December 19, 2021

Opinion: Missing from the Conversation About Afghanistan

I was a combat interpreter in Afghanistan, where cultural illiteracy led to U.S. failure. Illustration by Miguel Davilla   By Baktash Ahadi   Like many Afghan Americans, I spent much time beginning in August trying to secure safe passage from Afghanistan for family, friends, and colleagues, with tragically limited success. I also know that many Americans […]

December 25, 2021

A Life-Altering Detour — And a Summer Camp Project That Became Part of National Educational Curriculum in Jordan

We wanted to understand the world through action, and we wanted to serve. That changed the path of my life.     By Shaylyn Romney Garrett Photo: Students in Jordan work with Shaylyn Romney Garrett on critical thinking skills and activities — a summer project they launched that turned into a national initiative. Courtesy Shaylyn […]

December 17, 2021

Donald Lu Is the New Top U.S. Diplomat for South and Central Asia

In the toolbox for Donald Lu in his new role in South and Central Asian Affairs at the State Department: diplomacy, advocacy, assistance, and learning from the past. Photo by RFE/L By NPCA Staff   In September, Donald Lu (Sierra Leone 1988–90) was confirmed as assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs. He’s the […]

December 17, 2021

Climate Change Solutions

Patrick Gonzalez takes on responsibilities tackling climate and biodiversity with the White House. Photography by Al Golub By Steven Boyd Saum   “Contributing science for solutions to global problems is one of the most important contributions that we can make as scientists,” Patrick Gonzalez (Senegal 1988–90) declared earlier this year at the Ecological Society of America’s annual […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

December 18, 2021

Recent Awards in Health Equity and Music Education

Awards for two members of the Peace Corps Community Photo: Maurice Lee, recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Equity By NPCA Staff   Maurice Lee | Ecuador 1996–99 Maurice Lee was recognized with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Equity for his work with St. Vincent de Paul’s Virginia G. Piper Medical and […]

In Memoriam

December 16, 2021

William Dennis Grubb: “One of the First and One of the Best”

Dennis Grubb left college at age 19 to serve in the Peace Corps in Colombia. And for many in the 1960s, he literally became the face of the Peace Corps. Students in Colombia with Dennis Grubb, who joined the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers serving communities there. Photo courtesy family of Dennis Grubb   By […]

December 17, 2021

Susan Neyer Taught, and She Nurtured the Peace Corps Community in California, Nationally, and Beyond

She served as a Volunteer in the Philippines, trained Volunteers who served throughout Southeast Asia and the Pacific. She was a leader of both the Northern California Peace Corps Association and National Peace Corps Association. Illustration by Edward Rooks   By Steven Boyd Saum Soon after graduating Marquette University in Milwaukee, Susan Neyer left for Peace Corps service […]

December 16, 2021

Hardy Frye Served as Peace Corps Country Director in Guyana and Was Deeply Engaged in Civil Rights Activism

He was a scholar, teacher, film producer, and worked with emerging Black political parties in South Africa. A lesson: Hardy Frye, in his days with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, telling how Black Americans in the South overcame fear to organize community action. Photo courtesy Civil Rights Movement Archive By NPCA Staff   Tuskegee, Alabama, was […]

December 16, 2021

Jeremy M. Black Was Committed to Nonviolence

After his life was ended far too soon, his wife has carried forward that commitment. Photo courtesy the family of Jeremy Black By NPCA Staff   Promoting understanding between peoples was Jerry Black’s life’s work. He served as a Volunteer in the Comoros Islands 1992–94 before completing a degree at the Columbia University School of International and Public […]

December 16, 2021

David McGaffey Served with the Peace Corps in Afghanistan, Then Embarked on a Career in Diplomacy

With the Peace Corps, he and his wife helped set up the first high school for girls in the town of Farah. As a diplomat in Iran, he helped evacuate hundreds of U.S. citizens. Photo courtesy the family of David McGaffey By NPCA Staff   Born on a farm in Michigan, David McGaffey was 15 years old […]

December 16, 2021

Two Remembrances: F. Kingston Berlew and Murray Frank

Kindred spirits who they helped shape the early years of the Peace Corps By Bill Josephson   Pictured: Dr. Mahmud Hussain, vice chancellor of Dacca University — one of the host institutions for Peace Corps Volunteers serving in East Pakistan since October 1961 — chats with Peace Corps Representative to Pakistan F. Kingston Berlew of Washington, DC. […]


December 26, 2021

Letters: Readers Respond to the Summer 2021 edition of WorldView and Snapshots of Peace Corps History

Peace Corps Response at 25. Sarge leads the first Volunteers. Budget advocacy. Remembering 9/11 two decades later. JFK at the Cow Palace in ’60.   Letters, emails, LinkedIn and Instagram comments, Facebook posts, tweets, and other missives: Readers respond to the stories in words and images in the Summer 2021 edition of WorldView, special digital features, and the conversation on social […]

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WorldView magazine brings you stories from and about the greater Peace Corps community, with connections to the wider world. We feature news, profiles, commentary and analysis, politics, arts, and ideas with a global perspective. We publish quarterly in print, with digital features throughout the year.

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