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WorldView | Spring 2021 – THE TIME IS NOW!

Sixty years of Peace Corps. And big work ahead.

May 16, 2021

President’s Letter: An Historic Moment

A time to honor the past — and commit to a different future By Glenn Blumhorst Illustration by Richard Borge   HERE’S A FAMILIAR CELEBRATORY REFRAIN: On March 1, 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order 10924, establishing the Peace Corps with the mission of building world peace and friendship. In honor of that […]

May 12, 2021

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

Here’s what eleven former Peace Corps directors would say.   To mark the 60th anniversary of the Peace Corps on March 1, University of Wisconsin-Madison hosted a conversation with 11 former Peace Corps directors. Topics ranged across the decades, with a focus on this unprecedented moment — pandemic that led to global evacuation — and […]

May 12, 2021

Legislation for a Changed World

It has been decades since Congress tackled Peace Corps legislation this sweeping. Along with important reforms, it would lead to 10,000 Volunteers serving in the field — a number not seen in half a century. By Jonathan Pearson Illustration by traffic_analyzer   On March 1 of this year, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and California Congressman John […]

Peace Corps Service: Then and Now


Sixty years since the Peace Corps was founded. Beginnings in a troubled world. Amid an unprecedented time, an anniversary like no other. And unfinished business in an age of divisiveness and uncertainty.

May 11, 2021

Annotation: Changing World — The Globe in 1961, the Year the Peace Corps Was Founded

In 1961, nine countries welcomed the first Peace Corps Volunteers. THE GLOBE IN 1961, the year nine countries welcomed the first Peace Corps Volunteers — and the year after 17 nations in Africa gained independence. For the first Peace Corps programs, demand is strongest for teachers and agricultural workers. Volunteers are urged to embark on […]

May 11, 2021

1961: Towering Task Edition

A look at the year in which the Peace Corps was founded with great aspirations — and the troubled world into which it emerged.   Research and editing by Jake Arce, Orrin Luc, and Steven Boyd Saum   Map images throughout from 1966 map of Peace Corps in the World. Courtesy Library of Congress.   For the […]

February 18, 2021

Peace Corps Week 2021: Events to mark the 60th Anniversary of its founding — and renew a commitment to the work of building peace and friendship

From February 28 to March 6, the Peace Corps community around the world commemorates the establishment of the Peace Corps in March 1961. This year we celebrate 60 years of Peace Corps. And here at National Peace Corps Association, we’re working to transform it for a changed world. By NPCA Staff   On March 1, 1961, […]

February 10, 2021

Returning to Serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer a Second Time — 35 years Later

In the 1970s, David Jarmul served as a Volunteer in Nepal. More than three decades later, he and his wife, Champa, returned to serve in Moldova. Lessons and advice for experienced would-be Volunteers — and how they can make an impact.   By David Jarmul Photos courtesy David Jarmul   What’s it like to serve as […]

May 11, 2021

Our Stories are America’s Stories

In Moldova, my work partners and our host family weren’t expecting someone like me. Instead of being young and white, I was older and Asian. And born near Mount Everest. By Champa Jarmul   When I was a girl growing up in Nepal, two of my teachers were Peace Corps Volunteers. After I became a […]

May 12, 2021

Make It Cool, Make It Last

Take a community-based approach to service at home and around the world. And learn from Black Americans making their mark abroad. By Jerome Moore [as told to Jake Arce] My interest in community development started while I was growing up in Nashville, Tennessee. It began with a volunteering organization called The Contributor, which helps homeless […]

March 15, 2021

This Isn’t Over

One year after being evacuated from the Philippines, a Peace Corps Volunteer faces the trauma of leaving, the country he returned to, and a question that’s impossible to answer. By Rok Locksley   Work and friendship: Rok Locksley, left, with Ban-Ban Nicolas. Photo courtesy Rok Locksley   The last day of my Peace Corps service […]

May 12, 2021

In It Together

Before Milana Baish served as a Peace Corps Volunteer, she interviewed 15 who had served across the decades. Then came the global evacuation.   Interview by Jordana Comiter   Meeting multiple returned Volunteers while studying at University of Texas, Austin, led Milana Baish to interview 15 RPCVs and write an honors thesis on how they perceived their experiences’ impact […]

May 14, 2021

Triage, Respite, and Isolation

COVID-19 and the Lord Baltimore Hotel By Marik Moen   IN SPRING 2020, the State of Maryland, with the help of the Army Corps of Engineers, transformed the Baltimore Convention Center into to the 250-bed University of Maryland Medical System Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital. I was living in Fairfax, Virginia, at the time but […]

News & Updates

April 2, 2021

Peace Corps Response Volunteers Will Partner with FEMA at Vaccination Centers Across the United States

Evacuated Volunteers will put their skills and experience to work at home helping during the pandemic. By Glenn Blumhorst This week we received very welcome and timely news: Peace Corps Response Volunteers will be deployed to work with FEMA, to assist at vaccination centers across the United States. Not since the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina […]

May 12, 2021

Shining a Light on Sexual Assault in the Peace Corps

An in-depth work of investigative journalism by USA TODAY brings together deeply troubling stories of harm suffered by women who have been victims of sexual assault while serving as Volunteers. Peace Corps must do better.   On April 23, USA TODAY published an in-depth investigative piece chronicling the experiences of multiple women who became victims of sexual assault while […]

January 28, 2021

Carol Spahn Named Acting Director of Peace Corps

Updated March 4: The Biden Administration continues to fill out political appointments for staff at the agency. By NPCA Staff   On January 20, Carol Spahn was named Acting Director of the Peace Corps by President Biden. Spahn had been serving as the Peace Corps chief of operations for Africa. She succeeds Jody Olsen, who stepped down as director on January […]

May 13, 2021

What Lies Ahead for the Peace Corps

An Update from Acting Director Carol Spahn   Carol Spahn served as a Volunteer in Romania 1994–96 as a small business advisor, as country director for Peace Corps Malawi, and as chief of operations in the Africa Region, covering eastern and southern Africa. She has held roles at Women for Women International, Accordia Global Health Foundation, […]

May 10, 2021

Peace Corps Connect 2021: Global Virtual Conference September 23 to 25

We mark 60 years since the founding of the Peace Corps. In addition to joining us for a global conference, take part in pre-conference events beginning September 18, 2021.   This year we mark six decades since the founding of the Peace Corps — culminating in an anniversary conference in September 2021. That comes 60 […]

May 11, 2021

Virtual Volunteering in the Time of COVID-19

The evacuation of Volunteers from around the globe interrupted service everywhere. And while Volunteers have yet to return to the field, last year Peace Corps launched a program for communities and Volunteers to work together — virtually.   Six months after Peace Corps evacuated all Volunteers from around the world, 45 returned to service under the […]

May 11, 2021

A Plea: End Violence in Tigray

An open letter from 350 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who have served in Ethiopia and Eritrea — signed by former U.S. ambassadors and more   By Jake Arce   AS BLOODSHED IN THE TIGRAY REGION of Ethiopia drew toward the end of its third month, more than 350 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and a trio of […]

March 19, 2021

Peace Corps Week in Review: Highlights from Events and News Marking Six Decades Since Its Founding — and Examining How Peace Corps Needs to Retool for a Changed World

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 […]

People & Ideas

May 14, 2021

Three Pioneers

First Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the State Department. Chief Economist for U.S. Department of Labor. And Principal Deputy Spokesperson for the State Department.   Photo: Janelle Jones   “We are at a particular time in America, and the world is watching us,” Gina Abercrombie- Winstanley said after being appointed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken to […]

May 10, 2021

Notable: Policy Lead for the Western Hemisphere. And Buildings of the Earth.

A new role in the Americas for an experienced diplomat. And recognition for a veteran architect whose career has been devoted to changing the way we build — with the goal of making new buildings and renovations carbon neutral by 2030.   Photo: Architect Edward Mazria from ArchDaily   National Security Council Policy Lead for the Western […]

May 6, 2021

Let’s Talk Politics

From Peace Corps to the house, senate, and more — at the state level By Jake Arce and Jordana Comiter New to the New York State Senate: Samra Brouk, who served as a Volunteer in Guatemala. Photo courtesy Samra Brouk.   John Garamendi (D-CA) is currently the sole Returned Peace Corps Volunteer in the U.S. […]

May 11, 2021

We’ll Always Have Sefrou

Evacuation, some Peace Corps history, and #apush4peace When Coronavirus Unmapped the Peace Corps’ Journey Jeffrey Aubuchon (92252 Press)   Reviewed by Jake Arce and Steven Boyd Saum   In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic led to the unprecedented global evacuation of Peace Corps Volunteers. Jeffrey Aubuchon brings together stories of some evacuees chronicled in WorldView: Chelsea Bajek, who […]



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Breaking Ground — and Nurturing the Earth

May 5, 2021

Trailblazer in Film

A portrait of Judy Irola By Jordana Comiter “You can be creative, and you can be managerial and spirited,” Judy Irola said of her work as a cinematographer. Photo by Douglas Kirkland   Judy Irola made history as a producer, director, cinematographer, and educator—and only the third female member of the American Society of Cinematographers. Her first […]

May 4, 2021

Fierce Advocate for the Land

A remembrance of Paul Johnson By Jake Arce   Paul Johnson understood what it means to tend the earth. He was a farmer and a state and national leader in the movement to conserve soil and water. As chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, he led the agency to produce a national report card […]


May 9, 2021

Letters: Readers Respond to the Winter 2021 edition of WorldView

Letters, emails, LinkedIn and Instagram comments, Facebook posts, tweets, and other missives: Readers respond to the stories in words and images in the winter 2021 edition of WorldView. We’re happy to continue the conversation here and on all those nifty social media platforms. One way to write us: [email protected]   Retool, then reengage The pandemic offers a unique opportunity for […]

You can make a difference.

August 31, 2020

Where We’re Going

We’ve got some learning and some work to do. That’s true for the Peace Corps community. For this nation. For this planet. We’re facing hard questions and grappling with systemic injustices that have been centuries in the making. We envision a vibrant and united community, here at home and around the world. What we do know: Working together as partners is essential. Rok Locksley is […]

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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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Current edition: Spring 2021

Previous editions of WorldView digital:

Winter 2021 Fall 2020 | Summer 2020 | Spring 2020

More previous editions are available on the WorldView app. Print copies may be available as well upon request. Write us and ask.

Submission Guidelines

We welcome pitches and, on rare occasions, completed pieces. What are we looking for? Stories that speak to the Peace Corps community. That might be focused on work connected to Peace Corps, returned Volunteers, communities and countries where Volunteers have served, connections to experiences and work in the U.S. and globally. We’re interested in ideas and impact and stories that connect with readers on a human level.


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About the Editor

Steven Boyd Saum is editor of WorldView. For more than two decades he has edited award-winning magazines in the San Francisco Bay Area. His journalism, essays, and fiction have appeared in OrionThe BelieverCreative NonfictionThe Kenyon ReviewChristian Science Monitor, on KQED FM, and in other magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and internationally. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine, where he also directed the Fulbright program and hosted a radio show. Send a letter to the editor: [email protected].


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What Our Readers Are Saying

“I would like to thank you for all of the amazing work you put into WorldView magazine. Reading it gives me a great feeling of solidarity with other Volunteers and RPCVs around the world and always serves to remind me that I’m part of something very special, and something that is much bigger than I am.”

— Anna Waterfield (Tanzania 2012–14)

“I have read WorldView for years now and it was FABULOUS to get at post. It’s important to know someone, somewhere out there is doing what you are doing, with a twist, and that’s what keeps Volunteers serving and communities asking for more … this publication really does make a difference.”

— Rachael Miller (Benin 2006–08)

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