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Carrie Hessler-Radelet Sworn In as 19th Director of the Peace Corps

Hessler-Radelet committed to using the tools, technologies and opportunities of the 21st century to strengthen the Peace Corps today

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 25, 2014 – Carrie Hessler-Radelet was sworn in as the 19th Director of the Peace Corps Wednesday at a ceremony at Peace Corps headquarters in Washington, D.C. Hessler-Radelet comes from a four-generation Peace Corps family and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Western Samoa with her husband from 1981-1983. Since 2010, she served as the agency’s deputy director and acting director.

“Everywhere I go in the Peace Corps world, I hear testimonies of the impact volunteers have had on their communities,” Hessler-Radelet said. “Peace Corps volunteers are special people – they come with the tools of the 21st century but the heart and soul of a timeless Peace Corps. Serving as Peace Corps director is truly the great honor of my life.”

Hessler-Radelet is committed to leading a 21st century Peace Corps that bridges the agency’s founding ideals with the realities of modern times. She envisions the Peace Corps as a dynamic, forward-leaning champion for international service that is defined by its energy, innovation and impact. In the years ahead, she plans to continue revitalizing the Peace Corps to adapt to a rapidly changing world and use today’s tools and technologies to open doors and change lives, not only in faraway countries but also here at home.

Over the past four years, Hessler-Radelet has overseen one of the most extensive reform efforts the agency has ever undertaken. The Peace Corps has dramatically improved the quality of support it provides to volunteers, strategically targeted its resources and country presence to maximize impact, and streamlined operations by using new technology to create a culture of innovation and excellence. Now, she is spearheading a sweeping effort to revamp Peace Corps’ volunteer application and selection process and revitalize recruitment and outreach to field a volunteer force that represents the best and brightest our country has to offer.

Like so many Peace Corps volunteers, Hessler-Radelet’s service changed her life. It shaped her passion for international development and launched her career. Today, the Peace Corps is not only a chance for Americans to make a difference, but also a training ground and launching pad for a 21st century career.

President Obama nominated Hessler-Radelet to lead the agency in July 2013, and the U.S. Senate took bipartisan action to confirm her on June 5, 2014. Read her full bio and view her official photo here.

To request an interview with the new Peace Corps director, please email pressoffice@peacecorps.gov.

About the Peace Corps:  As the preeminent international service organization of the United States, the Peace Corps sends Americans abroad to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Peace Corps volunteers work at the grassroots level with local governments, schools, communities, small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. When they return home, volunteers bring their knowledge and experiences – and a global outlook – back to the United States that enriches the lives of those around them. President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961 to foster a better understanding among Americans and people of other countries. Since then, more than 215,000 Americans of all ages have served in 139 countries worldwide. Visit www.peacecorps.gov to learn more.

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