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Peace Corps Announces Historic Changes to Application and Selection Process

Peace Corps also Releases New Public Service Announcement from President Obama Calling on Americans to Serve  
 

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 15, 2014 – Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet today announced sweeping changes to the agency’s application process that will make applying to the Peace Corps simpler, faster and more personalized than ever before. Under this new recruitment initiative, applicants will now be able to choose their country of service and apply to specific programs, and do so through a new, shorter application. As part of today’s announcement, Peace Corps also released a new video from President Obama calling on Americans to serve. It can be viewed here.

“Today our world is smaller and more interconnected than ever before,” said President Obama in the new public service announcement. “And it presents us with an extraordinary opportunity: to connect with people in some of the most remote corners of the globe and show them that America is paying attention, that we care, and that we're here to help. That’s what the Peace Corps is all about.”

“More than 50 years after its founding, the Peace Corps is revitalizing its recruitment and outreach to field a volunteer force that represents the best and brightest the country has to offer,” Director Hessler-Radelet (RPCV Western Samoa 1981-83) said. “A modernized, flexible application and placement system will help Peace Corps recruit Americans who are not just interested in imagining a better world, but rolling up their sleeves and doing something about it.”

The key recruitment reforms include:

  • Peace Corps applicants can now choose the programs and countries they want to apply to – selecting the path that best fits their personal and professional goals. Applicants can apply to between one and three specific programs at a time, or they can choose to apply for service wherever they are needed most. The Peace Corps website now lists all open programs by country, work area and departure date, so applicants can browse service opportunities.  
     
  • A new, shorter application is now available on the Peace Corps website that can be completed in less than one hour. What used to be more than 60 printed pages that took more than eight hours to complete is now a short online application that focuses solely but rigorously on the most relevant information to help the agency select the best candidates.
     
  • Each open Peace Corps position now has clearly identified Apply By and Know By deadlines, so applicants know when they can expect to receive an invitation to serve. If they apply on time, they’ll know if they were selected on time – just like applying to college or a job. These deadlines give applicants more certainty than ever and help them plan for the future.

Click here to view an infographic on Peace Corps’ new application and selection process.

“With the tools, technologies and opportunities of the 21st century, the Peace Corps is giving Americans of all backgrounds the freedom to re-imagine their future and redefine their mark on the world,” Hessler-Radelet said. “I believe these changes will help re-ignite the passion of Peace Corps’ early days and that more Americans will seize the opportunity to make a difference across the world and here at home.”

Hessler-Radelet, who was sworn in as the agency’s 19th director in June and comes from a four-generation Peace Corps family, has led an extensive reform effort since joining the agency in 2010. In addition to the recruitment reforms announced today, 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 to create a culture of innovation and excellence.

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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