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Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Carol Spahn Sworn-In as 21st Director of the Peace Corps

Spahn brings more than 25 years of public and private sector experience to the role

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Peace Corps today celebrated the ceremonial swearing of Carol Spahn as the 21st Director of the agency, following her unanimous confirmation by the United States Senate in December 2022. She was joined by Representative John Garamendi (D-CA), who administered the oath of office and other invited guests, including Jody Olsen, Director of the Peace Corps (2018-2021); Carrie Hessler Radelet, Director of the Peace Corps (2012-2017); Aaron Williams, Director of the Peace Corps (2009-2012); Mark Schneider, Director of the Peace Corps (1999-2001); and Former Transportation and Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, Director of the Peace Corps (1991-1992).

“It is the honor of a lifetime to serve as the 21st Director of the Peace Corps, an agency with a mission I believe in deeply,” said Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn. “At this pivotal moment in history, we all have the responsibility to be intentional in both word and deed, to lead with the power of our example. The Peace Corps has a critical role to play, and I am incredibly inspired by the staff, Volunteers and community members around the world who have stepped up to meet this moment.”

Under Director Spahn’s leadership, the agency will prioritize: 1) continuing to return volunteers to service abroad following the 2020 global evacuation due to COVID-19; 2) modernizing and expanding service opportunities while retaining the critical components of the Peace Corps’ approach to service that drives long-term impact in communities around the world; and 3) connecting Peace Corps Volunteers with the largest generation of youth in history to address a range of development goals, from food security and disease prevention to gender equity, and economic growth.

Since being appointed as Acting Director in 2021, Director Spahn has led the agency’s efforts to return over 900 Volunteers to service in 46 countries around the world. Further, the agency has: 1) piloted a new virtual service model; 2) strengthened Volunteer safety and security systems; 3) expanded medical services for Volunteers; 4) invested in attracting and retaining a Volunteer corps that represent the full diversity of America; and 5) notably, welcomed the inaugural cohort of Peace Corps Viet Nam Volunteers.

Spahn’s full testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is available here. To learn more about the Peace Corps, visit


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The Peace Corps is an international service network of volunteers, community members, host country partners and staff who are driven by the agency’s mission of world peace and friendship. At the invitation of governments around the world, Peace Corps volunteers work alongside community members on locally-prioritized projects in the areas of education, health, environment, agriculture, community economic development and youth development. Through service, members of the Peace Corps network develop transferable skills and hone intercultural competencies that position them to be the next generation of global leaders. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 240,000 Americans have served in 143 countries worldwide. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn brings more than 25 years of public and private sector experience and has worked in countries around the world on issues ranging from small business development to infectious disease prevention and women's empowerment. Most recently, Spahn served as the Peace Corps chief of operations in the Africa region covering Eastern and Southern Africa. Previously, she served a five-year term as the country director of Peace Corps/Malawi. Director Spahn’s Peace Corps roots extend back to her service as a Volunteer from 1994 to 1996 in Romania, where she served as a small business advisor. Before returning to the Peace Corps as country director, she was senior vice president of operations at Women for Women International, an organization serving marginalized and socially excluded women in conflict affected countries. Prior to that, Director Spahn served as executive director of Accordia Global Health Foundation, a nonprofit focused on creating sustainable centers of excellence in health in Africa. Spahn has served as vice-president, chief financial officer, and treasurer of Small Enterprise Assistance Funds, a nonprofit private equity fund manager that invests in small- and medium-sized companies in developing countries. She has also held positions at leading private sector institutions, including, GE Capital and KPMG Peat Marwick. Holding a bachelor's degree from the Catholic University of America and a master’s degree in international development from the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs, her career has focused on promoting international diplomacy and global service. Read Director Spahn’s bio here.

Troy Blackwell
Peace Corps Director of Press Relations and Spokesperson
[email protected]