Jump to:

John F. Kennedy Service Award

Each member of the Peace Corps family contributes to the agency’s success. The John F. Kennedy Service Award honors just a few of these individuals who go above and beyond for the Peace Corps and America every day.

President John F. Kennedy
President John F. Kennedy

Historically awarded every five years, the John F. Kennedy Service Award typically recognizes two current Peace Corps Volunteers, two Peace Corps staff members, one returned Peace Corps Response Volunteer, and one returned Peace Corps Volunteer for contributions beyond their duties to the agency and the nation.

Award recipients must demonstrate exceptional service and leadership and further the Peace Corps mission and its three goals:

  • To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained Volunteers
  • To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served
  • To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans

View the full list of previous John F. Kennedy Service Award winners.

2021 winners

Video: 2021 John F. Kennedy Service Award ceremony

Story: 5 JFK Service Award recipients embody commitment and connection

Due to the unique circumstances stemming from the global pandemic, the agency awarded one Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, two returned Peace Corps Response Volunteers, and two current or former Peace Corps staff members in a ceremony which was held in May 2022.

  • Returned Peace Corps Volunteer: Liz Fanning  (Morocco,1993 – 1995)
  • Staff: Mamadou Diaw (Senegal)
  • Staff: Roberto (Ambet) Yangco (Philippines)
  • Returned Peace Corps Response Volunteer: Genevieve de los Santos Evenhouse  (Guinea, 2006 – 2007; Zambia,2007– 2008; Guyana 2008 – 2009 PCR;  Uganda, 2015–2016 PCR)
  • Returned Peace Corps Response Volunteer: Karla Sierra  (Panama, 2010 – 2012; Panama, 2012– 2013 PCR

Franklin H. Williams and Sargent Shriver
Franklin H. Williams and first Peace Corps Director Sargent Shriver

Franklin H. Williams Awards

The Franklin H. Williams Award recognizes ethnically diverse returned Peace Corps Volunteers who demonstrate a commitment to community service and the Peace Corps' Third Goal of promoting a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

This award is named for Franklin H. Williams, an early architect of the Peace Corps. He worked at the agency from its inception in 1961 to 1963 and helped Sargent Shriver—the first Peace Corps Director—promote the agency and its programs to the world. 

Ambassador Williams' exceptional public service career included positions as the Peace Corps regional director for Africa, the U.S. representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and the U.S. ambassador to Ghana.

The Director's Award is awarded to an exceptional non-RPCV of color.

View full list of previous Franklin H. Williams Award winners

2023 winners

Press release: The Peace Corps Names 2023 Franklin H. Williams Award Winners

  • Charlayne Hunter Gault
  • Nicole Banister, South Africa 2013- 2016
  • Judith Oki, Liberia 1971-1973
  • Terrell J. Starr, Georgia 2003-2005
  • Lavar Thomas, Rwanda 2014-2016
  • Rob Watson Jr., Paraguay 2010-2013

Lillian Carter
Lillian Carter

Lillian Carter Award

The Lillian Carter Award was established in 1986 in honor of former President Carter's mother, who served as a health Volunteer in India in 1966 at age 68.

This award recognizes exceptional Peace Corps Volunteers who served at age 50 or over and have continued to advance the Peace Corps' Third Goal.

View the full list of previous Lillian Carter Award winners.

2021 winner

Harris Wofford Joint Service Award

Harris Wofford
Harris Wofford

In honor of Harris Wofford, whose contributions helped establish the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps programs, our agencies are recognizing individuals who have successfully completed both a full-time service term or its equivalent in AmeriCorps, and the Peace Corps or Peace Corps Response.

The Harris Wofford Joint Service Award, established in November 2020, recognizes and honors individuals who have served in both programs since their respective inception in service to our country.

See more information and award criteria at