The Peace Corps is an independent agency within the executive branch of the United States government.

U.S. Government

The President of the United States appoints the Peace Corps Director and deputy director, and the appointments must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Read more about the past directors of the Peace Corps. 

Initially established by President John F. Kennedy by Executive Order on March 1, 1961, the Peace Corps was formally authorized by the Congress on September 22, 1961, with passage of the Peace Corps Act.

The Peace Corps enjoys bipartisan support in Congress. Senators and representatives from both parties have served as Volunteers.

The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and House Committee on Foreign Affairs are charged with general oversight of the activities and programs of the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps' annual budget is determined each year by the congressional budget and appropriations process. Funding for the Peace Corps is included in the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations bill. Generally, the Peace Corps budget is about 1 percent of the foreign operations budget. The Peace Corps is continuously working to provide the highest quality support to Volunteers, particularly in the areas of health, safety, and security


Meet the current Peace Corps' leadership team, who is driven by the same spirit and dedication to the Peace Corps' mission as our Volunteers.

Sheila Crowley
Acting Director Sheila Crowley

Acting Director, Sheila Crowley

Sheila Crowley is the Acting Associate Director of the Office of Volunteer Recruitment and Selection (VRS) and has been with the Peace Corps for nearly a decade. Sheila served as a Peace Corps Volunteer from 2001 to 2003 in Mukachevo, Ukraine and as Peace Corps Country Director, first in Romania and then in Indonesia, from 2010-2015. Ms. Crowley then moved to Washington, DC to become the Chief of Operations for VRS, the largest department at Peace Corps, and shortly thereafter began her current role as the Acting Associate Director. Additionally, Sheila has more than 10 years of professional experience in business and the financial services industry, working with McKinsey & Company, the Mitchell Madison Group, and JP Morgan Securities and 5 years of experience with Habitat for Humanity International as a Director in the Office for Volunteer Mobilization. Sheila holds a bachelor‘s degree in history and Russian studies from The Pennsylvania State University and a master‘s degree in information science from Drexel University, in Philadelphia.

Acting Deputy Director, Kathy Stroker

Kathy Stroker has been serving as Peace Corps’ Acting General Counsel since April of 2016. Kathy is a Benin RPCV and returned to the Peace Corps after working for USAID as Deputy Assistant General Counsel. Prior to her time at USAID, Kathy practiced law in the private sector, defending domestic and international clients at Dechert LLP in Philadelphia and Arnold & Porter LLP in Washington, DC. Kathy has also served as a Foreign Lecturer in Law at the University of Paris and clerked for a federal judge. She has experience in the nonprofit sector and as a professional sailor. Kathy received a Bachelor’s Degree from Yale University, a Certificate in Business and Public Policy from the Wharton School, and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. 

Acting Chief of Staff, Carl Sosebee

Senior Advisor Carl Sosebee has been delegated the authorities and responsibilities of the Chief of Staff of the Peace Corps pending our new leadership.  With commitment and dedication to the Peace Corps mission, Carl has served the agency since 2002, enjoying the trust and confidence of each administration.  Carl has served the Peace Corps as an Attorney Advisor, Deputy General Counsel, General Counsel, and since 2010, Senior Advisor to the Director. Carl has over 30 years of experience in the federal sector.  In addition to his service at the Peace Corps, he has held positions at the Community Services Administration, the Department of State, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.  Prior to his federal service, Carl was a private legal practitioner, handling criminal and civil cases in the District of Columbia. Carl graduated from the University of Maryland and holds a Juris Doctor Degree from Antioch School of Law.  

Acting Director of Global Operations, Kris Besch

Kristin B. Besch is currently the Acting Regional Director for Europe, Mediterranean, and Asia Affairs at Peace Corps. From 2002 to 2006 she served as Peace Country Director in Kazakhstan. Kris has 25 years of strategy, program management, and organizational development experience in domestic and international environments. Previous positions include managing USAID and private-sector projects in the economic growth and governance sectors; leading an Arab microfinance network based in Egypt; business consulting for the high-tech and travel industries; working for the Organizing Committee for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games; import-export trading; and teaching at a high school for at-risk youth.  Kris’s first job was as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Swaziland teaching math, which to this day she considers the best job she has ever had. She has a Master’s degree in international business from Thunderbird, and an undergraduate degree from Bucknell University. 

Peace Corps posts around the world are managed in three regions overseen by the Office of Global Operations. 

See countries where Peace Corps Volunteers serve.

Leadership Team

Acting Delegates as of January 20, 2017.

  • Office of Civil Rights and Diversity, Director Laara Manler 
  • Office of the Chief Compliance Officer, Chief Compliance Officer Anne Hughes 
  • Office of Victim Advocacy, Director Da Shawnna Townsend 
  • Senior Advisor to the Director, Senior Advisor Maryann Minutillo 
  • Office of the General Counsel, Acting General Counsel Tony Marra 
  • Chief Financial Officer, Acting Chief Financial Officer Paul Shea 
  • Office of the Third Goal and Returned Volunteer Services, Acting Director William Stoppel 
  • Office of Strategic Information, Research, and Planning, Acting Director Jeff Kwiecinski 
  • Office of Innovation, Acting Chief Information Officer Scott Knell 
  • Office of the Inspector General, Inspector General Kathy Buller 
  • Executive Secretariat, Executive Secretary Melanie Wilhelm 
  • White House Liaison, TBD 
  • Office of External Affairs, Acting Associate Director Carl Sosebee 
  • Office of Strategic Partnerships and Intergovernmental Affairs, Acting Director Ted Adams 
  • Office of Communications, Acting Director Chris Dobday 
  • Office of Congressional Relations, Acting Deputy Director Nora Graves 
  • Office of Gifts and Grants Management, Acting Director Charlotte Kea 
  • Office of Management, Acting Associate Director William Stoppel 
  • Office of Global Operations, Acting Associate Director Kris Besch 
  • Africa Region, Acting Regional Director Tim Hartman 
  • Europe, Mediterranean and Asia Region, Acting Regional Director Kris Besch 
  • Inter-America and Pacific Region, Acting Regional Director Emily Untermeyer 
  • Office of Overseas Programming and Training Support, Director Stephanie Rust 
  • Peace Corps Response, Acting Director Tom Ross 
  • Office of Global Health and HIV, Director Marie McLeod 
  • Chief Information Officer, Acting Chief Information Officer Scott Knell 
  • Office of Safety and Security, Associate Director Shawn Bardwell 
  • Office of Volunteer Recruitment and Selection (VRS), Acting Associate Director Erin Gibbs 
  • Office of Health Services, Acting Associate Director Jill Carty