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
Sheila Crowley

Acting Director, Sheila Crowley

Sheila Crowley has served as Acting Director of the Peace Corps since January 2017.

She brings to that role more than 25 years of public and private-sector experience, including leadership roles in international development, business, and the financial services industry.

Most recently, Sheila served from 2015 to 2017 as Acting Associate Director of Peace Corps’ Office of Volunteer Recruitment and Selection (VRS), overseeing the recruitment, assessment, and placement of Peace Corps Volunteers worldwide.  Previously, she held the position of Peace Corps Country Director, first in Romania and then in Indonesia, from 2010 to 2015.

Sheila’s Peace Corps roots extend back to her service as a Volunteer in 2001 to 2003 in Ukraine, where she taught English, organized leadership and sports camps for youth, and worked at a refugee center.  To this day, she considers her Peace Corps service as the toughest job she has ever held – and the experience that has most deeply transformed her life and career.

Sheila’s career initially began in the corporate sector, including more than 10 years of professional experience with McKinsey & Company, the Mitchell Madison Group, and JP Morgan Securities, before deciding to pursue her long-held dream of serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer. 

After completing her Peace Corps service, Sheila worked for five years with Habitat for Humanity International as Associate Director of the Global Village program and as a Director in the Office of Volunteer Mobilization.  She helped to lead volunteer program design, global collaboration, and policy development for Habitat’s domestic and international programs until 2010, when she returned to the Peace Corps.

 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.    

Kathy Stroker
Kathy Stroker

Acting Deputy Director, Kathy Stroker

Kathy Stroker is the Acting Deputy Director. She previously served as the Peace Corps’ Acting General Counsel. Kathy served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Benin and returned to the Peace Corps in April of 2016, after working for U.S. Agency for International Development (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. 

Carl Sosebee
Carl Sosebee

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 a strong commitment and dedication to the Peace Corps mission, Carl has served the agency since 2002, with the trust and confidence of each administration. Carl has worked at 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 J.D. from Antioch School of Law. 

Kris Besch
Kris Besch

Acting Associate Director of Global Operations, Kris Besch

Kris Besch is the Acting Associate Director of Global Operations and the Acting Regional Director for Europe, Mediterranean, and Asia Affairs at the Peace Corps. From 2002 to 2006 she served as Peace Corps 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 served 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 the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University, 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. 

Additional Peace Corps contact information

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