Meet the Peace Corps' leaders, who are driven by the same spirit and dedication to the Peace Corps' mission as our Volunteers.


Carrie Hessler-Radelet, the 19th Director of the Peace Corps, was sworn in on June 25, 2014. Prior to this, she served as the agency’s acting Director and deputy director from 2010–14. 

A member of a four-generation Peace Corps family, Hessler-Radelet began her career in international development as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Western Samoa (1981–83), teaching secondary school with her husband, Steve Radelet. She went on to spend more than two decades working in public health, focusing on HIV/AIDS and maternal and child health.

Full bio for Director Hessler-Radelet

Deputy Director

Carlos J. Torres was sworn in as the agency’s deputy director in December 2015. Torres began his work with the Peace Corps as a member of the Peace Corps’ Comprehensive Agency Assessment Team, which submitted its report to Congress in mid-June 2010. He went on to become regional director of the Inter-America and Pacific Region, then was named associate director for Global Operations in 2013. 

Before coming to the Peace Corps, Torres had 30 years of international experience in international business development, trade and investment, and microbanking.

Full bio for Deputy Director Torres


Chief of Staff

Laura Chambers was sworn-in as Chief of Staff of the Peace Corps on June 30, 2014. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer from 1984 to 1986 in Senegal, West Africa as a community development volunteer focused on women’s cooperative building. Ms. Chambers brings to Peace Corps a wealth of knowledge from a distinguished career in NGO management and advocacy. 

Full bio for Chief of Staff Chambers

Deputy Chief of Staff

Becca Sharp was sworn-in as Deputy Chief of Staff of the Peace Corps on June 16, 2014. After serving in the position of Director in the Office of Universities and Domestic Partnerships at Peace Corps until November 2013, Ms. Sharp has returned after recently serving in the Presidential Personnel Office at the White House. 

Full bio for Deputy Chief of Staff Sharp

Peace Corps is for Americans who are interested in not just imagining a better world, but rolling up their sleeves and doing something about it.


Global Operations

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.

  • Ken Yamashita, Associate Director for Global Operations

U.S. government

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

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 Volunteers, particularly in the areas of health, safety, and security