Washington, D.C., November 10, 1998—Peace Corps Director Mark Gearan has appointed Charles D. Smith to be the agency\'s inspector general, whose office conducts independent and objective audits, inspections, evaluations, and investigations of the agency. "Charles brings to this role extensive experience in international law and peace and conflict issues gained during his professional and academic career," said Gearan, noting that Smith has served as acting inspector general and deputy inspector general. "I am confident that Charles will continue to bring sound judgment and expertise to this important position, and will serve as an excellent representative of the agency in handling law enforcement issues that impact the safety and security of our volunteers." Prior to coming to the Peace Corps in 1996, Smith, 57, of Siliver Spring, Md., worked for nearly 10 years as the general counsel of the United States Institute of Peace. Smith served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia from 1964 to 1966, and received his law degree from Boston University School of Law and has taken graduate courses at Harvard University Law School. He holds a master\'s degree in English literature from Washington University in St. Louis and a bachelor\'s degree in French from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. Currently, more than 6,500 Peace Corps volunteers serve in 80 countries around the world, bringing clean water to communities, teaching children, helping start new small businesses, and preventing the spread of AIDS. Since 1961, more than 150,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps.

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