Peace Corps Director Addresses Environmental Protection Agency

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 8, 2002—Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez spent an afternoon in Philadelphia, PA, addressing the Hispanic Employees Program Advisory Council (HEPAC) of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Director Vasquez discussed the issues that the EPA and Peace Corps have in common, as well as his vision for Peace Corps in the 21st Century.

The Hispanic Employees Program Advisory Council (HEPAC) spearheads the diversity program in EPA Region III. Their mission is to create a working and recruiting environment to garner greater diversity in the EPA. To date their programs have been very successful, and they have approximately 13 percent minority employees within their region.
photo of Dottie Todd, an employee of EPA and mother of Cote d\'Ivoire volunteer Richelle Todd with Gaddi Vasquez
Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez with Dottie Todd, an employee of EPA and mother of Cote d\'Ivoire volunteer Richelle Todd.

The Director’s address was the closing event for HEPAC’s Hispanic Heritage Month program. Director Vasquez discussed the importance of diversity within the Peace Corps staff and volunteers.

“The image that many people all over the world have of America is gained through meeting Peace Corps volunteers. Therefore, it is one of Peace Corps goals to show the world that Americans are of all colors, of all faiths, of all backgrounds and origins,” said Director Vasquez.

Since 1961, more than 165,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health and HIV/AIDS, information technology, business development, the environment, and agriculture. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a two-year commitment.

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