Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen visits Montenegro, Albania to launch new program

WASHINGTON – Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen and Montenegrin Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Pažin signed a historic agreement May 6 establishing a new Peace Corps program in Montenegro, the agency’s 142nd country of service.

“Today’s signing is a testament to the close partnership between the United States and Montenegro,” said Director Olsen, who met with the deputy prime minister in the capital Podgorica. “And it is a testament to our commitment to a common vision of a brighter future for Montenegro and its neighbors in the Western Balkans.”

Deputy Prime Minister Pažin said the Peace Corps program in Montenegro is another confirmation of the partnership, support and friendship of the U.S. Government and American people to Montenegro and its citizens.

“We see the service of the U.S. Peace Corps volunteers in Montenegro as another opportunity for Montenegrin and U.S. citizens to enrich their lives and to create friendships based on mutual understanding and shared values,” he said.

The Government of Montenegro invited the Peace Corps to establish a program in the country in August 2018. The program will be managed by the existing Peace Corps post in neighboring Albania.

The first group of volunteers is scheduled to depart in January 2020. The new volunteers will undergo three months of technical, cross-cultural and language training before starting two years of service in small, under-served Montenegrin communities, working alongside Montenegrin English teachers in primary schools.

Prospective applicants can view open positions for Montenegro on the Peace Corps website.

Also this week, Director Olsen traveled to Tirana, Albania, to meet with Prime Minister Edi Rama and President Ilir Meta and sign a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Education. Over the last 22 years, nearly 900 Peace Corps volunteers have taught in Albanian schools and worked with youth throughout the country.

Director Olsen’s visit to Tirana included a cookout with Peace Corps staff and volunteers and a close of service ceremony for 14 departing volunteers.

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About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, community economic development, agriculture, the environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today's global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 235,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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