Peace Corps Director Tschetter Celebrates First Anniversary

September 27, 2007

Director Ron Tschetter finishes the year with many accomplishments

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 27, 2007 - Peace Corps marks the one year anniversary of Director Ron Tschetter this week by recognizing his accomplishments during the course of a successful and productive first year.

A former Peace Corps Volunteer in India, Tschetter was in Africa this week visiting Volunteers in Niger and Burkina Faso. He has traveled extensively around the globe to see the work of Volunteers first-hand and to meet with host country government officials to highlight our partnership and gratitude.

The Director has visited 23 countries to date, including some locations never before visited by a Peace Corps Director, such as: Malawi, Bolivia, and Cape Verde. The Director has attended Peace Corps anniversary events in Niger, Paraguay, Cameroon, and the Dominican Republic. Also this year, Tschetter traveled to swear-in the first group of Volunteers to serve in Cambodia. Additionally, Tschetter has visited many of Peace Corps' regional recruiting offices across the United States.

One of the Director's main initiatives has been to attract and retain older Americans to serve in the Peace Corps. After conducting a survey of all currently serving 50+ Volunteers, he responded to the feedback and is transforming the agency to better integrate and increase the number of 50+ Volunteers. He has personally attended 50+ recruiting sessions around the country and seen great interest from the Baby Boomer generation to serve their country.

Director Tschetter has effectively spread the message that it's never too late to serve. This month at the AARP National Convention, Director Tschetter unveiled a new 50+ Web site geared specifically toward older Americans. Over the past year, the 50+ initiative has earned the attention of major national news outlets such as CNN, Boston Globe, Seattle Times, San Francisco Examiner, and Christian Science Monitor.

Director Tschetter has also used his first year to focus on minority outreach and expand Return Peace Corps Volunteer outreach efforts which promote, encourage, and sustain Peace Corps' mission and legacy of service. Director Tschetter realizes how important it is for our global neighbors to understand that America is a diverse nation with true blend of cultures and customs.

In addition to the 50+ website, the Director has improved outreach by launching two new websites to provide Americans with valuable resources and build cross-cultural understanding: the updated World Wise Schools Web site that contains educational resources for teachers and school children; and a new Teens Web site that promotes volunteerism in local communities and future Peace Corps service.

Over the past year, Tschetter also created the Office of Strategic Information, Research, and Planning (OSIRP) within the agency to better measure the impact of Volunteers in the field and the work done to support them here at home. This new office performs three key functions: performance planning and reporting; evaluation and measurement; and data management.

During his travels, the Director also hopes tg; evaluation and measurement; and data management.

During his travels, the Director also hopes to promote the spirit of volunteerism in host countries. During his first year, Director Tschetter created a Task Force to look at the many ways Peace Corps can encourage volunteerism in countries of service and here at home.

Looking forward, the Director will swear in new Volunteers in Ethiopia this December and continue visiting Peace Corps Volunteers and staff around the world. Tschetter's substantial achievements in his first year as Director are reflective of the vision that will guide Peace Corps into the future.

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