Peace Corps Names New Congressional Relations Directors

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 13, 2004 – Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez recently announced the appointment of Michelle K. Brooks as the new Director of the Office of Congressional Relations and Courtney Weise as the new Deputy Director of the Office of Congressional Relations. Both have assumed their positions.

Brooks has been with the Peace Corps since May 2002, serving in the role of Deputy Director of the Office of Congressional Relations. Prior to joining the Peace Corps staff, she served as Vice President of Government Relations for the Council of Federal Home Loan Banks in Washington D.C., and as an advocate for the Manufactured Housing Institute. Brooks also worked for eight years with the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association (WMA) in state and local government relations, based in California, and two years with a Member of the California State Assembly. Brooks has a degree in business administration and international management from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

“Michelle brings to the agency a wealth of private and public sector experience, and I am confident she will be a strong and talented leader in this key role for the Peace Corps’ continued growth,” said Director Vasquez.

Weise has been with the Peace Corps since March 2003 serving as Special Assistant in the Office of Congressional Relations, with responsibilities that include planning and implementing strategies for working with Congress. Prior to joining the Peace Corps staff, Weise served as a Foreign Affairs Officer in the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, and also served on Capitol Hill for six years. Weise graduated Summa Cum Laude from Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Va. with a degree in international affairs.

“Our on-going positive interactions with Members of Congress are vital to the Peace Corps of the 21st century, and I have confidence that both Michelle and Courtney will help the Peace Corps continue to expand and reach new communities around the world,” said Director Vasquez.

Since 1961, more than 170,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health, HIV/AIDS education and prevention, 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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