Peace Corps Names New Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Congressional Relations

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 8, 2008 Peace Corps Director Ronald A. Tschetter announced today the appointments of Michelle K. Brooks as the new deputy chief of staff of the Peace Corps, and Gretchen Learman Burrier as the new director of congressional relations of the Peace Corps.

Since April 2004, Brooks has been serving as the director of congressional relations. She has been a member of the Peace Corps staff since May 2002, originally serving in the role of deputy director of congressional relations.

Prior to joining the Peace Corps staff, Brooks was the vice president of government relations for the Council of Federal Home Loan Banks in Washington D.C., and served as an advocate for the Manufactured Housing Institute. She also worked for eight years in California with the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association in state and local government relations, and two years with a Member of the California State Assembly. She has a degree in business administration and international management from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Michelle is an effective leader and has been a strong advocate for the Peace Corps, said Director Tschetter. I am delighted that she has accepted this position and am confident that she will do an outstanding job in her new role.

Tschetter also appointed Gretchen Learman Burrier to the position of director of congressional relations, effective immediately. Learman Burrier has been serving since November 2005 as the deputy director of congressional relations. She has also served as a co-chair of the Peace Corps 2006 Combined Federal Campaign, and as acting press director for the agency in September and October of 2006.

Before becoming a Peace Corps staff member, Learman Burrier worked on Capitol Hill for six years. She most recently worked for Congressman John Linder (R-GA) as communications director and legislative assistant handling international trade, foreign affairs, financial services, transportation, and resources. Gretchen also worked for former Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX) on the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and for Congressman Edward R. Royce (R-CA), among other key Capitol Hill positions. Originally from Los Angeles, Gretchen attended Villanova University in Penn., and has a Masters degree from the U.S. Naval War Colleges Washington, D.C. program.

Gretchen is a talented professional with strong Capitol Hill experience, and I am confident she will be an effective leader in this key role for the Peace Corps, said Director Tschetter.

The Peace Corps is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has programs in 74 countries around the world.

The Peace Corps is celebrating a 46-year legacy of service at home and abroad, and a 37-year high for Volunteers in the field. Since 1961, more than 190,000 Volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries where Volunteers have served. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.

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