Peace Corps Swears In New Country Directors

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 27, 2003—Today, the Peace Corps swore in six new Country Directors in a ceremony held at the Paul D. Coverdell Peace Corps Headquarters. The new Directors will be going to countries in the three Peace Corps regions of Africa, Europe, the Mediterranean and Asia, Inter-America and the Pacific.

Peace Corps Country Directors are responsible for management and direction of all aspects of the Peace Corps program in the country of assignment. The Country Directors support 50 to 225 volunteers. They lend their skills and energy to meet its development needs and promote a better understanding between the host country people and Americans.

The Directors assignments are as follows:

Africa Region
The Gambia
Dr. Diana Sloan spent two years with Peace Corps as a rural public health Volunteer in India. She brings with her a great deal of experience and knowledge in the areas of education and health. Her professional career experiences includes: Executive Dean at Antioch University Santa Barbara, Vice Chancellor of Education and Technology at Los Rios Community College, Vice President of Academic and Student Services at Lake Michigan College, Dean of Academic Affairs, Assistant Director of the Associate Degree Nursing Program and Nursing Professor at Santa Barbara City College, Teacher Corps in Wisconsin, and Public Health Nurse. Sloan earned a Nursing degree from the University of Connecticut, a Master\'s degree in Urban Education at the University of Wisconsin, and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Texas at Austin. She enjoys running, hiking, gardening, and watching foreign films.

Bob Wurmstedt served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon and has an impressive business background. He comes to the Peace Corps after 11 years as the Director of Communications and Publications at the Center for the New West, a development and market-orientated public policy research institute which he co-founded. He served as the founding Director of Corporate Communications at Global Commerce Systems, an Internet software startup. Wurmstedt was also the Director of Media Relations at US WEST. He was a correspondent and Bureau Chief for Time Magazine and Business Week. Wurmstedt has been a consultant in a variety of fields: technology, policy, media relations, and communication. He earned his undergraduate degree at University of Arizona and his MA at Ohio State University, where he also served on the Advisory Council of the OSU School of Journalism in the 1990s. He enjoys cross-country skiing, hiking, fly fishing, mountaineering, reading, and freelance writing in his spare time.

David Morris has spent most of his professional career with the National Park Service, including 5 years as a Park Ranger in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and most recently as Park Superintendent at Olympic National Park. He has been Park Superintendent at Crater Lake National Park, Oregon Caves National Monument, Canyonlands and Arches National Parks, Katmai National Park and Aniakchak National Monument (Alaska). He also worked for the National Park Service of Sri Lanka, and the National Park Service of Malawi, where he served as a Peace Corps volunteer. He participated in ecological evaluations and management plans for national parks all over the world, including the Virgin Islands National Park, the San Juan National Historic Site (Puerto Rico), and the Tortuguero National Park (Costa Rica). Morris received a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Management from San Jose State University. He completed graduate level coursework in secondary education and public administration. Morris and his wife, Judith, have two grown daughters.

Europe, the Mediterranean, and Asia Region
Norman Hickey come to Peace Corps/Georn, and Asia Region
Norman Hickey come to Peace Corps/Georgia with a wealth of leadership experience in governmental and international arenas. He served as Dean of the Graduate School of Public Administration at the Georgia Technical University in the Republic of Georgia. Prior to working in the Republic of Georgia, Norman worked for Research Triangle Institute/USAID as Chief of Party in Moscow. In this position, he served as an advisor to municipal governments in Moscow and elsewhere in Russia. He held senior administrative positions in half a dozen cities and counties in Florida and California beginning in 1962. Throughout his forty-five year career in government and international development, Hickey has worked in Vietnam where he helped organize civilian and military aid groups under one umbrella organization, and in Colombia on city development, urban, and industrialization issues. He is also a Fulbright Scholar.

Inter-America and the Pacific Region
This is Cindy Threlkeld\'s first staff position with the Peace Corps, but she isn\'t new to the agency. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana (86-88) and a decade later, came back to serve in Costa Rica (96-98). She is back again, this time as the Country Director for Peace Corps Guatemala. Threlkeld brings with her nine years of international development experience, seven of which were spent overseas, including two years with Catholic Relief Services in Ecuador and one year with Opportunity International in the Philippines. She spent ten years working in community-based home care for the disabled and elderly in Minnesota and seven years as executive director of an international center in Minnesota. Threlkeld has a BA in Sociology, an MA in Gerontology, and an MBA, with a concentration in the nonprofit sector. She loves the outdoors and enjoys hiking, bird watching, canoeing and sea kayaking, snorkeling and cross-country skiing.

East Timor
James Diego Hay is the first Country Director in the new Peace Corps post of East Timor. He arrived in East Timor on April 8, 2002, and has supervised the first group of third-year Volunteers working in Community Health Promotion and Local Governance Promotion. Prior to his current assignment, Hay worked as Program and Training Officer (PTO) in Paraguay from May, 1998, and acting Country Director from August, 2001. He returned to Paraguay after spending several years in that country as a Peace Corps volunteer, a Peace Corps Training Director, and an academic researcher. Before signing on as PTO, Hay worked with Peace Corps from 1994 as Training Director in Nicaragua, Project Director in Sri Lanka, and Expert Consultant for the Office of International Operations. Diego Hay is the author of the Sourcebook for Community-Based Training and other articles about CBT. His major focus for over four years was in assisting countries around the world to develop CBT programs of their own. James Diego Hay has a doctorate in development anthropology from the University of Florida.

Since 1961, more than 168,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health, HIV/AIDS education and awareness, 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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