Peace Corps Swears-in New Country Directors
December 20, 2002WASHINGTON, D.C., December 20, 2002—Today, Peace Corps swore-in twelve 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 Regions of Africa, Europe, the Mediterranean and Asia, as well as 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 as they live and work in a developing country. 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:
Julie Donahue comes to Burkina Faso from Côte d'Ivoire where she served as Associate Peace Corps Director for Water-Sanitation-Environment and Small Business Development (SBD). She supported the work of 65 Volunteers and developed the new SBD project with government partners. Donahue served as Associate Peace Corps Director (APCD) for Health Education and Water/Sanitation in Mali from August 1998 until Dec. 2000. Prior to being appointed as APCD, she served as a budget analyst and foreign affairs specialist at the Department of Defense. Donahue received a Master's in Public Administration with a concentration in Development Administration from Northeastern University in 1996. She began her development career as a Water Resource Management Volunteer in Mali from 1991-1994 where she worked primarily in the area of Guinea Worm Eradication. She will be accompanied to Burkina Faso by her husband Zana Coulibaly and their daughters Mariam (2 years) and Sarah (6 months). Her family will arrive in Ouagadougou from Boston on January 3.
Europe, the Mediterranean, and Asia Region
New Country Director Bill Levine has been with the Peace Corps for two and a half years. His career includes Vice President of Abt Associates Inc.; Vice President of South-East Consortium for International Development; Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Assistant Professor of Political Science, Chicago City College; Peace Corps Training Officer (1964); and Peace Corps Volunteer Somalia (1962-1963). Levine holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh.
Bruce Cohen has been with the Peace Corps for 20 years. He began his career as a Volunteer in Tunisia from 1967-69, where he taught English as a foreign language (TEFL). He also spent 14 years in the Peace Corps recruitment office, starting as a recruiter in Indiana and moving on to become the manager of the recruitment offices in Miami and Atlanta, the Regional Service Center Director in Chicago, and the National Director of Recruitment in Washington, D.C. Cohen was also Peace Corps Country Director in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (then Zaire) and Senegal. After leaving the Peace Corps, he became Director of Americorps Recruitment at the Corporation for National Service, Director of International Programs including the Jewish Volunteer Corps at American Jewish World Service in New York, and Director of Volunteer Services at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Cohen's educational background includes a Bachelor of Science of Foreign Service from Georgetown University, and an M.A. in Western European Studies from Illinois State University.
Carl Hammerdorfer returns to the Peace Corps as a Country Director, although he began as a Volunteer in Mali, West Africa from 1988-90. His career includes President and Chief Executive Officer, Main Street Cooperative Group, Tempe, AZ (2001-Presenncludes President and Chief Executive Officer, Main Street Cooperative Group, Tempe, AZ (2001-Present); President and Chief Operating Officer, Cooperative Solutions, Tempe, AZ (2000-2001); Vice President Marketing, NegotiAuction, Fort Collins, CO; Director of Agribusiness and Trade, ACDI/VOCA, Fort Collins, CO; Regional Representative for Poland and the Baltics, ACDI/VOCA, Warsaw, Poland; Regional Desk Officer, ACDI/VOCA, Washington, DC; and Community Development Consultant, Cooperative Housing Foundation, Côte d'Ivoire. He holds an MBA from Colorado State University; Independent Study [1985-6] Ruprecht Karl's Universität, Heidelberg, Germany. He graduated with a BA in English Literature from Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.
Craig Heart has been with the Peace Corps for two and a half years and has been named the new Deputy Director for Peace Corps Russia. His Peace Corps career includes being a Program and Training Officer for the Kyrgyz Republic; Training Director and Technical Trainer in Kenya, Poland, Macedonia, and Turkmenistan; and Peace Corps Volunteer, Russia Far East (1995-98). He was also a Student Affairs Coordinator at Wheaton College, Norton, MA. He holds a Master of Education, Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration, University of Vermont, as well as a Bachelors of Business Administration, Marketing and Communications, University of Kentucky.
Helen Lowman has been with the Peace Corps for five years. She was named Country Director for Peace Corps China in May 2002. Prior to assuming this position, she served as the Associate Director for Environmental Programming and Training at Peace Corps China. In this position, she designed and implemented a new environmental education program. Previously, Lowman worked as a Section Manager, overseeing the Event Coordination and Education section of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC). Also with the TNRCC, she was program manager for the Clean Cities 2000 program and the Texas/Mexico Border Outreach project. She interned for one-year with Biotechna Environmental in London, England and was a Peace Corps Volunteer for approximately three years in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand. Her educational background includes a BA from Austin College, Texas, and an MA in International Economics and Development from Denver University.
John Williams returns to the Peace Corps as a Country Director, although he began as a Community Development Volunteer in Thailand (1965-67). His career includes President & CEO of Holt International Children's Services, Eugene, OR; Director of International Programs, Holt International, Eugene, OR; Director of Development, Holt International; Country Director/Thailand, Holt International Bangkok, Thailand; New Program feasibility studies for Holt International in Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, and The Philippines; Project Manager for Family Assistance Program, Holt International, Saigon, South Vietnam; self employed, tree service business, Raleigh, NC; and Refugee Resettlement Officer and Agricultural Development, USAID, Laos. He holds a BA in Sociology from Campbell University and an Honorary Ph.D. in Humanities from Northwest Christian College in Eugene, OR.
Terry Armstrong has been on and off with the Peace Corps for ten years. He was the Program and Training Officer for Peace Corps Romania from 2000 - 2002. From 1998-2000, he was the Country Director for the Institute for Sustainable Communities in Macedonia. From 1989 - 1997, Armstrong served successively as a Peace Corps Volunteer, a Peace Corps trainer and training director, a program designer, a programming and training specialist, and a training designer. From 1994-1997, he was the Programming and Training Specialist for startup Peace Corps posts in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyz Republic. Prior to volunteering with thelist for startup Peace Corps posts in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyz Republic. Prior to volunteering with the Peace Corps, Armstrong spent 15 years as a Principal Research Scientist for the American Institutes for Research. He applied the behavioral sciences in a variety of projects to improve quality of life. Armstrong’s educational background includes a BA in Psychology, MA in Experimental Psychology and a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Michigan.
Charles Childers is a new member to the Peace Corps family, and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the Suriname post. His career includes four years in the US Army Special Forces; two years Director of International Airport in Saudi Arabia and 20 years Senior Executive at Boeing Company. He holds a BA in Political Science, University of Washington and an MPA in Public Administration, University of Puget Sound.
Gordon D. Ferris returns to the Peace Corps as a Country Director, although he began as a Volunteer in Morocco (1981-83) where he taught carpentry in a vocational education school that he built with 3 other volunteers. His career includes working in affordable housing since 1989, first in Arlington, Virginia, and for the past 31/2 years as executive director of the Summit County Housing Authority in Breckenridge, Colorado. He was vice president of the Northern Virginia Habitat for Humanity affiliate for 5 years. Gordon holds degrees in Construction Management and Real Estate Development. He is a member of the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) and Friends of Morocco, National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO), and International Rotary Club. He and his wife Judy have three kids: Melissa (11), Gordon (8), and Allison (4).
Jean Lujan has been with the Peace Corps for four and a half years. She began her career with the Peace Corps as a Volunteer in Chile (1965-67). Her career experiences include working as a lawyer at US DOJ/EOIR, INS, Criminal Division; a business owner/manager of a bakery; Peace Corps Country Co-Director/Costa Rica (1980-83) and a teacher (1969-71). She holds a J.D. from Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, and a BA from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Ruben O. Hernandez's professional career has brought him to the Peace Corps with a wealth of experience and expertise. His career includes being an Engineer with Los Angeles Department of Water & Power; Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Hydro Engineering; TVA, Section Supervisor, Thermal Power Engineering; TVA, Group Head, Power Plant Civil/Structural Engineering; TVA, Project Manager, Nuclear Plant Seismic Qualification; TVA, Vice President (VP) Engineering Services, Resource Group; TVA, VP Land Management, River System & Environment (RSO&E); TVA, VP Resource Stewardship, RSO&E; Hernandez Group, Regional Development & Business Consultancy. He holds a BS in Engineering, University of California at Los Angeles; MS Civil Engineering, University of Southern California; and an MBA from the University of Tennessee.
Since 1961, more than 165,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health and HIV/AIDS education, 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.