Senator Norm Coleman Speaks at Peace Corps

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 15, 2003 – Today, Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez and staff welcomed Senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota, who spoke at the Paul D. Coverdell Peace Corps headquarters as part of the on-going Director’s Forum series. During his speech, Senator Coleman underscored his current efforts to increase funding for the Peace Corps according to the President’s State of the Union request.

“Nobody puts a better foot forward than America,” said Senator Coleman. “Nobody puts a better foot forward for America, nobody represents a truer portrait of who America can and should be, nobody can do that better than you, the United States Peace Corps. I’m ready to be your advocate. I’m ready to be your cheerleader, your coach, and your hard grading teacher. The importance of the work we are committed to together demands no less.”

Senator Coleman serves as the Chairman of the Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps, and Narcotics Affairs subcommittee, which authorizes the Peace Corps. In addition, the Senator is a member of four committees in the United States Senate: Foreign Relations; Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; Government Affairs, and the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. He is also the Chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

Senator Coleman is currently serving his first term in the United States Senate. Prior to his term in Washington, the Senator was Mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota, for eight years, served on the Board of Directors of the United States Conference of Mayors, and was a charter member of CEOs for Cities. Senator Coleman has also practiced law and served as Chief Prosecutor and Solicitor General for the state of Minnesota.

Previous Director Forum topics have included presentations by President Amadou Toumani Touré of Mali, President Alejandro Toledo of Peru, President Hipólita Mejía of the Dominican Republican, Congresswoman Northup of Kentucky, U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin, and John Bridgeland, Assistant to the President and Director of USA Freedom Corps.

Since 1961, more than 168,000 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.

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