Wednesday: Peace Corps to Honor AARP CEO, Six Outstanding Returned Volunteers with the 2014 Franklin H. Williams Award

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 6, 2014 – Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet will honor AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins and six returned Peace Corps volunteers with the Franklin H. Williams award on Wednesday, Oct. 8, during a 5:30 p.m. ceremony at Peace Corps Headquarters. The award honors returned volunteers from ethnically diverse backgrounds who exemplify an ongoing commitment to community service and Peace Corps’ third goal of promoting a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

“In memory of Franklin H. Williams, we honor some of the brightest stars in our Peace Corps family who are incredible champions of our mission at a time when the Peace Corps has never mattered more,” Hessler-Radelet said. “These extraordinary individuals embody what the Peace Corps is all about – a lifelong commitment to service, social justice and cross-cultural understanding.”

The following returned Peace Corps volunteers will receive the 2014 Franklin H. Williams award, selected from each of Peace Corps’ six regional recruitment territories nationwide.

  • Trudy Anderson of Morganton, North Carolina (served in Morocco, 1987-1989)
  • Manuel Colón of Urbana, Illinois (served in Paraguay, 2010-2012)
  • Emily Ellison of Gallup, New Mexico (served in China, 2009-2011)
  • Alexandra Escobar of Long Beach, California (served in China, 2012-2013)
  • Ferney Giraldo of The Bronx, New York (served in Guatemala, 2008-2010)
  • Hugh Williams of Atlanta, Georgia (served in Sierra Leone, 1974-1976)

Director Hessler-Radelet will present the Director's Award to AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins for her continued support of the Peace Corps mission and her steadfast commitment to the cause of peace and civic involvement. As CEO of AARP, Jenkins oversees the world’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization dedicated to social change and helping people 50 and over improve the quality of their lives. In 2011, the Peace Corps and AARP announced a partnership to connect older people with more service opportunities in the United States and abroad. Currently, about 8 percent of Peace Corps volunteers are age 50 and over, and they bring a wealth of life skills and professional experiences to their service that allow them to make an instant impact in communities around the world.

Prior to joining AARP, Jenkins served as chief operating officer at the Library of Congress and held roles in agencies across the federal government, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Department of Transportation. She is a past recipient of the Black Women’s Agenda Economic Development Award, a Malcolm Baldrige Fellow, and one of The NonProfit Times’ Power & Influence Top 50 for 2013 and 2014.

“I am honored to receive this award and equally as grateful to share it with the other honorees who through their selfless acts have helped to better our society worldwide,” said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins. “The Franklin H. Williams award is significant because it embodies the very core of AARP’s mission and the basis on which we were founded – ‘to serve and not to be served.’”

Franklin H. Williams award ceremony

Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet, AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers

5:30-6:30 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014

Peace Corps Headquarters at 1111 20th Street NW, Washington, D.C.

Media interested in attending this event should RSVP to [email protected].

For more information about the award winners, click here.

About the Franklin H. Williams Award:
Franklin H. Williams was an early architect of the Peace Corps. He worked at the agency from its inception in 1961 to 1963 and helped Sargent Shriver, the first Peace Corps director, to promote the agency and its programs to the world. Williams’ exceptional public service career included positions as Peace Corps Regional Director for Africa, U.S. Representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and U.S. Ambassador to Ghana.

Williams was also a brother of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity for African Americans. Earlier this year, the Peace Corps and Alpha Phi Alpha signed a partnership agreement to promote service and help fraternity members access volunteer and higher-education opportunities through the Peace Corps.

Since the first Franklin H. Williams award ceremony in 1999, 107 outstanding returned Peace Corps volunteers have received the award.

About the Peace Corps: As the preeminent international service organization of the United States, the Peace Corps sends Americans abroad to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Peace Corps volunteers work at the grassroots level with local governments, schools, communities, small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. When they return home, volunteers bring their knowledge and experiences – and a global outlook – back to the United States that enriches the lives of those around them. President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961 to foster a better understanding among Americans and people of other countries. Since then, more than 215,000 Americans of all ages have served in 139 countries worldwide. Visit to learn more.

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