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Peace Corps

1111 Twentieth Street NW., Washington, DC 20526


DIRECTORJosephine K. Olsen
Deputy Director(vacancy)
Chief of StaffMichelle K. Brooks
FinancialRichard Swarttz
InformationScott Knell

Civil Rights and DiversityJohn W. Burden
Victim AdvocacyDa Shawna Townsend

General CounselRobert Shanks
White House LiaisonMatthew McKinney
Global OperationsPatrick Young
Health ServicesKaren Becker
Safety and SecurityShawn Bardwell
Volunteer Recruitment and SelectionDavid Walker

Global Health and HIVMarie McLeod
Overseas Programming and Training SupportStephanie Rust
Peace Corps ResponseKweku Boafo
Strategic Information, Research, and PlanningJeffrey Kwiecinski, Acting

AfricaJohnathan Miller
Europe, Mediterranean and AsiaJeannette Windon
Inter-America and the PacificGregory Huger
External AffairsRachel Kahler
ManagementJeffrey Harrington

Chief Compliance OfficerAnne Hughes

CommunicationsMatthew Sheehey
Congressional RelationsNancy Herbolsheimer
Grants and Gifts ManagementKaren Roberts
Strategic Partnerships and Intergovernmental AffairsShannon Kendrick
Third Goal and Returned Volunteer ServicesKeith Honda

Executive SecretarySylvie Mortimer, Acting
Inspector GeneralKathy A. Buller

The above list of key personnel was updated 8–2019.

The above list of key personnel was updated 8–2019.

The Peace Corps gives the peoples of host countries increased access to volunteers who are qualified, skilled, and trained, and it strengthens mutual understanding between Americans and the peoples of the countries served.


President John F. Kennedy approved the Peace Corps Act on September 22, 1961. This Public Law became effective on that same day. Its declaration of purpose states: "It is the policy of the United States and the purpose of this Act to promote world peace and friendship through a Peace Corps, which shall make available to interested countries and areas men and women of the United States qualified for service abroad and willing to serve, under conditions of hardship if necessary, to help the peoples of such countries and areas in meeting their needs for trained manpower, and to help promote a better understanding of the American people on the part of the peoples served and a better understanding of other peoples on the part of the American people."

The Peace Corps Act has been amended since its enactment (22 U.S.C. 2501). Title VI of the International Security and Development Cooperation Act of 1981 (22 U.S.C. 2501–1) made the Peace Corps an independent agency.

The President appoints the Director and Deputy Director of the agency by the advice and with the consent of the Senate.


The Peace Corps consists of a Washington, DC, headquarters, six regional offices, and overseas operations in 62 countries, relying on more than 7,350 volunteers and trainees.

To fulfill the Peace Corps mandate, men and women are trained for a 9- to 14-week period in the appropriate local language, the technical skills necessary for their particular jobs, and the cross-cultural skills needed to adjust to a society with traditions and attitudes different from their own. Volunteers serve for a period of 2 years, living among the people with whom they work. Volunteers are expected to become a part of the community through their service.

Thousands of volunteers serve worldwide and work in six program areas: agriculture, business development, education, environment, health and HIV/AIDS, and youth development. Community-level projects are designed to match the skills of volunteers with the resources of host-country agencies and other international assistance organizations to solve specific development problems, often in conjunction with private volunteer organizations.

In the United States, the Peace Corps is working to promote an understanding of people in other countries. Through its World Wise Schools program, volunteers partner with elementary and junior high school students in the United States to encourage an exchange of letters, pictures, music, and artifacts. Participating students increase their knowledge of geography, languages, and different cultures, while gaining an appreciation for voluntarism.

The Peace Corps offers other domestic programs that rely on former volunteers. Working together with universities, local public school systems, and private businesses and foundations, these former volunteers help solve some of our Nation's most pressing domestic problems.

Sources of Information

Age Limit

The Peace Corps does not have an upper age limit, and spouses and partners can serve together. To learn more, visit the "Volunteering at 50–Plus" web page.

Becoming a Volunteer

The volunteer program has an online application portal.

Career Opportunities

Peace Corps vacancy announcements are posted online. Additional information is available from the Office of Human Resource Management. Phone, 202-692-1200.

The Peace Corps consistently ranks high among midsize agencies in the Partnership for Public Service's Best Places To Work Agency Rankings. In 2018, it ranked 6th among 27 midsize agencies.

Climate Change / Sustainability

The 2016 Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan identifies greenhouse gas reduction as one of its principal goals and includes an appendix on climate change resilience.

Contact Information

The "Contact Us" web page has key phone numbers and email addresses for contacting the Peace Corps. | Email:


Peace Corps volunteers serve in more than 60 countries.


The "Donate" web page lists and describes projects that donors can support.

Educator Resources

The Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools program provides online educational resources based on the Peace Corps experience.


The "Events" web page has a search tool for locating a nearby event by ZIP Code.


Curious to know how many Americans have been in the Peace Corps? On which continent most volunteers serve? To learn the answers to these questions and others, visit the "Fast Facts" web page.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The FOIA (5 USC 552) gives the public right to request records from a Federal agency. An agency must disclose the requested record as long as one of the law's nine exemptions does not shield the information from public disclosure.

The Peace Corps posts certain types of records that it creates on its website. A formal FOIA request is not necessary to access them. The Peace Corps also maintains a FOIA requester service center that can provide information on the status of a person's FOIA request.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The Peace Corps posts answers to FAQs on its website.

Global Initiatives

These programs promote AIDS relief, work to eliminate malaria, help local people assure their own food security, economically empower women, and support development projects in local communities.


At 2 a.m., before a crowd of 10,000 students, then Senator and Presidential candidate John F. Kennedy launched a new experiment in public service from the steps of the Michigan Union at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. To learn more about what happened early that morning of October 14, 1960, visit "The Founding Moment" web page.


The Office of Press Relations posts news—agency statements, media advisories, and press releases—on the Peace Corps website. | Email:

Open Government

The Peace Corps supports the Open Government initiative by promoting the principles of collaboration, participation, and transparency.


The Office of the Inspector General from the Peace Corps posts reports and data on, a text-searchable repository of reports that Federal Inspectors General publish. The Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency operates and maintains the website to increase public access to independent and authoritative information on the Federal Government.

Recruitment Offices

Contact information for Peace Corps recruitment offices is available online.

Social Media

The Peace Corps tweets announcements and other newsworthy items on Twitter.

The Peace Corps has a Facebook account.

The Peace Corps posts videos on its YouTube channel.


Peace Corps volunteers have stories to tell. Read and listen to them on the Peace Corps' website.

The Sources of Information were updated 8–2019.