This week, the Peace Corps is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Peace Corps Response, which was founded by HWS President Mark D. Gearan, former Director of the Peace Corps from 1995 until 1999.
Formerly called Crisis Corps, Peace Corps Response sends experienced professionals on short-term, high-impact service assignments in communities across the globe. When the Peace Corps establishes new programs and partnerships, Peace Corps Response Volunteers are often the first on the ground, offering a primary line of aid in critical international circumstances. Since its founding on June 19, 1996, Peace Corps Response has fielded more than 2,900 volunteers in three to 12-month assignments in more than 80 countries.
“What the Peace Corps achieved during my tenure as director, and where the organization has come in the years since, including the growth and success of Peace Corps Response, remains one of my proudest accomplishments,” says Gearan.
Established in 1961, the Peace Corps dispatches thousands of volunteers abroad each year to serve at the grassroots level and develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth development. After completing the highly selective and prestigious program, Peace Corps alums often become leaders in their chosen fields, frequently related to public service and international affairs.
Hobart and William Smith have other longstanding and ongoing ties with the Peace Corps, with a number of alumni and alumnae currently serving or embarking soon as international volunteers with the preeminent international service organization of the U.S.