What's the Alternative to Gaddi Vasquez?

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Directors of the Peace Corps: Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez: The Gaddi Vasquez Nomination to Peace Corps Director: SPECIAL REPORT: Bush's Choice to Lead the Peace Corps. Is he Qualified?: What's the Alternative to Gaddi Vasquez?

By Admin1 (admin) on Thursday, November 01, 2001 - 10:08 am: Edit Post

What's the Alternative to Gaddi Vasquez? RPCVs should not just say that they don't want Gaddi Vasquez as the next Peace Corps Director. They should be prepared to present an alternative. They should be prepared to make a positive contribution to the discussion. Hopefully when Mr. Vasquez withdraws his nomination or his confirmation is defeated, the RPCV community will be prepared to present a list of qualified candidates who are acceptable to the White House.

Here's one potential candidate who is not only qualified but would meet the administration's political objectives. We're sure there are other good candidates. Read the message below from John Coyne of the Peace Corps Writers and give your opinion in the links above.

We have received several emails from RPCVs saying words to the effect of, "well, if you don't want Gaddi Vasquez, do you have anyone better?". Actually we have several dozen RPCVs who are more qualified than the former California police officer, Mr. Vasquez.

However, the selection of the next director belongs to the White House, We only ask, as RPCVs who care about the Peace Corps, that the Director be qualifed for the position. That is all we asked.

However, for those of you who want names, and as a help to the White House, here is one person we think would be an outstanding Director. I have followed the President's lead in:

(1) picking someone from Southern California,
(2) a Hispanic,
(3) a Republican.

As far as we know the White House has not contacted him, nor has he put his name forward. Others should.

A great candidate for the position of Director of the Peace Corps is: Refugio Rochin.

Refugio is an RPCV who served in Colombia from 1962-64. Refugio was born in Southern California. His father was a farm worker.

He has a BA in Economics from Berkeley, a MS from the University of Arizona in Agricultural economics, with a minor in Anthropology. He has another MA in Communication from Michigan State, and a PhD from Michigan State in Agricultural Economics and International Development. His Phd dissertation is on "A Micro-economic Analysis of Smallholer Response to High-yielding Varieties of Wheat in West Pakistan."

He has lived and worked in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Gaza and the West Bank, Nigeria, South Korea, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Barbados, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Dominica, and Antigua, West Indies.

He has written over 100 books and articles since 1970, listed as one of the "Nation's Top 100 Hispanic Influentials" by Hispanic Business, Inc.

He is bilingual in Spanish and English, and studied, Urdu, Korean, Arabic and Portuguese.

He has also been a college dean, professor, chair of Chicana and Chicano Studies, and developed the Midwest Consortium for Latino Research, the largest research center for the studies of Latinos in the Midwest.

A father and grandfather, he is also a cyclist.

Since 1997, he has been the Chief Administrator of the Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives and Fund for Latino Initiatives.

That's just one candidate. The Returned Peace Corps Volunteer community has many, many more talented people to head the agency. Many are Republicans.

John Coyne

The Committee for the Future of the Peace Corps
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