Charles R. Baquet III, A Retrospective

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2001: 10 October 2001 Peace Corps Headlines: October 3, 2002: Who is Lloyd Pierson?: October 3 - Charles Bacquet resigns. Who is leading the Peace Corps?: Charles R. Baquet III, A Retrospective

By Admin1 (admin) on Tuesday, October 30, 2001 - 10:30 am: Edit Post

Charles R. Baquet III, resigned at Acting Director the Peace Corps on October 1. Mr. Baquet served as a volunteer in Somalia, in the United States Foreign Service, and since 1994 as Deputy Director of the Peace Corps.

Peace Corps Online wants to take this opportunity to recognize Mr. Baquet's years of service to the Peace Corps and thank him on behalf of the entire RPCV community. The following messages give a brief overview of his distinguished career.

We begin with the official biography of Mr. Baquet from the Peace Corps Web Site and we invite rpcvs who knew or worked with Mr. Baquet to leave their own messages for him at the bottom of the page:

Official Biography

On March 26, 1994, Charles R. Baquet III was sworn in as the Deputy Director of the Peace Corps. Nominated by President Clinton and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Baquet began his career in public service by serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Somali Republic from 1965 to 1967. After completing his Peace Corps service, Baquet went on to pursue a long and distinguished career in the Foreign Service, working in Asia, North America, Africa, and Europe. Baquet assumed the position of Acting Director of the Peace Corps in January 2001.

While serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Somalia, Baquet worked at a boys' school teaching social studies and English. When he returned to the United States in 1967, he joined Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), a domestic version of the Peace Corps. A year later, he joined the Foreign Service and began pursuing a career in diplomacy.

Baquet served at a variety of posts around the world, including Paris, Hong Kong, and Beirut. From 1988 to 1991, he served as the U.S. Consul General at the American Embassy in Cape Town, South Africa, where he witnessed the end of apartheid and the birth of South Africa's democracy. In 1991, President Bush appointed Baquet to become the U.S. Ambassador to Djibouti, where he served until his return to the Peace Corps.

Baquet, 59, received a B.A. in history and English literature from Xavier University in New Orleans. He earned his M.A. in public administration from the Maxwell School of Government at Syracuse University.

Baquet is a member of the American Foreign Service Association, African-American Ambassador's Association, and Rotary International

Ambassador Baquet speaks with UCSC student Melanie Sheldon before her depature for Cape Verde to work as a Peace Corps volunteer.

Photo courtesy UCSC

By Admin1 (admin) on Tuesday, October 30, 2001 - 10:36 am: Edit Post

A story on Charles Baquet from Florida State University:

Head of Peace Corps in Florida to Recruit Minorities

Head of Peace Corps in Florida to Recruit Minorities

By Kitty Gretsch

When Charles Baquet, started his career as a high school social studies teacher in New Orleans, no one would have suspected he would one day travel the world, become a US ambassador, and personally witness Nelson Mandella's release from prison. But Charles Baquet wanted to see the world. A year of sack lunches and a squeaking chalk boards was all it took to inspire him to take his fate into his own hands and hit the road with the Peace Corps as a volunteer to Somalia.

The Florida Office of Collegiate Volunteerism (FOCV) is sponsoring Peace Corps Deputy Director, Charles R. Baquet III's visit to Tallahassee this week. Today, 29 travel-heavy years after he first packed his bags for Africa, Charles Baquet is the Deputy Director of the Peace Corps. (That's like being the head of IBM, only President Clinton had to give the nod when Chuck grabbed the baton). He served as US Ambassador to Djibouti from 1991-1993. Before that, he was the U.S. Consul General in Cape Town, South Africa.

Baquet's primary mission in town is to recruit FAMU, FSU and TCC's minority students for the Peace Corps, something that has never been done before. Baquet wants students to know that working with the Peace Corps is more than life trapped in a John Lennon song. The Peace Corps has something unique to offer: a chance to change the world. Imagine, this former high school teacher stood ring-side, shaking Nelson Mandella's hand, as apartheid was snuffed out and democracy first came to South African. He wanted to see world change; through his work with the Peace Corps, he saw world change.

Now that he's back in the US, Baquet's main mission is to pass the word to minority students who haven't considered the Peace Corps as a viable career path. Baquet believes the Peace Corps gave him the experience and the confidence to become a foreign service officer, working in embassies in Paris, Hong Kong and Beruit, before going to South Africa. Now, he wants to help others to reap the same rewards.

A minority himself, Baquet participated in the first minority group to train for the foreign service. Now he is the Peace Corps principal affirmative action/ equal opportunity officer. In 1994, the year he became Deputy Director, less than 10% minorities served as Peace Corps senior staff overseas. Today, 40% minorities and women are represented worldwide. During Chuck's time in office, minority representation among volunteers moved up from 9% to 16%. And he hopes students in Tallahassee will help those numbers continue to rise. He explained,"I want to make sure as many minorities as possible will benefit from the experiences and opportunities I have enjoyed as a result of my Peace Corps service."

--Kitty Gretsch is Editor of Volunteer 101, published by the Florida Office of Collegiate Volunteerism (FOCV).

Volunteer101©, is a product of the Florida Office of Collegiate Volunteerism

By Admin1 (admin) on Tuesday, October 30, 2001 - 10:38 am: Edit Post

A story that features Mr. Baquet from the Department of State on the Peace Corps - Foreign Service Connection:

The Peace Corps - Foreign Service Connection

Throughout its 38-year history, the Peace Corps has been a fertile training ground for the Foreign Service--the foundation on which many members of today's Foreign Service have based their careers.

Ambassador Charles Baquet III, a 31-year Foreign Service officer detailed as the Peace Corps' deputy director since 1994, estimates that 10 percent of the Foreign Service has served as Peace Corps volunteers. "There's a very natural connection between the Peace Corps and the Foreign Service," he said. "Both offer the opportunity to live overseas and an awakening to other cultures."

As a young man in New Orleans, Ambassador Baquet used to stay up into the early morning hours enthralled by stories of his cousin's time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia. "I realized that the experience had changed him," the ambassador reflected. "He was focused and had a set of goals that he was moving toward."

Ambassador Baquet said he wanted that same sense of direction in his life, so he took the Peace Corps test and spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Somalia. During the assignment, he traveled throughout Africa and gained a strong appreciation for its cultures while carrying out what he calls "diplomacy at the grassroots."

The Peace Corps, he explained, is an intensive cross-cultural experience, allowing volunteers to "get into the culture actively, not passively." Peace Corps volunteers work to better the lives of disadvantaged people, helping them improve their educational, business, environmental, agricultural, health, nutrition and community development programs.

By Admin1 (admin) on Tuesday, October 30, 2001 - 10:40 am: Edit Post

A news release from Tulane University on Mr. Baquet's interest in Public Health:

U.S. Ambassador Visits Tulane University Medical Center's School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

U.S. Ambassador Visits Tulane University Medical Center's School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

New Orleans, Louisiana - New Orleans native, U. S. Ambassador and Peace Corps Deputy Director Charles R. Baquet, III, will speak at the Tulane University Medical Center's School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine's Peace Corps 2000 Forum.

This Forum will feature returned Peace Corps volunteers and current Master's International Students.

About the Ambassador

Charles Baquet grew up in New Orleans and is a graduate of Xavier University. He was nominated by President Bill Clinton to be the Peace Corps Deputy Director and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 1994. He brought a long and distinguished career with him as a Foreign Service officer. Baquet said that the Peace Corps is the best foreign service job there is. "The Peace Corps is a people-to-people agency. That's what real diplomacy is all about."

Baquet has a special interest in Tulane's School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (SPHTM) since the school has the largest Peace Corps Internationalist program in the country. In 1995, for the first time ever the Peace Corps was able to fill all their requests for health positions around the world, largely because of the Tulane program.

Baquet joined the Peace Corps as a young Xavier graduate. He went to the Somali Republic as a volunteer from 1965 until 1967. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Djibouti from 1991 until 1993. He also was the U. S. Consul General in Cape Town, South Africa, from 1988 to 1991. As a Foreign Service Officer, Baquet has worked in American embassies in Paris, Hong Kong, and Beirut.

A former high school social study's teacher, Baquet was also a program officer for VISTA (Office of Economic Opportunity) between his Peace Corps service and entry to the Foreign Service. He received a B.A. from Xavier and an M. A. in Public Administration from Syracuse University.

By ejprebis on Sunday, December 02, 2001 - 1:26 am: Edit Post

Dear Chuck--
I want to add my thanks for your terrific support of the Peace Corps, its ideals and all its volunteers during your many years of service. A great job!!!
Jack Prebis

By on Tuesday, January 14, 2003 - 10:15 pm: Edit Post

I don't agree. I think the man above as Peace Corps Director did not take resposibility. Many young and old volunteers had safey issues which he did not address properly. He also did not reform attrition rates or felt it was a priority.

He also did not treat my family well.

Sorry, that is the truth from my perspective.

By Juliet on Saturday, February 01, 2003 - 7:13 pm: Edit Post

Hi there
I am a young, free spirited and willing to commit to a full time job position for peace corps. I am from cape town and currently travelling around the US.
I would like if possible any info you have as i am on a tourist visa and i dont think any organization in the US or Europe would sponosr a visa.
I thank-you kindley
Juliet Schneider

Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.