March 31, 2003 - Orange County Business Journal: Gaddi Vasquez a rising GOP star all over again

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2003: March 2003 Peace Corps Headlines: March 31, 2003 - Orange County Business Journal: Gaddi Vasquez a rising GOP star all over again

By Admin1 (admin) on Monday, April 28, 2003 - 1:52 pm: Edit Post

Gaddi Vasquez a rising GOP star all over again

Read and comment on this excerpt from a story in the Orange County Business Journal that says that Gaddi Vasquez looks like a rising GOP star all over again at:

Gaddi Makes Peace, Not War*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Gaddi Makes Peace, Not War

Gaddi Vasquez looks like a rising GOP star all over again.

The former OC supervisor, who resigned in 1996 following the county's bankruptcy, is relishing his role as George W. Bush's Peace Corps director, using his amiability and common touch to put a kinder, gentler face on America's hardened image overseas.

"We promote world peace and friendship ... We do not have any political agenda," an energized Vasquez told the Insider during a three-day swing through his home county.

Vasquez is trying to keep the Peace Corps out of harm's way, pulling his volunteers from Jordan and deciding Afghanistan is too dangerous to enter; Russia recently asked the corps to leave, and the agency won't be involved in rebuilding Iraq.

But Vasquez noted that 20% of his people work in Muslim countries, that funding and staffing are up and that the agency has a big role in Bush's $15 billion African AIDS initiative.

Security is an increased concern, of course, with more time and resources devoted to training volunteers on how to avoid trouble.

Vasquez said he gets calls from worried parents of Peace Corps workers, who must sometimes be gently reminded that their "kids" are adults who don't want to be sent home.

Vasquez also is spreading the OC story, explaining to people he meets that the place often confused with Los Angeles is a distinct "God's Country."

Vasquez said L.A.-envy did not play into his recent decision to move the Peace Corps' regional office out of downtown L.A.-the new El Segundo location is just closer to LAX and the freeways ...

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