August 4, 2004: PCOL Exclusive: Peace Corps Director Vasquez talks about his plans for the future

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Special Reports: December 3, 2004: Is Gaddi Leaving?: August 4, 2004: PCOL Exclusive: Peace Corps Director Vasquez talks about his plans for the future
Is Gaddi Leaving? Is Gaddi Leaving?
Rumors are swirling that Peace Corps Director Vasquez may be leaving the administration. We think Director Vasquez has been doing a good job and if he decides to stay to the end of the administration, he could possibly have the same sort of impact as a Loret Ruppe Miller. If Vasquez has decided to leave, then Bob Taft, Peter McPherson, Chris Shays, or Jody Olsen would be good candidates to run the agency. Latest: For the record, Peace Corps has no comment on the rumors.

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 12:59 pm: Edit Post

Director Gaddi Vasquez: The PCOL Interview - Your Accomplishments as Director

Director Gaddi Vasquez: The PCOL Interview - Your Accomplishments as Director

Director Gaddi Vasquez: The PCOL Interview - Your Accomplishments as Director

Your Accomplishments as Director

PCOL: When historians look back on your tenure as director I am sure they will talk about the infrastructure upgrades, the entry into Mexico, the reinstatement of programs like Peru, the improvements in safety and security, the community college program, and the expansion of the Peace Corps to its highest level in years. I wonder if you would elaborate on which of these accomplishments you personally consider most important or what other initiatives you think will be considered your most important as Director?

GV: I am not prepared to make such an assessment right now. First of all, you have to remember that I come from a family where we were taught that you work hard every day so that you have a job the next day. We don't rest on our laurels. The staff in Washington will tell you that just a few days ago I told them that not withstanding what is going on the world, it is still pedal to the metal. We are going to continue to work hard, and we're not done yet. So, it would be premature and early for me to talk in historical terms because I am not done.

PCOL: And that leads me right into my next question. Loret Ruppe Miller was the longest serving Peace Corps Director and many have said that her directorship was second to none except perhaps for Shriver, and that her longevity in office and her total commitment to the Peace Corps played a large part in her success and accomplishments. Assuming President Bush is re-elected, have you given any thought to staying on through his second term as Peace Corps Director to see your plans through and to have the same sort of impact that Ruppe Miller had on the Peace Corps? And if you don't stay on, how do you think your service as Peace Corps Director will influence your future work in the political arena or in any other area you may decide to work in?

 Your Accomplishments as Director

GV: Well, to give you another Vasquez quote that is part of our family tradition - we live life one day at a time and we don't spend too much time speculating on the future. I consider myself, first of all, blessed because number one, you are talking to someone who is a descendant of migrant farm workers. By all statistical odds, I probably shouldn't be sitting here talking to you as director of the Peace Corps. But, I am here today because I am a citizen of a great country where those of us who are sons or grandsons of immigrants can dream, and not only dream, but realize our dreams. For me, being director of the Peace Corps is the fulfillment of a great dream. To me, this job is the ultimate job that captures the essence of service to others.

I will tell you that two and a half years into this job, I walk into the building at 20th and L with probably more enthusiasm and energy than I did at the start of the two and a half years. I leave at the end of the day with a sense of accomplishment because I have seen the work of the volunteers, I have seen what they are doing overseas. It re-energizes me every time I go overseas to do my job more effectively, to do my job better. So, I am fortunate.

I would not even begin to speculate on what or how this experience has impacted me. I think a lot of times you don't realize how something has impacted you until you have been away from it. Then you reflect on the experience and you realize what a tremendous honor and privilege you have had. I can say with certainty right now, I think that the future is open. What I can reflect on right now, is every day. And every day, I reflect on the work that I have done that day - as a positive and fulfilling experience.

I believe that every one of my predecessors who has served as director has done a great job. Each one of them has faced a set of challenges, had been given a set of opportunities and has led the Peace Corps in different time spans that have brought different conditions in the world. But, we certainly live in a unique time in history. I certainly consider myself blessed to be in this position and I look forward to continuing my service until the time comes to a close.

Read our interview with Director Vasquez in this month's issue of PCOL Magazine:

Director Gaddi Vasquez: The PCOL Interview Director Gaddi Vasquez: The PCOL Interview
This month we sat down for an extended interview with Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez. Read the entire interview from start to finish and we promise you will learn something about the Peace Corps you didn't know before.

Then read the questions and answers one by one and leave your comments on the issues raised during the interview including Infrastructure Upgrades and the new Situation Room at Headquarters, Is there a Budget Crunch this year at Peace Corps, Peace Corps' Long Term Expansion, the Changes to the Five-Year Rule made last year, Safety and Security Issues, the Cooperative Agreement with NPCA, RPCVs in Policy Making Positions at Peace Corps Headquarters, Peace Corps' Departure from Russia in 2002, Director Vasquez's Accomplishments as Director, the Peace Corps Safety and Security Bill before Congress, Continuity at the Agency during Changes in Administration, the Community College Program, and the Director's Message to the Returned Volunteer Community.

Read the questions and answers and leave your comments.

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Story Source: PCOL Exclusive

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Peace Corps Directors - Vasquez



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