August 1, 2002: Headlines: Peace Corps Directors - Vasquez: San Fransisco Examiner: Interview with Gaddi Vasquez

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Directors of the Peace Corps: Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez: Gaddi Vasquez: Archived Stories: August 1, 2002: Headlines: Peace Corps Directors - Vasquez: San Fransisco Examiner: Interview with Gaddi Vasquez

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Saturday, January 22, 2005 - 12:22 am: Edit Post

Interview with Gaddi Vasquez

Interview with Gaddi Vasquez

The core of the Peace Corps

Of The Examiner Staff

Formerly a vice president of public affairs for Southern California Edison and an Orange County supervisor, Gaddi Vasquez is now director of the Peace Corps. He was nominated by President George Bush and sworn in Feb. 15, 2002. Vasquez is the first Hispanic American to hold the position.

Nina Wu: What do you see as your role as director of the Peace Corps?

Gaddi Vasquez: One of the key roles is to provide the leadership in building a framework to grow and expand the Peace Corps in the 21st century. (The goal is to double the number of volunteers from 7,000 to 14,000 by the end of 2007.)

Q: There was controversy over your nomination because you weren't a Peace Corps volunteer yourself. Why do you think you're qualified?

A: I've been involved in community-based organizations and organizations that have done work overseas for a long, long time.

More importantly, I've always had an admiration for the Peace Corps. I was very young when I was struck by the mission and the honorable goals of the Peace Corps. But my economic conditions and my standing did not allow me to be able to serve in the Peace Corps.

Q: Did you want to join at one point in time?

A: I had a great interest because I thought it was one of the most honorable, decent things you could ever do.

I was a kid. I was struck by the peaceful message.

Q: How has the war on terrorism affected the morale of Peace Corps volunteers? Is there more fear or has it mobilized more people to join?

A: I think the response of Americans has been to seek out opportunities for service.

The Peace Corps is enjoying a dramatic increase in the number of applications because Americans, for the most part, want to contribute to the betterment of the world.

Q: What are the determining factors for whether or not the Peace Corps will reopen programs in Afghanistan and Pakistan?

A: It's not unique to Afghanistan and Pakistan, but in any country where we would consider placing volunteers, safety and security is priority one. Unless a country meets our criteria for safety and security, we will not place volunteers in that country.

Q: Will the Peace Corps be increasing its presence in the Islamic world?

A: We have always had a presence in the Islamic world.

About 23 percent of our volunteers serve in Muslim countries and, consequently, we have a presence and we will look forward to potential expansion in other Muslim countries.

Q: As the first Hispanic American to serve as director of the Peace Corps, do you feel that you represent that community?

A: I don't consider myself to be the Hispanic Peace Corps director. I consider myself to be the Peace Corps director who happens to be Hispanic.

Q: Your parents were farmworkers and you were the first family member to go to college.

A: They worked in the field. My mother was the one who believed that education was a path to achieving a better life and a better quality of life. Education was a significant priority.

She instilled in us a value system that required a commitment and discipline to education.

Q: When did you become a Republican?

A: As long as I can remember.


Leading the Peace

Age: 47
Hometown: Orange
Words to Live By: The testings of life are sent to make us and not to break us
College: Chapman University and University of Redlands
Major: Public service management
First Job: Police officer in Orange

When this story was posted in October 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Kerry reaches out to Returned Volunteers Kerry reaches out to Returned Volunteers
The Kerry campaign wants the RPCV vote. Read our interview with Dave Magnani, Massachusetts State Senator and Founder of "RPCVs for Kerry," and his answers to our questions about Kerry's plan to triple the size of the Peace Corps, should the next PC Director be an RPCV, and Safety and Security issues. Then read the "RPCVs for Kerry" statement of support and statements by Dr. Robert Pastor, Ambassador Parker Borg, and Paul Oostburg Sanz made at the "RPCVs for Kerry" Press Conference.

RPCV Carl Pope says the key to winning this election is not swaying undecided voters, but persuading those already willing to vote for your candidate to actually go to the polls.

Take our poll and tell us what you are doing to support your candidate.

Finally read our wrap-up of the eight RPCVs in Senate and House races around the country and where the candidates are in their races.

Director Gaddi Vasquez:  The PCOL Interview Director Gaddi Vasquez: The PCOL Interview
PCOL sits 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.

Plus the debate continues over Safety and Security.
Schwarzenegger praises PC at Convention Schwarzenegger praises PC at Convention
Governor Schwarzenegger praised the Peace Corps at the Republican National Convention: "We're the America that sends out Peace Corps volunteers to teach village children." Schwarzenegger has previously acknowledged his debt to his father-in-law, Peace Corps Founding Director Sargent Shriver, for teaching him "the joy of public service" and Arnold is encouraging volunteerism by creating California Service Corps and tapping his wife, Maria Shriver, to lead it. Leave your comments and who can come up with the best Current Events Funny?
 Peace Corps: One of the Best Faces of America Peace Corps: One of the Best Faces of America
Teresa Heinz Kerry celebrates the Peace Corps Volunteer as one of the best faces America has ever projected in a speech to the Democratic Convention. The National Review disagreed and said that Heinz's celebration of the PCV was "truly offensive." What's your opinion and can you come up with a Political Funny?

Read the stories and leave your comments.

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: San Fransisco Examiner

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



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.