May 27, 2004: Headlines: COS - Ecuador: NPCA: PCOL: Josh Busby is Candidate for NPCA Americas Country of Service Representative

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Ecuador: Peace Corps Ecuador : The Peace Corps in Ecuador: May 27, 2004: Headlines: COS - Ecuador: NPCA: PCOL: Josh Busby is Candidate for NPCA Americas Country of Service Representative

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Monday, May 31, 2004 - 6:36 pm: Edit Post

Josh Busby is Candidate for NPCA Americas Country of Service Representative

Josh Busby is Candidate for NPCA Americas Country of Service Representative

Last week the NPCA mailed out ballots for the election of eight new members of their Board of Directors - five regional and three country of service board positions. Seven of the positions are uncontested but for the first time in a long while, one of the board positions (The Americas Country of Service Region) is being sought by two candidates.

This is a very healthy development and one we hope to see more of in the future. These positions should be sought after because there are important things going on in the NPCA that should engage the organization's membership. "Peace Corps Online" does not take an editorial position on which of the two candidates is the better candidate. Both of them, Josh Busby and Maury Sterns, are fine candidates and both are qualified for the board position.

Since candidate statements on the NPCA ballot are so short, "Peace Corps Online" is providing an opportunity to both candidates to publish an extended biography and statement. Please read the candidates' statements, leave your comments, vote in the election, and send the candidate you prefer to the NPCA Board with a mandate to represent you and to work for the positions he has taken at:

Josh Busby (Friends of Ecuador), Candidate for Regional Representative, NPCA, *

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

Josh Busby (Friends of Ecuador), Candidate for Regional Representative, NPCA,

Vision for NPCA

 Josh Busby

I believe that NPCA has much untapped potential. My sense from having lived in Washington since 1999 is that NPCA has yet to develop the profile and prestige necessary to be influential on issues beyond defense of the Peace Corps and its budget. We have hundreds of thousands of RPCV's and many more friends of the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps is one of the most respected institutions of our government that has broad bipartisan support. Not only can NPCA serve to ensure the integrity of the Peace Corps and its mission, NPCA could play a role in shaping our government's policies on development and international aid. While we may not be able to develop the membership and influence of a Sierra Club or National Wildlife Federation as in the environmental arena, we could have a stronger group that has more members, resources, and a more influential voice on issues we care about.

To do that, we need to energize the membership potential in each of our RPCV groups, reaching out to family and friends of Peace Corps, immigrant communities and others. We need to take advantage of Internet technology to leverage our advocacy and fundraising potential. We need to mobilize younger cohorts of RPCV's, recently returned from service by offering them services they can use (job search support, health care, credit cards, etc.) as well as a compelling vision. We cannot just be about defending the budget of the Peace Corps. Issues like the AIDS pandemic demand that the NPCA has a strong voice.

In the Americas region, I am disturbed by the precarious state of democratization. I worry that the persistent skewed income distribution and the failures of governments to root out corruption are leading to a backlash in the region. I would hope that our groups in the region can help encourage the Administration to pay more attention to this part of the world, even as larger foreign policy challenges occupy much of the agenda.

Let me tell you a little bit more about myself and why I think I can help NPCA achieve that vision.

Academic Training

I am thirty-three years old and am currently finishing my PhD in Government at Georgetown University and am also a Research Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington. In the fall 2004, I will begin a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. My concentration is International Relations with specific interests in American foreign policy and relations between the U.S. and Europe. I have written extensively on climate change and debt relief in developing countries. Here is a link to my CV.

Friends of Ecuador

While in graduate school, I have been part of the effort to revitalize Friends of Ecuador. You can see our website that we have been working on with the collaboration of for about a year and a half. We are nearly ready to go live with this site which we hope will energize the Friends of Ecuador community. The site should help build a much larger network and allow us to stay connected to each other and to Ecuador. The site will offer a range of information services and opportunities for participation and to support grassroots development.

Committee for a New Peace Corps
 Josh Busby

I have also been part of efforts to support Peace Corps and the NPCA. I worked with Roger Landrum on the Committee for a New Peace Corps initiative that sought to influence the 2000 elections and subsequently to promote renewed RPCV engagement as part of legislation for expanding the numbers and support for the Peace Corps. We promoted the idea of an RPCV Innovation Fund that would support RPCV groups with matching grants. I also served in an informal capacity advising the NPCA on that legislation. I firmly believe that more could be done to tap the expertise and interest of RPCV's after their service has ended.

Ecuador 1997 - 99

I started the PhD program in 1999, just after COSing from Ecuador where I served from 1997-1999 as an agricultural extensionist. I had a number of projects while in Ecuador, including grassroots training workshops in crop diversification, small animal management, soil conservation, and organic agriculture. Perhaps the most successful project I was part of was an export project that ships organic quinoa, a traditional Incan "grain" from Ecuador to the U.S. and beyond. I brought American buyers, RPCV's Roy and Maggi Leventry of Inca Organics (, together with producers from Escuelas Radiofonicas Populares del Ecuador (ERPE). The best part of the project was that they soon no longer needed me, and production has increased from one container load of about 18 tons to twenty containers per year. Several thousand mostly indigenous farmers are beneficiaries. During my service in Ecuador, I was also President of the Voluntary Advisory Council.

British Marshall Scholar, Nicaragua

 Josh Busby

Prior to serving in Ecuador, I worked in Texas politics for a year (1996). Before that, I had two extended trips to Nicaragua (1996 and 1994), where I did some research and voluntary service with an agricultural cooperative. The research was for an undergraduate thesis for my second Bachelor's in Development Studies from the University of East Anglia, Norwich UK where I was a British Marshall Scholar. I also had the chance to spend summer 1995 in Uganda. My first bachelor's is in political science and biology from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.


In sum, I think I have the academic training, field experience, and understanding of NPCA and affiliate groups to help make a difference. I would welcome your support

Josh Busby

Read the Extended Biography and Statement of Candidate Maury Sterns

 Maury Sterns

Read the extended biography and statement by Maury Sterns here.

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Ecuador; NPCA



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