2011.04.08: April 8, 2011: Honduras RPCV Jon Carson Appointed Deputy Assistant to President Obama and Director of the Office of Public Engagement

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Honduras: Special Report: Organizer and Honduras RPCV Jon Carson: 2011.04.08: April 8, 2011: Honduras RPCV Jon Carson Appointed Deputy Assistant to President Obama and Director of the Office of Public Engagement

By Admin1 (admin) ( on Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 9:16 am: Edit Post

Honduras RPCV Jon Carson Appointed Deputy Assistant to President Obama and Director of the Office of Public Engagement

Honduras RPCV Jon Carson Appointed Deputy Assistant to President Obama and Director of the Office of Public Engagement

White House Chief of Staff William M. Daley has announced that Honduras RPCV Jon Carson will lead the Office of Public Engagement, filling the vacancy left by Tina Tchen, who became first lady Michelle Obama's chief of staff. Carson's title is Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Public Engagement. Carson reports to Valerie Jarrett, Senior Adviser to the President, and his office is next to hers on the second floor of the West Wing.

Honduras RPCV Jon Carson Appointed Deputy Assistant to President Obama and Director of the Office of Public Engagement

White House Chief of Staff William M. Daley has announced that Honduras RPCV Jon Carson will lead the Office of Public Engagement, filling the vacancy left by Tina Tchen, who became first lady Michelle Obama's chief of staff. Carson's title is Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Public Engagement. Carson reports to Valerie Jarrett, Senior Adviser to the President, and his office is next to hers on the second floor of the West Wing.

The Office of Public Engagement seeks to allow the views of the ordinary American citizen to be more readily heard within the administration. The Office also seeks to coordinate events that bring members of the administration in contact with members of the public. The "town-hall" style meetings held by President Barack Obama since being elected are an example of this policy at work. The Office also acts as a cheerleader for the administration and seeks to ensure, along with the Office of Communications, the coordination of the administration message amongst different departments in order to ensure full and balanced exposure.

On April 15, President Obama met with twelve young leaders from across the country that are in town for Power Shift 2011, a youth clean energy and climate summit being attended by over 10,000 people and seated next to Obama at the meeting is Carson, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Public Engagement. The young leaders described the meeting as positive and expressed excitement about working with the Administration to transition America to 100% clean energy and protect the Clean Air Act. The young people expressed concerns with aspects of Obama's energy policy, particularly ongoing reliance on dirty energy sources like coal, nuclear, and natural gas. The young leaders also voiced concerns about continued subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. The President reminded the young leaders that they have the power to change this country. Grassroots organizing in communities and states will help move our nation on energy and climate.

National Field Director for the Obama Campaign

On June 16, 2008 the Obama campaign announced that Carson had been named national field director for the campaign. The field department focuses on the "on-the-ground" organizing that is required in order to personally contact voters through canvassing, phone calls, and building local events. Voter contact helps construct and clean the campaign's voter file in order to help better target voter persuasion and identify which voters a campaign most wants to bring out on election day. Field is generally also tasked with running local "storefront" campaign offices as well as organizing phone banks and staging locations for canvasses and other campaign events.

Peace Corps Online

Carson was part of the team that made the decision to go after small caucus states where Clinton had virtually no presence realizing that the cost-per-delegate in caucus states was very low. "I remember the day when we said, ‘'Look at this, we could win more delegates in Idaho than in New Jersey,'" Carson said.

Carson helped put an organization in place that was a traditional field organization in terms of staff and volunteers but had unique features in terms of data management, the use of the internet, the scale of the organization, the use of "super volunteers," and the field information campaign.

At one point in the general election campaign, David Plouffe, the campaign manager for the Obama campaign, considered stepping down for personal reasons and recommended to David Axelrod, that Carson could fill in for him.

"My wife had decided to leave Chicago and return to Washington in August [2008]," wrote Plouffe in his campaign biography The Audacity to Win, "in order to be with family and old friends for the last months of her pregnancy, and to allow our son to settle into a new hometown and start preschool with the rest of his class. Unfortunately the home we would be moving back into was being renovated, meaning my four-year-old and his extremely pregnant mother would spend two months staying with various Mends and family, hoping the house would be ready before the baby came. I knew it would be tough and I couldn't stomach not being there to help. Barack was not happy with my decision. He had come to lean on me and we had developed a solid relationship. There was also a comfort factor; with everything else Obama needed to do. he did not want to have to adjust to a new manager to boot."

"I thought perhaps Jon Carson, who had masterfully managed our slate operations in the primary, could step in. I tried to get Ax's approval on this, and he shrugged his shoulders. ‘Sure, Carson would be great. But you're not going to leave as manager. Obama simply won't allow it.' Barack told me to hire as many people as I wanted to help ease the load but insisted I stay in place as manager, driving and making big decisions as others handled more execution. "I just want to know you are managing the process," he said, "and ultimately making the big strategic decisions. And I want to keep the relationship you and I have had, talking through everything every day."

Carson's Peace Corps Service in Honduras

In 2004 Carson and his wife-to-be Rebecca joined the Peace Corps and served as Peace Corps volunteers in Honduras where he built water systems and taught surveying. Carson had met his wife while working on the Gore campaign in 2000 and they became engaged while they were serving in Honduras as Peace Corps volunteers. The Carsons returned to the United States upon completng their Peace Corps service in 2006.

Peace Corps Online

Carson lived and worked in southern Honduras in the city of Choluteca (above). Carson worked for Action Against Hunger and Plan International, both international NGO's that work with water and sanitation. While in the Peace Corps, Carson conducted topographic surveys, designed small-scale potable water systems and organized a class on topographic surveying for local Hondurans who work in water and sanitation. Carson was able to acquire donated surveying equipment from Wisconsin to help local residents better access drinking water.

Carson says his Peace Corps experience helps him in politics because he recognizes that he speaks Spanish "like a gringo" so "knowing his limitations while communicating his intentions, serves as a metaphor for his approach" to communications in politics.

Carson's Early Life and Education

Carson was born in Chaseburg, Wisconsin, a village in Vernon County, with a population of 306, located about 15 miles southeast of La Crosse, Wisconsin, the nearest large city with a population of 50,000. Carson was born in the mid-1970's and grew up on his family's farm outside of Chaseburg. Carson's father, Glenn Carson, was a member of the Westby School Board for 15 years.

Carson majored in civil engineering at University of Wisconsin-Platteville graduating in May, 1998. Carson minored in Spanish and spent a semester studying in Spain. While at Platteville Carson got involved with tuition issues and was eventually elected President of the student senate. Carson said in 1997 during his senior year in college that he was aiming at a career that would combine political skills with environmental engineering. "I'd love to be a negotiator at something like the global warming conference that's going on in Kyoto, Japan," said Carson. Carson wrote his application essay for a Rhodes Scholarship about environmental issues and politics and his interviewers in Madison asked him to compare the effect of politics on the ozone crisis and on global warming.

Learn More about Jon Carson

In December 2008, "Peace Corps Online" proposed Carson as our candidate for Peace Corps Director.

Read the complete biography of Jon Carson that we have been compiling for the past two years at "Research and Ideas."

Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: April, 2011; Peace Corps Honduras; Directory of Honduras RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Honduras RPCVs; Politics; Presidents - Obama

When this story was posted in May 2011, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers RSS Feed

 Site Index Search PCOL with Google Contact PCOL Recent Posts Bulletin Board Open Discussion RPCV Directory Register

Congress Holds Hearings on Sexual Assault Date: May 15 2011 No: 1518 Congress Holds Hearings on Sexual Assault
Congress held hearings on the sexual assault of Peace Corps volunteers. Read the testimony of returned and current Peace Corps volunteers on how the problem is still ongoing, and not limited to any particular country or region. Director Williams says that "it has become apparent to me that the Peace Corps has not always been sufficiently responsive or sensitive to victims of crime and their families. I sincerely regret that." Read what the Peace Corps is doing to address the issue.

Peace Corps: The Next Fifty Years Date: March 8 2011 No: 1513 Peace Corps: The Next Fifty Years
As we move into the Peace Corps' second fifty years, what single improvement would most benefit the mission of the Peace Corps? Read our op-ed about the creation of a private charitable non-profit corporation, independent of the US government, whose focus would be to provide support and funding for third goal activities. Returned Volunteers need President Obama to support the enabling legislation, already written and vetted, to create the Peace Corps Foundation. RPCVs will do the rest.

March 1, 2011: The First PCVs Date: February 27 2011 No: 1495 March 1, 2011: The First PCVs
Bob Klein writes: First PCVs Arrive in Ghana 22 Feb
Hugh Pickens says PC to Win Nobel Peace Prize 22 Feb
Patricia McKissick sees history unfolding in Cairo 12 Feb
Bruce Rosen Leads Lawsuit Against Iran 10 Feb
Claudia Jayne teaches Sewing in Fiji 9 Feb
Michael Snarskis Discovered Ancient Civilizations 4 Feb
John Freivalds writes: Egypt compared to Iran in 1970's 2 Feb
Ted Poe to investigate PCV Sexual Assault Victims 31 Jan
Peter DiCampo takes Flashlight Portraits of Ghana 25 Jan
Lyn Wright Fogle says Learning new Language Transforms Us 25 Jan
Shanti A. Parikh Examines Structures of Gender Inequality 21 Jan
Ann Sheehan writes: Hearing Sarge sent me to Africa 20 Jan
Laurence Leamer writes: I remember Sarge as he was 19 Jan
Jim Fedako writes: What stands in way of rebuilding Haiti? 17 Jan
Peace Corps Evacuates PCVs from Niger 17 Jan
Sean Smith quits Hollywood for Peace Corps 17 Jan
Peace Corps Malaysia Prgoram to be Re-instated 15 Jan
Brian Buckley co-owns Innisfree Poetry Bookstore 13 Jan
Rob Prince writes: Tunisia explodes 13 Jan
Pancho Lane writes about Colombia 1 12 Jan
Erik Thompson brings Micronesians to Minnesota 24 Nov
Alan Guskin helped lay foundation for Peace Corps 4 Nov

How Volunteers Remember Sarge Date: January 18 2011 No: 1487 How Volunteers Remember Sarge
As the Peace Corps' Founding Director Sargent Shriver laid the foundations for the most lasting accomplishment of the Kennedy presidency. Shriver spoke to returned volunteers at the Peace Vigil at Lincoln Memorial in September, 2001 for the Peace Corps 40th. "The challenge I believe is simple - simple to express but difficult to fulfill. That challenge is expressed in these words: PCV's - stay as you are. Be servants of peace. Work at home as you have worked abroad. Humbly, persistently, intelligently. Weep with those who are sorrowful, Care for those who are sick. Serve your wives, serve your husbands, serve your families, serve your neighbors, serve your cities, serve the poor, join others who also serve," said Shriver. "Serve, Serve, Serve. That's the answer, that's the objective, that's the challenge."

PCV Murder Investigated Date: January 18 2011 No: 1477 PCV Murder Investigated
ABC News has investigated the murder of Benin PCV Kate Puzey. Read our original coverage of the crime, comments on Peace Corps actions, the email Puzey sent her country director about sexual incidents with Puzey's students and with another PCV, the backstory on how RPCVs helped the Puzey family, and Peace Corps' official statement. PCOL Editorial: One major shortcoming that the Puzey murder highlights is that Peace Corps does not have a good procedure in place for death notifications.

Join Us Mr. President! Date: June 26 2009 No: 1380 Join Us Mr. President!
"We will double the size of the Peace Corps by its 50th anniversary in 2011. And we'll reach out to other nations to engage their young people in similar programs, so that we work side by side to take on the common challenges that confront all humanity," said Barack Obama during his campaign. Returned Volunteers rally and and march to the White House to support a bold new Peace Corps for a new age. Latest: Senator Dodd introduces Peace Corps Improvement and Expansion Act of 2009 .

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: Peace Corps Worldwide

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Honduras; Politics; Obama


By Richard Sitler ( on Wednesday, September 07, 2011 - 1:45 am: Edit Post

Order Making Peace with the World, a commemorative book celebrating the 50th anniversary of Peace Corps, at Other Places Publishing: http://www.otherplacespublishing.com/mpwtw.html

A portion of publisher proceeds from this title will go to Peace Corps projects around the globe.

(Ideas: Order a copy of the book for yourself, order a copy as a gift for family and friends, order a copy for a person who might be interested in becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer, order a copy to donate to your local library, high school library or college library).

In June 2009, Richard Sitler embarked on an epic journey to document Peace Corps Volunteers serving communities around the world. Over the next two years, Richard would find himself traversing the planet while staying with Peace Corps Volunteers, experiencing their communities and work sites, and documenting what it’s like to be a Volunteer in the modern Peace Corps.

Richard discovered that the values President Kennedy had imagined for the Peace Corps in his famous 1960 speech at the University of Michigan continue to be evident in the organization today. However, the Volunteer has evolved over the years.

Volunteers today are no longer required to conform to the stereotypical image of young idealists giving up their comfortable lives to live in a grass hut. Rather, Richard discovers Volunteers are using modern technology, such as laptops and cell phones, to not only enrich their experience, but to impact their community as well. He sees how retired professionals bring years of experience and knowledge to their organizations. And how, as it always has been, Volunteers are changing lives while being forever changed themselves.

This is the story of Peace Corps and its Volunteers, fifty years after conception.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Making-Peace-with-th e-World/345091284182?ref=ts

Help the author recover his costs by donating to his campaign on:

The Point: http://www.thepoint.com/campaigns/making-peace-wit h-the-world

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.