Listen: Peace Corps, Olson Peace Corps, Director discussed on Overnight re-air of day's programming
"Have many former former and current staff from the peace corps, and from USA ID and from some former ambassador as well and to some degree. That's what the peace corps has done. It has sort of given a start to many of us who wanted to do something contribute to US foreign policy in a fundamentally different way to contribute on the ground. To the way the people see the United States, and the we can contribute to their development at the same time. I also want to note that this event today on the future of the peace corps is taking place appropriately on the seventh seventieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of human rights. The core. Values of the peace corps, relate directly to the belief in the right of every human being to achieve his or her full potential regardless of race, religion or nationality. Volunteers convey those values during their service and hopefully during the rest of their lives as well. When president Kennedy signed executive order in one thousand nine hundred sixty one that formally established the peace corps, he said, and I quote, we have in this country and immense reservoir of men and women anxious to sacrifice their energies and time and toil to the cause of world peace and human progress. Jodi Olson was one of those who answered serving first as a volunteer in Tunisia from nineteen sixty six sixty eight the same years that my wife, and I served my wife is right here served in El Salvador as a peace, corps, volunteer. And Jodi never stop spending. The next five decades, she's done at all peace corps, country director in Togo regional director for Africa and the Middle East chief of staff to then director, Paul Coverdell deputy director, and then acting director and now director, she's the most prepared director that the peace corps has ever had going back to the founder and the first director search Trevor. Prior to returning to the peace corps in two thousand eighteen Dr Olsen was visiting professor at the university of Maryland Baltimore school of social work and director of the university center for global education. She also oversaw health research projects in Malawi while teaching courses an international social work. And even while she was not a peace corps official. Those rare years I can attest that she always is available to all peace corps, directors as a mentor and advisor and support and a source of ideas. Jody. What a pleasure to be here. Thank you. Thank you. Mark. Thank you, Kimberly. I appreciate that very client introduction. And Mark, thank you. This all started over lunch. When we had this conversation that is now become this event. And I want to also thank you for all that you've done for peace corps over the years. And I hadn't realized that we were all peace corps volunteers at the same time different parts of the world. But it shaped us still same ways as peace corps director to another. Thank you for your legacy of leadership. Thanks for your service, and to Erin, thank you, very very much like CSI SIS. We're the peace corps also is fire to help chart a course towards a better world. We're grateful to this incredible organization for providing such far-reaching forum for this kind of thoughtful discussion, the topic is a future. Peace corps, is ever present in my mind, obviously as the twentieth director, and as a return peace corps. Volunteer who served back in the agency's early years. I vividly. Remember standing in a classroom. It was my third day in country in front of forty fourteen year old boys at the lycee gifts to serve as a volunteer. Internee joie. I was twenty two years old nervous beyond belief had no idea. What? My first words would be. I remember looking at the mall thinking looking laughed and quite oh my heavens. There's a door like a walk out that door and be done. But I knew my parents wouldn't be very happy. If I showed up back home a couple of weeks later Norwood. My husband who was happy having his first day as a peace corps, volunteer. So I stepped forward held my breath and introduced myself in English and then ask the students to introduce themselves. Jodi, Olson peace corps, director that day's lesson. Launched my two years as a peace corps. Volunteer two years in North Africa that shaped my life, and my career more than I could have dreamed or hope for at that time. However, I was most worried about my students exams. I immersed myself in a way of life. That was utterly. Unlike the life, I had known back home in Salt Lake City Utah. I learned how to be present. How to listen really and truly listen, my success as a follow tear absolutely dependent on that how to honor respect and learn from people different from me in actions thinking, and even being I discovered that despite differences in language, culture, and background. There was so much more. That connected us. I learned what it meant to serve my country, and how it felt to be part of something far far greater than myself. I'm here today because peace corps, changed my life. And because I believe passionately that. Peace corps, will continue to change lives for many more years to come since nineteen sixty one almost a quarter of a million peace corps.."