Global Development Experts Set to Gather in Washington, D.C. for the 55th Anniversary of the Peace Corps

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The Peace Corps community will celebrate 55 years of one of America's greatest institutions and its limitless potential to create change at the Peace Corps Connect conference in Washington, D.C. September 21-25, 2016.

Political leaders, academic experts, and senior government officials will convene at the conference of the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) to commemorate 55 years of one of America’s greatest institutions – Peace Corps – and discuss the major opportunities for positive change in the decade ahead. The annual conference, known as Peace Corps Connect, will take place September 21-25, 2016 at various venues around George Washington University and Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Keynote sessions, panel discussions, interviews, and lectures will bring together members of the Peace Corps community to discuss the global issues of our time. Themes include economic development, environmental sustainability, equality of marginalized populations, global health, and security — each as components to creating peace.

Because Peace Corps community members work to address these issues even after their service in countries around the globe, the conference also serves as a platform for professionals to engage with other thought leaders in their respective fields to share the latest insights and strategies to meet common goals.

Key speakers attending include:

  • President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, Nobel Peace Laureate
  • Carrie Hessler-Radelet, Peace Corps Director
  • Sebastian Junger, Author of "Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging" and Documentarian of "Restrepo"
  • Margee Ensign, President, The American University of Nigeria
  • Sarah Chayes, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Senior Associate and Author of "Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security"
  • Steven C. Radelet, Director of the Global Human Development Program at Georgetown University

Other event highlights include:

Wednesday, September 21

  • The International Day of Peace Film Festival will screen Refugee: The Eritrean Exodus, which tracks the plight of Eritrean refugees from Ethiopia into Israel.

Thursday, September 22

  • Hundreds of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) and Peace Corps supporters will visit Capitol Hill to advocate for a bigger, better Peace Corps.

Friday, September 23

  • Dr. Margee Ensign, President of the American University of Nigeria, is creating opportunities for girls who escaped from Boko Haram to get the education they deserve. She will speak to the importance of empowering girls and women around the world.
  • Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet and NPCA President Glenn Blumhorst will discuss the topic of Peace Corps at 55 and Beyond, covering the agency’s past, present and future leading international development.
  • Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will address the Peace Corps community during the presentation of the Deborah Harding Women of Achievement Award ceremony. The award honors a Peace Corps Volunteer whose contributions have made a significant difference in the lives of women and girls in the world. This inaugural award will celebrate Sara Goodkind, founder of Girls Leading Our World (GLOW) Camps, now implemented in Peace Corps countries worldwide.

Saturday, September 24

  • Sebastian Junger, author of Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging and documentarian of the film Restrepo, will be joined by lifelong friend and colleague Sarah Chayes (RPCV Morocco) to reflect on their decades of experiences with war, peace and community — and why they think the Peace Corps is needed now more than ever.
  • Sargent Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service will be presented to Kevin Fiori and Jenny Schechter (both RPCVs of Togo, 2003-2006 and 2004-2006, respectively) for their work in creating Hope Through Health. The organization provides HIV care and treatment services where they were not yet available in Togo and has expanded to 9 health centers serving over 30,000 patients.
  • Harris Wofford Global Citizen Award will go to Mr. Ibrahima Sankare, the director and founder of Delta Survie, a non-governmental organization in Mali committed to fighting for the integration of marginalized populations, promoting health and education, developing schools in pastoral villages, and opening centers for women suffering from obstetrical fistula.

More details of the schedule and how to register can be found at

About the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA)
Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) is a nonprofit organization at the center of a vibrant and united community of 220,000 individuals who share the Peace Corps experience. The NPCA champions a lifelong commitment to Peace Corps ideals by connecting, engaging and promoting its members and affiliate groups as they continue to make a difference in communities in the U.S. and around the world.

To learn more, visit or contact Megan Patrick, Director of Communications at 202-293-7728, extension 16 or news(at)peacecorpsconnect(dot)org

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Megan Patrick
since: 11/2008
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