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Aaron Williams Sworn in as Peace Corps Director

By Ed O'Keefe

The nearly 7,500 Peace Corps volunteers stationed around the world got a new boss Monday, as Aaron Williams took the oath of office as the agency's 18th director.

“I am deeply honored to be the director of the Peace Corps, and I want to thank President Obama for the trust that he has placed in me. I look forward to making his call to public service a reality for more Americans,” Williams said at his swearing-in ceremony. “I am committed to recruiting, training, and supporting the next generation of skilled and enthusiastic volunteers eager to serve side-by-side with members of Peace Corps host communities around the world.”

Williams, most recently a vice president for international business development with RTI International, is the fourth Peace Corps veteran to serve as agency director. He served in the Dominican Republic from 1967 to 1970. The stint paid off both professionally and personally: He met his future wife, Rosa, while serving in the Caribbean, and he later served as coordinator of minority recruitment and a project evaluation officer in the Corps' Chicago offices.

Before RTI, Williams served as a senior manager with USAID and let the agency's billion-dollar foreign assistance program in South Africa during Nelson Mandela's administration. He's also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and once served on the board of directors of CARE and as an adviser to the Obama-Biden transition team.

Following his swearing-in, Williams taped a video message to Peace Corps volunteers:

"Being a Peace Corps volunteer is a life-changing experience. We all tried to make a difference everyday. We accomplished a lot with very little. And most importantly, we had the opportunity to recognize what we can achieve when given the tools to succeed," he said.

By Ed O'Keefe  | August 24, 2009; 3:35 PM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Revolving Door  
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Aaron - Congrats and good luck - I was a PCV in India 66-68 and my wife served in Kenya 69-70 - I was a recruiter from 70-75 in the Los Angeles office - our sons volunteered with Teach for America and with a NGO in Central America - I realize the challanges you will face as the new Director but as a former PCV who better to meet those challanges and help make the world a better and safer place for us all.

Posted by: genejitackett | August 25, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Aaron, when I read the Washington Post Federal Eye online today, I saw your name and thought I knew someone with that name in AID/W many years ago. I watched the video of your swearing in as Peace Corps director and knew I was right. All I can say is the President couldn't have chosen a better person for the job. Congratulations and good luck. Al Furman

Posted by: alfurmn | August 28, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

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