|Centre alumnus appointed to top Peace Corps post
RELEASED: June 27, 2002
DANVILLE, KY-Charles "Wick" Caldwell, a 1965 alumnus of Centre College and Danville native, was appointed Chief Financial Officer of the Peace Corps by President George W. Bush earlier this month. He joins a long list of those from the Centre community who have served the program.
Caldwell will direct the financial affairs of the agency and will work under the direction of newly appointed director Gaddi Vasquez.
The Peace Corps is an international volunteer organization that promotes world peace through better understanding and helping interested countries meet their need for trained young men and women. President John F. Kennedy proposed the idea in 1960, and the first set of volunteers went to work in 1961. In the 40-plus years since, there have been 165,000 volunteers and trainees and 135 countries served.
Caldwell, of Bowie, Md., was contacted by the White House Personnel Office earlier this year and was asked about his interest in serving with the Peace Corps.
"During a series of meetings with Gaddi Vasquez and others, I was very impressed with their commitment to the job," he said. "Director Vasquez has promised to fulfill the President's mandate of doubling the size of the Peace Corps in five years (from the current 7,000 volunteers, to 14,000). He convinced me that it would require strong leadership to double the infrastructure to support those new volunteers in the field.
"Having been on the job for a couple of weeks now, I'm more impressed than ever with the dedication to service I find here, both in the volunteers and headquarters staff. It's the most upbeat and enthusiastic group of Federal workers with whom I've ever had the good fortune to serve. It's a special place. And in this time in our country's history, we face an important task. With the folks we have here, I feel confident the challenge will be met."
Caldwell has a broad background in operations, budget and programs, communications and information technology. Most recently, he was the Executive Director of the U.S. Census Monitoring Board for Congressional Members, responsible for the oversight, monitoring and execution of the 2000 Decennial Census.
Centre has had a long history of working with the Peace Corps. Nearly 50 Centre volunteers have served the program through the years. Two current Centre professorshistory professor Rick Bradshaw and government professor Lori Hartmann-Mahmudwere Peace Corps volunteers.
For more on Centre and the Peace Corps, visit Centrepiece Online at www.centre.edu/web/alumni/centrepiece/2001/peacecorps.html.
To learn more about the program, visit www.peacecorps.org.
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