Back Issues of PDAA Today

Back issues of PDAA Today, PDAA’s quarterly print newsletter are now online and available for download.

Joan McKniff’s Peace Corps

by Joan McKniff

I started my training and first assignment, Colombia XI, in 1963, when President Kennedy was alive, and came home to Johnson and Vietnam in ’65. Looking to keep working abroad, I applied to CARE to work in one of its overseas offices, which many earlier Colombia RPCVs had done with success. A representative from CARE called me to very kindly explain that they did not hire women for those jobs. I remember thanking the caller and apologizing as if I had accidentally walked into the men’s room. I was sincerely embarrassed, and that put any ideas of joining the Foreign Service or the like on hold. I went to Vietnam with the Red Cross.

I joined USIA 20 years later. There were no other RPCVs among my USIS/PD colleagues at posts, though there were plenty with USAID in Guatemala, which led to some great collaborative programs. In Madagascar, where I was PAO, there were a couple of RPCVs in other sections, and several in USAID. PC had changed a lot in those 20-40 years, of course. So has the world.

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