Wednesday, April 28, 2021
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Celebrating 60 Years of the Peace Corps with Acting Director Carol Spahn, ESIA MA '00


This event is open to all GW community members for virtual participation via Zoom. Details for joining the event by computer or phone will be sent the day before the event. Please be mindful of the Time Zone of the presentation (ET).

Online registration is now closed on this site. To participate, please visit the Zoom registration page for this event to get your unique webinar link. If you have any questions, please email Elaine Garbe at

Event Description

Initially established by President John F. Kennedy on March 1, 1961, the Peace Corps was formally authorized by Congress on September 22, 1961, with passage of the Peace Corps Act. Today, the Peace Corps and its volunteers operate in more than 140 countries, demonstrating ingenuity, creativity, and grit to solve critical challenges alongside community leaders. Join the International Women of Elliott (I/WE) to hear from Peace Corps Acting Director Carol Spahn, as we celebrate the organization's many achievements as well as the many GW alumni who have served in the Peace Corps over the past six decades. This conversation will be moderated by fellow alumna Nicole Mechem, MA '07, a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer.

ESIA Alumna Carol SpahnCarol Spahn, ESIA MA '00, was appointed the Acting Director of the Peace Corps in late January 2021. She brings more than 25 years of public and private sector experience, and has worked in countries around the world on issues ranging from small business development to infectious disease prevention and women's empowerment. Most recently, Carol served as the Peace Corps Chief of Operations in the Africa Region covering Eastern and Southern Africa. Previously, she served a five year term as the Country Director of Peace Corps/Malawi. Carol’s Peace Corps roots extend back to her service as a Volunteer from 1994-96 in Romania, where she served as a Small Business Advisor.

Before returning to the Peace Corps as Country Director, Carol was Senior Vice President of Operations at Women for Women International, an organization serving marginalized and socially excluded women in conflict-affected countries. Prior to that, Carol served as Executive Director of Accordia Global Health Foundation, a non-profit focused on creating sustainable centers of excellence in health in Africa. She served as Vice-President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer of Small Enterprise Assistance Funds, a nonprofit private equity fund manager that invests in small and medium sized companies in developing countries. She has also held positions at leading private sector institutions, including GE Capital and KPMG Peat Marwick.


This event is co-sponsored by the Gender Equality Initiative in International Affairs and the following student organizations: Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Affairs Sorority, Sigma Iota Rho International Affairs Honor Society, and the Organization for International Development.

Online registration for this event has now closed.