(Extensions of Remarks - September 13, 2012)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E1522-E1523]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                             HON. SAM FARR

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                      Thursday, September 13, 2012

  Mr. FARR. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor my dear friend, Peace 
Corps Director Aaron Williams. After three incredible years of service, 
Director Williams is stepping down as the 18th Director of the Peace 
Corps. Without question, Director Williams leaves behind an amazing 
legacy that will benefit future generations of Peace Corps Volunteers 
and the communities in which they serve.
  Director Williams was only the fourth Peace Corps Director to have 
been a Volunteer and, from day one, he wove that on-the-ground 
experience into his leadership. He understood the importance of a Peace 
Corps that draws from the full strength of America's citizens, and he 
put a laser sharp focus on expanding the diversity of the Volunteer 
ranks. Under Director Williams' leadership, Peace Corps formed a 
partnership with AARP; strengthened recruitment at Historically Black 
Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Tribal 
Colleges; and established new partnerships with Minority Serving 
Institutions. And the results of his efforts are clear. Today, 20% of 
Volunteers are minorities and 7% are over the age of 50.
  And this diversity of background and skill is desperately needed. The 
Peace Corps of today faces a world of increasingly complex global 
challenges that cannot be solved by one single entity. Director 
Williams broke down silos to forge and strengthen partnerships with 
established development entities including FAO, PSI, and the Special 
Olympics to promote best practices, leverage resources, and maximize 
impact. He also rolled out safety and security reforms, many of which 
were codified into law, to ensure that Volunteers, particularly women, 
have the support they need and deserve. Without a doubt, Director 
Williams has significantly enhanced Peace Corps' capacity to meet 21st 
century development challenges.
  Director Williams worked shoulder-to-shoulder with presidents and 
prime ministers, world and thought leaders, and current and former 
Volunteers to help Peace Corps fulfill President John F. Kennedy's 
initial vision of world peace and friendship. Director Williams has 
made Peace Corps as relevant today as it

[[Page E1523]]

was at its inception 51 years ago. As war and conflict flare around the 
world, Peace Corps has shown the world a hopeful, uplifting side of 
America that reflects our fundamental values of peace, prosperity, and 
progress. This could not be possible without Director Williams' vision, 
leadership, and spirit.
  Mr. Speaker, it's been a pleasure to work with this great man from 
the south side of Chicago. I will miss collaborating with him, but I 
wish him the very best in the next stage of his life. Director 
Williams, thank you for your friendship and your service. The world is 
a better place for your leadership.