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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Co-founder of Special Olympics in The Gambia named Peace Corps director

Carrie Hessler-Radelet is a former Peace Corps volunteer herself. She has worked for almost three decades in global public health in more than 50 countries. Her jobs ranged from co-founder of the Special Olympics in The Gambia in 1986, to a USAID fellow in Indonesia, where she helped the Indonesian government develop its first national AIDS strategy.

Volunteering with the Peace Corps is, she said, a family affair. Four generations in her family have served, including her aunt (Turkey, 1964-66), grandparents (Malaysia, 1972-73), and nephew (Mozambique, 2007-09).

“Like so many Peace Corps volunteers, my service changed my life, shaped my passion for international development, and inspired my career,” she said. 

She was the deputy director of the Peace Corps, a position she held since 2010 until her elevation to director. From 2000 to 2010 she worked for John Snow, Inc as the vice president and director of the Washington, DC office and director of the Boston International Group from 1996 to 2000.

From 1986 to 1988, she founded and served as the executive director of the Special Olympics in The Gambia, and served as a consultant with The Gambia Family Planning Association.

She received a BA degree from Boston University and an MSc from Harvard School of Public Health.

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