PEOPLE

Nominee for Peace Corps Director Carries on a Family Tradition of Volunteer Service

© 2013 Liz Lynch
Christopher Snow Hopkins
Add to Briefcase
Christopher Snow Hopkins
Aug. 8, 2013, 3:30 p.m.

Many new­ly­weds cel­eb­rate their nup­tials by snorkel­ing in the Vir­gin Is­lands or ski­ing in the Alps. Two weeks after get­ting mar­ried, Car­rie Hessler-Rade­let and her hus­band, Steve Rade­let, were shipped off to a Poly­ne­sian is­land thou­sands of miles from the main­land. He had nev­er been on a plane be­fore.

Then a 25-year-old Peace Corps vo­lun­teer, Hessler-Rade­let taught at a girl’s Cath­ol­ic school in West­ern Sam­oa and lived in a thatched hut with her host par­ents and their eight chil­dren. Now 56, the act­ing dir­ect­or of the Peace Corps has said that ac­com­pa­ny­ing her host moth­er, who was preg­nant at the time, to monthly ap­point­ments at a nearby clin­ic was a trans­form­at­ive ex­per­i­ence.

“See­ing what it’s like to be a wo­man in a [pat­ri­arch­al] so­ci­ety, where you have vir­tu­ally no abil­ity to make de­cisions re­lated to your home health care “¦ really gal­van­ized my in­terest in pub­lic health,” she told a loc­al news­pa­per in Geneva, N.Y., last Novem­ber.

Last month, Pres­id­ent Obama nom­in­ated Hessler-Rade­let to be per­man­ent dir­ect­or of the Peace Corps. Since ar­riv­ing at the agency three years ago, she has helped rad­ic­ally re­make the Peace Corps as its deputy dir­ect­or.

“There has nev­er been a time in the his­tory of the agency, apart from its first five years, when there has been so much in­nov­a­tion and change in such a short peri­od of time,” Hessler-Rade­let said in a re­cent in­ter­view with Na­tion­al Journ­al Daily. “We are “¦ util­iz­ing tech­no­logy like nev­er be­fore and provid­ing in-depth tech­nic­al train­ing to all of our vo­lun­teers.”

The Peace Corps is in Hessler-Rade­let’s DNA. Her grand­par­ents, aunt, and neph­ew have all served as vo­lun­teers, and Hessler-Rade­let’s com­mit­ment to the agency “has been in­stru­ment­al in re­cruit­ing and train­ing thou­sands of Peace Corps vo­lun­teers,” Obama said in a state­ment with her nom­in­a­tion.

A nat­ive of Frank­fort, Mich., Hessler-Rade­let re­ceived a bach­el­or’s de­gree from Bo­ston Uni­versity and worked briefly for a time-share con­domin­i­um com­pany be­fore “my grand­moth­er called me and said, ‘I need to talk to you,’ ” she told the New York news­pa­per. “She took me out to cof­fee and said, ‘What are you go­ing to do with your one life?’ The im­plic­a­tion was selling time-share con­domin­i­ums was not suf­fi­cient.”

Hessler-Rade­let signed up for the Peace Corps and per­suaded her then-boy­friend to do the same. Upon re­turn­ing from West­ern Sam­oa, she served as a pub­lic-af­fairs man­ager at the Peace Corps re­gion­al of­fice in Bo­ston and later es­tab­lished the Spe­cial Olympics in Gam­bia.

From 1994 to 1995, Hessler-Rade­let was a U.S. Agency for In­ter­na­tion­al De­vel­op­ment-sponsored HIV/AIDS ad­viser in In­done­sia, where she helped set up the coun­try’s first na­tion­al strategy to com­bat the dis­ease. Be­fore re­turn­ing to the Peace Corps in 2010, she was the vice pres­id­ent of John Snow Inc., a pub­lic-health con­sultancy.

Hessler-Rade­let holds a mas­ter’s de­gree in health policy and man­age­ment from Har­vard Uni­versity. She has two grown chil­dren and lives in Falls Church, Va.

What We're Following See More »
BOON TO PROSECUTORS
SCOTUS Rules that Insider Trading Can’t Be “Gifted”
10 hours ago
THE DETAILS

In a unanimous decision, "the Supreme Court on Tuesday said it violates insider-trading laws for a corporate officer to make a “gift” of insider information to a relative, a decision that makes it easier for those who police Wall Street to bring prosecutions."

Source:
EFFORT LIKELY TO DIE IN COMMITTEE
Jordan Can’t Force a Floor Vote on Impeaching Koskinen
11 hours ago
THE LATEST
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan attempted to force a floor vote on impeaching IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, but "the House voted overwhelmingly to refer it to the Judiciary Committee. ... The committee will not be required to take up the resolution." Earlier, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi "made a motion to table the resolution, which the House voted against by a 180-235 margin, mostly along party lines."
Source:
AFTER THE VOTE FOR SPEAKER
Ryan: No Committee Assignments Until New Year
16 hours ago
THE DETAILS

House Speaker Paul Ryan has decreed that House members "won’t receive their committee assignments until January — after they cast a public vote on the House floor for speaker. "The move has sparked behind-the-scenes grumbling from a handful of Ryan critics, who say the delay allows him and the Speaker-aligned Steering Committee to dole out committee assignments based on political loyalty rather than merit or expertise." The roll call to elect the speaker is set for Jan. 3, the first vote of the new Congress.

Source:
EXPECTED TO FUND THE GOVERNMENT THROUGH SPRING
Funding Bill To Be Released Tuesday
1 days ago
THE LATEST

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters on Monday that the government funding bill will be released on Tuesday. The bill is the last piece of legislation Congress needs to pass before leaving for the year and is expected to fund the government through the spring. The exact time date the bill would fund the government through is unclear, though it is expected to be in April or May.

Source:
IT’S OFFICIAL
Trump to Nominate Carson to Lead HUD
1 days ago
THE LATEST

As has been rumored for a week, Donald Trump will nominate Ben Carson, his former rival, to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In a statement, Trump said, "We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities. Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a Presidency representing all Americans. He is a tough competitor and never gives up."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login