Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn speaks to Minnesotans on global engagement

United States Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn said during a recent Minnesota visit that she’s focused on reinvigorating the Corps after operations were suspended as the pandemic unfolded in March of 2020, leading to the evacuation of over 7,000 volunteers across the world. 

“We want to really raise energy and enthusiasm, particularly at this time in history. There is tremendous demand around the world for Peace Corps volunteers,” Spahn said in an interview with the Reformer.

Spahn was the keynote speaker at the recent Minnesota International NGO Network Summit. She was appointed by President Joe Biden as the 21st director of the Peace Corps in 2022. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Romania from 1994 to 1996. Since being appointed, she has prioritized a return to regular Peace Corps operations after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The annual MINN Summit hosts international NGOs like Books For Africa and Global Minnesota in a day-long conference at the University of Minnesota, where students and the community can participate in discussions and lectures on global engagement. A crowd of approximately 100 gathered at the Humphrey School Conference Center, where Spahn gave her keynote and later did a Q&A with other returned Peace Corps volunteers, as they discussed the benefits and struggles associated with volunteering in a foreign country.