In war-torn world, the Peace Corps endures

"The toughest job you'll ever love" was the old slogan in Peace Corps PSAs. The public service announcements still ring true for former and future volunteers, Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn says.

It "resonates with anyone who has ever served in the Peace Corps, because it so directly speaks to not just how challenging it is, but just how transformational it is." Including for Spahn herself, who served in post-Cold War Romania from 1994 to 1996 as a small-business adviser. Later, before her 2022 ascension to director, she held other organizational roles, including chief of operations in the Africa region.

Spahn spoke Nov. 3 at the Minnesota International NGO Network (MINN) Annual Summit, held at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs. The venue was fitting, Spahn said, because Hubert Humphrey's "role in the establishment of the Peace Corps is profound." And apt that she was at the U, which is ranked 16th among colleges and universities in sending volunteers, with 1,674 answering the call since the Peace Corps' 1961 founding, and that she was in Minnesota, since the state ranks 13th all-time in total volunteers, well above its population base.