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October 12, 2000

UW joins with Peace Corps to train leaders in global aid

Four decades after President Kennedy tapped student idealism by proposing a Peace Corps, the University of Washington is announcing a new master’s degree program that combines volunteer service overseas with management training on campus.

The new Peace Corps Master’s International Program will prepare students to help lead agencies involved in aid and development efforts around the world, said Elaine Chang, assistant dean of the UW’s Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs.

The UW will be the only university on the West Coast to offer such training for the growing roster of 150,000 agencies around the world – called NGOs, for nongovernmental organizations – that undertake relief and development work.

“One of the biggest challenges facing development and relief agencies,” Chang said, “is finding qualified people who can manage these complex organizations.”

The Evans School has assumed growing prominence in the international field in the three years since the arrival of Dean Marc Lindenberg, a former vice president of CARE International.

“Student interest is intense,” Chang said. “We’re seeing some of the idealism of the Kennedy era, but perhaps with a more pragmatic approach.”

The first Peace Corps Master’s International students will enter in fall 2001. They will begin with a year of concentrated study in nonprofit management and policy, followed by a two-year tour of Peace Corps service. They will return to the UW for one quarter before graduating. The program is being started with a seed grant from Henry M. Jackson Foundation.

Kennedy first publicly defined the concept that later became the Peace Corps in a speech on Oct. 14, 1960 to 10,000 students at the University of Michigan.
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For more information, contact Chang at (206) 616-1607 or elainec@u.washington.edu