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  • 29 Mar 2021 by Kathleen Sebastian

    In my interview with Jonathan Green, I quickly learned that no moss grows between his toes. He was born in New London, Connecticut. But his father served in the Coast Guard, moving his family to several states during Jonathan’s childhood: Hawaii, Alaska, California, and a couple southern states, just to name a few. This began Jonathan’s lifetime of living in and exploring different places.  

    Expecting to be drafted during the Vietnam War, he instead enlisted in the Army and trained as a medic in order to “alleviate the suffering” of the soldiers and civilians in Vietnam. To his dismay, he was kept stationed stateside for three years in an induction center to medically screen draftees. This depressed and infuriated him. His requests to transfer to Vietnam were denied.

    At the end of his enlistment, Jonathan applied for the Peace Corps and asked to be assigned in Southeast Asia where he worked as a Malaria Control Volunteer in Thailand from 1973 to 1975. Serving the people in the jungle was what he had hoped for.

     

    After Peace Corps, Jonathan reenlisted in the Army, and eventually became a physician assistant and later earned a Master of Public Health degree. He worked as a physician assistant for many more years in the military and later in the private sector. But with service overseas now deeply seated in his blood, he returned to PC as an HIV Outreach Volunteer in South Africa from 2015 to 2017. Jonathan worried that his age of 66 might be a deterrent to succeeding as a Peace Corps Volunteer. However, once he arrived in his host country, he found that in South Africa, as in many other countries, it is believed that with age comes wisdom, and with wisdom comes respect. He found teaching the young men about HIV prevention challenging, but he collaborated wisely with his South African counterpart and wove HIV education into a pool tournament in his village. What an ingenious way to teach and persuade these reluctant men.

    Wishing to return to his “first love,” malaria control, Jonathan volunteered to serve one more year in that capacity as a PC Response Volunteer in Kakata, Liberia from 2017 to 2018. 

    Jonathan recalls the bittersweet moments as a Peace Corps volunteer. The Thai language was particularly difficult to learn, but with perseverance he learned to communicate well as he traveled from village to village in his work. One of his proudest experiences was seeing a reduction in malaria morbidity and mortality. A few years after his service, workers were sufficiently healthy to complete the construction of two hydroelectric dams on the River Kwai that provided needed electricity for a vast area of the country.

    In every sentence of my interview, Jonathan’s words echoed commitment. He served 25 years in the U.S. Army and 5 with the Peace Corps. In 2019 he published his memoir, Fighting Malaria on the River Kwai. This is not your regular paperback, but rather a soft cover coffee table book loaded with photos and stories of his time in Thailand. Find his book and a description on Amazon and featured in Peace Corps Worldwide. He found Peace Corps to be a “life changing experience” that made him a better person. His memoir was not only for his family, but for PC recruits to help them understand the challenges and rewards of serving as a Volunteer.

    Jonathan’s association with our RPCV group began in 1983, when the area affiliate was known as RAVN, and more recently, he served on our pre-pandemic, Peace Corps Connect 2020 Conference Committee. He lives in Fife, WA with his wife, Gina and has 2 grown children and one granddaughter. Jonathan has proudly served our country and we are honored to have him as our member.


    Susan E. Greisen, RPCV Liberia, 1971-73 and Tonga, 73-74, is the author of In Search of the Pink Flamingos, a memoir. Her essays and poems are featured in seven anthologies. Learn more at susangreisen.com.

     

  • 28 Feb 2021 by Evangelina Sundgrenz

    Global Leadership Forum (GLF): Senior-Level Executive Leader Cohort

    GLF is now accepting applications for its Senior-Level Executive Leader Cohort (GFL XVI), which launches April 22 – 23.

    GLF strengthens globally-oriented social-purpose leaders.  

    Ø  This peer learning cohort program addresses global development management, leadership, and organizational development topics.

    Ø  Cohorts are co-lead by faculty with deep experience in applying real-time, responsive guidance and tools to help individual leaders tackle challenging problems.

    Ø  Cohorts are rich in learning and partnership to improve lives in communities worldwide.

    Ø  Relationships and support continues after the program through the GLF Alumni Community.  

    The GLF XVI cohort will meet for ten 3-hour sessions over a 6-7 month duration. 

    Tuition for GLF XVI is $2,500. We encourage you to apply regardless of financial ability. Payment plans and scholarships are available for those in need, especially those historically underrepresented in leadership and global development.

    A virtual info session will be hosted on Wednesday, March 3, from 4 – 5 p.m. Please RSVP to team@glfglobal.org for a Zoom link.

  • 08 Jan 2021 by Evangelina Sundgrenz

    The NPCA Virtual Career Fair is specifically for Federal Employers hoping to utilize the non-competitive hiring eligibility (NCE) status that Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) receive once they have completed their service in the Peace Corps. NCE is a great opportunity for federal agencies to hire RPCVs who meet the minimum qualifications of a given position.

    The NCE status granted to the nearly seven thousand RPCVs evacuated as a result of the global pandemic will be expiring this March. Hiring agencies have, at their discretion, the capability of extending NCE status (see Can NCE be extended beyond 12 months?) and the Peace Corps is actively investigating the possibility of an extension. However, the upcoming NPCA event will serve as a tremendous opportunity to put a focus on hiring RPCVs now while these other efforts are underway.

    The Virtual Career Fair will be held on Thursday, January 28 2021 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM EST, and will take place via Zoom with breakout groups to accommodate participating employers.
     

    Each agency that is selected to participate will have approximately two hours. At the beginning of the event, each employer is required to briefly introduce their agency and the types of positions they are seeking to fill. They will be given the opportunity to advertise their virtual “booth” that will be scheduled during one of the various 90-minute timeslots for the remainder of the day. Interested candidates will then freely visit employers of interest for free-flowing small group interaction.

    Space is limited, so please register before January 15th via this registration form to save your spot. The National Peace Corps Association will release a list of registered employers by January 18th, including more information on the event format and logistics. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to careers@peacecorpsconnect.org

    Peace Corps will be hosting its own Virtual Career Fair in the upcoming months, and will be emailing once details have been finalized. Please let us know should you have any further questions.