The Public Honors College

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The Influence of the Peace Corps

Corps Director to Give Public Lecture Nov. 17 at SMCM
Nov. 2, 2011
Press Release #11-151


Aaron S. Williams, director of the Peace Corps, will give a public lecture at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, in Daugherty-Palmers Commons at St. Mary’s College of Maryland on the impact of the Corps around the world. Entitled “Building Peaceful Partnerships in the 21st Century: The Importance of the Peace Corps,” Williams will show a short film on the history of the Peace Corps, and discuss its international influence and how it contributes to an overall understanding of American contributions abroad.  

The Peace Corps has more than 8,600 volunteers helping in developing countries around the world. Eighteen of them are St. Mary’s College alumni, putting the college into the Top Ten ranking of small colleges with graduates volunteering.

Williams is the 18th director and the fourth who served as a Peace Corps volunteer. He was in the Dominican Republic from 1967 to 1970. His career largely has centered on the development and implementation of worldwide assistance programs, including RTI International, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the International Youth Foundation.

As USAID mission director in South Africa, Williams led a billion dollar foreign assistance program during President Nelson Mandela’s administration. In addition, he has extensive experience in the design and management of assistance programs in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. He was awarded the USAID Distinguished Career Service Award, and was twice awarded the Presidential Award for Distinguished Service.