Peace Corps

Center for International Education


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Peace Corps service is a life-defining leadership experience. Since 1961, the Peace Corps has shared with the world America’s most precious resource—its people. Volunteers serve in seventy-six countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Europe, the Pacific Islands, and the Middle East. Peace Corps Volunteers live, learn, and work with a community overseas for twenty-seven months, providing technical assistance in six program areas: Education, Community Economic Development, Youth in Development, Health, Agriculture, and Environment.

Peace Corps is an independent US government agency. The agency traces its roots and mission to 1960, when then-Senator John F. Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries.

Although times have changed, the Peace Corps continues to promote peace and friendship by remaining true to its mission, established in 1961:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.


Fast Facts:

Peace Corps officially established: March 1, 1961

UTK Alumni currently serving: 16

UTK Alumni  who have served in the Peace Corps: 544

Countries and Projects:

Where Volunteers Serve:

Africa: 45%
Latin America: 23%
Eastern Europe/Central Asia: 10%
Asia: 12%
The Caribbean: 4%
North Africa/Middle East: 3%
Pacific Islands: 3%

Current number of countries served: 64 countries

Volunteers by work area:

Education: 38%
Health: 24%
Environment: 12%
Community Economic Development: 9%
Youth in Development: 9%
Agriculture: 5%
Other: 3%

Peace Corps Director
Carrie Hessler-Radelet (Western Samoa 1981-1983)

Peace Corps Toll-Free Recruitment Number


The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Big Orange. Big Ideas.

Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
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