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NYTimes.com Article: An Uninspiring Peace Corps Nominee

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  • varshaghosh@hotmail.com
    This article from NYTimes.com has been sent to you by varshaghosh@hotmail.com.some more news on the nominee/-------------------- advertisement
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 30, 2001
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      This article from NYTimes.com
      has been sent to you by varshaghosh@....

      some more news on the nominee

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      An Uninspiring Peace Corps Nominee

      President Bush's intention to nominate Gaddi H. Vasquez as director
      of the Peace Corps amounts to a missed opportunity. The altruistic
      agency is a unique diplomatic and humanitarian asset in need of
      forceful and imaginative leadership. Any number of prominent
      figures from the foreign policy community, the business world or
      the nonprofit sector would be thrilled at the opportunity to lead

      In selecting Mr. Vasquez, someone with a questionable record of
      accomplishment and a great deal less stature than the agency
      deserves, Mr. Bush shows a lack of appreciation for the mission and
      symbolic importance of the Peace Corps. The Senate Foreign
      Relations Committee should take a close look at this appointment.
      Upon initial examination, Mr. Vasquez does not look qualified or
      suited for the job.

      Mr. Vasquez, once considered a promising young Republican Hispanic
      politician, has been a public relations executive at a major
      California utility in recent years. This was not a chosen career,
      but a form of exile after he resigned in disgrace in 1995 from the
      Orange County Board of Supervisors, soon after the county went
      spectacularly bankrupt as a result of the improper investment of
      public funds. Unlike the county treasurer, Robert L. Citron, Mr.
      Vasquez was not charged with any crimes. But a 1996 Securities and
      Exchange Commission report was highly critical of him and the other

      Last year Mr. Vasquez transferred $100,000 in leftover campaign
      funds to the Republican Party, a transaction that undoubtedly
      helped his chances for political rehabilitation. Certainly this is
      not the first administration to reward a donor with a plum
      position. But it is distressing that Mr. Bush views the Peace Corps
      directorship as a place to park generous donors with mediocre

      The White House may also believe that the dearth of rising
      Republican stars in California made Mr. Vasquez's rehabilitation
      particularly desirable. This is a president who is avidly courting
      the Hispanic vote.

      Whatever the White House's motive, Mr. Vasquez is an uninspiring
      nominee for an agency that needs a visionary leader of unquestioned
      integrity. Mr. Vasquez has not devoted himself to humanitarian work
      in the past and has no experience running a large organization. Nor
      does he have any particular international expertise.

      The Peace Corps, established by President John F. Kennedy, is an
      American presence that is welcomed around the world. Now 40 years
      old, the agency remains a tribute to a strain of American idealism,
      a statement about the value of public service and about the
      obligation of a wealthy nation to help less privileged peoples
      around the world. Currently 7,300 Peace Corps volunteers are
      serving in 75 countries, often under harsh conditions.

      In the last decade the Peace Corps has expanded its traditional
      mission of working on development projects in remote third-world
      areas to encompass such activities as teaching English and
      management skills in former Socialist countries. The next director
      will be called upon to formulate a coherent role for the Peace
      Corps for the new century, and to sell it energetically to the rest
      of the world, to Congress and to a new generation of recruits. Mr.
      Vasquez does not appear to be the man to meet this important



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      Copyright 2001 The New York Times Company
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