An article in Terp Magazine highlights alumna Jody Olsen (Ph.D. ’79), who was sworn in last year as the 20th director of the Peace Corps. Dr. Olsen has been involved with the Peace Corps since 1966, when she embarked on a 2-year position teaching English to 14-year-old boys and assisting with maternal and newborn health programs in Tunisia.
“I had every sense of who I was challenged, in a good way,” Dr. Olsen told Terp Magazine about her first experience in the Peace Corps. “It’s that critical core lesson of who you are.”
Since her time in Tunisia, Dr. Olsen has worked for the Peace Corps in various capacities, including serving as the organization’s country director in Togo and deputy director.
As Peace Corps director, Dr. Olsen hopes to maintain the organization’s international-orientated mission, as well as further promote Peace Corps volunteers’ stories and how they go on to lead successful careers after the Peace Corps, according to the article.
Dr. Olsen studied human development for her doctorate at UMD’s College of Education.