WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 21, 2012 – Nine returned Peace Corps volunteers (RPCVs) were presented with the Franklin H. Williams award on Thursday evening during a ceremony at Peace Corps Headquarters. The award honors ethnically diverse returned volunteers who exemplify a commitment to community service and Peace Corps’ third goal of promoting a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans. Award recipients were selected from each of the nine Peace Corps Regional Recruitment Offices nationwide.

“These individuals have demonstrated a commitment to public service that reflects what it truly means to be a Peace Corps volunteer,” said Peace Corps acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. “They have made efforts to generate awareness around the Peace Corps, provided assistance to Peace Corps’ regional recruiting office staff and worked to promote Peace Corps’ third goal. Their dedication to service helps Americans across the country gain a greater understanding of the world.”

The following returned Peace Corps volunteers are the 2012 Franklin H. Williams award recipients:

  • Rodney Davis-Gilbert (Micronesia, 1989-1991)
  • Barbara Ferguson Kamara (Liberia, 1963-1965)
  • Leslie Jean-Pierre (Guinea, 1994-1996)
  • Rollin Johnson, Jr. (Nepal & Burkina Faso, 2003-2005)
  • Richard Lopez (Mongolia, 2008-2010)
  • Joshuah Marshall (Morocco, 2007-2009)
  • Rosette Nguyen (Guinea, 1994-1996)
  • Seth Pickens (Haiti, 2001-2003)
  • Jon Santiago (Dominican Republic, 2006-2008)

In addition, the Director’s Award was presented to Drs. Milton and Fred Ochieng’ for their outstanding work as co-founders of the Lwala Community Alliance in Lwala, Kenya. After the brothers lost both of their parents to AIDS, they juggled their medical school studies in the United States with networking and fundraising to build the village’s first health center in 2007. The Lwala Community Alliance now provides more than 22,000 patient visits each year. Historically, the Director’s Award is presented in conjunction with the Franklin H. Williams award.

Peace Corps is proud to recognize Franklin H. Williams and pay tribute to his remarkable legacy. Franklin H. Williams was an early architect of the Peace Corps. He worked at the agency from its inception in 1961 to 1963 and helped Sargent Shriver—the first Peace Corps Director—promote the agency and its programs to the world. Ambassador Williams’ exceptional public service career included positions as the Peace Corps Regional Director for Africa, the U.S. representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana.

The Franklin H. Williams Award was conceived by New York Regional Office recruiter Leslie Jean-Pierre (Guinea, 1994-1996).  The award pays tribute to Franklin H. Williams, who worked alongside Sargent Shriver to establish the Peace Corps.  When Jean-Pierre learned of Williams early involvement from his manager, John Coyne, he recommend that the agency honor Williams’ vision that the Peace Corps reflect the diversity of America and his commitment to inclusiveness.  In 1999 Jean-Pierre coordinated the first Franklin H. Williams award ceremony, at the renown Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, in Harlem, New York .  Since that time, the ceremony has been held in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012.

The award recognizes returned Volunteers for their continued commitment to community service in the spirit of the Peace Corps.  The Franklin H. Williams Award ceremony allows the Peace Corps a perfect opportunity to celebrate the ongoing civic contributions of ethnically diverse returned Volunteers who have worked tirelessly in their communities.  To date, 101 outstanding returned Peace Corps volunteers have received the award.

Excert from Franklin H. Williams Award,


Williams to Step Down as Peace Corps Director | National Peace Corps Association

Sorry to see him go!  Thank you for serving, once again!

Williams to Step Down as Peace Corps Director | National Peace Corps Association.

Peace Corps DC Diversity Dinner

Minority Peace Corps Association and DC Black Peace Corps Volunteers will co-host a Diversity Dinner at El Rinconcito II Restaurant in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.  Come and enjoy some good food and great company.

We were able to secure a discount rate of $15.00 per person (dinner, tax and tip included but drinks were not included in order to give guest more flexibility on their drink preference). Mingle with RPCVs, family, friends and those that are interested in joining the Peace Corps. For more information, or to RSVP, contact Leslie Jean-Pierre at

The diversity dinners are opportunities for people interested in Peace Corps to informally meet Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs)  in a relaxed setting. The dinners are generally held during a heritage month and takes place four times a year.  We encourage RPCVs, Peace Corps applicants, their family and friends to join us. 

Details of DC Diversity Dinner

Thursday, September 20, 2012

8:30pm – 10:30pm

El Rinconcito II Restaurant

1326 Park Rd
Washington, DC 20009
Neighborhood: Columbia Heights

RSVP with info@minoritypeacecorpsassociation