Jody K. Olsen was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate in February 2002 to serve as the deputy director of the Peace Corps.
Dr. Olsen's distinguished career at the Peace Corps began in the agency's earliest years, when she served as a Volunteer in Tunisia from 1966 to 1968, teaching English and developing community health programs. In 1979, she was country director for the Peace Corps' mission in Togo. During her tenure, she managed all aspects of the agency's programs in-country, which focused on education, health, and agriculture.
In 1981, Dr. Olsen served as regional director for the Peace Corps, managing operations in 17 countries throughout North Africa, Near East, Asia , and the Pacific. From 1989 to 1992, Dr. Olsen was the chief of staff for the Peace Corps. During this time, the agency expanded into 25 new countries.
Prior to becoming Deputy Director, Dr. Olsen was the senior vice president at the Academy for Educational Development (AED), a large international development organization. From 1992 to 1997, she served as executive director for the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), the organization responsible for managing the Fulbright Senior Scholar Program.
Dr. Olsen has traveled to more than 80 countries around the world. She is a tireless advocate for the mission of the Peace Corps and the work of Volunteers, speaking at dozens of domestic and international events each year. She is a former president of the University of Maryland Alumni Association and remains active in alumni affairs.
Dr. Olsen holds a bachelor's degree in sociology with a teaching certification from the University of Utah; a master's degree in social work from the University of Maryland; and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland's College of Education.
Dr. Olsen has received numerous awards for her leadership and public service including: the Alumni of the Year Award from the University of Utah; the Alumni of the Year Award and Alumni Hall of Fame distinction from the University of Maryland's College of Education; the Marita Houlihan Award (for outstanding efforts and commitment to fostering international exchange) from NAFSA; and an Honorary Doctorate in International Sustainable Development from Michigan Technological University.
Deputy Director Official US Peace Corps Website