Carrie Hessler-Radelet is director of the Peace Corps as of June 2014. She was initially appointed deputy director of the Peace Corps on June 23, 2010. She is a returned Peace Corps volunteer (Western Samoa, 1981–83) with more than two decades of experience in public health focused on HIV/AIDS and maternal and child health.
Since 2010, Hessler-Radelet has spearheaded a comprehensive agency assessment and reform effort to improve efficiency across the organization — the first such endeavor since its founding in 1961. As deputy director, she led the roll-out of the Focus In/ Train Up initiative, which provides targeted technical training to volunteers to increase their capacity-building abilities.
During her tenure, Hessler-Radelet has led the implementation of new policies and processes to improve the health and safety of volunteers, including the requirements codified in the 2011 Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act and policies and programs aimed at reducing the risk of sexual assault and violent crime. She was instrumental in instituting the new Office of Global Health and HIV and the Global Health Service Partnership as well as leading an effort to overhaul volunteer recruiting and engage more volunteers in post-service public education activities.
Hessler-Radelet was actively involved in the establishment of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and was a primary author of PEPFAR’s first strategic plan. She was also founder of the Special Olympics in The Gambia in 1986, which is still active there.
Hessler-Radelet holds a master’s degree in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard School of Public Health and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Boston University.