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Peace Corps Chief Insults Underlings

February 09, 1992

If everyone thought the way Elaine Chao does, there wouldn't be any Peace Corps for her to direct ("An Insider Moves Out, Up," Jan. 19).

When Chao says she didn't consider serving as a volunteer herself because she had other, presumably more important, obligations to consider, she insulted every Peace Corps volunteer who's ever served.

Peace Corps volunteers (including minority volunteers from far less affluent communities than Chao's Westchester County, N.Y.) have obligations and ambitions every bit as compelling as those of Elaine Chao.

And they have something else: an old-fashioned belief in service--not the kind of service you do when you're offered a well-paid, high-visibility job in Washington, D. C., but the kind of service you do in places where no one goes to power lunches and there's no financial gain or recognition in the offing.

The Peace Corps has a lot of problems, and many of them are directly attributable to politically appointed leaders who just don't "get it."

Elaine Chao says her first priority will be to let Peace Corps volunteers know what she thinks is important. Her time would be better spent trying to learn what they think is so important.


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