Peace Corps - The mission is noble but the management of it is not | Glassdoor
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There are newer employer reviews for Peace Corps

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Helpful (3)

"The mission is noble but the management of it is not"

StarStarStarStarStar
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Country Desk Officer in Washington, DC
Current Employee - Country Desk Officer in Washington, DC

Pros

The mission of Peace Corps, as first outlined by President Kennedy, remains true today. The noble acheivements and enthusiasm by Volunteers past and present are the fuel that keeps this organization alive. Interaction with volunteers can be invigorating and rewarding. The management here is understanding if you need some extra time off to deal with any issues, and there is enough downtime to get in a good vacation. The people that work here - from nurses to IT specialists, to desk jockeys to and consultants - are fantastic. While some are returned Peace Corps volunteers, many are not and yet still can identify with the underlying mission of providing to support to those who are supporting others. Peace Corps does good work and everyone here is so enthusiastic about what it is they do. It's a contagious feeling and a nice break from corporate go-get'em attitudes or the me-first attitude in other fed agencies.

Cons

Peace Corps is a "boutique" agency in the U.S. federal government - very refined towards a mission that contribute little to other agencies and departments outside of it. The Peace Corps is separated from the State Department, but the politics of where Peace Corps will operate is about as complicated and policy-driven as anything could be in Washington. If you love politicking and glad-handing, Peace Corps HQ is an ideal place for you. This place is loaded with political appointees - the White House treats this place as the consolation prize for people that couldn't get elected into office or simply know somebody that knows somebody. A downside of a boutique agency is its subsequent tiny budget. This place is about as cheap as they come.

A downside is the five-year rule - the requirement that you must leave the agency after 5 years, and cannot return to the agency until another 5 years have elapsed. This is supposed to offer fresh thinking in the agency but all it does is contribute to brain drain and loss of institutional knowledge. Furthermore, I am convinced that employees here are chewed up and spit out, without much attention to professional growth and preparation to leave the agency, which everyone must do (except for those appointees!).

Advice to Management

Empower your employees, share information, allow for continuing education, let your staff travel overseas more often, allow for enhanced responsibility and upward mobility. Reward your staff with bonuses or time off awards so they understand the value of their contributions. Finally - enough with the speeches about how we'll do everything to support the volunteer. How about supporting your own staff, who you see and work with everyday? It sure seems like you'd move mountains for people you don't even know, but when we ask for a raise or to go travel, you act like we shot your dog.

Other Employee Reviews for Peace Corps

  1. "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist in Lomé, Maritime (Togo)
    Former Employee - Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist in Lomé, Maritime (Togo)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Peace Corps full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    You know that you are making a difference. Everyone is motivated to work for the right reasons. The work that is done in the field is inspiring.

    Cons

    Working in the field can be difficult. There is always a disconnect between headquarters and post. Furthermore, there are substantial talent gaps between local and international hires. The culture at post allows for independence and innovation, but the HQ culture is fairly standard government bureaucracy.

    Advice to Management

    Be open to new ideas and change, but only inasmuch as they provide increased efficiency or output. Some trends are worth jumping on, others are immaterial for a place like Peace Corps.


  2. "Great place to work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Peace Corps full-time

    Pros

    Routinely ranked in top 5 best agencies to work

    Cons

    An agency staffed by RPCVs can be a bit "kumbaya" even in the face of tough decisions.

There are newer employer reviews for Peace Corps
There are newer employer reviews for Peace Corps

See Most Recent

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