Peace Corps acting director to speak Feb. 19

Josephine Olsen, Ph.D., acting director of the Peace Corps, will present “International volunteering and service in the 21st century: Toward peace and development” at 4 p.m. on Feb. 19 in Brown Hall Lounge. Olsen’s talk, the Benjamin E. Youngdahl Lecture in Social Policy, is free and open to the public.

Olsen has had a long and distinguished career with the Peace Corps, beginning as a volunteer in Tunisia. She has served as country director in Togo as well as regional director, chief of staff and deputy director for the agency.

President Barack Obama’s transition team named Olsen acting director of the Peace Corps on Jan. 20, 2009.

The Benjamin E. Youngdahl Lecture in Social Policy, co-sponsored by the Center for Social Development (CSD) at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work and the Gephardt Institute for Public Service, honors Youngdahl, dean of the Brown School from 1945 to 1962.

CSD has a number of research initiatives on global civic service, which includes programs such as the Peace Corps.

“International volunteering is increasing in scope and significance around the world, yet it is the least studied form of civic service,” says Amanda Moore McBride, Ph.D., CSD research director and assistant professor of social work.

“Through our research, we are assessing the nature and scope of international service, helping develop effective practices for service programs and creating a global network of service providers and scholars.”

McBride also is the director of the Gephardt Institute.

For more information about the lecture contact Terri Behr at 935-6630. Visit for more information about the Brown School’s Center for Social Development.