Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Collection
Randolph (Randy) Adams served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic from 1966 to 1969. He worked on community development projects in El Guanal and other towns, then continued for a third year in the education unit of a newly created agricultural reform agency in addition to training new volunteers. Beginning in the 1980s, Adams resumed his affiliation with the Peace Corps and worked in a contract position as a trainer in Venezuela and Peru, then moved to agency headquarters where he filled various positions, including Director of Evaluation (2006-2011). In total, he held 12 different positions. During his interview, Adams talks about changes in volunteer training practices over the decades, from the university-based training in the U.S. and his "outward bound" training in Puerto Rico, to in-country training and home stays for cultural immersion. He discusses how the Peace Corps was generally trusted by various factions during the post-dictator period, but also mentions the bombing of the agency's offices after an American columnist (Drew Pearson) accused the Peace Corps of being affiliated with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Adams talks about the impact of the Peace Corps, both in terms of "capacity-building" in foreign countries by helping people learn how to solve their own problems, and within the U.S. as returned volunteers share their deeper understanding of the world. He also discusses the important role of host country Peace Corps staff and his belief that the "5-year rule" that limits their terms leads to administrative inefficiencies and a lack of continuity. Adams is on the board of the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) and concludes the interview with comments about the organization's evolving role and activities. Interviewed and recorded by Evelyn Ganzglass, August 15, 2018. 2 digital files (web streaming files combined into 1 file).