THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
Today, I am announcing that my good friend and trusted adviser, Mark Gearan, will be leaving his position as the Director of the Peace Corps later this summer. Mark has accepted the exciting challenge of serving as the next President of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, one of our nation's most distinguished academic institutions. The Trustees of the Colleges have made a very wise decision in selecting Mark Gearan as their new President. He is gifted, humane, a leader, and deeply committed to the education of young people. I know that he will bring great vision to the colleges as they enter the next century.
I have relied on Mark Gearan's skills, wisdom, and talents for many years. He was a close aide to me from the time I first sought the presidency; he served as Vice President Gore's campaign manager in the 1992 election; and he served me in the White House as Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Communications.
One of the best personnel decisions I have made as President was to appoint Mark Gearan as the Director of the Peace Corps. I believe he has been one of the most successful Directors since President Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961. He has rejuvenated the Peace Corps, and demonstrated a deep commitment to its legacy of service and the women and men who serve as Peace Corps volunteers. He can be proud that the Peace Corps will soon have more volunteers serving overseas than at any time in a generation.
Mark strengthened the Peace Corps in many ways. He has established the Crisis Corps, a new program within the Peace Corps that enables former volunteers to help people in other countries recover from the effects of natural disasters and humanitarian crises. He established new volunteer programs in South Africa, Jordan, and Bangladesh, and has managed the Peace Corps with great skill and care. This record of performance has convinced me, and the Congress, that the Peace Corps should field 10,000 volunteers, and I was proud to sign into law an authorization bill that will put us on the path toward achieving this goal by the year 2003.
I thank Mark for his friendship and service. Hillary and I will miss Mark, his wife, Mary, and their two daughters, Madeleine and Kathleen. We wish them the very best as they take this new step in their lives.