Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Peace Corps Deputy Director Olsen visits Pohnpei

Palikir, POHNPEI (Department of Foreign Affairs): April 5, 2007 - The United States Peace Corps Deputy Director Dr. Josephine K. Olsen visited Pohnpei March 26-30, 2007.

As the second person in charge of the 46-year old organization, Dr. Olsen's visit was primarily for familiarization and to meet with FSM and State Government officials and Peace Corps staff and volunteers.

The US Peace Corps was started in 1961 by then President John F. Kennedy, who inspired people to serve their country in the cause of world peace and friendship by living and working in developing countries. Since the inception of Peace Corps in the region in 1946, over 3,000 volunteers have served in Micronesia.

Having served as a volunteer herself, Dr. Olsen said that she understands the challenges that the Peace Corps volunteers face on a daily basis. Dr. Olsen had previously visited Pohnpei in 1983, then as the Regional Director of the organization, and during this visit, she was amazed at all the advancements since the pre-Compact era.

While in Pohnpei, Dr. Olsen paid a courtesy call on President Joseph J. Urusemal and on behalf of the US Senate, presented him with the US Flag that was flown over the US Capitol Building on November 6, 2006, the day marking 40 years of Peace Corps' presence in Micronesia. She noted that the flag was a symbol of the friendship and dedication that embodies the Peace Corps' partnership in the region. The President reciprocated by presenting Dr. Olsen with a framing of the Presidential Proclamation designating the week of November 6, 2006 as US Peace Corps Week. President Urusemal expressed thanks to Peace Corps on behalf of a very grateful nation, mentioning that he was among the many FSM citizens who was present when the first group of Peace Corps arrived in the islands in 1966. President Urusemal also conveyed his hope that the program continues indefinitely and that volunteers be placed on all of the islands in the FSM.

Dr. Olsen also visited with several volunteers serving on Pohnpei, including site visits to Saladak Elementary School, Marine Environmental Research Institute-Pohnpei (MERIP), Island Food Community, Nanpei Elementary School, Salapwuk Elementary School, Pohnpei Public Health, Micronesian Seminar and Mwoakilloa Elementary School.

The Peace Corps Micronesia regional main office is located in Kolonia and serves the four states of the FSM and Republic of Palau. Mr. David Reside serves as the Country Director, with Program Assistants on each of the main islands (Susie Lokopwe-Chuuk, Madison Nena-Kosrae, Largo Edwin-Pohnpei, Larry Raigetal-Yap and Hana Imetengel-Palau).

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356