Dr. Jody Olsen, Director of Peace Corps, to speak in Utah

Dr. Jody Olsen (Peace Corps)
Dr. Jody Olsen (Peace Corps)
Dr. Jody Olsen (Peace Corps)

Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy (UCCD) welcomes Dr. Jody Olsen, 20th Director of Peace Corps, as the next guest lecturer for the Ambassador John Price & Marica Price World Affair Lecture Series.   

UCCD invites the public to this free lecture titled Peace Corps: Making A Difference Through People to People Diplomacy”  where  Dr. Olsen will discuss how the Peace Corps is unique among service organizations because our Volunteers live and work at the community level for two years, learning the language, culture, and related development technical skills. Through these exchanges, Volunteers serve as cultural ambassadors as they exchanges ideas, vision, and values with the citizens of their host countries.

DATE:  Wednesday, June 12, 2019
TIME:  7:00 PM
LOCATION: Bill & Vieve Gore School of Business at Westminster College 1840 South 1300 East  Salt Lake City, UT
RSVP AT: https://peoplediplomacy.eventbrite.com

Dr. Olsen began her career as a Peace Corps Volunteer, serving in Tunisia from 1966-1968. She has since served the agency in multiple leadership positions—as Acting Director in 2009; Deputy Director from 2002-2009; Chief of Staff from 1989-1992; Regional Director, North Africa, Near East, Asia, Pacific from 1981- 1984; and Country Director in Togo from 1979-1981. Prior to returning to the Peace Corps in 2018, Dr. Olsen served as Visiting Professor at the University of Maryland- Baltimore School of Social Work and Director of the University’s Center for Global Education Initiatives. She also oversaw health research projects in Malawi while teaching courses on international social work, global social policy, and global women and children’s health. Throughout her career, Dr. Olsen has championed the expansion of service, learning, and international opportunities for Americans of all backgrounds.

“Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy is excited to welcome Dr. Jody Olsen to Utah to discuss the role that the Peace Corps plays in citizen diplomacy, the concept that we all have the right and responsibility to help shape

U.S. foreign relations and it is done as simply as one handshake at a time,” Felecia Maxfield-Barrett, UCCD Executive Director shares. “Citizen diplomacy is a powerful tool that results in stronger economic and social relationships in a globally connected world, especially in a time when diplomacy is dismissed as an effective and peaceful way to build and maintain U.S. foreign relations.”   

Earlier that day, Dr. Olsen will be the keynote speaker at UCCD’s annual Tribute Award Luncheon, a prestigious event honoring two remarkable Utah leaders who have made a significant contribution to citizen diplomacy by promoting global understanding and respect between the people of Utah and other nations.  This year’s Tribute Award Honorees include Susan Arsht, Assistant Professor, Bill & Vieve Gore School of Business, Westminster College and the Salt Lake Tribune with the award received by Jennifer Napier-Pearce, Editor.

Maxfield-Barrett continues, “Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy is honored to celebrate more than 50 years of citizen diplomacy that has only been accomplished because of the dedicated support of our professional community and volunteers dedicated to our mission of promoting respect and understanding between the people of Utah and other nations.  This year’s awardees exemplify citizen diplomacy as they have donated their time and knowledge in meeting with global leaders who visit Utah.” 

Past award recipients include Lisa Eccles, the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Ambassador John Price and Marcia Price, Senator Gene Davis, Rosemary Baron, Jerilyn and Dave Winder, Ben and Susan Banks, Keith and Irene Longson, and Martha Ball.

About Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy (UCCD): 

UCCD works with the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program and other exchange programs to welcome hundreds of emerging leaders from around the world to Utah each year to meet with like-minded professionals, businesses, government agencies, and organizations to exchange best practices and create networks while experiencing Utah’s unique culture. Additionally, UCCD invites the local community to attend the Ambassador John Price and Marcia Price World Affairs Lecture Series that features experts who come from a wide range of disciplines to speak about relevant foreign diplomacy topics resulting in a globally savvy community. More information can be found at utahdiplomacy.org.

Stuart is the founder, writer and wrangler at several sites including Gastronomic SLC, Utah Now and, The Utah Review; Stuart is a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune and has worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake.