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Peace Corps Director to Leave Post

October 24, 2003

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez announced Thursday he is resigning, effective Nov. 14.

Vasquez, who has headed the volunteer agency since February 2002, gave no reason for his decision.

In his resignation letter to President Bush, Vasquez said the Peace Corps is ``well positioned to expand and achieve even more in the 21st century.″

He added that the agency ``remains one of the most viable means to train men and women in host countries and do so with effectiveness and positive outcomes of which we can be proud.″

In his 20 months as director, he said the Peace Corps established programs in nine countries. Vasquez plans to return to his home state of California.

He was confirmed as director by the Senate, overcoming opposition from former volunteers who said he lacked foreign policy experience.

Vasquez, 48, served as Orange County supervisor from 1987-1995. He was the state’s highest-ranking elected Hispanic Republican and had close ties to then-Gov. Pete Wilson.

He later became vice president in charge of public affairs at Southern California Edison Co.

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