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PEACE CORPS DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION STRATEGIC PLAN 2012-2016

Background
The Peace Corps believes that having a diverse and inclusive agency is necessary to achieve its mission.
Recognizing that the long term success of the agency in achieving its goals depends on having diverse
perspectives that drive innovation, the Peace Corps strives to be more proactive in recruiting and
retaining1 staff and Volunteers who reflect the rich diversity of America.
In 2008, Peace Corps engaged in an agency-wide effort to develop the Peace Corps Strategic Plan for
FY2009 FY2014 (PCSP). The PCSP established five strategic goals designed to measure the agencys
performance in carrying out Peace Corps mission. The five goals are:

1) Enhance the capacity of host country individuals, organizations, and communities to meet their
skill needs.
2) Promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the host country individuals,
organizations, and communities served by Volunteers.
3) Foster outreach to Americans through agency programs that assist Volunteers and returned
Peace Corps Volunteers to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of
the Americans.
4) Provide Volunteers, who represent the diversity of Americans, to meet the evolving technical
needs of host countries.
5) Implement the Peace Corps mission in an effective and efficient manner through the provisions
of high quality Volunteer support with optimal healthcare, safety and security support, and
effective management of resources.
The PCSP provides outcomes, measures, monitoring, and performance expectations to ensure that
Peace Corps meets the five strategic goals as outlined in the plan. The fourth strategic goal emphasizes
the importance Peace Corps places on achieving diversity in its Volunteer Corps. The full PCSP is
available at www.peacecorps.gov/open.
In 2011, the President of the United States issued Executive Order 13583 (EO 13583), requiring federal
agencies, among other things, to create and implement a diversity and inclusion strategic plan. The
Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is designated as the governing agency for the federal
government to ensure that all federal agencies comply with EO 13583 and implement, monitor, and
track goals and measures related to EO 13583. Prior OPM regulations, supplemental documents related
to EO 13583, and relevant federal Executive Orders are to be considered and incorporated in the
diversity and inclusion strategic plan for federal agencies. Refer to prior OPM documents and Executive
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Peace Corps retention efforts are limited by the five year rule, which limits most Peace Corps employees to no
more than five years of service. 22 USC 2506(a)(5). In exceptional circumstances, appointments may be extended
to seven and a half years as long as no more than fifteen percent of Peace Corps workforce is under such an
appointment.

Orders to review EO 13583, Implementation Guidelines for EO 13583, Management Directive-715 (MD715), and other Executive Orders related to diversity and inclusion.
OPM defines workforce diversity as a collection of individual attributes that together help agencies
pursue organizational objectives efficiently and effectively. These include, but are not limited to,
characteristics such as national origin, language, race, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, age, religion,
sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, veteran status, and family structures. The
concept also encompasses differences among people concerning where they are from and where they
have lived and their differences of thought and life experiences.
OPM defines inclusion as a culture that connects each employee to the organization; encourages
collaboration, flexibility, and fairness; and leverages diversity throughout the organization so that all
individuals are able to participate and contribute to their full potential.
In response to EO 13583 and in support of PCSP, the agency has developed the Peace Corps Diversity
and Inclusion Strategic Plan (DISP) to underscore the importance of embracing industry best practices
for recruiting and retaining quality agency staff in a manner that is inclusive and reflective of the rich
diverse civilian labor force within the United States. The DISP serves to assist Peace Corps in carrying out
its core mission to achieve the primary five goals as defined in the PCSP.
The base measure for the DISP for staff is the Relevant Civilian Labor Force (RCLF) as used in the EEOCs
MD-715 report. MD-715 states that Geographic areas of recruitment and hiring are integral factors in
determining relevant civilian labor force participation rates. EEOC will provide appropriate civilian labor
force data for use by agencies. With respect to positions typically filled through the internal promotion
process or through transfers from other federal agencies, a self-assessment will involve looking at the
racial, national origin, and gender profile of the occupational categories and/or grade levels from which
such promotions or transfers are typically made. EEOC will, from time to time, provide additional
guidance on conducting the analysis. The base measure for the DISP for Volunteers will be determined
by the Peace Corps.
Consistent with MD-715, Peace Corps will continue to rely on the RCLF data to determine whether there
are diversity concerns or barriers that Peace Corps needs to address.
Based on the guidelines from OPM in developing a diversity and inclusion strategic plan, the Peace Corps
DISP provides three primary goals for the Peace Corps:
1. The Peace Corps shall recruit and retain qualified employees and Volunteers from a diverse
group of potential applicants to secure a diverse, high-performing workforce and Volunteer
Corps that draws from all segments of American society.
2. Through proactive diversity and inclusion efforts that include awareness building, training, and
education, the Peace Corps shall cultivate a more inclusive culture that encourages
collaboration, flexibility, and fairness, where individuals feel valued and are enabled to
contribute to their full potential.
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3. The Peace Corps shall develop strategies and processes to equip directors, managers, and
supervisors with the ability to engender a culture of inclusion and to successfully manage
diversity, be accountable, and refine approaches on the basis of such data.
Preface
The Peace Corps Director, deputy director, chief of staff, and the agencys senior managers are
responsible for addressing the goals of the DISP. The DISPs three primary goals relate to Peace Corps
staff and Volunteers. Under Executive Order 11103, returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) who have
completed their service satisfactorily have one year of non-competitive eligibility for employment in the
Peace Corps and other federal agencies. Non-competitive eligibility for RPCVs, combined with the high
rate of staff turnover at the Peace Corps due to the operation of the five year rule, has resulted in
RPCVs currently comprising more than half of the agency workforce. Since RPCVs tend to make up a
significant portion of the pool from which the Peace Corps recruits its staff, the level of diversity in the
ranks of Peace Corps Volunteers has a direct impact on diversity in the pool of applicants from which the
Peace Corps recruits its staff. Therefore, we have included Peace Corps Volunteers in this plan even
though, by law, they are not employees of the Peace Corps.
Through barrier analysis, the agency determined that service restrictions (Five Year rule as stated in the
Peace Corps Act per 22 U.S.C. 2506(a)(5)) inherently limit retention of staff, and creates an ongoing need
for a qualified applicant pool.
The three primary goals are provided below, followed by relevant priorities and specific actions to be
taken by agency staff, both domestic and overseas. A detailed implementation plan is forthcoming and
will include, among other things, specific trainings, implementation tactics, measures, and monitoring
processes to achieve DISPs three goals.
Peace Corps is in the process of establishing the implementation plan and that will include actions by
each office with designated Action Officers within the agency.
Goal 1
The Peace Corps shall recruit and retain qualified employees and Volunteers from a diverse group of
potential applicants to secure a diverse, high-performing workforce and Volunteer Corps that draws from
all segments of American society.
Priority 1.1: Design and implement outreach strategies that ensure recruitment and retention
processes reach and include all segments of society.
Actions:
1. Review results of barrier analyses and address any identified barrier(s).

2. Support Special Emphasis Programs (SEPs)2 and appoint SEP managers consistent with 29 CFR
1614.104.
Priority 1.2: Use strategic hiring initiatives for people with disabilities and for veterans, conduct
barrier analyses, and support Special Emphasis Programs to promote diversity within the agency.
Actions:
1. Involve and train directors, managers, and supervisors engaged in staff and Volunteer recruitment
activities to address diversity and inclusion goals and take appropriate action to ensure that the
outreach efforts are effective.
2. Develop and implement outreach strategies to maximize recruitment for staff and Volunteers from a
diverse, broad spectrum of potential applicants from academic sources and professional disciplines and
other sources, which reflect the diverse civilian labor force of America.
3. Ensure that staffing flexibilities (e.g., temporaries, interns, personal service contractors, and
alternative hiring authorities) are available to managers.
4. Maximize existing organizational relationships and consider developing additional strategic
partnerships that include a diverse range of entities to include nongovernmental organizations, labor
organizations, colleges and universities, trade schools, apprentice programs, affinity groups, and
community organizations from across the United States and around the world.
Priority 1.3: Determine information that will be gathered quarterly for reports, briefs, and agency
updates.
Actions:
1. Measure applicant flow data for staff and Volunteers to determine whether applicant pools are
reflective of the relevant civilian labor force (RCLF) as defined in MD-715 and the agencys baseline
for Volunteers.
2. Establish a quarterly date and time for reporting (e.g., the fourth Wednesday after the quarter
ends).
3. Identify and share best practices as it relates to diverse and inclusive applicant pools for staff and
Volunteers.
Goal 2
Through proactive diversity and inclusion efforts that include awareness building, training, and
education, the Peace Corps shall cultivate a more inclusive culture that encourages collaboration,
flexibility, and fairness, where individuals feel valued and are enabled to contribute to their full potential.

Priority 2.1: Through proactive efforts to include ongoing training and education and other types of
staff and Volunteer support, cultivate a welcoming, supportive, inclusive, and fair work environment
for staff and Volunteers.
Actions:
1. For employees, use flexible workplace policies that encourage employee engagement and
empowerment, including, but not limited to, telework, wellness programs, and other work-life
flexibilities and benefits.
2. Support participation in employee affinity and resource groups and provide such groups with access
to agency senior leadership.
3. For Volunteers, senior leadership at posts should encourage the development of support networks
that promote diversity and inclusion.
4. Orient new federal employees and new members of the Senior Foreign Service (SFS) to the agencys
culture of diversity and inclusion and provide networking opportunities.
5. Orient new Volunteers to the agency culture of diversity and inclusion, provide networking
opportunities, and supplement the existing cross-cultural and sensitivity training with a diversity and
inclusion component.
6. Train staff and Volunteers on diversity and inclusion topics, issues, realities, and strategies to support
and achieve a diverse and inclusive agency.
Priority 2.2: Promote diversity and inclusion in the development of agency initiatives and activities.
Actions:
1. Review agency initiatives and activities, ensuring that they include diversity and inclusion efforts that
assist leadership in eliminating diversity and inclusion barriers where they may exist.
2. Establish a mentoring and coaching program within the Peace Corps for employees at all levels with
an emphasis on aspiring executive-level employees.
3. Develop and implement a succession planning system, identifying strategies to continue and further
promote diversity and inclusion in the agency into the future.
Goal 3
The Peace Corps shall develop strategies and processes to equip directors, managers, and supervisors
with the ability to engender a culture of inclusion and to successfully manage diversity, be accountable,
measure results, and refine approaches on the basis of such data.
Priority 3.1: Demonstrate leadership accountability, commitment, and involvement regarding
diversity and inclusion in the workplace and the Volunteer experience.
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Actions:
1. Distribute communications from the Director to all Peace Corps staff and Volunteers on commitment
to diversity and inclusion goals.
2. Ensure the Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan is distributed and made available for all staff and
Volunteers.
3. Implement the Peace Corps Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan through collaboration and
coordination.
4. The deputy director and chief of staff will meet with directors and managers annually to review
progress towards achieving the goals of the DISP in their offices/units.
5. Participate in, and contribute to, OPMs Diversity and Inclusion Best Practice Program, pursuant to
Executive Order 13583.

Priority 3.2: Fully and timely comply with all related federal laws, regulations, Executive Orders,
management directives, and policies related to promoting diversity and inclusion in the agency.
Actions:
1. Assure appropriate tracking tools monitor progress as it relates to the requirements of federal laws,
regulations, Executive Orders, management directives, and Peace Corps policies.
2. Assure timely submission of reports as required by Federal laws, regulations, Executive Orders,
management directives, and policies.