Goldsboro resident Paul Rutter is among the first Peace Corps volunteers to return to overseas service since the agency’s unprecedented global evacuation in March 2020. The Peace Corps suspended global operations and evacuated nearly 7,000 volunteers from more than 60 countries at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I retired this year, and admiration of many people who have served and their thoughts about service motivated me to join the Peace Corps,” said Rutter. “President Carter’s mom, Mrs. Lillian Carter, might be the first person I knew who had served as a retired person. I look forward to serving my country again, and giving back in appreciation of a life well led.”
Rutter is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a master’s and a doctoral degree in adult education. He received a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of South Carolina. Rutter served in the U.S. Navy in the 1980s on nuclear submarines and was stationed in Hawaii. He retired from the University of Mount Olive, as executive director for strategic partnerships. He will serve as a volunteer in Kosovo in the community economic development sector.
The volunteer cohorts are made up of both first-time volunteers and volunteers who were evacuated in early 2020. Upon finishing a three-month training, volunteers will collaborate with their host communities on locally prioritized projects in one of Peace Corps’ six sectors – agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health, or youth in development – and all will engage in COVID-19 response and recovery work.
Currently, the agency is recruiting volunteers to serve in 59 countries around the world at the request of host country governments, to connect through the Peace Corps’ grassroots approach across communities and cultures. Volunteers have already returned to a total of 57 countries around the world.
The Peace Corps continues to monitor COVID-19 trends in all of its host countries and will send volunteers to serve as conditions permit. Americans interested in transformative service and lifelong connections should apply to Peace Corps service at peacecorps.gov/apply.