EVENT REPORT: RPCVs and State Department Alum Career Fair, 9/6/19

I recently attended a career fair offered for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) and alum of State Department (ECA) programs. It was held on Friday, September 6, 2019 and some 400 RPCVs and about 80 ECA program alum registered, mostly from the Fulbright Program. Here is a short video I made from the fair.

There were nearly 100 employers present including US government, NGOs, and even private industry, like H & M. I’ve attached a below the list of those groups in attendance.

Here is a sampling of the booths I visited and conversations I had:

Carter Center, Guinea Worm Eradication Program

I spoke with Sarah Yerian about the Carter Center’s program to end guinea worm. They are looking to hire individuals interested in working in public health in the field, mostly in Africa. Individuals with Peace Corps backgrounds are ideal candidates, because they are tested in field work.

Carter Center Display
Perry Watkins from Peace Corps Response

Brookhaven National Laboratory

I met with a representative of the Brookhaven National Laboratory, International Safeguards Project Office. Brookhaven is a program of the IAEA. As might be expected, students with science backgrounds are encouraged to apply, but not all positions are science related.

Peace Corps Response

Peace Corps Response seeks individuals, often working professionals, for short term deployment overseas. It is not the regular 27 month Peace Corps experience. I talked with Perry Watkins who was looking for nursing and health care professionals in Tanzania.

A Wider Circle

I talked with Beth Makal from A Wider Circle. The group focuses on ending poverty and is looking for individuals who are committed to working for this cause.

Southern Teachers Agency

Southern Teachers Agency helps place new teachers in private K-12 schools throughout the south. Many RPCVs and those coming back from ECA programs (like Fulbright) are interested in continuing to teach.

Human Rights Campaign (HRC)

HRC promotes LGBTQ issues and causes. The group lobbies but also educates and in other ways advances issues important to its community. HRC is filling various positions including those related to graphic design!


I spoke with Diane Shipman from ACDI/VOCA which is a development organization working in the agricultural sector particularly with farmers. The not for profit is looking for individuals interested in field work worldwide.


KIPP is charter school organization working in a number of cities in the U.S. Mecha Santos is from DC office, where KIPP has a number of schools. It is looking for K-12 educators.

Mecha Santos from KIPPDC

City Staff

I spoke with Nick Vockrodt from City Staff, a DC based staffing agency. It matches workers with temporary and permanent positions, mostly in office situations.

Sasha Bruce

I spoke with representatives of Sasha Bruce Youthwork, Inc., which works with homeless, abused, and neglected youth and their families in the DC. Sasha Bruce is looking to hire case managers and social workers.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Spencer Pretecrum is my video. He shared about how non-competitive eligibility is valuable to RPCVs and Fulbrighters. He is a public affairs specialist and RPCV.


I was most surprised to see the Swedish retailer H&M here (a place my daughter shops!). They are looking for sales staff. Often they find individuals are looking for part-time work to supplement another job.

Equal Justice Works

Finally, I spoke with Uyen Chung, who is featured in my video, about Equal Justice Works, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that brings together an extensive network of law students, lawyers, legal services organizations, and supporters to promote a lifelong commitment to public service and equal justice.

My other “Event Reports” are here.  Recently I have visited the International Conference on Conflict Resolution Education, the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute, CSIS, World Bank, Johns Hopkins University/SAIS and the SIDW career fair at George Washington University.

David J. Smith is a career coach, speaker and consultant based in Rockville, Maryland, USA. He is the author of Peace Jobs: A Student’s Guide to Starting a Career Working for Peace(IAP 2016). He is an official member of Forbes Coaches Council and member of the PCDN Career Advisory Board.  David is also the president of the Forage Center for Peacebuilding and Humanitarian Education, Inc. and teaches at School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University and the School of Education at Drexel University. He can be reached at davidjsmith@davidjsmithconsulting.com.


Published by David J. Smith

I am a career coach, consultant, and head of a not for profit - the Forage Center - that offers humanitarian education training. I also teach at George Mason University and Drexel University. A one time lawyer, I spent many years teaching in a community college where I was a Fulbright U.S. Scholar teaching in Estonia. I'm the author of Peace Jobs: A Student's Guide to Starting a Career Working for Peace (IAP 2016). I've been married to my best friend for over 31 years and we have two well adjusted adult children who teach me something new everyday. I live in Rockville, Maryland.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: