May 11, 2010
For immediate use
(DURHAM, N.C.) – Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams will deliver the commencement address to Durham Technical Community College graduates and their families, faculty and staff, and invited guests on Wednesday, May 19, at 4:30 p.m. in the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC).
More than 600 associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates will be awarded to students. In addition, more than 200 General Equivalency Diploma (GED) and 35 Adult High School graduates will receive diplomas. The Reverend Lori Pistor, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), will deliver the invocation, followed by welcoming remarks from Dr. Mary Ann Peter, chair of Durham Tech’s Board of Trustees. Other speakers include the college’s president, Dr. William Ingram; and Briant Davis, Student Senate president. Jim Fleming, coordinator of the new Durham Tech Alumni Association, will welcome the new graduates into the organization.
Williams was named director of the Peace Corps last summer. He had previously served as vice president for International Business Development for Research Triangle Institute International, representing the company’s consulting practice in the Washington, D.C. office. Williams served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic
from 1967 to 1970. Upon completing his service there, he worked as the coordinator of minority recruitment and the project evaluation officer for the Peace Corps in his hometown of Chicago from 1970 to 1971. Previously he served as a senior manager at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where he attained the rank of career minister in the U.S. Senior Foreign Service. As USAID mission director in South Africa, Williams led a billion-dollar foreign assistance program during President Nelson Mandela’s administration. He was awarded the USAID Distinguished Career
Service Award and was twice awarded the Presidential Award for Distinguished Service.
He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has served on the Obama-Biden transition team and on the board of directors of CARE and the National Peace Corps Association. Williams is a graduate of Chicago State University and has an MBA from the University of Wisconsin. He met his wife, Rosa, while serving as a volunteer in the Dominican Republic. The couple has two sons.