Jeremy Johnson ’03 JD/MA (PSc) Uses Peace Corps Experience to Prepare for Maxwell

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Jeremy Johnson 2

Jeremy Johnson served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nong Khai, Thailand after working as an attorney in Phoenix, AZ. After his Peace Corps experience, Jeremy lectured at a university in Thailand and recently attended King’s College London, University of London to earn his LL.M. Jeremy earned a JD and MA in Political Science from Syracuse University in 2003.

For his Peace Corps service, Jeremy entered pre-service training in January of 2008, participating in a ten-week training program in Singburi, Thailand. For eight of those weeks, he lived with a Thai host family in Bang Man village. After training, Jeremy was sworn in as a community-based organizational development worker and assigned to the Community-Based Organizational Development project. The purpose of the project was to provide community development assistance at the most local level of government, working with government staff and local community groups to enhance capacity in organizational development.

He was assigned to See Gaai Sub-District Administrative Organization, a government sub-district comprised of 8 villages in Nong Khai Province. The sub-district is located along the Mekong River, just across from Laos. Throughout his service, Jeremy worked with his community on a number of projects, including a project to plant sunflowers along the Mekong River, landscape an area where tourists frequent and build sanitary facilities for one of the community groups.

In his final reflections of the village, the people, the river–which became his community–his decision to undertake this journey was “invaluable,” he says. Although he was trained as an attorney and not as a community development worker, Jeremy says, he has “certainly gained much from [his] experience.” His project work in the village has given him real-life international experience in both public administration and international development. He also credits his Maxwell experience for giving him an advantage. “The courses, seminars and teaching assistantship broadened my perspective and gave me the background to better understand development theories and thus serve.”

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