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Lillian Carter Award Ceremony
May 18, 2011

ATLANTA, Ga. May 19, 2011 – Former President Jimmy Carter and Peace Corps Deputy Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet presented the 2011 Lillian Carter Award to returned Peace Corps volunteer (RPCV) Diane Gallagher, age 74, of Brookline, Ma. for her commitment to public service. Gallagher served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cape Verde from 1990 to 1992 at the age of 53. This year’s ceremony was held at the Carter Center in Atlanta.

Diane Gallagher, President Carter, and Carrie Hessler-Radelet

"The Lillian Carter Award is a wonderful celebration of what is best about the Peace Corps -- offering up some of America's best to the world, and bringing the world home to other Americans. It is always a great thrill for me and my family to participate," said President Carter.

The biennial Lillian Carter Award was established in 1986 in honor of President Carter’s mother, Lillian, who served as a health volunteer in India in 1966 at age 68. The award recognizes an exceptional Peace Corps volunteer who served at age 50 plus and has continued to advance Peace Corps’ third goal to promote a better understanding of people from other nations on part of Americans.

“Lillian Carter was a tireless advocate for communities around the world, and her legacy continues to live on in the hundreds of volunteers who serve in Peace Corps over the age of 50,” said Deputy Director Hessler-Radelet (Samoa, 1981-1983). “Whether serving directly after college, or serving in your 60’s, Peace Corps is a life-defining opportunity at any age.”

After Gallagher’s two years of Peace Corps service in Cape Verde, she worked as a Peace Corps recruiter in the Boston Regional Recruitment Office from 1993 to 1998. “Miss Lillian was my inspiration to join the Peace Corps and I thought if she can go in at age 68, then I can certainly go in at age 53,” said Gallagher. “As a returned Peace Corps volunteer, I share stories and my love for my country of service with other Americans to bring my rich experience overseas home to the United States and recruit the next generation of volunteers.” Today, Gallagher continues to promote Peace Corps by speaking at local schools, meetings, and events in the Boston area and sharing stories about her service with Peace Corps trainees about to depart for their host country.

Seven percent of Peace Corps volunteers are age 50 and over. To learn more about 50 plus Peace Corps volunteers, visit

Georgia State Senator and RPCV Jason Carter

Thanks to AARPCV member Amber Davis Collins, RPCV Honduras, for the Lillian Carter Award photographs.

Burundi Drummers of Atlanta

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