Gaddi H. Vasquez

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Gaddi H. Vasquez, of California, was nominated April 25, 2006, by President George W. Bush for the rank of Ambassador during his tenure of service as the United States Representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture.

Vasquez was nominated in January 2001 by President Bush [1] and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on January 23, 2002, as the 16th Director of the U.S. Peace Corps. He was sworn in February 14, 2002, and is the Corps' first Hispanic American director. [2]


Controversies

  • An August 24, 2001, New York Times editorial informed that "Last year Mr. Vasquez transferred $100,000 in leftover campaign funds to the Republican Party, a transaction that undoubtedly helped his chances for political rehabilitation. Certainly this is not the first administration to reward a donor with a plum position. But it is distressing that Mr. Bush views the Peace Corps directorship as a place to park generous donors with mediocre résumés."
  • Judy Mann wrote in the November 9, 2001, Washington Post article "Peace Corps Deserves Better than GOP Deadwood":
"At a time when the United States needs friends abroad more than ever, President Bush has nominated to head the Peace Corps a discredited California party hack whose principal public achievement to date has been to help bankrupt the richest county in his state. The nomination of Gaddi H. Vasquez has aroused a storm of protest among former Peace Corps volunteers, a formidable group of people who have made names for themselves in every rank of American life. And they, perhaps more than other Americans, know the abysmal conditions of poverty and hopelessness that spawn terrorism ...
"The Peace Corps has been a crown jewel in our ever-diminishing foreign aid efforts. With 7,000 volunteers a year, it has taught and served people in nearly 80 of the poorest and most-troubled countries in the world. Volunteers from the get-go won respect from host countries, and they won respect for the United States. So who does Bush nominate to head the agency? Somebody who is singularly unqualified to head anything, let alone the Peace Corps."
  • According to the Winter 2002 Friends of Nigeria Newsletter,
  1. "Nominated by President Bush last July, Vasquez is a long-time Republican who helped contribute $100,000 to the Bush presidential campaign. He served as a campaign adviser to Bush who pledged to nominate an Hispanic Peace Corps Director."
  2. "Opponents criticized the 46-year-old Vasquez for his lack of chief executive, Peace Corps, international, and fiscal experience, and for his role as a supervisor during the Orange County, CA, bankruptcy."
  3. "Vasquez resigned from the Orange County Board of Supervisors ten months after the 1994 bankruptcy, shortly after recall petitions were circulated for Vasquez and several other supervisors. A 1996 Securities and Exchange Commission report was highly critical of Vasquez and other supervisors in connection with the bankruptcy. Caused by risky investments made by a staff member working under board oversight, the bankruptcy left the formerly wealthy county with a loss of $1.64 billion."
  • In a November 27, 2001, letter to Senator Christopher J. Dodd sent by The Committee for The Future of The Peace Corps — which represented "nearly 15,000 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers — the Committee, after "reading over the transcripts of the hearings held on November 14, 2001," addressed "very serious discrepancies in Mr. Vasquez’s testimony and our research findings," among which were:
  1. "investment practices of Orange County were called into question six months before the actual bankruptcy. Mr. Vasquez testified otherwise."
  2. "formal, official recall process to remove Supervisor Vasquez from office was begun. Mr. Vasquez testified otherwise."
  3. Vasquez "testified to meetings with Returned Peace Corps Volunteers in Orange County and Los Angeles. We have been unable to verify any such meetings with RPCVs in Orange County or Los Angeles."
The Committee stated that "Vasquez’s international expertise is minimal, but his demonstrated lack of fiscal management skills combined with his lack of leadership on the bankruptcy clearly speak to his inability to manage a large staff with a multimillion-dollar budget. More importantly, he does not have a vision for the Peace Corps."

Profiles

Prior to becoming Peace Corps Director, Vasquez was "a Division Vice President for Public Affairs at Southern California Edison Company." [3] "He began his public service career as a police officer in the City of Orange, California, when he was only 19-years-old and continued to serve as a Reserve Police Officer until the date of his nomination." [4]

"From 1987 to 1995, he was County Supervisor of Orange County, California, and from 1985 to 1987, he served in the California Governor's Office, first as the Deputy Appointments Secretary, then as Chief Deputy Appointments Secretary." [5]

Vasquez, who worked for California governors George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson, and Gray Davis, "also founded the Orange County Hispanic Education Fund, which has raised more than $1 million for scholarships." [6]

Vasquez was appointed by former President George H.W. Bush to the Commission on White House Fellowships and the United States Quincentennary Commission. [7]

Vasquez "has been named one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the United States six times by Hispanic Business Magazine." [8]

"A native of Carrizo Springs, Texas, Mr. Vasquez is the son of migrant farm workers of Mexican descent who instilled in him a strong work ethic and the value of always giving his utmost to any endeavor. Mr. Vasquez became the first member of his family to earn a college degree." [9] He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Redlands, has completed Executive Studies programs at both Stanford University and Harvard University [10] and has served as a trustee professor at Chapman University. [11]

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Profiles

Articles & Commentary

2001

2002