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U.S. government

The President of the United States appoints the Peace Corps Director and deputy director, and the appointments must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Read more about the past directors of the Peace Corps.

Initially established by President John F. Kennedy by Executive Order on March 1, 1961, the Peace Corps was formally authorized by the Congress on September 22, 1961, with passage of the Peace Corps Act.

The Peace Corps enjoys bipartisan support in Congress. Senators and representatives from both parties have served as Volunteers.

The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and House Committee on Foreign Affairs are charged with general oversight of the activities and programs of the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps' annual budget is determined each year by the congressional budget and appropriations process. Funding for the Peace Corps is included in the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations bill. Generally, the Peace Corps budget is about 1 percent of the foreign operations budget. The Peace Corps is continuously working to provide the highest quality support to Volunteers, particularly in the areas of health, safety, and security.