Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

    • u-h-50ecae7df5ff-jpg
    • u-h-0887711a5e69-jpg
    • u-h-7d94729ee32e-jpg

International Alumnus: Kirk Leach '86, Peace Corps

Deputy Director for Peace Corps in Ecuador

Kirk majored in English at F&M. At that time he was unsure about a career path. An invitation from a friend to come to a Peace Corps information session in January 1988 got him thinking about joining the organization. He was accepted and sent to Honduras in August 1989 as a Community Organizer for Water/Sanitation projects in small villages in the mountains of the Santa Barbara region of Honduras. During his time there, Kirk helped communities build three water systems and latrines serving over 1000 residents. He also worked with a women’s hat-making cooperative to develop business ties with the U.S., taught English, and implemented a fuel-efficient wood burning stove project, while gaining fluency in Spanish.

Upon finishing his Peace Corps service, Kirk spent about eight years in the New York City metropolitan area. His work experience there included time as District Representative for Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey, Program Manager for the Foreign Policy Association and Program Development Associate for International Planned Parenthood/Western Hemisphere Region. He also completed a Master’s Degree in Public Administration (Non-Profit Management specialization) at New York University.

Kirk had always wanted to return to Latin America and found the opportunity to do so in 2000, being named Advisor to a USAID-funded Child Survival project in eastern Bolivia, near Santa Cruz de la Sierra, for the International Eye Foundation. From October 2001 to November 2003, Kirk was the Deputy Field Office Director for Save the Children in La Paz, Bolivia. From November 2003-June 2005, he was the Country Director for Project Concern International in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

During his time in Latin America, Kirk has implemented small- and large-scale projects in Child Survival, Education, Food Security, Social Infrastructure, Habitat Conservation, Sustainable Agriculture and Youth and Families At-Risk. He expects to spend a minimum of 6-8 more years overseas, most likely in Latin America.

Kirk and his wife, Danielle, have two sons, Mateo (6) and Mason (3). Both boys have lived their entire lives in Latin America and are fully bi-lingual and bi-cultural. Danielle is a Consultant, and has worked for USAID and CARE, among others, in Bolivia and Honduras.