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Kate Raftery Emerging Leader Award

About the Award

The Kate Raftery Emerging Leader Award honors emerging women leaders under the age of 40 that have show a demonstrated dedication to improving the lives of women and girls. Awardees are affiliated with the Peace Corps and have been awarded annually since 2020.

Who is Kate Raftery?

Kate Raftery has dedicated most of her career to the elevation of young professionals, especially young women professionals. As Peace Corps Country Director in four countries, deputy director and training staff in three others, and a member of headquarters senior leadership, she strove to support and challenge young professionals both personally and professionally during their service and fledging careers. She has counseled, cheered on and written references for hundreds, if not more, Volunteers as they launched their careers. As National Director of the Americorps National Civilian Community Corps she directed a program which offered a unique service opportunity for thousands of 18-24 year old youth which allowed them to maximize the skills which they brought to the program as well as understand the power of service to address burning community issues. As Vice President for Education for the International Youth Foundation she focused on providing life skills and youth empowerment training through formal and non formal education programs with the hope to empower and give voice to young people around the world. Kate has been an active member of Women of Peace Corps Legacy since its inception and was a leader in the establishment of the mentoring program which has grown into a foundational institutional program. 

Nomination Requirements

Nominees must be age 40 or under by submission deadline.

Nominees must be making a significant and lasting impact in the lives of women and girls. This can be widely interpreted to include all the different areas where one can have an impact – health, education, the environment, mentoring, sports, economic empowerment, etc.

Nominees must be women with an acknowledged connection to Peace Corps. This includes: Currently serving or Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and/or current or former U.S.-based Peace Corps Staff.

Nominations must demonstrate a clear connection between the nominees’ Peace Corps experience and their current work. How did the nominees’ Peace Corps experience inspire their commitment to serving women and girls? Written statements must be 1000 words or less.

Nominations must show demonstrated success and impact. Testimonials are highly encouraged.

Please direct any questions via email.


Nominations for the Kate Raftery Emerging Leader Award are currently open until June 15, 2022.


Award Recipients

Learn more about our inspiring award recipients.

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Evaluation Process

1. The evaluation committee will be made up of five women determined by the Women of Peace Corps Legacy Awards Committee co-chairs.

2. All nominees will be evaluated against other candidate submissions.

3. Nominations will be reviewed for the unique and significant contributions of the nominees, scope or reach of their work, and their impact on women and girls.

4. Nominations will be open in February and be accepted through June 15, 2022 and announced at the Peace Corps Connect Conference.

5. The award will be made to one individual and presented at the National Peace Corp Association’s Peace Corps Connect Conference.

About the Award

The Kate Raftery Emerging Leader Award is given annually to a woman under the age of 40 who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and ongoing commitment to improving the lives of women and girls. This award recognizes young professionals with an affiliation to Peace Corps as either a Peace Corps Volunteer or Staff Member.