New U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN Yohannes Abraham Presents Credentials to ASEAN

Chair of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Arrives in Jakarta for G20

Peace Corps Announces the Upcoming Return of Volunteers to Indonesia

JAKARTA – Yohannes Abraham, the new U.S. Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, presented his Letter of Credence to ASEAN Secretary General Dato Lim Jock Hoi on October 5 at the ASEAN Secretariat’s headquarters in Jakarta.

Ambassador Abraham was sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris on September 19, 2022.

Prior to assuming his position, Ambassador Abraham served in the White House as Deputy Assistant to the President, Chief of Staff, and Executive Secretary of the National Security Council. Previously, he was the Executive Director of the Biden-Harris Transition, where he managed day-to-day operations and oversaw the national security, economic, and domestic policy and personnel teams.

During the Obama-Biden Administration, Ambassador Abraham served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor to the White House National Economic Council, as well as Chief of Staff of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. He has also worked as Senior Advisor to the Obama Foundation and taught at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

A native of Springfield, Virginia, Ambassador Abraham holds a BA from Yale College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Today, Representative Gregory W. Meeks, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, arrived in Jakarta to represent the United States on behalf of Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the 8th G20 Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit.

Chairman Meeks will deliver a keynote speech during a plenary session on “Effective Parliament, Vibrant Democracy,” which will address the importance of defending democratic values, combating climate change, strengthening food and energy security, advancing sustainable development and COVID-19 recovery, and deepening interparliamentary coordination on these challenges.

In Jakarta, Chairman Meeks will also meet with senior officials of the Indonesian government, civil society representatives, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations secretariat, and other international partners.

JAKARTA – The Peace Corps, an independent agency of the U.S. government that promotes world peace and friendship, announces the return of Volunteers to Indonesia in January 2023.

The Peace Corps announced the return of Volunteers to Indonesia at a reception at the MyAmerica Library of the U.S. Embassy that brought together government partners, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, and teachers and students from Peace Corps partner schools. This event celebrated the activities of Peace Corps staff and school partners in Indonesia who have worked together throughout the pandemic to address challenges caused by virtual learning and to prepare teachers for the return to the classroom. In addition to in-person attendees, more than 90 principals and teachers from West Java, East Java and East Nusa Tenggara joined the live broadcast online.

At the event, United States Ambassador to Indonesia Sung Y. Kim, highlighted the important work of Peace Corps Volunteers and their community partners, saying: “I am so pleased that we are now able to prepare for the return of Peace Corps Volunteers to Indonesia, and to have such a talented and motivated group of people working with Peace Corps, to expand the ties between our two countries.”

More than 7,300 Peace Corps Volunteers were working in 62 countries when all Volunteers were evacuated in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, Peace Corps Indonesia had 116 Volunteers serving as Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Volunteers in East Java, West Java, and East Nusa Tenggara.

“As we experience high rates of vaccination in Indonesia and a drastic reduction in the risks associated with COVID-19, I am delighted to share the news that Peace Corps Indonesia is planning to welcome our next training class in early January 2023. After nearly 3 months of intensive training, this group will swear in as Peace Corps Volunteers in late March and will then spend 2 years serving communities in West Java, East Java, and East Nusa Tenggara as English Teachers and Teacher Trainers,” said Jennifer Goette, Country Director for Peace Corps Indonesia.

Representing the Government of Indonesia, Iwan Freddy Hari Susanto, Director of American Affairs I of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reaffirmed support for returning Peace Corps Volunteers to service: “Our countries are highly committed in starting the reinstatement of the Peace Corps Volunteers…This is surely a great milestone and a firm steppingstone for our future cooperation.”

The Peace Corps’ Mission is to promote world peace and friendship. Since 1961, more than 240,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in 142 countries around the world to exemplify one of the great strengths of the American character: the willingness to help others. Peace Corps is a people-to-people organization, providing human resources to help with community development.

Prior to their assignment, Peace Corps Volunteers receive an 11-week intensive Pre-Service Training (PST) in Indonesia in order to work effectively at a permanent site/school, during which they also learn Bahasa Indonesia and/or another Indonesian language.

Besides teaching a minimum of 20 classroom hours per week in the classroom and supporting English teacher training activities at the school and district level, Peace Corps Volunteers also conduct community-based tutoring and English instruction, and engage in a variety of extracurricular activities at their schools.

Volunteers’ projects outside of the classroom include: English clubs, leadership camps, English competitions, peer-tutoring, World Map Projects, library development, literacy initiatives, and providing training for English teachers.

In order to integrate into their communities, Peace Corps Volunteers in Indonesia live with a host family throughout their service. The school identifies potential host families and Peace Corps staff assess and select the family.

Peace Corps Volunteers do not receive salary, they live at the level of the local community and become integrated into the fabric of their assigned school and community.