Since her return to the Peace Corps, Hessler-Radelet has been instrumental in instituting the new Office of Global Health and HIV to expand and strengthen the agency’s HIV-education and prevention programs and the Global Health Service Partnership to send physicians and nurses to teach in developing countries. Both initiatives work to meet the medical needs of Peace Corps host countries where the physician-to-population ratio is often woefully inadequate to meet the disease burden. Hessler-Radelet also led an effort to overhaul Volunteer recruiting and engage more Volunteers in post-service public education activities.
Four generations of Hessler-Radelet’s family have served as Peace Corps Volunteers. Early in her career, Hessler-Radelet served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Western Samoa from 1981–83 with her husband, Steve Radelet. There, she taught high school and helped design a national public awareness campaign on disaster preparedness. Hessler-Radelet’s aunt was the 10,000th Peace Corps Volunteer and served in Turkey (1964–66), her grandparents served in Malaysia (1972–73), and her nephew recently completed his service as an HIV education Volunteer in Mozambique (2007–09). Hessler-Radelet holds a master’s degree in health policy and management from the Harvard School of Public Health and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Boston University. She and her husband have two grown children, Meghan and Sam.