Skip to main content

Foreign Service Accounts from the Oral History Archives (ADST.ORG)
In this issue, we offer two more ADST segments focusing on U.S. international development stories, one on the Marshall Plan and another from USAID officer Carol Peasley.

-The Economic Cooperation Act, better known as the Marshall Plan, was signed into law on April 3, 1948, 70 years ago. The act resulted from close cooperation between the Democratic Truman Administration and the Republican-led Congress. Under the Marshall Plan, between 1948 and 1951, the United States provided $13.3 billion ($150 billion in 2017 dollars) in assistance to 16 European countries. Follow the accounts of U.S. diplomats Jacob J. Kaplan, Thomas Wilson, Herman Kleine, William Parks, John Gunther Dean, and Everett Bellows, who worked to carry it out.

-Carol A Peasley served with USAID from 1970-2005, with assignments in Nepal, Latin America, Thailand, Africa, and Russia. In her oral history, she recounts USAID’s work in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union to build a market economy and new civil society, including with Vladimir Putin, Yegor Gaidar, and Mikhail Khodorkovsky. (p. 124-146). She observes that, after Vladimir Putin’s first inauguration in 2000, Ambassador James Collins said “no one knew how Russia’s political transition would turn out, but he was confident that Russia could never be closed down and isolated as it had been during the Soviet period. Russian people had already been exposed too much to the rest of the world; it could never be closed down again. I try to remember that when I look at the Russia of today.” For the full interview, see

Comments are closed.