James S. Schenck

E-Mail Address


10/03 to Present
Deputy Chief of Party, Chemonics International Participative Alternative Development Program, Lima, Peru

Serves as Deputy Director for Chemonics International USAID-funded Participative Alternative Development Program [Programa de Desarrollo Alternativo Participativo de Chemonics International (PDAP)].

6/99 to 10/03
Country Director CHF/Guatemala & Director Communities in Transition project, Ixcán & Guatemala City, Guatemala

As Country Director for CHF/Guatemala, managed both the Communities in Transition project and the MICAM projects. MICAM worked in environmental disaster preparedness programs in marginalized neighborhoods of metropolitan Guatemala City and in the Ixcan, Quiche and the northern part of Alta Verapaz.

Served as the Cooperative Housing Foundation's Chief of Party and the Director of the USAID-sponsored CHF Communities in Transition project working in Ixcan and Alta Verapaz to improve the living conditions of the rural populations most affected by civil war that are still in an economically and socially isolated part of Guatemala. Supervised a staff of over 100 people of which the great majority are from the project area. Provided leadership in a program that promoted participatory processes in agroforestry, non-traditional agricultural exports, environmental education, environmental mitigation, communal banks, community and municipal strengthening, social, road & bridge infrastructure, a small farmer enterprise and a community-run road maintenance association. Actively involved in on-going pragmatic conflict resolution processes in the most culturally diverse (15 languages) municipality in the country. Expanded geographical scope of project. Negotiated three year, $3 million extension to CIT project as well as $2 million in post-Hurricane Mitch Reconstruction Funds. Built 21 bridges in a two year period with local construction crews.

6/98 to 6/99
Co-Director Communities in Transition project, Ixcán & Guatemala City, Guatemala

Director for the microenterprise, agroforestry, non-transportation infrastructure and Fundación Rigoberta Menchu Tum activities of the USAID-financied CHF - Cooperative Housing Foundation Communities in Transition project.

1/97 to 6/98
JSS International Consulting, Alexandria, Virginia and Anaheim, California

Provided development management consultancy to private, public and non-profit organizations working in Latin America. Primary clients were Plan International, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Cooperative Housing Foundation.

Contracted by Plan International to prepare training materials and methodologies to support its efforts in helping Plan families to improve their housing conditions. This included participating in a housing improvement credit assessment in El Salvador and then prepared a Harvard-style case study based on that experience. Designed a modular training workshop with the El Salvador case and related training materials. The next step was the successful implementation of the training workshop in Tarija, Bolivia with Plan International and partner organization staff. The training materials then underwent final evaluation and modification for future workshops. The Plan Habitat Program Manager was trained in the use of the case study in workshops and applied this knowledge with Plan International in the Philippines.

Contracted by the Inter-American Development Bank to review project materials and make recommendations related to a IDB project that seeks to strengthen municipalities and other local organizations involved in the participatory planning, monitoring and execution of grassroots projects in the Dominican Republic.

Contracted by the Cooperative Housing Foundation to review the USAID-sponsored Communities In Transition project through documents and on-site in the Ixcán, Guatemala as well as prepare the 1997 CIT Annual Report.

Under contract to the Cooperative Housing Foundation, coordinated the preparation of a manual on credit for habitat to be used by Plan International field staff.

4/92 to 1/97
Country Director, Peace Corps Nicaragua, Managua, Nicaragua

Reestablished Peace Corps in Nicaragua in a politically volatile and economically depressed climate. Increased the number of Volunteers from less than fifteen to more than one hundred. Hired and trained program and support staff, expanded program areas and shepherded the start-up and establishment of an innovative, cost-effective in-country training system.

Provided leadership, strategic direction and supervision for 113 Volunteers, 23 Trainees and a staff of 25 (1996). In 1992, there were 14 Volunteers and a staff of seven. The staff included a Program and Training Officer, three Program Managers in the following sectors; Small Business & Cooperatives Development (SB), Environment (EN) and Health (HE): a Training Officer, a Language Coordinator, a Training Coordinator, eight Language/Cross-Cultural Instructors, two Medical Officers, an Administrative Officer, a Cashier, a Secretary and two Drivers. Improved budgetary controls and program quality while dramatically increasing both the geographical coverage and the number of host country agencies working with PC/Nica. Offered and served a third thirty-month tour. (Agency five-year rule severely restricts third tours.)

Changed Peace Corps Nicaragua's priority from urban (Managua/Masaya) to rural and secondary city Volunteer job assignment areas. Conducted a program review which resulted in Peace Corps Nicaragua leaving the Vocational Education sector as well as entering the Health and Environment Sectors. Co-designed and implemented the innovative and experimental FIT (Fully Integrated Training) model in January 1995. This model allowed for cost effective training in-country without the use of a dedicated training center. Since its implementation the model has been recognized as having provided higher language levels and greater cultural integration in part due to the fact that two or three Trainees are placed in each of five to seven villages instead of having 30 to 60 in a training center. The FIT model has been successfully adapted and implemented in other countries. Created Program & Training Officer (PTO) position in Nicaragua while modifying the traditional PTO position to work more closely with the Training Officer in the FIT model.

Small Business & Cooperatives Peace Corps Volunteers work with both Nicaraguan micro-credit intermediaries and savings & loan cooperatives to strengthen these organizations in providing access to credit and with their clients in the use of credit. Volunteers in the Environment Sector work with the Nicaraguan Environment Ministry, non-governmental organizations working with environment issues, community organizations, the Ministry of Education and local schools in strengthening these organizations in their capacity to carry out environmental education programs at the grassroots level. In the Health Sector, Volunteers are assigned to work with the Ministry of Health, mostly at the Health Post level, working in community training on basic preventive health issues affecting primarily mothers and children.

7/89 to 4/92
Program & Training Officer (Deputy Director), Peace Corps Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Supervised five Program Managers, an Administrative Officer, approximately fifteen support staff and an average of 160 Peace Corps Volunteers. Formulated program strategy and coordinated the yearly budget process. Prepared innovative training designs. Monitored and evaluated pre-service and in-service training.

Provided leadership and supervision for five Program Managers in the following sectors: Agriculture (AG), Small Business Development (SB), Education (ED), Environment (EN) and Health (HE). Introduced the Program & Training System (PATS) to Peace Corps Dominican Republic to provide greater program and training integration. Reviewed and facilitated the preparation of sector project plans with the Program Managers including Goals, Objectives, Milestones, Task Analysis, Volunteer Assignment Descriptions and Training Needs. Counseled Peace Corps Volunteers in both program and personal areas during office and in-site meetings.

Served as the Contracting Office's Technical Officer (COTR) for the training contract with Entrena S.A. Designed a new, comprehensive training Statement of Work (SOW) which provided for a new three year relationship with the training contractor that included innovative components such as Core In-Service Training which provided continuity throughout the different stages of the Volunteer's service. This SOW also further defined and institutionalized Peace Corps Dominican Republic's field-based pre-service technical training to provide training situations closer to actual Volunteer conditions.

Handled all aspects of fiscal year 1991 - 1993 budget submissions. Prepared fiscal year 1993 budgets for Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic concurrently while named Country Director in Nicaragua and Acting Country Director in the Dominican Republic. Trained the Administrative Officer in the basics of Peace Corps budget preparation. Trained the Administrative Officer in use of budget preparation software. Evaluated the Administrative Officer's budgeting for FY92 and FY93 submissions through various reviews.

7/87 to 7/89
Director, Programa Organizaciones Privadas de Desarrollo, INCAE, Instituto Centroamericano de Administración de Empresas, Alajuela, Costa Rica

INCAE Faculty Member. Provided strategic and academic leadership for multinational faculty and staff in research, teaching and consulting activities in Central American countries designed to improve private voluntary organization management. Managed Private Development Organization program intellectually, administratively and financially, conducted research and taught. Initiated new research and training events, introduced program in new countries and developed additional funding sources.

INCAE's Private Development Organizations Program's main focus was the strengthening of the administrative and management capacity of private development organizations (PDOs) and PDO sector support organizations. A secondary focus was with private, public and funding organizations [i.e. Neotrópica Foundation, Costa Rica's National Park Service and USAID/CR - U. S. Agency for International Development Costa Rica mission] supporting and executing environment/conservation programs. The PDO program also implemented ILGO - Instituto Latinoamericano de Gerencia Organizacional, an annual week-long program for ninety chamber of commerce executives from all of Latin America.Conducted academic research, taught and designed participative consulting frameworks for the program's clientele.

Formulated research tools, organized and implemented research workshops and taught both as primary and as support faculty in program training events. Prepared and evaluated teaching materials. Trained PDO personnel using the case method, how to write case studies and how to teach using the case method both within development support organizations and with grassroots organizations. Supervised the writing of case studies, trained in PDO management areas including strategic planning, participative management techniques, organization development and program/project planning/evaluation cycles and techniques.

Created and implemented plan that expanded program activities from Costa Rica and Panama to include Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. This resulted in accomplishing 60% of the activities in the last year of a three-year grant agreement that had been stalled prior to my arrival. Led design team to streamline and increase client participation in training needs assessment research. Combined training needs assessments with educational materials preparation and teaching with the case method training events to integrate academic goals and reduce costs. Formulated a new approach to diversify funding sources; obtained new program funding for PDO research, training and consulting. Reviewed the academic quality of teaching in program events and provided feedback to program faculty.

Prepared, defended, implemented and monitored a quarter-million dollar plus yearly budget. Coordinated the program's funding income and expense disbursement in seven currencies with Financial Dept. Arranged for and delegated to other program faculty and staff the procurement of non-Program faculty for training events, internal services (i.e. food and lodging), printing of educational materials and classroom and discussion group space. Assigned program faculty and negotiated for non-program faculty to undertake research, teach and provide consulting for private development organizations and other program clients.

10/85 to 7/87
Promotor Social, International Voluntary Services, Quito, Ecuador

Trained community leaders and IVS volunteers in planning, evaluation and management techniques for local organization capacity-building in development programs in rural Ecuador.

Served as an International Voluntary Services Volunteer posted in Quito, Ecuador (65% of time working in rural areas); principally in Chimborazo, Cañar and Napo provinces). The assignment included responsibility for working both with IVS volunteers and community leaders in organization development. Created an interest on the part of IVS volunteers (technical backgrounds) in strengthening local organizations so that the benefits of their technical expertise would outlast their direct assistance at the project site. Improved IVS volunteers' skills and abilities to be more effective in local institutional development through organization capacity-building. At the same time, worked with community organization and second-level organization leaders in the area of leadership and managerial skills.

Designed and adapted grassroots management tools for both IVS volunteers and community organization leaders. The tools used with IVS volunteers included planning and reporting documents, future-imaging exercises (for planning), force-field analysis exercise and other participative management tools. Tested, adapted and utilized different methods for measuring strength and changes in community organizations over time. Designed and implemented a health promoter action research intervention as part of a health promoters training program.

Provided informal, practical training with IVS volunteers in project sites and formal training during IVS program meetings. Training of IVS project counterparts, community and second-level organization leaders in community meetings for planning, monitoring and evaluation. Taught health promoters health survey and group analysis techniques. Increased community participation in project activities as well as planning, monitoring and evaluation. Designed and implemented participative planning and evaluation cycles in IVS project sites. Placed stress on planning and evaluation responsibilities being transferred from IVS to local leaders.

8/83 to 10/85
Recruiter, Peace Corps, Los Angeles, California

Responsible for Peace Corps' bilingual recruitment, supervised largest campus for university recruitment, achieved best candidate conversion ratio, trained co-workers in use of agency computers.

7/79 to 7/81
Peace Corps Volunteer, Assistant Agricultural Extension Agent /Assistant for Rural Water Supply, Arroyos y Esteros and Asunción, Paraguay

Promoted and provided technical assistance for UNICEF-supported rural water project in small towns. Advocated new cash and subsistence crops and provided technical support in a rural community.

2/78 to 9/78.
Peace Corps Volunteer, Assistant Agricultural Extension Agent, Yegros, Paraguay

Advocated new cash and subsistence crops and provided technical support in a rural community.

Other Work Experience:

In Guatemala, I exported textiles for the wholesale market in the United States. Later on in Guatemala, I managed a tourist facility in Amatitlán and conducted a small farm land program feasibility study in the Sierra de las Minas. I taught English as a Second Language at the bicultural center, Centro Colombo Americano, in Manizales, Colombia.

As I finished graduate school, I worked as an Assistant Librarian in a large Los Angeles law firm where I maintained the legal library and did computerized legal research. During graduate school, I worked at the Librería Hispánica (French & Spanish Book Corporation) in Los Angeles selling Spanish books to the wholesale and retail market. Between Peace Corps tours, I sold charter flight packages in Boston to travel agencies and handled the Latin American visas. I've also cooked at Ciro & Sal's and The Flagship restaurants in Provincetown, Massachusetts and worked at Pima Mining Company's open-pit copper mine in Tucson, Arizona as a Laboratory Assayer.

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