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George M. Staples, Former Ambassador, Joins ProLiteracy Board of Directors


George M. Staples, Former Ambassador, Joins ProLiteracy Board of Directors

February 3, 2011, Syracuse, NY – ProLiteracy, the world's largest organization of adult literacy and basic education programs, today announced the appointment of George M. Staples, former director general of the United States Foreign Service and former United States Ambassador to Rwanda, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea, to the organization's board of directors.

Staples, a distinguished statesman, brings vast international and diplomatic experience to ProLiteracy. In his role as director general of the Foreign Service, he was responsible for policies affecting the recruiting, hiring, assignments, and promotions of more than 50,000 personnel. He retired from the Foreign Service in 2007 at the rank of Career Minister—the second highest rank for select career Foreign Service officers. During his 27 years as a Foreign Service Officer with the United States State Department, Staples was also the diplomatic advisor and senior U.S. civilian aide in NATO to General James L. Jones, Supreme Allied Commander Europe.

"On behalf of the ProLiteracy Board, we are honored to have Ambassador Staples join us in our mission to advance the cause of adult literacy and basic education,” says Kevin Morgan, chair of ProLiteracy’s board of directors and president of Full Suspension Marketing. “Ambassador Staples has an incredible history of accomplishment, which we are confident will help ProLiteracy build new partnerships and new bridges for a better, stronger future.”

"Ambassador Staples brings a truly global perspective to the ProLiteracy Board," said David C. Harvey, president and CEO of ProLiteracy. "From strategic planning in Darfur to negotiations with Uruguay, his experience will allow us to strategically examine international partners and programs to support our mission. We are thrilled to have someone of his caliber on the ProLiteracy Board."

Staples directed U.S. coordination of drought relief to Zimbabwe while serving there as Deputy Chief of Mission from 1992-95 and also played central roles in humanitarian efforts in Rwanda, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea. Since retiring, he has been an adjunct professor at the University of Kentucky's Patterson School of International Commerce and Diplomacy teaching graduate level classes on African development.

Staples is a member of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights and the National Commission on Adult Literacy and sits on the boards of Heery International and the American Academy of Diplomacy.

About ProLiteracy
ProLiteracy champions the power of literacy to improve the lives of adults and their families, communities, and societies. It works with adult new readers and learners and with local and national organizations to help adults gain the reading, writing, math, computer, and English skills they need to be successful. ProLiteracy advocates on behalf of adult learners and the programs that serve them, provides training and professional development, and publishes materials used in adult literacy instruction. ProLiteracy has 1,000 member programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and works with 52 nongovernmental international agencies in 31 countries. For more information, visit and

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