The Civilian Response Corps will consist initially of Active and Standby components. Both are composed of full-time federal employees that are trained and equipped to deploy rapidly to countries in crisis or emerging from conflict, to provide reconstruction and stabilization assistance. They are diplomats, development specialists, public health officials, law enforcement and corrections officers, engineers, economists, lawyers, public administrators, agronomists and others -- offering the full range of skills needed to help fragile states restore stability and the rule of law, and achieve economic recovery and sustainable growth as quickly as possible.
The primary responsibility of Active members is to be prepared to deploy within 48-72 hours to points of crisis. Standby members have other jobs within the federal government, but have volunteered to undertake additional training and to be available to serve in stabilization missions in case of need.
The Civilian Response Corps is a partnership of the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Justice, and Treasury. Senior officials from each of these agencies joined Secretary Rice at the ceremony.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Secretary Rice was "inducted" as an Honorary Member of the Civilian Response Corps by the Director of United States Foreign Assistance and Administrator of USAID, Henrietta Fore, and the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization, Ambassador John Herbst.
The President has empowered the Secretary of State to coordinate and lead integrated U.S. Government efforts to prepare, plan for, and conduct stabilization and reconstruction activities, and to coordinate with the Secretary of Defense to harmonize civilian and military activities.
This launch was made possible by the decision of Congress to appropriate up to $75 million for this purpose in the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008 (PL 110-252). For Fiscal Year 2009, the Administration has requested funding to significantly expand the Active and Standby components of the Civilian Response Corps (to 250 and 2000 members respectively) and to create a Reserve component, made up of 2000 volunteers from the private sector and state and local governments who will bring additional skills and capabilities to the Corps that do not exist in sufficient quantities in the federal government.
Rice Hails Corps to Rebuild Nations - Washington Times
Civilian Response Corps Gains Ground - Washington Post, 15 February 2008
Civilian Response Corps Archives - MountainRunner
Securing the Peace - Foreign Policy in Focus