Nominations for 2024 KRELA are here!

Kate Raftery Emerging Leader Award

About the Award

The Kate Raftery Emerging Leader Award honors emerging women leaders under the age of 40 that have shown a demonstrated dedication to improving the lives of women and girls. Awardees are affiliated with the Peace Corps and have been awarded annually since 2020.


Who is Kate Raftery?

Kate Raftery has dedicated most of her career to the elevation of young professionals, especially young women professionals. As Peacace Corps Country Director in four countries, deputy director and training staff in three others, and a member of headquarters senior leadership, she strove to support and challenge young professionals both personally and professionally during their service and fledging careers. She has counseled, cheered on and written references for hundreds, if not more, Volunteers as they launched their careers. As National Director of the Americorps National Civilian Community Corps she directed a program which offered a unique service opportunity for thousands of 18-24 year old youth which allowed them to maximize the skills which they brought to the program as well as understand the power of service to address burning community issues. As Vice President for Education for the International Youth Foundation she focused on providing life skills and youth empowerment training through formal and non formal education programs with the hope to empower and give voice to young people around the world. Kate has been an active member of Women of Peace Corps Legacy since its inception and was a leader in the establishment of the mentoring program which has grown into a foundational institutional program.

Submissions Open

We are accepting nominations now through June 15, 2024!

Nominate Here

Nomination Requirements

Nominees must be age 40 or under by submission deadline.

Nominees must be making a significant and lasting impact in the lives of women and girls. This can be widely interpreted to include all the different areas where one can have an impact – health, education, the environment, mentoring, sports, economic empowerment, etc.

Nominees must be women with an acknowledged connection to Peace Corps. This includes: Currently serving or Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and/or current or former U.S.-based Peace Corps Staff.

Nominations must demonstrate a clear connection between the nominees’ Peace Corps experience and their current work. How did the nominees’ Peace Corps experience inspire their commitment to serving women and girls? Written statements must be 1000 words or less.

Nominations must show demonstrated success and impact. Testimonials are highly encouraged.

Please direct any questions via email.

Evaluation Process

  1. The evaluation committee will be determined by the Women of Peace Corps Legacy Awards Committee co-chairs.
  2. All nominees will be evaluated against other candidate submissions.
  3. Nominations will be reviewed for the unique and significant contributions of the nominees, scope or reach of their work, and their impact on women and girls.
  4. Nominations are currently closed.
  5. The award will be made to one individual and will be presented at a special awards ceremony every year in October.

Award Recipients

Learn more about previous award recipients.

Watch our 2023 award ceremony

2023 Award Recipient Dr. Laurenia Mangum

Women of Peace Corps Legacy is pleased to honor Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley as the 2023 winner of the Deborah Harding Women of Achievement Award.

Women of Peace Corps Legacy is pleased to announce that Dr. Laurenia Mangum is the 2023 winner of the Kate Raftery Emerging Leader Award.

Dr. Mangum’s career has been lit by her passion for service. She had already earned bachelors and masters degrees in social work when she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines, promoting safety, healthy relationships and optimal family well-being for Filipino women and children.

Inspired after her Peace Corps service to continue her work with women and children, she earned a masters in public health and a doctorate in social work, and is now Assistant Professor of Social Work at the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois Chicago. She teaches and researches issues of underserved communities, especially women and children, to enhance outcomes in areas of child welfare, maternal-child health, community health, and community development.

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