Family Life

Maria A. and James Beebe are practitioner-scholars and social activists, with Ph.D. and M.A. degrees from Stanford University. When they married in 1970, they were both adjunct instructors at a provincial college while Maria was working on a Masters degree in English at De La Salle University in Manila and James was a Peace Corps Volunteer involved with elementary science education and agriculture in the province of Zambales. Maria was a consultant during James’ US Foreign Service/USAID career in the Sudan, Philippines, Liberia, and South Africa and his second career as a Professor of Leadership Studies as Gonzaga University. Recent research by Maria has explored the leadership of global Filipinas and research by James has used an anthropological approach to examine US foreign policy in South Africa. After retiring from Gonzaga in 2013 they moved to Portland and became Department Affiliates in the Anthropology department of Portland State University. As of June 2017, they are living in Kona Hawaii, staying very busy, and waiting for Maria’s Senior Fulbright Specialist assignment in the Philippines.

While a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines from 1968 to 1972, James helped introduce a new activity based approach to science teaching at the elementary school level. In addition to his work on science teaching, after completing an intensive course in growing the new varieties of rice, James planted a small plot of rice with near disastrous results and then worked with local farmers over several growing seasons to adapt the technology to local conditions. James learned the truth of the children's rhyme that "Planting Rice is No Fun." Life included buying a colorful mosquito net that made it impossible to find mosquitos that were able to get in, being offered a love potion, and being saddened by the frequent funeral processions of babies from poor families that had died needlessly that passed the small house where he rented a room from two public school teachers.

The most life-changing event almost didn't happen when Maria announced that the "matchmaker's" choice, was, as a Peace Corps, an agent of "fascism, imperialism, and neocolonialism." Renewed efforts the next year in 1970 resulted in a "Yes" to a marriage proposal within weeks. James then had to secure the blessings of her grandmother, Huk Kumander Dayang-dayang, for a marriage two weeks later. They waded through a waist-high flood on their wedding day and spent their honeymoon in a 350-year-old Catholic convent. Maria's US naturalization and acceptance into Peace Corps occurred during a 45 day US trip after which they returned for two and a half years as Volunteers to the Philippines.

From 1973 through the end of 1975 they were graduate students at Stanford University. Their son, David was born in 1975. The family spent 1976 in a village, Gugo in the Philippines doing field work followed by completion of James dissertation and a one year faculty appointment. James finished his Ph.D. in 1978 and Maria finished her Ph.D. in 1992. In 1979 James joined the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). During their first long-term assignment with USAID in the Sudan their second child Ligaya was born in 1982.

LIGAYA and STEVE. In DATE, Ligaya and her husband Steve moved to New Jersey/New York after living and working in China for more that XX years. . In China, Ligaya had been the Assistant Director of the Shambala Foundation , a non-governmental organization working to alleviate poverty. One of Shambala’s projects is Orphanage Without Walls, a activity that supports 650 orphans and their foster families by providing educational opportunities, social support, and basic needs. While living in New Jersey, Ligaya is working for I-LEARN in Manhattan, a non-profit dedicated to fostering global collaboration for k-12 students and their teachers. Steve is enrolled in a Master's of Public Administration (MPA) at Rutger's University. His decision on a graduate program reflects his belief in the importance of public service and that effective governance can enhance people's lives.

DAVID, ELISA, JAXON, AND RIVER. David and Elisa are enjoying parenting, as their two little ones take baby steps towards independence. Jaxon, now age 5, is getting ready for kindergarten after attending preschool at Forest Gnomes, an outdoor school that gave him endless hours of playing in the woods. He is truly growing up a hardy New Englander. River, now approaching age 3, is full of hilarious antics. She loves jumping, climbing, swimming, and to David and Elisa's delight, cleaning. David is in his second ??year of teaching Technology and Engineering at Chenery Middle School in Belmont, MA. His puns and "Middle School Teacher" humor continue to *cough* improve, but at the same time he is enjoying developing curriculum and refining his teaching. Elisa continues to teach communication skills to children with special needs. At the heart of her work is helping students who are often misunderstood and marginalized make meaningful connections.

Both David and Ligaya are extremely fortunate to have wonderful in-laws, the >>>> in David’s case and the ….. in Ligaya’s case.

Picture Books by Maria for and about Jaxon and River, the  grandchildren

Jaxon Visits Lolo and Lola in Portland
Lolo and Lola Visit Ligaya in China
Aloha, Jaxon Kai

Both David and Ligaya are extremely fortunate to have wonderful in-laws, the >>>> in David’s case and the ….. in Ligaya’s case.

Maria Beebe, webpage, facebook

David Beebe, linkedin, facebook

Ligaya Beebe, facebook, "To Hell with Good Intentions" Revisited, Response to Ivan Illich's 1968 article, email from hospital

Family letters

2001 End of the year letter
2002/03 Middle of the year letter

2004 Middle of the year letter
2006 Middle of the year letter
2007 End of year letter
2009 End of year letter
2010 End of the year letter
2012 End of the year letter
2013 End of the year letter

2014 End of the year letter

Those Were the Days: A Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines in the late '60s.

Focused largely on James' experiences between 1968 and 1970 in the Philippines lowlands with brief descriptions of their marriage and life in Bontoc, Mountain Province from 1970 to 1973.   Available paperback and Kendle from and other sources.  Resources for writing memoires 

Maria's Professional Life 

Portland State University, Anthropology Department, Departmental Affiliate

PhD Stanford University, 1993 Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Maria Beebe’s is an applied sociolinguist whose research interests include critical discourse analysis, women’s leadership, and information communication technologies (ICT) for development. She has a Masters of Arts in Anthropology and Ph.D. in Education from Stanford University. In DATE Dr. Beebe co-edited DISRUPT. Filipina Women: Loud. Proud. Leading without a Doubt based on the leadership journeys of 35 Filipinas who shared their stories. She wrote one of the chapters and also wrote the introduction and synthesis. In DATE she  edited a follow up volume TITLE

Dr. Beebe has over twenty years experience in global development in a wide-range of sectors, including higher education, telecommunications, environment, natural resources, primary health care, and small enterprise development. She has used her expertise as a social scientist and sociolinguist to advance the use of ICT for development. As an independent contractor, she worked in Afghanistan as a Senior ICT Advisor. She drafted recommendations on the use of ICTs to expand the global outreach and partnerships of the School of Extended Studies at Portland State University. Dr. Beebe was the Chief of Party for the $12 million Afghan eQuality Alliances Project, which established computer centers for basic computer literacy and Internet use at Afghan public universities, forged partnerships with US and other universities for scholarships for Afghan instructors to get their masters degrees, and launched a Masters in Public Policy and Administration at Kabul University.

Dr. Beebe provided leadership for drafting a white paper on E-education in Basic and Further Education in South Africa, and a concept paper on ICTs for education in Ethiopia. She provided leadership and overall coordination for a project that created a network of 21 African and 4 U.S. higher education institutions and regulatory bodies. Ms. Beebe has led workshops on teaching with the Internet at higher education institutions in Afghanistan, the Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, and Nigeria. She co-edited AfricaDotEdu to share sustainable development lessons learned from the use of ICT to create networks among higher education institutions in Africa.

Dr. Beebe has lived and worked in South Africa, Liberia, Philippines, Sudan, and Afghanistan. Dr. Beebe regularly shares lessons learned through scholarly papers presented at international conferences.

Research Interests and Publications:

Selected Works Site

Filipina Women's Network


NEEDS TO BE EDITED DISRUPT I is a deep examination of how Filipina women in diaspora thrive in the challenges of living in the modern multi-cultural global economy. This is the definitive book that will change the public’s perceptions of Filipina women’s capacities to lead, a key objective of FWN's Pinay Power 2020 mission.

Filipina women are the ultimate global disrupters. They disrupted their lives, families and careers when they left their home country to immigrate to foreign lands and re-invent their lives.

They disrupted their organizations as they became achievers in their professional fields and broke glass ceilings. They disrupted the business landscape when they innovated products, improved and created services that impacted the lives of women and the community.

They disrupted their communities as they became strong advocates for social issues that affected their families and children.

They disrupted the political world when they ran for elected office, representing causes benefiting their local communities. They became political insiders and valued advisors of elected officials.

Filipina women leaders in diaspora share their career journeys, their sacrifices to seek better lives for themselves and their families and their strategies to thrive in the modern multi-cultural global economy.

37 authors and editors are recipients of the Filipina Women's Network's 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World™ award from the United States, Philippines, Singapore, Brazil, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Canada, and Poland. They share inspiring stories on:
• Shaping their leader identity,
• Developing their sense of self as they achieved power and influence,
• Determining their life purpose and world view,
• Adjusting to cultural norms in their drive to succeed,
• Overcoming domestic violence, incarceration, poverty, discrimination and harassment, and
• Coping with cognitive dissonance when Philippine traditional beliefs were at odds with the requirements of making it in the global workplace.
This is not just a book about the leadership successes of individuals but also a community's call to action to celebrate and expand the global leadership of Filipina women. This book is also a reminder to Filipina women of their responsibility to give back to society and to help create a better world.

DISRUPT 2.0. Filipina Women: Daring To Lead:

DISRUPT 2.0. Filipina Women: Daring to Lead - Filipina Women's Network's 2nd book on Filipina women leadership was launched during the 13th Annual Filipina Leadership Global Summit in Cebu on August 22, 2016 sponsored by the University of Cebu and on August 26, 2016 in Manila sponsored by the Asian Institute of Management.
37 select authors who are U.S. and Global 100 Most Influential Filipina Women awardees wrote about the following themes:

Life disruptions;
Workplace disruptions initiated;
Leadership competencies developed for oneself, for leading others, for leading organizations, and
Legacy building for next generation leaders.

James' Professional Life  

Portland State University, Anthropology Department, Departmental Affiliate

PhD Stanford University, 1978 Curriculum Vitae

James Beebe is an applied qualitative social scientist, educator, and social activist committed to using the tools of the social sciences and education to promote justice. He is particularly concerned with developing tools such as Rapid Qualitative Inquiry that can be used for collaboration on identifying and addressing issues. In 2013 he founded and as of 2014 directs the Center for Rapid Qualitative Inquiry, Global Networks in Portland, Oregon.  In 2014 he was appointed a visiting researcher in the Anthropology department of Portland State University.

He brings to his work an international reputation for helping define and popularize rapid qualitative research such as Rapid Assessment Process (RAP). His career has combined being a practitioner and a scholar, with experience as a practitioner influencing his scholarship and his scholarship influencing his experience as a practitioner. More than 20 years of his experience has been outside the United States. James’ career has included more than 20 years involvement with international development as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) in the Philippines, researcher, consultant, and Foreign Service   Officer with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and 20 years in academia including service as a Professor of Leadership Studies in the  Doctoral Program in Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University from 1996 to 2013, Visiting Special Instructor of Public Policy at Kabul University (Afghanistan), Professor of Anthropology at Oregon State University, and Associate Professor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. While serving as a PCV James taught at Mountain Province Community College and Columban College in the Philippines. He has delivered invited lectures at numerous universities, including Cornell, Harvard, UCLA, Washington State University-Vancouver, University of Portland, Portland State University, Oregon Health & Science University, Colorado State University, University of Florida, University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, University of Botswana, and University of Pretoria.

While at Gonzaga, James developed and taught a variety of graduate level courses. Links to some of the recent syllabi include: Leadership Theory (DPLS700Su12), Global Issues and Policy Analysis (DPLS703Sp10), Leadership and Technology (DPLS707F09, Wiki based course where students could change syllabus), Qualitative Research Theory & Design (DPLS723Su10), Advanced Qualitative Research (DPLS726Sp13), Scholarship & Dissertation Framework (DPLS728F09)

James also developed and taught Public Policy as part of the Executive Masters in Public Administration at the University of Kabul Afghanistan supported by the USAID-funded Afghan eQuality Alliance project.

Research Interests and Publications: 

Rapid Qualitative Inquiry (RQI), the second edition of Rapid Assessment Process. Practitioners who need timely results for program and policy planning and students who need a guide for realistic and rigorous qualitative research projects will find solutions in Rapid Qualitative Inquiry (RQI). RQI is a team-based, applied research method designed to quickly develop, usually is less than several weeks, an insider’s perspective on and a preliminary understanding of a situation. In this accessible field guide to RQI, James Beebe provides an introduction to research that substitutes team work for long-term field work; combines data from multiple sources; and uses cycles of data collection, data analysis, and additional data collection. RQI is based on techniques and concepts from ethnography and case study research. RQI is a type of Rapid Assessment Process (RAP) and the terms Rapid Qualitative Inquiry and Rapid Assessment Process can usually be interchanged. Extensive examples make clear that rapid does not mean rushed and that rigorous RQI depends upon flexibility rather than an arbitrary list of techniques. Students and instructors in qualitative research classes will appreciate the clear but flexible instructions for doing a Mini-RAP, the RQI educational activity. Throughout, Beebe’s clear prose guides interdisciplinary readers through the process, promise, and potential pitfalls of RQI. (from the publisher AltaMira) Website for the book.

Other related publications include articles in the Encyclopedia of Social Measurement, the Applied Anthropology Reader, the International Journal of Drug Policy, the Journal of Farming Systems Research-Extension, and the Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods. A comprehensive chapter on Rapid Assessment Procedures in Applied Anthropology: Tools and Perspectives for Contemporary Practice reviews James’ contribution to the concept.

Race, Politics, and U.S. Foreign Assistance to South Africa during the Transition to Majority Rule. Research Proposal. This will be a study of the struggle over who received U.S. assistance in South Africa between the middle of 1993 and the middle of 1996.  On one side were people who claimed to oppose any consideration of race in decisions about who should receive U.S. assistance in South Africa, but who also used this issue as part of their political and personal agendas.  On the other side were people who argued that given the history of South Africa and the intent of the legislation that funded the U.S. foreign assistance program, race had to be considered if historically disadvantaged South Africans were to be assisted.  The weapon in this struggle was language.  Proposal 

 The Filipinos: A Special Case by James Beebe and Maria Beebe, book chapter in Language in the USA (1981). (pages may need to be rotated, link on header far right)   

Other international work.  During six trips to Afghanistan in addition to teaching policy course, designed and implementated an orientation program for Afghan scholars selected for Fulbright study in the United States and a UNDP consutancy assisting the Afghanistan Civil Service Training Institute plan for the future.

Training for African agricultural researchers at Bellagio.  The use of technology and on qualitative research at the Bellagio Biotechnology, Breeding, and Seed Systems for African Crops Workshop sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation.

Training on the use of rapid assessment . For the Tshwane (Pretoria, South Africa) Municipal Primary Health Care program ( poster presentation) and the Nursing program of the University of Botswana. Presentation on involvement with international health care issues.

Selected publications site

Places We have Chosen to Live


The Move. In August 2013 Maria and James moved to Portland and into their house in Northwest Portland, also called the Alphabet neighborhood or Nob Hill. More information about Portland and the new neighborhood can be found at: Fred Armisen's Portland: it's weird and it's wonderful, Travel Portland, WalkScore for house.

The House.  Owning and maintaining beautiful old houses. Before moving to Portland, The Beebes owned old homes in Washington DC and Spokane WA.  Ordway St. NW Washing DC (sold Nov 2010), Wall St. Spokane WA  (sold June 2013), and NW Pettygrove St., Portland OR.  See Portland tab above for more information on house and neighborhood.

 Walk Score/Transportation. Walk Score 96. Great public transportation. No car since June 2015

Eating Out. Maria and James can be found most days eating out and exploring new food and drink. Some favorite restaurants in Portland  Aztec Willie, Elephants Delicatessen, Justa Pasta,Rae's Lakeview Lounge, Red Onion Thai Cuisine,Tara Thai Northwest,  Japanese Bistro

Fitness. Lloyd Athletic Club. Most Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, Maria and James take the bus to the Lloyd Athletic Club. The club is a locally owned and managed health and wellness facility with 30,000 sq. feet and a strong commitment to the community. On Wednesday and Friday they attend a MYMA movement class (an approach to fitness paired with .Eastern Medicine and combining elements of Yoga and Chi Gong developed by the excellent instructor, Angi Purinton) at 7:45am and on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday they attend Senior Fit classes, at 8:50am.

UU involvement.  Members First Unitarian Church. James taught in Spokane and Portland, as part of a team, Our Whole Life (OWL) at the Junior High School and at the First and Second Grade levels. 

Returned Peace Corps  Inland Northwest Association of Returned Peace Corps, James was instrumental in establishing Spokane chapter and created the original web site (link). Maria and James were the traditional host for Winter pot-luck celebration; participation in activities including regular staffing Public Broadcasting fund raising. (pictures Christmas party, get together with new volunteers, pledge drive public TV) Columbia River Peace Corps Association. Since moving to Portland Maria and James have become active in the Columbia River Peace Corps Association. The organization is large with numerous activities including service opportunities with the Oregon Food Bank and Habitat for Humanity, a book club, a writers’ workshop, parades, camp outs, restaurant exploring, and socials. Participation in the writers’ workshop provided the impetus for beginning the write up of James’ Peace Corps experience, Those Were the Days.

Thirsters. Almost every Thursday night in Portland Maria and James can be found at Thirsters. According to the founder, the late Robert Text (James’ dissertation advisor at Stanford), the name refers to ‘thirsting’ after knowledge as well as beer. The Thirsters are an informal worldwide community who enjoy discussing issues of peace, freedom, creativity, development, ethics, fairness, sustainability and respect for cultural differences.  One visitor posted on his web site that Thirsters are "active and retired intellectuals of most impressive credentials, achievements, current projects, and manners." While many Thirsters have extensive international experience, that is not a requirement to attend and many do not have any international experience. Since the early1990s, Thirsters have met weekly, often to hear a short presentation by a member or a visitor. Robert Textor's included the following at the end of his weekly email messages: "We forgather at our Toping Tables EVERY Thursday of the year except holidays - rain or shine, earthquake, fire or flood -- between 7 and 11 PM [presentations start at 8 PM]. Pop in when you wish, leave when you wish. Join us at our new location: MCMENAMINS BROADWAY PUB, 1504 NE BROADWAY (AT NE 15th AVE), PORTLAND 97232. Whenever logistics permit and mood conduces -- which we hope will be often – please feel free to join us at our Tables." be often – please feel free to join us at our Tables."


The Move In 2017 Maria and James moved to Kona, Hawaii and into their condo "Almost by the Sea."  They have kept their home in Portland and in the future would like to spend part of each year in Portland and part in Kona.  They have rented the Portland house through November 2018.

The Condo


The Neighborhood  Alii Cove Complex

Walk Score/Transportation  Walk Score 33. Limited public transportation. Purchased first new car in more than 18 years, A Honda HRV, Red of course.

Eating Out.  Still exploring. Not nearly as many options as in Portland.  Umeke's, On the Rocks  Sam Choy's Kai Lanai Restaurant   Royal Thai Cafe

Fitness Pacific Island Fitness  Attending Yoga and Senior Fitness classes 3 or 4 times each week. "Here at Pacific Island Fitness, we welcome and entertain everyone with the ALOHA SPIRIT through warmth and generosity.  Our concept emphasizes that OHANA or families (members) are bound together and must cooperate and respect one another.  The word ALOHA holds within itself all one needs to know to interact rightfully in our fitness world.  These insights describe our attitude or way of life sometimes called "THE ALOHA SPIRIT""

UU involvement Unitarian Universalists of West Hawaii Small fellowship meets 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month

Returned Peace Corps  We know there is a returned Peace Corps group in Kona but we have not yet found it.

Progressive Politics 

Habitat We have contacted Habitat to volunteer and are waiting for a response. 


Religious Life

We are Unitarian Universalists. Unitarian Universalists are diverse in faith, ethnicity, history, and spirituality, but aligned in the desire to practice their faith in tangible ways. Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion characterized by a "free and responsible search for truth and meaning" and a recognition of each person’s inherent dignity and worth. Unitarian Universalists do not share a creed, but are unified by their shared search for spiritual growth and their mutual concern for one another's well-being and a willingness to aid each other in time of need.  To quote the Rev. Marta Flanagan, "We uphold the free search for truth. We will not be bound by a statement of belief. We do not ask anyone to subscribe to a creed. We say ours is a non-creedal religion. Ours is a free faith."

In 1991 Maria and I joined the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Corvallis, Oregon and while assigned to Washington DC, were members of the River Road Unitarian Universalist Church. In 1996 we joined the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane, where James served on the long-range planning and Religious Education committees, and as a member of a team taught RE classes at the K-2 level and grades 7-9 level. James is certified to teach Our Whole Life (link) program at the K-1 level and taught the program six times and is certified to teach the program at the Junior High Level and taught  it once in Spokane. When we moved to Portland in 2013, we joined the First Unitarian Church of Portland. I also developed and taught a Web-based, adult religious education class on UU Heritage


A Belief in Original Goodness Spokane UU 6/27/2004
Spirituality without Supernatural Spirits Spokane UU 7/172004
Community Ministry and the Congregation 7/25/2005
The Three Things I Have Learned Working on a Masters of Divinity 8/29/2006
Journey from Being a Hospital Chaplin Intern to Kabul Afghanistan and Back to Spokane 10/26/2008
Being Hard Wired for Empathy 7/12/2009
No Call, Not Even a Whisper 10/10/2010
Close Encounters of a Religious Kind 10/24/2010
Staying Engaged
Intentional Social Debt 3/18/2012

Contact Information
Home Phone
Cell Phone 509 768.8312
Home address:

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