Richard & Penelope Betz

Besides Peace Corps, my work in international development included four years in Lesotho as CoP at the Lesotho Distance Teaching Centre for a USAID project backstopped by Jim Hoxeng; five years in Botswana with AED as Deputy CoP/In-Country Training Coordinator for a USAID private sector & manpower training project; two years as CoP to a USAID training project in Swaziland backstopped by Patrick Fine


After that, my activities included: numerous short-term design, evaluation, and technical support consultancies with a variety of consulting firms, USAID, etc., primarily throughout Africa but also in Armenia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Jamaica; proposal writing for DC-based consulting firms; and various lengthy short term consultancies in South Africa assisting black enterprises during the transition to democracy (I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Nelson Mandela and other ANC members during this work).


From the late 1990s, my wife, Penny, & I spent the next 12+ years outside of international development work, primarily with our business, Hemispheres Antique Maps, which specialized in maps of Africa of the early 1500s to about 1800.  We also had our book published during this time on "The Mapping of Africa: A Cartobibliography of Printed Maps of the African Continent to 1700" by our publisher in The Netherlands (reviews on Amazon, etc.), and gave some talks on the book at the Library of Congress.  


Currently, I am in negotiation with a Chinese publisher who wants to have my book translated into Chinese.  In 2014, we retired from the map business, though we continued to think globally and act locally by being heavily involved with town and state politics and organizations... Democratic Convention, local Democratic Party Treasurer, town boards, and Peace Corps events.  


We have a total of seven granddaughters, which take up a good part of our life.   Our children, Katrina in Brooklyn NY and Karl in Richmond Virginia each have three children.  Our third child, Michael, who some of you may remember from Amherst and Lesotho, sadly died suddenly last year.  Michael’s wife and US-citizen daughter, Beatrix, are living in Thailand.  Grace is not able to travel to the US due to current restrictions on immigration, but we have been to Thailand to visit them.  Thankfully, with FaceTime, Zoom, & Signal, we are able to keep in regular contact with all of our children and grandchildren.


Later in 2020, Penny and I are moving to Piper Shores, a not-for-profit “life care” retirement community on the ocean in Scarborough, Maine.  Our daughter, Katrina, will take over our house as a summer home on our lake in Stoddard, NH.  We are really looking forward to the next chapter in our lives.  We remain optimistic and grateful for all the experiences which we have had so far.  We can’t wait for the next chapter to begin. [5-20]




Entrance Year: 
Graduation Year: 
5-year span: 
CIE Graduate