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James Beebe
James Beebe

Dr. James Beebe

Departmental Affiliate

PhD, Stanford University, 1978

509 768-8312, 971 229-0780

Dr. James Beebe is an applied qualitative social scientist, international development anthropologist, educator, and social activist committed to using the tools of the social sciences to promote justice. He is particularly concerned with developing tools such as Rapid Qualitative Inquiry that can be used for collaboration with local people to identify and address issues. The second edition of his book Rapid Qualitative Inquiry: A Field Guide to Rapid Assessment was published by Rowman and Littlefield in October 2014, and his Peace Corps memoir Those Were the Days: A Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines in the Late ’60 was published by Peace Corps Writers in December 2014. In 2013 he founded and now directs the Center for Rapid Qualitative Inquiry, Global Networks in Portland, Oregon. In 2015 he was appointed a Departmental Affiliate 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), researcher, consultant, and Foreign Service Officer with the United States Agency for International Development and 20 years in academia including service as a Professor of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, 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 a PCV, James started graduate work in anthropology at the University of the Philippines. He completed a Ph.D. in international development education, an M.A. in anthropology, and an M.A. in food research (international agricultural development) at Stanford University. For his doctoral dissertation, he did a year of fieldwork on farmers in a village in the Philippines. He also completed a M.Div. at Meadville Lombard, the Unitarian Universalist seminary affiliated with the University of Chicago.

James had long-term assignments with USAID in Sudan, Philippines, Liberia, and South Africa and short-term assignments in eleven other countries. In 2003 he was a Fulbright Senior Specialist in the Philippines at Ateneo de Manila University and in 2015 was a Fulbright Specialist at De La Salle University. He has served on the board of the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology, and is a fellow in the Society for Applied Anthropology.

As of 2015 James was using anthropological theory and especially framing theory for the analysis of U.S. foreign assistance policy in South Africa during the transition to majority rule.

Fulbright Press Release

SelectedWorks Site

Curriculum Vitae