Life After the Foreign Service: The View from Tucson

Contributed by: Peter Becskehazy

A man with a mustache wearing a suit and tie.

After retiring in 2003, I moved to Tucson to earn an MA in Higher Education and complete coursework toward a Ph.D. that opened many doors in academia. 

Since 2004, I have had the privilege of working at Pima Community College in a number of capacities, including ad-vising and teaching for-credit Student Success classes. 

I also administered the Education for Economic Empowerment program, which entailed recruiting income-eligible, first-generation single parents to attend preparatory classes to be able to study for an A.A. degree. Starting In 2008, I directed the Upward Bound program for six years, which prepared first-generation high school students to attend college. 

Starting in 2010, I have been teaching political science transfer over to the University of Arizona, as well as Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University. 

I am also a Master Tutor in political science and education at the University of Arizona’s SALT Center, which serves students with learning disabilities. 

I have been wearing my CDA hat as a member, president, and, now, past president of Citizen Diplomacy Alliance, the local program that sponsors the International Visitor Leadership Program, our IV Program, as we used to call it. (Editor’s note: See page four for information on the 70th anniversary observance of the IVLP.) Our latest home visitors were journalists from Kyrgyzstan. 

Retiring from the Foreign Service opened the door for political activity as a Precinct Committeeman for the Demo-cratic Party. Getting to know our representatives in the state and federal legislatures has been a real privilege (remember Codels?). During past visits to attend the annual Global Ties conferences, I have met Public Diplomacy col-leagues at State and have knocked on the doors of our Representatives and Senators in the U.S. Congress to lobby for the IVLP program. 

No, I don’t have a plush office on K Street, but I can certify that there’s a lot to do in Foreign Service retirement.

By Peter Becskehazy