Mark Wentling attended Wichita State University. In 1967 he became a Peace Corps Volunteer and served for two years in Honduras. In 1970, he obtained his bachelor’s degree from WSU and continued as a PCV in Togo in 1970. Beginning in late 1973 he was an Associate Director for the Peace Corps in Togo. He then served as the Peace Corps Director in Gabon and Niger.
In 1977, he began working for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Niger and later served as its principal officer in Guinea, Togo/Benin, Angola, Somalia and Tanzania. Following retirement from the U.S. Senior Foreign Service in 1996, Mark continued to work as an advisor for the Great Lakes Region, then with USAID Missions in Zambia, Malawi, Guinea and Senegal.
He subsequently worked with CARE, World Vision and Plan International in Niger, Mozambique and Burkina Faso. In recent years, he has worked in Ghana, Mali and Angola. His many jobs and travels in Africa, visiting all 54 African countries, contributed to the completion of his latest book, Africa Memoir: 50 Years, 54 Countries, One American Life. Those who know him well say he was born and raised in Kansas but made in Africa.
Mark has published a number of professional articles over the years on Africa's development predicament, as well as three previous books: Africa's Embrace (2013), Africa's Release (2014) and Africa's Heart. In 2017, he published Dead Cow Road: Life on the Front Lines of an International Crisis. This book was awarded by Peace Corps Writers the annual Maria Thomas fiction award in 2018. In 2019, he published Blue Country, which draws on his experiences as a PCV in Honduras in 1967-1969.
Mark currently maintains a home in Lubbock, Texas, but he continues to travel frequently to Africa to work. He has also designed a course in international development for Texas Tech University. He holds a master’s degree in International Agriculture from Cornell University and a master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the National War College. In 2014, he was awarded by the WSU Alumni Association its annual alumni achievement award.