David Holdridge with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, 1990
Born into the affluence and opportunity that characterized post World War II America, David Holdridge benefited from a liberal education and an opportunity to travel.
By the time he was 17, he had traveled to Europe, Asia and, famously, in 1962, had followed the Beats to the West Coast from his home in Connecticut by catching rides with long distance truckers.
He graduated with degrees in Political Science and French Literature just months before he was drafted into the United States Army for service in Vietnam. He served there as a Platoon Leader in I corps before he got slammed by incoming mortars. He was slowly repaired in a variety of hospitals and when he became capable again, he flew back overseas to back-pack through Africa and then, subsequently, to ride the train across the vastness of the Soviet Union. From 1974-1981 he founded and managed a 'for-profit' in New England', getting his feet wet in the market place. Then, coincidental to his marriage into the 'counter culture' he and his wife, Annie, headed off to the war in Lebanon and to manage the humanitarian response where they prepared themselves for work in a long succession of troubled and conflicted posts across the globe.
In 2009, disturbed by what had happened to official U.S. foreign assistance since its inception in 1961 and distressed with how poorly America was projecting its values and interests in the Middle East, he left his most recent post in Iraq with a band of like-minded colleagues to begin Bridging the Divide and to address those failures. That effort is described on the surrounding site.
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