Humanitarian, hostage negotiator and author of several books including the international bestseller Taken on Trust, Terry Waite has led a remarkable life as a diplomat and a humanitarian.
A world-renowned agent of peace, he is a testament to the power and resilience of the human spirit. In his capacity as advisor to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Terry travelled extensively throughout the world. In the early 1980s, he successfully negotiated the release of several hostages from Iran and this event brought him to public attention. In 1983, he negotiated with Colonel Gadaffi for the release of British hostages held in Libya and again was successful. In 1987, while negotiating for the release of Western hostages in Lebanon, he himself was taken captive and remained in captivity for 1,763 days, the first four years of which were spent in total solitary confinement.
Terry Waite was born in the county of Cheshire, England on the 31st May 1939. He was educated locally and received his higher education in London. On leaving college he was appointed as Education Advisor to the Anglican Bishop of Bristol, England and remained in that post until he moved to East Africa in 1969. In Uganda he worked as Provincial Training Adviser to the first African Anglican Archbishop of Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi and in that capacity travelled extensively throughout East Africa. Together with his wife Frances and their four children he witnessed the Amin coup in Uganda and both he and his wife narrowly escaped death on several occasions. From his office in Kampala he founded the Southern Sudan Project and was responsible for developing programmes of aid and development for this war-torn region.
In 1972 he responded to an invitation to work as an International Consultant to a Roman Catholic Medical Order and moved with his family to live in Rome, Italy. From this base he travelled extensively throughout Asia, Africa, North and South America and Europe both conducting and advising on programmes concerned with Institutional Change and Development, Inter-Cultural Relations, Group and Inter-group Dynamics and a broad range of development issues connected with both health and education.
In 1980 he was recruited by the Archbishop of Canterbury and moved to Lambeth Palace, London where he joined the Archbishop’s Private Staff. In his capacity as Advisor to the Archbishop he again travelled extensively throughout the world and had a responsibility for the Archbishop’s diplomatic and ecclesiastical exchanges. He arranged and travelled with the Archbishop on the first ever visit of an Archbishop of Canterbury to China and has responsibility for travels to Australia, New Zealand, Burma, USA, Canada, The Caribbean, South Africa, East and West Africa to name but a few places.
In the early 1980s he successfully negotiated the release of several hostages from Iran and this event brought him to public attention. In 1983 he negotiated with Colonel Ghadafi for the release of British hostages held in Libya and again was successful. In January 1987 while negotiating for the release of Western hostages in Lebanon he himself was taken captive and remained in captivity for 1,763 days, the first four years of which were spent in total solitary confinement.
Following his release on 19th November 1991 he was elected a Fellow Commoner at Trinity Hall Cambridge England where he wrote his first book Taken on Trust. This quickly became an international best-seller and headed the lists in the UK and elsewhere. Following his experience as a captive he decided to make a career change and determined to give himself to study, writing, lecturing and humanitarian activities. His second book Footfalls in Memory was published in the UK in 1995 and again was a best-seller. His latest book published in October 2000 Travels with a Primate is a humorous account of his journeys with Archbishop Runcie. He has contributed articles to many journals and periodicals ranging from the Reader’s Digest to the Kipling Journal and has also contributed articles and forewords to many books. He was elected Visiting Fellow to Magdalen College Oxford for the Trinity term 2006.
Since his release Terry Waite has been in constant demand as a lecturer, writer and broadcaster and has appeared in North and South America, Australia and New Zealand, South Africa and throughout Europe. There has been a particular interest in the lectures he has delivered relating his experiences as a negotiator and as a hostage to the pressures faced by executives and managers. Stress, loneliness and negotiating under acute pressure are but some of the issues with which he has a unique experiences and his ability to communicate clearly and with good humour has meant that he is in constant demand as a speaker not only to the Business Community but also to professionals in social work, education and medical field as well as to religious groups. He maintains an on-going interest in current humanitarian and political affairs.
Photo credit: University of Kent
"We loved making our 2010 Xmas video with Terry, what a star, view the video below" Maria Franzoni
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