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Terry Waite

Terry Waite

Former envoy, held hostage in the Lebanon for four years

  • Topics: Lifestyle, Society
  • Location: United Kingdom
  • Languages: English
‘The only global speaker bureau’

International New York Times


  • Negotiation
  • Motivation
  • Humanitarianism

Terry Waite was born in Cheshire, England. 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. He worked in Uganda, where he witnessed the Amin coup and both he and his wife narrowly escaped death on several occasions.

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.

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 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. 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.

Since his release he has been in constant demand as a speaker, 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.

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