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.
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.