Richard M. Walden

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Biographical Information

"In the summer of 1979, two news stories on one day sparked the inspiration: Vietnamese boat people fleeing their war-torn country in droves; and, while following a tragic plane crash, the world’s entire fleet of DC-10s was grounded. The pairing suddenly seem to present an obvious solution…Less than a month later, Walden had a DC-10 loaded with 7 tons of donated medical supplies on the ground in a refugee camp on a remote Malaysian island. And with that, Operation USA was born...

"Walden served as Commissioner of the California Health Facilities Commission for the State of California (1977-82) under former Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. He has taught conflict resolution at seminars in The Hague and in Prague. He also served on the Advisory Board of The Asia Society and is an elected member of the Pacific Council on International Policy. Operation USA was recently named the “#1 Exclusively Privately Funded Charity” by watchdog group Charity Navigator.

"Walden lives in Los Angeles with his wife Rosanne Katon and their two children, Jamaica and Adam Mandela."[1]


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  1. Operation USA Richard M. Walden, organizational web page, accessed March 27, 2013.