Richard M. Walden
President and CEO
Richard M. Walden is President, CEO and Founder of Operation USA, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit international relief and development organization helping communities alleviate the effects of disasters, disease and endemic poverty by providing privately funded relief, reconstruction and development aid throughout the world. Walden is also an active California-licensed attorney specializing in international law, civil rights and health care issues.
Walden is an elected member of the Pacific Council on International Policy, and previously served on the boards of InterAction, a consortium of 195 international nongovernmental organizations, which he co-founded in 1984, and of the Institute for International Mediation & Conflict Resolution (IIMCR) in Washington, D.C. He has also taught conflict resolution at IIMCR seminars in The Hague and in Prague, and has served on the Advisory Board of The Asia Society.
Prior to founding Operation USA, Walden was Commissioner of Hospitals for California during Jerry Brown’s administration. He also taught undergraduate law at the University of California at San Diego, and set up the Legal Aid Society of San Diego (CA) County’s Health Law Center. Earlier in his career, he served as Deputy General Counsel of New York City Health Services Administration under Mayor John Lindsay. Walden has also been a private consultant on health care and international development issues.
Walden has maintained membership in the State Bars of California, since 1975, and Pennsylvania, since 1972. He earned his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1972, and previously earned a B.A. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s College of Arts & Sciences in 1968 while attending the Wharton School of Finance from 1964-66. Walden has also studied history, economics, psychology and African Studies at the University of California at Berkeley and at Los Angeles.