David Wendt has been involved for over 30 years in building consensus among groups concerned with global issues. As program officer in 1975-76 for "A Declaration of Interdependence," a U.S. bicentennial program of the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, he coordinated the annual meetings of a dozen national professional associations around themes of global interdependence. During the 1980s David was responsible for the programs and budget of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), in Washington, D.C. The Center's budget more than doubled during this period, growing from $5 million to $12 million.
As founder and director of the CSIS program on International Economic and Social Development in the 1990s, David developed numerous policy reports addressing key issues of global health, population, and the environment. These reports were based on the discussions of working groups bringing together leaders from diverse sectors. Chairs of these working groups included Rep. Tony Beilenson (D-CA), Rep. Jennifer Dunn (R-WA), Sen. Al Gore (D-TN), Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), and Sen. Al Simpson (R-WY).
The U.S.-Chongqing Task Force in Energy-Environmental Cooperation, developed by David in cooperation with the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR), in Seattle, was the forerunner of JHCGA's current U.S.-China Clean Energy Initiative.
After leaving CSIS in 1998, David served for 8 years as Special Assistant to the President at Idaho State University. In this capacity he had responsibility for developing the University's institutional relationships with universities abroad. In 2002, while still serving in this capacity, he co-founded the Jackson Hole Center for Global Affairs. He served as President until early 2021, at which time he become a Senior Advisor.
David was educated at Harvard University (AB) and Columbia University (PhD). He first came to Jackson Hole in the 60's, as head wrangler at the White Grass Ranch.