P. David Searles served three years as the Country Director for the Peace Corps in the Philippines from 1971 to 1974, and then spent two years at Peace searles-dCorps headquarters as Regional Director for North Africa, Near East, Asia, and Pacific (NANEAP) and as Deputy Director of the agency under John Dellenback (1974–76).

His career has included periods during which he worked in international business, government service and education. After service in the United States Marine Corps (1955–58) David worked in consumer goods marketing and in general management positions in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Latin America. His business career was interrupted by a brief stint as a high school teacher (1969–71), the Peace Corps experience noted above, and four years as Assistant Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (1976–1980).

Following the end of his business career in 1990 David earned a Ph. D. from the University of Kentucky (1993), and published two books: A College For Appalachia (1995) and The Peace Corps Experience (1997), both published by The University Press of Kentucky.

David and his wife live in Owensboro, Kentucky.