Support RPCV Dave Harden (Botswana) with Your Vote and $$$

Dave Harden (Botswana 1984-86)


I grew up in Carroll County on a small farm in Westminster – we raised chickens, steers, and horses. I spent my summers shucking corn and listening to the Orioles play ball while I mowed more grass in a few years than most people do in a lifetime.

I started first grade at Mechanicsville Elementary school in Gamber and graduated from Westminster High School many, many years ago.

I’m a public school kid – and those schools did right by me. I learned to think critically, apply reason to problems, and envision a bigger world.

In the 12th Grade, long-time English teacher Barry Gelsinger taught us how to write – to craft – A-level college term papers so we could compete with prep school kids from around the country. With Barry Gelsinger’s push, I did well in college and was admitted to several law schools. But, I knew I had been blessed with a loving family, good schools, and plenty of opportunities in our big, great country. I wanted to give back.

I joined the Peace Corps.

For a Liberal Arts major from small town America, I didn’t have skills. But I had grit, and so I moved to rural Botswana, to Kasane, a little African village near the Namibian and Zimbabwean border. My job was to open the region’s first junior high school. The kids were educated through the 6th grade. After that, they went to work in the fields.

Building a junior high, and eventually a high school, changed the entire economic and social dynamics of the district. Kasane was close to major game parks, trading routes, and high-end markets. We helped prepare the students to seize their future, to have big dreams, to build their local economy.

At its independence in 1966, Botswana was one of the poorest countries in the world. Today, it is a solidly upper-middle income country with sustained economic growth and decades of good governance.

I went on from the Peace Corps to Columbia University for a Masters Degree, and then to Georgetown University for law school. A few years after law school, I joined the Foreign Service as an American diplomat representing America in the toughest places on earth including Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, the West Bank and Gaza, Libya, Iraq, and Yemen.

I was honored to serve. I didn’t represent Democrats or Republicans, I represented America. The Foreign Service was a blessing of a lifetime – and it all was possible because I was educated by committed public school teachers working in small towns who cared about the future.

Join me as we re-build Maryland’s rural communities – so our kids can have the same opportunities I was given many years ago. The future is coming, let’s make it work for us. Join my campaign today.

– Dave



Dave Harden (Botswana 1984-86) is a Democrat running for Maryland’s 1st Congressional District. Dave’s running to replace Andy Harris and will help the 1st District unlock its extraordinary potential. Support Dave with a donation today.

Harden for Congress
P.O. Box 584
Hampstead, MD 21074
United States



One Comment

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  • I wish you success. Peace Corps experience can make a big difference in Congress. I have mixed thoughts about the 1st District. Maryland’s districts are as gerrymandered as the worst Republican states. Even so, I don’t think Maryland Democrats should give up their advantage while Republicans throughout the country destroy our “democracy.” The world we are living in makes clear that the US Constitution has many flaws that were there from the beginning. I am beginning to understand how a country like Germany could turn over its government to Hitler.

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