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Photojournalism: David Valdez
photo by Harry Naltchayan
After graduating from high school in Albuquerque, New Mexico, David Valdez enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, where he was trained as a photographer. He served with the 836th Combat Support Group for four years, and then earned a BA in journalism from the University of Maryland at College Park. While he was a student there, Valdez was employed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as a photographer. He left the federal government to become chief photographer for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In 1983, he became personal photographer to then-Vice President George Bush. In 1988, President Bush appointed Valdez director of the White House Photo Office. During this administration, he traveled to 75 countries and all 50 states with the president. In 1997, he published George Herbert Walker Bush: A Photographic Profile.
Valdez was appointed general manager of photography for Walt Disney Attractions in 1993. In 2001, he became special assistant to the HUD assistant secretary. From 2003 to 2010, Valdez was the director of visual and electronic information for HUD’s assistant secretary for public affairs.
Valdez donated his archive to the Briscoe Center in 2012.