Author Archives: Kelly Hayes-Raitt

  • Kelly Hayes-Raitt
    Ten years ago, after a 30-year career as a political activist promoting social and environmental justice, Kelly ran for public office and got her butt kicked. She decided to take a sabbatical from politics and visited the Middle East several times. She ended up working with refugees. To finance her writing, she rents out her own home and lives elsewhere by housesitting. She’s been housesitting fulltime since 2009 in the U.S., Mexico, the U.K., Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Gibraltar, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Senegal, Malawi and Mozambique. She’s visited more than 60 countries, including pre- and post-U.S. invasion Iraq and has co-led delegations in Syria and India. She’s an inspiring and engaging public speaker who loves to share her experiences. Her audiences have included Congresswomen in the U.S. Capitol who acted upon her observations in Iraq and activists in Poland, Mexico, the Philippines and the West Bank. Chapters in Kelly’s forthcoming refugee book are included in seven anthologies and have won 19 literary awards. She now writes a column for a Los Angeles weekly newspaper. In 2016, her column was awarded “second place” by the Southern California Journalists Association. To hear Kelly read the award-winning essay about meeting an Iraqi beggar just days before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq – and finding her again three months after the occupation of Baghdad visit And check out her political and public relations bio at Kelly is available for interviews and presentations live or taped via Skype to school classes, book clubs, podcasts and media programs anywhere in the world. She is also available to speak at conferences. And, of course, she’d love to talk with you about spoiling your pets! Kelly is also an avid scuba diver who is working on perfecting her octopus-whispering! Message her at

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