Chris Bashinelli, also known as, “Bash”, was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. After a decade long acting career including an appearance on the HBO hit television show, The Sopranos, Bash decided to follow his real passion – using media to build bridges between cultures. In his early 20’s, he became one of the youngest Moderators at the United Nations and made a documentary about his journey to Tanzania. He now traverses the globe from Uganda to Haiti, as host of “Bridge the Gap,” a television series featured on PBS and the National Geographic Channel, where he discovers what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes.

Of Lebanese and Italian descent, Bash knows what it takes to live in a diverse world. He has harvested buffalo with Native Americans in Pine Ridge, lived with nomads in Mongolia, and Sumo Wrestled the heaviest Japanese human being in recorded history. He is a United Nations Moderator, an Eagle Scout, a National Geographic Explorer, and has interviewed some of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People on the Planet.

Bash has spoken around the world – from TEDx, to Abu Dhabi, to Azerbaijan – at multi-million dollar corporations, Ivy League Universities, and in the United Nations General Assembly Hall. He has shared the stage with Stevie Wonder, Dr. Jane Goodall and former United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.

The idea for “Bridge the Gap” spawned in 2007. It was the dawn of the era of the mindless reality television program, the kind that not only breeds gossip and judgment, but also serves to divide human beings against each other. It was also a time of immense suffering for people throughout our world, though when is it not? After appearing on The Sopranos (HBO), Chris traveled to Tanzania to experience life in another part of the world firsthand. Inspired by the people he met in East Africa, Chris returned to the USA with one mission- to use media to bridge the immense inner and outer gaps between people and cultures.

“From Haiti to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, I have met countless individuals living in incredibly difficult external conditions who are often more content and inspired than people I know in far more “better off” conditions. The common thread many of these individuals share is their concern for others, often even above their own welfare. Through these experiences I am reminded that happiness is a state of mind, not a state of the external world. Perhaps by walking in other people’s shoes and gaining a glimpse into their experience, we can tap into a deeper wisdom that will inspire each of us to live more conscious lives and reach our full potential.”– Chris Bashinelli

Chris Bashinelli is an inspiration to youth worldwide. He speaks with passion and his message is one of hope, cultural tolerance and call to action. He knows how to reach young and old alike. Bridge the Gap shares exciting and inspirational stories of daily life from the developing world and encourages us to realize that at the end of the day, we really are all the same and every single one of us makes a difference. We need more people like Chris in the world.
– JANE GOODALL, PHD, DBE Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace
Dear Chris, It was a pleasure to meet you at the United Nations International Day of Peace. Your handling of the student panel discussion and your own speech were excellent. Your motivational skills and energy along with the positive message you send will truly inspire people to help make this a better planet. Congratulations and best wishes for a very promising future.
– MICHAEL DOUGLAS, Academy Award-winning Actor & United Nations Messenger of Peace
Chris is one of the most inspiring new voices on TV. He’s part Anthony Bourdain, part Anderson Cooper and 100% fresh.
– JERRY KOLBER, Executive Producer of Brain Games on National Geographic
Chris was one of the best, if not the best, public speakers I’ve seen on circuit in my 25 year history in this industry.
– GEOFF BALLOTTI, President and CEO of Wyndham Hotel Group
G'day mate! Great to meet you! I love your message and it fits perfectly in the corporate market. Who knew that traveling the world and living with nomads relates to work in an office setting!? I introduce a lot of speakers to events around the world and I rate your session very highly- Entertaining, engaging, compelling… All the good stuff!
– LARRY EMDUR, Australian Television Personality
Chris is a gifted speaker that has the uncanny ability to fill any venue with positive energy and excitement. He has a rare knack of being able to help bring out the best in every member of the audience. I'm very impressed with his ability to communicate complex messages in an easy to understand and entertaining way. His message as relevant in the cubicle as it is in the space station. I would highly recommend Chris for any speaking venue.
– RON GARAN, Col, USAF (Ret) NASA Astronaut
Bashinelli’s journeys are genuine and without pretense. Bridge the Gap offers a message that we should embrace and act on right now – chances are we’d all be better for it.
– CHRISTOPHER COLLINS, Executive Producer of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown"
What I love most about Chris is that he treats everyone exactly the same- be it the United Nations Secretary General or the hotel concierge. He does not distinguish between rich people, poor people, famous people, and everyday people. For Chris, everyone is equal. He has a great deal of respect for the ‘human being’ and this is a rare quality. Chris embodies what we say in Germany, ‘Wir sind alle gleich’, which means, ‘We are all the same’.
– BMW GROUP, Milena Pighi, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility
Bash! You brought a smile to my face when I really needed it. I must say your presentation was a departure from what we normally do at convention. I went into it a skeptic and borderline grumpy old man... I came out the other side a motivated believer. Keep on Bridging the Gap my brother!
– ALASKA AIRLINES, Scott Habberstad, Director of Sales & Community Marketing
Caesars Entertainment is committed to our core value of building community and “Bash” magnified the importance of that value in style… Chris Bashinelli’s powerful keynote at one of our flagship events helped drive home the true meaning of cultural awareness and compassion. By inviting clients and co-workers to sit on our “stoop”, we can strengthen any relationship. He reminds us to simply start where we are and we will see our partnerships and business relationships grow. When we care about each other and the communities we live and work in, the stakes become that much more important, and the positive results are evident. I highly recommend “Bash” for any corporate event.
– CAESAR’S ENTERTAINMENT, Melanie Harrje, Conventions

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