Forrester was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 2, 1941. She attended public schools in Philadelphia but then transferred to a predominantly white school, Northfield Mount Hermon School, in Gill, Massachusetts, graduating June 1959. She graduated from Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont in 1963 and later received her master’s degree in African Studies at Howard University in 1968. Ms. Forrester’s doctoral work culminated with a 1975 degree from the Union Institute & University in Cincinnati, Ohio.
In the 1970s Forrester met and married Marvin Holloway. The two of them became involved with Washington D.C.’s Drum and Spear Bookstore and Press, a center of Black Nationalist activity in the nation’s capital. She eventually advanced to the position of managing editor of the Press. Additionally, she worked as a part time staffer for Congressman Andrew Young, a Democrat and member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the state of Georgia. When Young became the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, she worked as Staff Director for his State Department office in Washington D.C.
While working for Ambassador Young, Forrester participated with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Her work with that agency took her to Lesotho and Ghana and later to Barbados and the eastern Caribbean. She also worked with the United Nations Regional Bureau for Africa, and supported the work of the United Nations Foundation under its then director, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who is now President of Liberia. Ms. Forrester also became a senior adviser to the administrator in charge of launching the United Nations Foundation and in her first year raised $20 million for the organization.
With an extensive background in development work in Africa, Forrester was more qualified than most U.S. ambassadors to head an Embassy delegation on that continent. Those qualifications blended with an abiding personal interest in Africa stemming back to the first days of hearing the pleas for missionary involvement on the continent at her family church in Philadelphia.
Holloway served as ambassador until February 1981. Upon her return to the United States she became a guest scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and an adjunct professor in the African studies department at Georgetown University in Washington D.C.
Holloway finally retired from the United Nations in October 2001. After her retirement she continued to work as senior policy adviser on Africa, Afghanistan, and HIV-AIDS matters for Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-California.), until 2002. She eventually returned to New York and continued to work as an international consultant on African and Caribbean development issues.
Ann Forrester Holloway died June 23, 2006 in New York, New York at the age of 67. She was survived by her twin daughters: Camara Holloway of New York and Kandia Holloway of Charlotte, North Carolina.