Friends Names Respected Scholar Mark P. Lagon as Chief Policy Officer


Washington, D.C., March 15, 2017 — Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Friends) announced today that Mark P. Lagon, a respected scholar and former ambassador with more than 20 years of experience in diplomacy and human rights, will become Friends’ Chief Policy Officer on March 27. Amb. Lagon has been serving as Centennial Fellow and Distinguished Senior Scholar in the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Previously, Amb. Lagon served under former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell, and with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Republican Policy Committee.

Amb. Lagon will play a leadership role in developing and advancing Friends’ policy, advocacy and communications in support of global programs to address HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria, particularly through advocacy for the Global Fund.

“Friends is very pleased to welcome Ambassador Lagon with his diverse diplomatic experience and broad understanding of international policy,” said Chris Collins, President of Friends. “Mark has fought tirelessly for human rights through his work with the government, non-profit, academic and private sectors. His wealth of knowledge will be crucial to Friends as we advocate for a steadfast U.S. commitment to the Global Fund and global health.”

“There is no more urgent mission than helping people survive and thrive who’d otherwise be ravaged by AIDS, TB and malaria,” said Amb. Lagon. “This is not only altruism in fighting for marginalized people’s dignity, because growth, stability, and U.S. standing globally are at stake. The Global Fund is a proven model of nimbly and accountably leveraging partnerships to have transformative impact on the ground. It is a privilege to join Friends — helping to shape the agenda to support the Global Fund as it moves from alleviating the deadly impact of these epidemics and focuses on ending them once and for all.”

Amb. Lagon previously served as President of Freedom House, a non-profit organization that works to defend human rights and promote democratic change. From 2010 to 2014, he was Global Politics and Security Chair and Professor of the Practice of International Affairs at Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) Program, and served simultaneously as Adjunct Senior Fellow for Human Rights at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Earlier, he served at the State Department as Ambassador-At-Large, directing the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP). In this role, he chaired by statute the Senior Policy Operating Group, coordinating all U.S. agency efforts to combat human trafficking domestically and internationally. He previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations. On Capitol Hill, he worked as a Senior Professional Staff Member at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and as Deputy Director of the House Republican Policy Committee.

Amb. Lagon also has been Executive Director and CEO of leading anti-human trafficking nonprofit Polaris, chief aide to former UN Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick at the American Enterprise Institute, and an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of The Reagan Doctrine: Sources of American Conduct in the Cold War’s Last Chapter and co-editor with Anthony Clark Arend of Human Dignity and the Future of Global Institutions.

He is a Founding Board Member of the Global Business Coalition Against Human Trafficking, which includes as members Carlson, Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, LexisNexis and Microsoft. He also serves on the Advisory Boards of the Center for Victims of Torture, UN Watch, and ECPAT-USA (End Child Prostitution and Trafficking). Amb. Lagon has a Ph.D. from Georgetown University and an A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard College, both in Government.


Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria advocates for U.S. support of the Global Fund, and the goal to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. For more information about Friends of the Global Fight, visit


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