Mark P. Lagon

Mark plays a leadership role in developing and advancing Friends’ policy and advocacy work to support U.S. investment in global health, particularly through the Global Fund. He also coordinates Friends’ collaboration with civil society globally, with the private sector and with the faith community.

He is currently also Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) Program, and Senior Fellow at the Trinity Forum. A respected scholar and former policymaker, before Friends, Mark was a Centennial Fellow and Distinguished Senior Scholar in the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He has served under former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell—as Ambassador-At-Large to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Organizations (leading efforts on multilateral reform and human rights), and member of the Policy Planning Staff. On Capitol Hill, he held senior roles at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Republican Policy Committee.

After government service, as President of Freedom House, Mark led the non-profit organization in its work to defend human rights and promote democratic change. From 2010 to 2014, he was Global Politics and Security Chair at Georgetown University’s MSFS Program, and served simultaneously as Adjunct Senior Fellow for Human Rights at the Council on Foreign Relations. Earlier, he worked as Executive Director and CEO of the anti-human trafficking non-profit Polaris and co-founded the Global Business Coalition Against Human Trafficking (GBCAT).

Among his numerous studies of human rights, health, global governance and partnerships is the book Human Dignity and the Future of Global Institutions. He is the winner of the Louis B. Sohn Human Rights Award of the United Nations Association of the National Capitol Area.

Mark earned his Ph.D. from Georgetown University and his A.B. from Harvard College, both in Government.