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Mark Green

Abbot Pennings HS 1978
2021 Academic Division: Humanitarian

Ambassador Mark Green (ret.) serves as the president and CEO of the Wilson Center, a non-partisan, Congressionally chartered policy forum that tackles global issues through independent research and open dialogue so that Congress, the Administration and the international policy community can act.

Prior to joining the Wilson Center, Green served as the executive director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership, an action-oriented policy institution dedicated to advancing character-driven leadership based on security, economic opportunity, freedom and human dignity.

A photo of Mark Green

From August 2017 to April 2020, Green served as administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Known for an approach he named the “Journey to Self-Reliance,” Green managed and oversaw a budget of $24 billion and a global workforce of 13,000 employees. He helped transform the agency with a new metrics-based, country-by-country framework, USAID’s first-ever private sector engagement policy, sweeping reform of partnership and procurement policies, innovative education assistance for children abroad living in crisis and conflict, a comprehensive effort to protect religious liberty, and elevated democracy, human rights, and governance programs.

In addition to program reforms, Green led the agency through a reorganization of its structure and global presence to meet the new challenges of the 21st century of widescale human displacement conflated with rising authoritarianism, and to seize new opportunities presented by technology and private enterprise. Along with reshaping bureaus and centers within the agency, Green oversaw the opening or reopening of offices in Somali, Niger, Cameroon, Ecuador and Tunisia.

Prior to USAID, he served as president of the International Republican Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing democracy and human liberty around the world. He has also served as president and CEO of the Initiative for Global Development, a nonprofit organization that engages corporate leaders to reduce poverty through business growth and investment in Africa, and senior director at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, a network of 400 businesses, nongovernmental organizations, policy experts and other leaders supporting development tools in American foreign policy.

Green served as the U.S. ambassador to Tanzania from mid-2007 to early 2009. While there, he led a mission of more than 350 Americans and Tanzanians and was ultimately responsible for some of the world’s largest U.S.-led development programs. Before that, he served four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives representing Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District. While in Congress, he helped craft key policy initiatives including the Millennium Challenge Act and president George W. Bush’s history-making President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program. He also served as an assistant majority whip.

Mark Green's high school yearbook photo

Green is a member of the board of directors for the Center for U.S. Global Leadership and the International Conservation Caucus Foundation. He was previously the longest-serving member of the board of directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation. He has also served on the Human Freedom Advisory Council for the Bush Institute and the Board of the Consensus for Development Reform, a coalition of policy and business leaders devising new principles for making development policy more effective and growth-oriented.

Green holds a law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. In 2012, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science from Georgetown University’s School of Nursing and Health Studies. In 2014, president Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania presented him with a special Presidential Certificate of Recognition and Appreciation. In 2021, president Ivan Duque presented him with the Republic of Colombia’s Orden de San Carlos, Gran Cruz.

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