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  • Our Mission

    Markle works to realize the potential of information technology to address previously intractable public problems for the economic security, health, and national security of all Americans.

About Markle

  • Since its inception in 1927 by John and Mary R. Markle, the Foundation has worked "to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge among people of the United States, and to promote the general good of mankind." Currently, Markle is engaged in a nationwide initiative aimed at driving innovations that expand opportunities for employment and broaden ways for all Americans to learn and train for the work of the future. Rework America: A Markle Initiative, has brought together a remarkable and diverse group of leaders who are committed to tackling this pressing social need.

    When Zoë Baird first became Markle president in 1998, before the Internet became mainstream, she directed the Foundation’s efforts to harness emerging technologies to improve the lives of all Americans. Early in her tenure, Markle initiated efforts to improve health care using information, develop a set of policies in the United States that protect privacy and transparency, deploy the Internet for public information in elections, improve America’s national security and expand access to the Internet

  • in developing countries, and provide public representation in global Internet governance.

    Over the last decade, Markle has focused on advancing national security and the quality of healthcare in the United States. By targeting how the federal government shares information, as well as how medical professionals and consumers share and exchange patient health data, Markle has helped strengthen services in both areas. Many of Markle’s recommended reforms were embodied in sweeping national security and health care laws and in a range of actions at the state and local level.

    During its early years, Markle led the expansion of talent in academic medicine, and later focused on developing and using communication and information to enhance lifelong learning and to promote an informed citizenry. While Markle’s work has evolved through the years, its mission to meet the needs of the American people has endured.

A Message From ZoË Baird

  • As our nation exits from the information era into the connected age, advances in technology have allowed some Americans to prosper and left others behind. That’s why we have made it our purpose to inspire leaders from all sectors of the economy to leverage these very forces of change to improve the lives of all Americans.

    Whether focused on the nation’s economic security, health, or national security, our approach to problem solving remains very much the same. We call upon the nation’s leaders to lend their collective know-how to find solutions for the nation’s most pressing challenges. And, we know that just talking about an issue is not enough. Our work is meant to bring a wide range of leaders to action. This is why we share our innovations and collaborate with others to build upon our work.

  • Two of our undertakings best illustrate this commitment: Markle Connecting for Health is transforming our nation’s complex and over-burdened health system, while the Markle Task Force on National Security in the Information Age is protecting traditional civil liberties while pursuing the timely sharing of knowledge among agencies charged with defending the nation. Our work in both of these areas has gained widespread acceptance, as evidenced by sweeping reforms at the local, state and federal levels, as well as the adoption of new technologies.

    Our work today is as challenging as ever. We believe that everyone has a meaningful place in the new economy. Through our latest undertaking, Rework America: A Markle Initiative, we’re committed to preparing and connecting Americans to the opportunities of tomorrow.

    With an eye on the future, Markle and its partners remain driven to solve and seek solutions to the nation’s most complex challenges. We invite you to join us.

    Zoë Baird
    CEO and President

Our Principles

Markle works with its collaborators to offer comprehensive recommendations and actions addressing some of the nation’s greatest challenges. Several key recommendations have become law through acts of Congress and by executive order and have formed the basis for business objectives. The following principles guide our work:

  • Collaboration

    Working relationships across sectors is crucial to finding solutions that work in our complex, connected world.

  • Innovation

    Finding new pathways, new ideas, and new opportunities to achieve our goals is critical to maximizing impact.

  • Broad Participation

    Empowering all Americans to benefit from the power of information.

  • Adaptability

    Responding and evolving to change as new information or ideas surface.

  • Transformation

    Changing how we think and operate enhances the economic security, health, and national security of future generations.

  • Policy

    Establishing guidelines allows for trusted information sharing, with safeguards in place to protect civil liberties.

Board of Directors

Lewis B. Kaden

  • Chairman, Markle Board of Directors
  • Former Vice Chairman, Citigroup

Herbert Pardes, MD

  • Executive Vice Chair, Board of Trustees, New York-Presbyterian Hospital

Senior Team

Karen D. Byers

  • Managing Director, Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer & Corporate Secretary

Our History

John and Mary R. Markle established the Markle Foundation in 1927 "to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge among people of the United States, and to promote the general good of mankind." Our mission has evolved over the past century to our present day focus on working to realize the potential of information technology to address previously intractable public problems, for the health and security of all Americans.


  • John Markle 1858 - 1933

    John Markle was an inventor, industrialist, and financier who established the John and Mary Markle Foundation in 1927 with an initial endowment of $3 million "to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge among people of the United States, and to promote the general good of mankind." He believed that an individual who has funds beyond those needed for living becomes "a trustee for his fellow man and should so use those funds." He served as president and treasurer of the Foundation until his death in 1933. John Markle's total financial contribution to the Foundation exceeded $17 million.

  • Mary Markle1853 - 1927

    Mary Estelle Robinson Markle was a generous supporter of several New York City charities, in particular those whose work benefitted impoverished women. She was widely recognized as John Markle's inspiration for the establishment of the Foundation, the first American institution of its kind to name both husband and wife as partners. This move, considered revolutionary for their times, affirmed the Markles' belief that the integration of a couple's financial and social interests can impel the important societal changes needed to serve the greater good.