History of Impact and Leadership
Prior to Markle’s focus on employment and training, when Zoë Baird first became Markle president in 1998 as the internet was poised to become mainstream, she and the Markle Board of Directors redirected Markle’s mission to focus on the potential of information technology to address some of the Nation’s most pressing challenges, focusing on economic security, national security and health care.
Early on, Markle pursued policies that protect privacy and provide transparency, non-profit representation in internet governance, and voice for the disenfranchised. It was one of the first organizations to undertake efforts to avoid a digital divide, and in 2000 organized the first large scale effort to provide voters with information over the internet through its WebWhiteandBlue initiative.
During the next decade, Markle focused on advancing national security and the quality of healthcare in the United States. It proposed bold reforms on government policy and technology architecture for information exchange while protecting privacy — reforms that transformed both these fields. Many of Markle’s recommended reforms were embodied in sweeping national security and health care laws and in a range of actions at the federal, state and local level.
Under Ms Baird’s leadership as CEO and President of Markle, the foundation focused on advancing solutions toward a labor market that will enable workers in America to move into good jobs in the digital economy. This includes a focus on expanding new jobs in evolving sectors, such as those impacted by emerging technologies and working to provide that as these new roles are developed, they are good jobs that allow for economic mobility and advancement for individuals of all races and ethnicity, gender, experience, and education.
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.” 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.