- Chairman, Markle Board of Directors
- Former Vice Chairman, Citigroup
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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.
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.
Inspired by our Rework America initiative, which brought together a remarkable and diverse group of leaders committed to tackling pressing social needs, Markle developed Skillful, a partnership with LinkedIn, Arizona State University, the state of Colorado, and local employers, educators, and non-profits. Skillful is creating a skills-based labor market to help more Americans connect to meaningful job opportunities in the digital age.
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.
As our nation transitions from the information era into the digital age, dramatic transformations in our economy have allowed some Americans to prosper, while leaving many behind and others deeply uncertain about their future. At Markle, we have made it our purpose to inspire leaders from all sectors to leverage the very forces of change to improve the lives of all Americans. We believe innovative actions that respond directly to people’s real concerns and to their desire for a dignified place in this new economy are critically required. We devote ourselves to leading collaborations to meet these public needs.
Whether focused on the nation’s economic security, health, or national security, our approach to problem solving remains very much the same. We challenge partners from all walks of life to lend their collective know-how to identify solutions for the nation’s most pressing problems. Our work brings a wide range of leaders to action.
We believe there is nothing more important for our very democracy than making sure all Americans can see themselves included in the benefits of the digital economy. Through our latest undertaking, Rework America: A Markle Initiative, we’re committed to creating many more good middle-skill jobs and to connecting Americans to opportunities and the tools that can help them succeed in an ever-changing labor market.
Central to our efforts is Skillful, our partnership with the state of Colorado, LinkedIn, and Arizona State University. Skillful is reshaping the labor market for those without a college degree by connecting job seekers, employers, and educators around a common language of skills. Using a network of online tools and on-the-ground resources, we are matching people of all ages to employers in fast-growing industries that offer well-paying jobs, and to the educators who can help them acquire new skills to continually advance throughout their careers.
Earlier undertakings at Markle led to catalytic changes in health care and national security. Markle Connecting for Health transformed our nation’s complex and over-burdened health system by framing the implementation of national health care reforms that offer electronic information exchange providing Americans the ability to view, download, and transmit their personal health information. The Markle Task Force on National Security in the Information Age advanced a more open and transparent culture of national security information sharing after 9/11 by pursuing the timely sharing of knowledge among agencies charged with defending the nation while protecting traditional civil liberties. Our work in both health care and national security has gained widespread acceptance, as evidenced by sweeping reforms at the local, state, and federal levels, as well as the adoption of new technologies.
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.
CEO and President
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:
Working relationships across sectors is crucial to finding solutions that work in our complex, connected world.
Finding new pathways, new ideas, and new opportunities to achieve our goals is critical to maximizing impact.
Empowering all Americans to benefit from the power of information.
Responding and evolving to change as new information or ideas surface.
Changing how we think and operate enhances the economic security, health, and national security of future generations.
Establishing guidelines allows for trusted information sharing, with safeguards in place to protect civil liberties.
Markle leverages the potential of information technology to drive solutions to some of the nation’s most pressing problems in the areas of health, the economy, and national security. Our work has led to transformative change in a variety of sectors, including the implementation of national health care reforms that offer Americans the ability to view, download, and transmit their personal health information, and the advancement of a more open and transparent culture of national security information sharing after 9/11. Markle’s work since 1998 has led to sweeping reforms at the federal, state, and local levels.
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 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 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.
Minutes from Times Square, Broadway theatres, and Central Park, the Markle Conference Space is perfectly suited for board meetings and business gatherings.
The Markle Events listing shows the activities in which Markle staff take part, including conferences, Congressional hearings, and speaking engagements.
Markle In the News includes articles, op-eds, blog commentary, and news items related to Markle's collaborative work.
Markle's most recent media releases and announcements can be found here.
Information about our past initiatives includes Better Health through Information Technologies, Policy for a Networked Society, and Interactive Media for Children.
In these letters, Markle President and CEO Zoë Baird addresses several of the problems facing America in economic security, health, and national security.