Markle Task Forces and a History of Impact | Markle | Advancing America's Future
Markle Task Forces and a History of Impact | Markle | Advancing America's Future

Markle Task Forces and a History of Impact

Publication Date: February 15, 2013 | Back to Latest News

In an increasingly networked world, the Markle Foundation is dedicated to harnessing the opportunities of the digital age to improve how the public and private sectors solve problems and enhance the lives of all Americans. At the center of this work are Markle’s task forces, which have drawn on the expertise of the nation’s foremost leaders and thinkers to devise innovative, pragmatic solutions to the most pressing challenges of our time. In recent years, Markle task forces have helped strengthen national security and have bettered health and health care. Now, Markle is launching a new task force initiative to set our country on a path to build the American Dream for a new era by leveraging technology and advancing public and private leadership and individual action.

Markle Task Force on National Security in the Information Age

As the U.S. began to confront the new, complex threats of a post-9/11 world, the Markle Task Force on National Security in the Information Age convened to address how information technology can strengthen national security while at the same time protecting civil liberties. The attacks of 9/11 totally changed our understanding of the national security threats we are facing in the 21st Century and challenged our ways of understanding threats designed for a bygone era, the Cold War—where security agencies worked in silos and controlled information tightly to prevent disclosure. The Markle Task Force on National Security in the Information Age changed all that by creating a vision of a collaborative environment where information was shared among those at the edges whose mission it is to protect the U.S. In its reports, the task force pictured a new paradigm of “need to share” replacing the old “need to know” by detailing how a “share-network” could allow for the creation of ad-hoc teams to quickly share, analyze and collaborate around flows of data and new insights to develop a more agile response to prevent terrorism. The task force conceived a comprehensive policy and technology architecture that could facilitate the necessary interactions and collaborations. The task force’s recommendations and numerous reports informed the 9/11 Commission Report and were embraced in the Intelligence Reform & Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 and the Protect America Act of 2007.

Co-chaired by Markle Foundation President Zoë Baird and former Netscape CEO Jim Barksdale, the task force included such members as Eric Benhamou, former Chairman of the Board and CEO, Palm, Inc., and CEO and Founder, Benhamou Global Ventures, LLC; Ashton Carter, Deputy Secretary of Defense; Wesley K. Clark, Retired General, U.S. Army; James Dempsey, Vice President for Public Policy, Center for Democracy and Technology; Esther Dyson, Chairman of EDventure Holdings; Slade Gorton, former U.S. Senator; Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General; Michael Leavitt, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Founder and Chairman, Leavitt Partners; Craig Mundie, Chief Research and Strategy Officer, Microsoft Corporation; and James B. Steinberg, former Deputy Secretary of State, and Dean, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.

Markle Connecting for Health

In leading a digital transformation of the health care sector, the Markle Connecting for Health collaborative examined how information technology can improve personal health and the quality and cost effectiveness of health care. The task force produced recommendations for overcoming some of the most difficult barriers to information sharing among medical professionals and consumers. These solutions have since been incorporated in federal policy and adopted across the country, including the landmark health IT regulations developed to implement the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The task force also created a common way for millions of Americans to download their personal health information, the Blue Button. The Blue Button is now in use by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare services, and several major insurers and pharmacies.

Chaired by Markle Foundation Managing Director Carol Diamond, the task force included such members as Christine Bechtel, Vice President, National Partnership for Women & Families; Adam Bosworth, Co-Founder, Keas; Colin Evans, President and CEO, Dossia Consortium; David Lansky, President and CEO, Pacific Business Group on Health; Peter Levin, Chief Technology Officer, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; Mark McClellan, former Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and Director, Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform; Deven McGraw, Director, Center for Democracy and Technology; Farzad Mostashari, U.S. National Coordinator for Health IT; Peter Neupert, former Corporate Vice President of the Health Solutions Group, Microsoft, and Operating Partner, Health Evolution; Herbert Pardes, President and CEO, New York Presbyterian Healthcare System; Todd Park, U.S. Chief Technology Officer; and Clay Shirky, Professor, New York University.