Mark grew up in the DC suburbs in a family deeply committed to social justice causes. He first met the dharma over cheap margaritas while volunteering for an anti-nuclear war campaign. Mark went on to join the Board of the International Campaign for Tibet in 1990 and served as ICT Board Chair from 1991to 1996.
In 1993, after Mark was diagnosed with a chronic lung disease, Mark “got serious,” and began attending Rigpa-DC drop-in sessions. After attending the TBLD “book retreat” in Lerab Ling in 1994, Mark became active in Rigpa, joining the Board in 1995. In September 1995, Rinpoche invited Mark to Lerab Ling to help in what became the first in a series of reorganizations of Rigpa worldwide.
From 1996 to 2002 Mark also served as an instructor, guiding students from the introductory course to the end of Stream 2 (a 3+ year journey).
Over the course of his 30-year career, Mark has advanced and helped to reinvent cause-based communications, fundraising and public engagement.
- As Vice President for Communications at World Wildlife Fund, Mark dramatically expanded awareness of WWF and the urgent conservation causes it works on. He served as the coordinating producer of an Emmy-winning HBO children’s special on endangered wildlife; he also served as chief architect of the multi-million dollar integrated Living Planet Campaign. He also oversaw development and expansion of WWF’s first website, which by 1999 was attracting more than 300,000 visits per month.
- In 1999, Mark launched CMS Interactive, the digital division of Craver, Mathews, Smith and the first of its kind in the industry. In the years since, Mark has helped pioneer strategies and tactics for Environmental Defense Fund, Amnesty International, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Sierra Club, Southern Poverty Law Center; Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation; the Nature Conservancy; Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union; and many others.
Mark is the founding partner of Sea Change Strategies, a boutique consultancy guiding visionary causes on the cutting edge of fundraising, marketing and communications.
In his best-selling book Tribes, Seth Godin called Mark a “fundraising heretic” and a leader in the field of non-profit communications. Mark’s short essay, “Timeless,” appears in a 2009 Seth Godin e-book compilation of thought leaders in public communications.
Mark sits – or has sat — on numerous Boards, including the National Aquarium in DC; International Bird rescue; the Bridge Fund; the Coral Reef Alliance; the Tenzin Gyatso Institute; and the Rigpa Fellowship.
Mark also has a law degree from Georgetown, but has zero interest in practicing law.
He is a passionate diver, is in love with sharks, and is especially committed to marine conservation issues.