Ambassador Mark P. Lagon, PhD

Ambassador Mark P. Lagon is Chair for International Relations and Security, and Professor in the Practice of International Affairs, at Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service Program.   He is also Adjunct Senior Fellow for Human Rights at the Council on Foreign Relations.  

Previously, he was Executive Director and CEO of the leading anti-human trafficking nonprofit, Polaris Project, which runs the National Human Trafficking Resource Center – the primary national hotline.

From 2007 to 2009, as U.S. Ambassador at Large, Lagon directed the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP) at the U.S. Department of State.  As such, he chaired by statute the Senior Policy Operating Group coordinating all U.S. agencies efforts to combat human trafficking domestically and internationally.

From 2004 to 2007, Lagon served in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs at the U.S. Department of State as Deputy Assistant Secretary, with lead responsibility for United Nations-related human rights and humanitarian issues, UN reform, and outreach.  Lagon previously served as a member of the Secretary of State Colin Powell's Policy Planning Staff, where he focused on UN, democracy and human rights (2002-2004).

From 1999 to 2002, he was on the senior staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with responsibility including the United Nations, human rights, sanctions, and public diplomacy, as well as  the State Department Authorization Bill.  Earlier, he won a Council on Foreign Relations Fellowship, where he specialized on U.S. policymaking toward in China (1998-1999); served at House Republican Policy Committee (1997-1998); worked for former Reagan UN Ambassador  Jeane J. Kirkpatrick as her principal aide at the American Enterprise Institute. He has taught previously in the Georgetown Government Department and the Security Studies Programs of Georgetown University, and at the Institute of World Politics.

He is author of the book, The Reagan Doctrine: Sources of American Conduct in the Cold War's Last Chapter.  He has published essays in numerous edited volumes and in over 60 journals and newspapers, including British Journal of Political Science, Chicago Tribune, Extrapolations, National Interest, National Review, Perspectives on Political Science, Philanthropy, Policy Review, Seattle Times, Survival, Wall Street Journal Asia, Washington Times, Weekly Standard, and World Affairs.  He is currently working on the book, Human Dignity and the Future of Global Institutions.

Currently, Lagon is also Founding Counselor on the Board of the Global Business Coalition Against Human Trafficking (with Manpower, The Body Shop, Carlson, Delta, ExxonMobil, Ford, J.P. Morgan Chase, LexisNexis, and among its Members).  He  is also currently on the Board of Directors of the Council for a Community of Democracies, as well as the Advisory Board of ECPAT-USA (End Child Prostitution Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes).

The son of Polish immigrants, Lagon was raised in Concord, MA.  He received his Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University, and A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard University.  He is married to Dr. Susan Sullivan Lagon, another political scientist.  Their daughter Elena is an undergraduate at Duke.

Read Summary of Dr. Lagon's Planned Plenary Address at the ISSTD Conference

More about Dr. Lagon

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