About the event
Ambassador Mark Palmer, who served as US Ambassador to Hungary from 1986-1990 and as a speechwriter to three Presidents, played a leading role in drafting President Ronald Reagan’s historic Westminster Address to the British Parliament, in which Reagan proposed the initiative that led to the establishment of NED. In addition, Palmer served on the NED Board of Directors from 1990-1999.
Mark Palmer: Freedom’s Champion
Additional remarks by
The Honorable Laurence Silberman
The Honorable Paula Dobriansky
His Excellency András Simonyi
The Honorable William J. Burns
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
About Mark Palmer
Mark Palmer was born in Ann Arbor Michigan. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Yale University, and was married to Sushma Palmer for 47 years. They met when Mark was posted at the US Embassy in Delhi in 1964.
Described by the New York Times in 1989 as “the most active Western booster for economic and political liberalization”, Mark had an extensive record of government service from 1964 -1990, including four overseas posts, and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and chief “Kremlinologist” in charge of Soviet affairs. He was also speechwriter for three presidents and six secretaries of state, and the United States Ambassador to Hungary.
One of the first venture capitalists in Central and Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1990, Mark Palmer founded independent national television stations in six countries to encourage democracy development in the region. From his home base in Washington, DC from 1996 onwards, he devoted his entrepreneurship to attempting to bring independent television to the Middle East and to creating jobs through real estate development in the DC Metropolitan Area.
Mark remained active in promoting democracy until the very end, through advocating legislative action on the Hill, service on government committees and non-profit boards, and support of Freedom House, the Council for the Community of Democracies and other NGOs and worthy causes.