Ambassador Mark Lagon Named Executive Director of Polaris ProjectNovember 25, 2008 # 12:10 pm # Human Rights # No Comment
From the Polaris Project press release:
Polaris Project, a national organization combating human trafficking, has named Ambassador Mark P. Lagon, Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP) of the U.S. Department of State, as their incoming Executive Director. Founded in 2002, Polaris Project is one of the leading national organizations working to end human trafficking in the United States and Japan.
Dr. Mark P. Lagon was confirmed by the Senate in 2007 to serve as Ambassador-at-Large and Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP), and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State. The TIP Office (www.state.gov/g/tip) coordinates U.S. Government activities in the global fight against modern-day slavery, including commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor.
“As one of the leading voices in the global movement against modern-day slavery, Ambassador Lagon has demonstrated deep commitment and energetic leadership in pursuing the eradication of all forms of human trafficking.” said Polaris Project Board Chair and Co-Founder Derek Ellerman, “We are confident that Ambassador Lagon brings the right leadership to Polaris Project to continue the success we have achieved and expand the impact of our work against human trafficking to new horizons in the years ahead.”
Ambassador Lagon has spearheaded U.S. anti-slavery diplomacy across the globe, leading his office’s catalytic role in international awareness-raising, grant-making, and the release of the annual Trafficking in Persons Report, unique in spurring other nations through rankings of their government’s efforts against modern-day slavery. His office provides funding to NGOs and international organizations to strengthen assistance for victims and enforcement against traffickers, and coordinates efforts with all U.S. agencies, which together have disbursed over half a billion dollars in global anti-trafficking assistance since 2001.
Through his tenure, Ambassador Lagon has emphasized the need for the U.S. to frankly assess its own efforts at home if it is to press other nations to do more, acting as Chair of the Senior Policy Operating Group, which supports the Cabinet-level Presidential Inter-Agency Task Force. In this role, he has worked with domestic agencies to champion a more victim-centered approach giving equal attention to labor and sex trafficking and U.S. citizen and foreign national victims.
Many, many congrats to our great friend on his new appointment. He is perfect for this position! And great thanks to him for all that he has done as the Director of TIP. The country and the world are very much in his debt.