Freedom House lost a champion of the global struggle for human rights with the passing of Ambassador Mark Palmer. He was a relentless democracy advocate, who began to express his passion for freedom through involvement in the civil rights movement here at home and later worked with President Ronald Reagan to articulate a vision for advancing democracy abroad. He stood with the leaders of Hungary’s democracy movement as U.S. Ambassador to the country during the twilight years of communism. He pressed for new initiatives to support democracy around the world and inspired the international democracy promotion community with his bold and eloquent calls to rid the world of all despots.
Ambassador Palmer joined the Board of Freedom House in 1992 and served as Vice Chairman from 1994 to 2008. Even as he battled ill-health, he never wavered in his dedication to help those struggling against tyranny and oppression. He leaves behind an extraordinary legacy that will continue to inspire us at Freedom House and brave women and men around the world pursuing freedom’s call.