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Iowa Farm
20 Year Marine
Department of State



Mark grew up on an Iowa farm, graduated from Eagle Grove High School and Buena Vista College.  Commissioned a Marine in 1977.

As an infantry officer he led Marines in every Division around the world, trained extensively in special operations, conducted counter drug operations in Columbia and led Marines in refugee operations during the Mariel boat lift out of Cuba.

He arrived at the Department of State Counter-terrorism Bureau at the end of his 20-year Marine Corps career, and was asked to stay in a civilian capacity.  He has been a key member in, or led, nearly every deployment of the Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST) since the late 90's, providing subject matter expertise from throughout government to US Ambassadors in preparation for, or in the aftermath of terrorist attacks.

When not deployed, Mark discreetly coordinated some of the most sensitive counter-terrorism activities around the world.  In the course of those duties, he traveled to over 60 nations.  In 2008, he was promoted to the Senior Executive Service.

In 2013, Mark testified as a whistleblower before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee regarding the terrorist attack on the US diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya

Since his departure from the Department of State in 2016, he has returned to Iowa with his wife, Jacki, where they have reintegrated into their childhood community.  He is a co-chair for the Republicans of Wright County.

He substitute teaches and works part time during harvest with local farmers.

Mark and Jacki live outside of Belmond, in Wright County.  They have been blessed with two daughters, their husbands and six grandchildren.

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