image

Mark P. Lagon

Adjunct Senior Fellow for Human Rights

Expertise

Human rights, human trafficking, democracy promotion, humanitarian affairs and intervention, United Nations, multilateral politics, global governance, corporate social responsibility.

Programs

International Institutions and Global Governance: World Order in the 21st Century

Bio

Mark P. Lagon is adjunct senior fellow for human rights at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

He also serves as the chair of the international relations and security concentration in the Georgetown University master of science in foreign service program, teaching multilateral politics and the ethics of international relations.

Dr. Lagon was U.S. ambassador-at-large, directing the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the U.S. Department of State, from 2007 to 2009. Previously, he served in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs at the U.S. Department of State as deputy assistant secretary, with lead responsibility for UN reform, human rights and humanitarian issues, and outreach; as a member of the Secretary of State Colin Powell's policy planning staff, focused on the United Nations and democracy and human rights; and on the senior staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, with responsibility including the United Nations, human rights, and the State Department authorization bill.

He is author of the book, The Reagan Doctrine: Sources of American Conduct in the Cold War's Last Chapter. He has an AB magna cum laude in government from Harvard University and a PhD in government from Georgetown University.

Featured Publications

All Publications

Testimony

Illicit Fishing and Human Trafficking

Author: Mark P. Lagon

In his testimony before a subcommittee of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Mark P. Lagon argues that illicit fishing worldwide is rife with criminal activities, such as human and drug trafficking. He calls for a strong response from the United States in order to lessen its impact on disadvantaged and vulnerable people, global commerce, and the environment.

See more in Global; Human Trafficking

Ask CFR Experts

Why is the world unable to eliminate child- and sex-slavery?

Asked by Valiant Clapper, from University of South Africa
Author: Mark P. Lagon

A 2012 International Labor Organization study found that at least 20.9 million people are victims of forced labor and human trafficking. One quarter, or 5.5 million, are children. Of the 18.7 million in the private economy (minus the 2.2 million exploited by states or armed rebels), 4.5 million, are victimized primarily for sex.

Read full answer

See more in Global; Human Trafficking

Op-Ed

Bangladesh’s Lessons for Enlightened Corporate Interest

Authors: Mark P. Lagon and Andrew Reddie
Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
Reflecting upon the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, Ambassador Mark Lagon and Andrew Reddie suggest that it is in the interest of corporations to protect their employees' safety, rights, and freedom rather than being beholden only to their share price.

See more in Bangladesh; Business and Foreign Policy; Corporate Governance

Testimony

Grading States For Not Degrading People: Human Trafficking Assessments

Author: Mark P. Lagon

Ambassador Mark P. Lagon's testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee of Foreign Affairs' Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations discussed the rankings of individual states in the annual Trafficking in Persons Report released by the State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP office). Ambassador Lagon called on the advice of experts in the TIP office to be heeded and the report be reflective of the situation on the ground rather than be politically expedient.

See more in Global; Human Trafficking

Ask CFR Experts

What will be the effect of the UN Arms Trade Treaty on the Syrian conflict?

Asked by Gabriel

The UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was passed on March 28, 2013, and seeks to regulate and limit trade in arms in circumstances of human rights violations. Unfortunately, it will have minimal effect on the Syrian conflict. Syria's own vote against the treaty, along with Iran's and North Korea's, sounded the death knell for a universally applicable treaty to limit small arms, ammunition, and conventional weapons technology.

Read full answer

See more in International Organizations and Alliances; Syria; International Law; Global Governance

Video

Freedom in the World 2013

Speaker: Arch Puddington
Introductory Speakers: David Kramer and Mark P. Lagon
Panelists: Larry Diamond and Tamara Cofman Wittes

Arch Puddington presents Freedom House's "Freedom in the World 2013" report, followed by a discussion between Tamara Wittes and Larry Diamond. They discuss the text of the report, as well as the differences between democratic indicators within nations, regional trends, and the normative importance of the "Arab Spring."

See more in Human Rights; Censorship and Freedom of Speech; Global

Events

Global Stakes in Human Rights Roundtable Series

Director: Mark P. Lagon, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Human Rights
September 1, 2010—Present

The Global Stakes in Human Rights Roundtable Series examines the tangible interests of the United States and international community in promoting political, civil, economic, and labor rights.

Bringing together regular participants of diverse sectors and ideological positions, it identifies best practices of international institutions, governments, nonprofits, and corporations to advance democratic pluralism and the rule of law.

Meeting Note: Business and Human Rights

CFR Events

Academic Conference Call

Business and Human Rights

Speaker:

Mark P. Lagon, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Human Rights, Council on Foreign Relations
March 6, 2013 1:00-2:00 p.m. - (ET). Please note the special timing of this call.

This meeting is on the record.

Listen

Roundtable Meeting

Freedom in the World 2013

Introductory Speakers:

David Kramer, President, Freedom House, Mark P. Lagon, Adjunct Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations

Speaker:

Arch Puddington, Vice President for Research, Freedom House

Moderator:

Jill M. Dougherty, Foreign Affairs Correspondent, CNN

Panelists:

Larry Diamond, Professor and Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Tamara Cofman Wittes, Director and Senior Fellow, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution
January 16, 2013 1:30-3:00 p.m. - Meeting

This meeting is not for attribution.

ListenWatch

Roundtable Meeting

The Unfinished Revolution: The Global Fight for Women’s Rights

Speakers:

Mark P. Lagon, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Human Rights, Council on Foreign Relations, Minky Worden, Director of Global Initiatives, Human Rights Watch, Hibaaq Osman, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Karama

Presider:

Isobel Coleman, Senior Fellow and Director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program, Council on Foreign Relations
March 5, 2012

This meeting is on the record.

Listen

Conference Call

Videoconference with Aung San Suu Kyi

Speaker:

Aung San Suu Kyi, General Secretary, National League for Democracy

Presider:

Paula J. Dobriansky, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Government and Regulatory Affairs, Thomson Reuters; Former Undersecretary, Democracy and Global Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Host:

Mark P. Lagon, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Human Rights, Council on Foreign Relations
November 30, 2011

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

Academic Conference Call

U.S. Spotlight on Human Trafficking

Speaker:

Mark P. Lagon, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Human Rights, Council on Foreign Relations

Presider:

Irina A. Faskianos, Vice President, National Program & Outreach, Council on Foreign Relations
November 10, 2011 12:00-1:00 p.m. - (ET)

This meeting is not for attribution.

Listen

General Meeting ⁄ New York

Slavery and Supply Chains: What Businesses Can Do To Fight Human Trafficking

Speaker:

Mark P. Lagon, Director, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State

Presider:

Diana Taylor, Managing Director, Wolfensohn & Co.
May 14, 2008 7:45-8:00 a.m. - Breakfast
8:00-9:00 a.m. - Meeting

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

Press/Panels

Article

Almost a Miracle: Encouraging Inclusive Growth in India

In an article calling for inclusive development in India, access to justice and opportunity for all its citizens, and a stop to child trafficking in the country, Mark P. Lagon and Samir Goswami explore India's "economic miracle."

Video Interview

Al-Jazeera

Al-Jazeera English interviews Mark P. Lagon regarding Secretary of State Clinton's visit to Myanmar in December 2011.

Watch