President, International Institute for Sustained Dialogue
Mark Farr, President of the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue, seeks to reverse the polarization of our civic space and build bridges across our public landscape through enhanced relationship-building and leadership development, especially among young people. Mark has more than 25 years’ experience in political and public service in the United States and the United Kingdom. In his previous role as President of the National Vision & Public Engagement (NVPE), part of the Institute for Faith & Service, he drew on teamwork, insights and civic skills from corporate, faith, non-profit and other sectors to develop a dynamic new curriculum for an emerging generation of America's leaders. Mark also served as President & CEO of The Faith & Politics Institute (FPI), one of the most trusted and significant agencies devoted to enhancing civil discourse and leadership on Capitol Hill, advancing reflective leadership among Members of Congress and staff to enrich and support bipartisan discourse such as the Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage; both Senate and House Chiefs of Staff meetings; weekly Member Reflection Groups; and retreats and forums. Hundreds of Members of Congress and Administration officials have attended its events, including Barack Obama, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca.) and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). Civil rights’ legend Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) is FPI’s most prominent supporter. Bill Clinton, and in 2012 alone, current leadership from both sides of House and Senate, including Senate
Mark’s key skills are in areas of civic engagement and dialogue, strategic partnership development and organizational and financial expansion. His professional relationships have been built at the highest levels of American service and public life. Mark came to FPI from The Points of Light Institute, where he was a Senior Director. Points of Light, a prominent non-profit founded by the 41st president George H. W. Bush, seeks non-partisan collaborative civic engagement. Mark oversaw a large and thriving department and all its interfaith efforts, including National Faith Day at its National Conference, the largest conference of its kind in the world. He also led regular trainings, seminars and individual reflection sessions across the United States. Mark has also served as Senior Advisor to the Executive Director of the Shinnyo-en Foundation, aiding to expand its profile and relationships in the United, Senior National Faith Director at General Colin Powell’s legacy foundation, America’s Promise, and at Sojourners Magazine with author Jim Wallis.
Mark is an ordained Episcopalian priest. His last parish was Wimbledon in the UK. Mark is also a qualified Systemic Psychotherapist with a former practice in London, where he also lectured in Systemic Psychotherapy. Mark was Chair of the Gulf Care Consortium, a coalition of groups working after the New Orleans’ oil spill. He is a keen painter, and in England was chair of the Wimbledon Arts Festival. Mark lives in Silver Spring, MD, and is married to Laura. They have two daughters, Sadie and Sienna.