Markle works to realize the potential of information technology to address previously intractable public problems for the economic security, health, and national security of all Americans.
Since its inception in 1927 by John and Mary R. Markle, the Foundation has worked "to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge among people of the United States, and to promote the general good of mankind." Currently, Markle is engaged in a nationwide initiative aimed at driving innovations that expand opportunities for employment and broaden ways for all Americans to learn and train for the work of the future.
Inspired by the Rework America initiative, which brought together a remarkable and diverse group of leaders committed to tackling pressing social needs, Markle developed Skillful, a partnership with LinkedIn, the state of Colorado, and local employers, educators, and non-profits. Skillful is creating a skills-based labor market to help more Americans connect to meaningful job opportunities in the digital age.
When Zoë Baird first became Markle president in 1998, before the internet became mainstream, she directed the Foundation’s efforts to harness emerging technologies to improve the lives of all Americans. Early in her tenure, Markle initiated efforts to improve health care using information, develop a set of policies in the United States that protect privacy and transparency, deploy the internet for public information in elections, improve America’s national security and expand access to the internet in developing countries, and provide public representation in global internet governance.
Over the last decade, Markle has focused on advancing national security and the quality of healthcare in the United States. By targeting how the federal government shares information, as well as how medical professionals and consumers share and exchange patient health data, Markle has helped strengthen services in both areas. Many of Markle’s recommended reforms were embodied in sweeping national security and health care laws and in a range of actions at the state and local level.
During its early years, Markle led the expansion of talent in academic medicine, and later focused on developing and using communication and information to enhance lifelong learning and to promote an informed citizenry. While Markle’s work has evolved through the years, its mission to meet the needs of the American people has endured.