By Phurbu Thinley
Mary Beth Markey
Dharamsala, July 13: Prominent Tibet activist, Mary Beth Markey, will be the new President of the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), the Washington-based international Tibet advocacy group's Board of Directors announced Monday.
"I've worked with Mary Beth for over twenty-two years on this issue. Throughout our experiences together- whether in the field or the halls of political power - she has remained a skillful navigator whose commitment and reliability take shape from a vast understanding of the issue. It gives me great pleasure to announce her new position as President," Richard Gere, Chair of the ICT Board of Directors, said in a statement.
Ms. Markey succeeds Tenzin N. Tethong, one of the founders of ICT, Lodi Gyari, Special Envoy to the Dalai Lama, and most recently John Ackerly as ICT President.
Markey joined ICT in 1996, and began her work concentrating on building support for Tibet in the U.S. Congress and Administration as director of government relations and as executive director of the organization..
During her tenure at ICT, Markey played a key role in the institutionalization of the Tibet issue in the U.S. Government, including contributing to the passage of the Tibetan Policy Act
(TPA) in 2002. At the time, Markey said: "With this move, the U.S. Government has put the force of law behind its longstanding support for the welfare of the Tibetan people and a negotiated solution for Tibet."
Prior to accepting the position of ICT President on July 6, Markey served as ICT Vice President for International Advocacy, integrating a team based in Washington, Berlin, Brussels, Amsterdam, London, Kathmandu and Dharamsala in order to further ICT's advocacy work internationally.
In March 2008, amidst growing anti-China unrest in Tibet, Markey accompanied the U.S. congressional delegation
, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile.
Before joining ICT, Markey was a staffer on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for eight years, where under the then Chairman Claiborne Pell (D-RI), she began her work on Tibet.
In 1994, Markey participated in the launch of Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party Mission in Washington, D.C., as Director of Government Relations.
Markey has also led numerous delegations to South Asia and plays a key role in advocacy for Tibetans in Nepal.
"She is known not only as an outstanding advocate in the U.S. Capital but also as a strong strategic thinker, a creative and compassionate co-worker, and not least, as great company. She takes over as President at a critical time for Tibet," the statement said of Markey.
Her team at the ICT includes the Vice President for Special Programs, Bhuchung K. Tsering, who heads up ICT's Chinese outreach work; the Executive Directors of the Amsterdam and Berlin offices, six Directors, and colleagues in research and monitoring, campaigns and advocacy, communications and fundraising.