Koch’s Mark Holden Receives Award for Criminal Justice Reform Work

Oct 17, 2019 2:15 PM ET

Koch Industries Senior Vice President Mark Holden has received the prestigious Margaret Mead Award from the International Community Corrections Association (ICCA) for his efforts to advance criminal justice reform at all levels in the United States.

Through this award named after the noted cultural anthropologist, ICCA aims to recognize individuals who have demonstrated leadership in their work on corrections reforms. From reforms in sentencing to incarceration to re-entry, Holden has been a longtime advocate of a better criminal justice system that increases public safety and provides for second chances, including last year’s landmark federal First Step Act legislation.

“I’m so proud to have worked with a broad coalition of partners – members of Congress, senators, the president and the White House team – to get this historic piece of legislation passed. It was long overdue, and because of its implementation, we are seeing many lives and families restored,” he said in his video accepting the honor. “The work we did together, based on work done in the states the past 15 years got us to a much better and historic place. There is a long way to go yet still.”

The bipartisan nature of the reforms reminded Holden of Mead, who once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”

“We all came together and got something positive done for people who needed relief, and we all focused on where we agreed and not on where we disagreed. But this was just the first step. We need to keep the momentum moving forward,” he added.

Holden is the 40th recipient of the distinction, which ICCA has presented annually since 1980. Previous recipients have included U.S. Sen Rob Portman of Ohio; Denise Robinson, president and CEO of Alvis House, a nonprofit human services agency; Gary Mohr, former director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

Holden, who also serves as senior vice president of Stand Together and chairman of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, previously served as general counsel for Koch Industries.

“This award also celebrates the work of the talented and dedicated teammates that I am so fortunate to work with, both at Koch Industries and in our Stand Together community,” Holden said.

Watch the full acceptance speech here

Read more about Holden’s advocacy for criminal justice reform.