Mark Holden, Koch Industries senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary, will speak to Tabor College students, faculty and staff as part of the Nachtigall Lecture Series on Entrepreneurship at 7 p.m. March 1 in the chapel
Hillsboro and surrounding community members are encouraged to attend.
Holden’s topic is “Making Communities Safer and Removing Barriers to Opportunity: The Moral, Constitutional and Economic Case for Criminal Justice Reform.”
Throughout the day, he will also be speaking to various classes.
“We have a two-tiered society,” he said. “And if you’re wealthy and connected, you get a much better deal than if you’re poor—particularly in our criminal justice system.
“If you want to help people improve their lives and remove obstacles to opportunity for the least advantaged, and if you believe in individual liberty and freedom and justice, and you care about your community, and you have a moral passion, there’s no other position you can take other than being for criminal justice reform.”
Holden grew up in Worcester, Mass. His experiences there formed the foundation for his stance against overcriminalization.
“I’ve been immersed, in some way or another, with prison issues and criminal justice reform my whole life,” he said. “I once worked as a janitor alongside guys on a work release crew. When I was at the University of Massachusetts, I worked in a prison during summer and winter breaks. I saw a lot of the kids that I’d lost track of in junior high and high school who had ended up behind bars.”
Holden graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a bachelor’s degree in political science, then earned his law degree from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America.
Holden was an associate with Akin, Gump, Hauer & Feld in Washington, D.C., before he began his career with Koch Industries in 1995 as a litigation attorney.
Holden’s various roles at Koch Industries have allowed him to see firsthand the power held by the criminal justice system.
The objective of the Nachtigall Lecture Series is to bring high profile, nationally recognized, successful and inspiring entrepreneurs and educators to Tabor.