Ambassador Mark Storella ’77 delivers Jarvis Lecture

Mark Storella ’77 with his brother Jamie, father John, and uncle Robert.

On 10 October, the School welcomed Ambassador Mark Storella, Class of 1977, back to campus, to deliver the fourteenth annual Jarvis International Fund lecture.


A member of the Senior Foreign Service, with a long-standing commitment to human rights and human affairs, Amb. Storella joined the bureau in 2016, and today serves as deputy assistant secretary for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. Over his distinguished career in foreign service, he has been involved in counterterrorism efforts at Embassy Brussels; focused on innovative health and governance programs in Zambia; and served as senior coordinator for Iraqi refugees in Baghdad from 2009 to 2010.


At R.L. in the 1970s, Mark was raised with the axiom, Think globally, act locally. He said, “In my career, I have turned that on its head: Think locally, act globally.” He implored his student listeners to “draw on the lessons of this School, and of our society—both our virtues and our faults—to make both our country and the world better.”


Amb. Storella’s work is all about acting globally—dealing with 21st-century challenges including epidemics (avian influenza, Zika virus) and the ever-growing refugee crisis. “Global health depends on fast and effective response,” he said. “We have to stop global epidemics far from our shores. Logan International Airport cannot be our first line of defense.”


The refugee crisis, an epidemic of its own, is having a global impact, and frontline countries are under tremendous stress. Amb. Storella said that while the main goal is repatriation of refugees, sometimes that isn’t an option. He said that in all these crises, the rest of the world really does look to the leadership of the U.S.

Forty years ago, Amb. Storella was the valedictorian speaker for his graduating class. In his address, he warned against the cynic: “Because the cynic distrusts human motives, he may refuse to participate in socially beneficial projects. Because he withdraws from personal contact, he may be unable to reach beyond himself to others.” In the years since delivering that address, he has made manifest his rejection of the cynic, and his commitment to reaching beyond himself, for the benefit of others.


Amb. Storella is one of several R.L. alumni to serve as ambassadors over the last century, and joins Robert Hannan ’80 and Peter Martin ’85, who are currently members of the foreign service.


The F. Washington Jarvis International Fund was established by Jack Hennessy ’54 and his wife Margarita to support The Roxbury Latin School’s mission to expose its boys and masters to the political, economic, and cultural complexities of the international enterprise. Since the Fund’s inception, the School has sponsored speakers and cultural programs and expanded the support it offers its students and faculty for foreign travel, with the goal to advance their understanding of the world.


Past Jarvis International Fund lecturers:


Paul A. Volcker, past Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 2004 (inaugural speaker)

Ambassador Richard W. Murphy, 2005

Ambassador Richard N. Haass, 2006

Linda Fasulo, Special Correspondent to the U.N. for NBC News and MSNBC, 2007

Peter D. Bell, Senior Research Fellow, The Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University, 2008

General Anthony Zinni, 2009

Sir Eric Anderson, former Provost of Eton College, 2010

Andrew Bacevich, Professor of International Relations at Boston University; retired U.S. Army colonel, 2011

R. Nicholas Burns, Professor of Diplomacy and International Politics at the Kennedy School of Government, 2012

Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense; former Director of the CIA, 2013

Bill Richardson, former Governor of New Mexico, 2014

Dr. Stanley Fischer, Vice Chairman, Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System, 2015

Lisa O. Monaco, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, 2016