Mark Barden

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Father of Daniel, killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy on Dec., 14, 2012

Mark Barden is co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, where he focuses on policy and outreach efforts to advance sensible solutions that will prevent future tragedies and spare other families the pain of losing a child to gun violence.  

Mark’s belief that thoughtful, sincere dialogue will lead us to shared common ground set him on a path he never anticipated.  His journey has taken him from introducing President Obama in the Rose Garden after the 2013 Universal Background Checks vote to meetings with members of the U.S. Congress, media interviews on every major network, and speaking engagements before civic groups, religious organizations, high school and college audiences and more — all focused on creating a safer future for our children and communities.  

An accomplished professional musician with a B.A. in music and formal training in jazz and composition, Mark stopped touring to spend more time with his family.  He still performs regularly with his own band and others in New York City and New England. He previously played recording sessions, taught guitar, and wrote music for film, radio, and television.  A lifelong aviation enthusiast, Mark is also a licensed commercial pilot. 

Mark lives in Sandy Hook, CT with his wife Jackie, Board member of Sandy Hook Promise and school teacher. His son James and daughter Natalie are now in college.  In addition to his work with Sandy Hook Promise, Mark’s immediate and extended family have created a foundation called “What Would Daniel Do?” to honor the extraordinarily generous and empathetic spirit of Daniel Barden.