July 31, 2015

Farewell to a Friend and Colleague

Mark SaffordIt is with heartfelt sadness that we note the sudden passing of our good friend and FSG colleague Mark Safford in late July.  Mark’s intelligence was matched only by his warmth, compassion and unfailing sense of humor. He loved ideas, history, nature, music (of all kinds, but especially music from around the year 1969), the Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins, good conversation and bad puns. Mark was a humanist, in the purest and most ennobling sense of the term. 

Most of all, Mark loved people, and none more than his family.  He felt great joy and took special pride in the virtues and accomplishments of his sons.

Before joining FSG, Mark had a highly distinguished career with the federal government, initially with the Department of State and later for the U.S. Navy and then the Department of Transportation’s Volpe Center in Cambridge, MA, where he worked on projects that focused on exploring the future of transportation.  We met Mark while he was working on the client side of a large scenario project exploring future needs for air transportation.

Mark joined FSG as an associate consultant in 2005.  He made substantial contributions to FSG scenario-planning engagements, including Project Horizon, a major interagency global-planning initiative, as well as to the Coast Guard’s project Evergreen and the Federal Emergency Management Administration’s Strategic Foresight Initiative.

In addition to his impressive federal experience, Mark brought to FSG outstanding academic credentials, starting with a B.A., summa cum laude, in History from Gettysburg College, where he was Phi Beta Kappa; an M.A. in English History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and an M.P.A. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. With his eclectic intellectual interests, Mark was a deep well of odd trivia, cool history, and often bizarrely original associations – all of which provided great raw material for future scenarios, as well as great entertainment for his colleagues during long waits for delayed flights.

For his warmth, wit, and humanity, we miss Mark greatly.  We extend our sincere condolences to his family.