Peter is a public servant who writes, speaks, and acts in the public arena on the central problems of our time: the environmental crisis; the dangers of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction; the economic quagmire in which most of the western world finds itself; and the paralyzing political divisions in the US. The purpose of this website is to give you access to his thinking and writing.
Goldmark’s career has included leadership positions in governmental, philanthropic, news and environmental organizations. Goldmark retired in 2010 as director of the Environmental Defense Fund’s climate and air program. He served previously as chairman and CEO of the International Herald Tribune, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, budget director for the State of New York, and Secretary of Human Services of Massachusetts. The range reflected in these positions means he has been worked as advocate on a range of causes, policy analyst, executive and manager budget maker and budget cutter, service provider, and funder of social change and innovation.
Goldmark is the son of Peter Carl Goldmark, who invented the Long-Playing record and invented the first practical color television, among other innovations. He graduated from Harvard University in 1962. Thereafter he taught at the Putney School in Vermont for two years, where he met his wife. Following his return from running the International Herald Tribune in Paris in 2003, Goldmark has lived in Brooklyn, New York .
“On the side”, Goldmark writes poetry; has co-authored, with Mark Gerzon, a play called “The Trial of Osama bin Laden”, and is a compulsive practical joker.
Goldmark was selected for responsible positions in government at a young age: he served as Ass’t Director of the Budget of New York City at 27 and Chief of Staff to Mayor John Lindsay at 29. At age 30 he was named head of the Massachusetts Department of Human Services at age 30. He served as budget director of the State of New York under Governor Hugh L. Carey from 1975 to 1977 where he was credited with being one of the central architects of the financial rescue of both the state and New York City. In the summer of 1977 he was appointed head of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey where he served for eight years, where he was credited with “having transformed a sluggish bistate agency into an energetic vehicle for regional economic improvement.” (New York Times)
In 1988, the Rockefeller Foundation chose Goldmark to become its eleventh president – and to the great distress of the staff, the first without a Ph.D. During his tenure, he reportedly grew the foundation's assets by $1 billion and directed programs towards school reform, the education of women and poor Americans, the renewal of America’s central cities, international development overseas, and established the Foundation’s first program in the environment. He left the organization in 1997.
In 1985, he became senior vice president of the Times Mirror Company, overseeing the company’s eastern newspapers and its magazines. Following his service with the Rockefeller Foundation, the New York Times and Washington Post jointly named him Chairman and CEO of the International Herald Tribune from 1998 to 2003. Early in 2003, following a stormy period of conflict between the Post and the Times which resulted in the Times gaining control of the IHT, Goldmark was – for the first time in his life – fired, by the New York Times. For the past two years Goldmark has written a weekly Sunday column for Newsday, covering national and international politics and economics.
After leaving the International Herald Tribune, Goldmark became program director for climate and air at the Environmental Defense Foundation (EDF), where participated in the international climate conferences and worked on projects in India, Mexico, Brazil, China, Europe and United States. He was a strong advocate for sustainable development, noting the interplay of global climate change, financing, technologies and the institutions, including foundations, that can address these factors. Upon retiring from the EDF in 2010, he expressed disappointment that his generation had failed to make enough headway on the world's environmental issues. He was especially concerned about the lack of action within the U.S. and held hope that other governments of populous countries might realize the need for action before effects like global warming become irreversible.