Mariana Parks

Board of Directors, Discovery Institute

Mariana Parks is principal of MXP COMMUNICATIONS GROUP, a firm offering a broad range of communications services to corporate, political and non-profit organizations, specializing in matters of public policy.

Parks' professional background includes five years as Communications Manager for Microsoft Corporation's Government Affairs Division during the company's historic antitrust suit. Prior to her tenure at Microsoft, Parks served as Vice President for Programs for the Washington Institute for Policy Studies (now Washington Policy Center), a free-market think tank in Washington State, where she co-founded the media analysis organization, CounterPoint Center for ReMEDIAtion, and was publisher of CounterPoint, the organization's media-critique newsletter.

Parks has written for a wide variety of publications, including co-authoring "Watchdogs," an award-winning column on media issues for the Seattle Weekly and Eastsideweek. She has appeared on radio and television programs and at conferences and forums, speaking on media, political and free-market issues. She was a founder of the non-profit Washington News Council, an organization whose mission is to hold Washington State media accountable for accuracy, fairness and balance.

Parks co-founded and currently serves as president of the Gorton Legacy Group, a non-profit organization created to carry on Senator Slade Gorton's legacy of providing access, opportunity and mentorship to women interested in politics and public affairs, and to provide support to selected candidates. Parks served as Deputy State Director and Speechwriter for Senator Gorton during his second Senate term (1988-1993) and has advised and written for many of the state's candidates for public office. Parks is also a member of the board of directors of Discovery Institute in Seattle.

Parks graduated from the International School of Brussels in Belgium and received Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Oklahoma State University. She is married to John Hamer and lives on Mercer Island. Her sons, Brandon and Casey, are college undergraduate students.