About Mark

new mark_edited-1Mark Willen, a journalist for several decades, spends his time musing about ethics and writing fiction. He started this site to promote a discussion of ethical behavior—how to figure out what’s right and how to follow through when doing the right thing comes with personal sacrifice.

Mark grew up in New England and received a B.A. in political science from Dartmouth College and a Master of Arts in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University. He has been a reporter, columnist, blogger, producer, and editor at The Voice of America, National Public Radio, Congressional Quarterly, Bloomberg News, and Kiplinger. His published nonfiction articles have covered a wide array of topics and carried far-flung datelines, from Washington to Moscow to Cairo to Beijing to South Africa.

Mark’s interest in ethics grew over time and blossomed when he was tapped to teach journalism ethics at the graduate school level at American University in Washington. That led to a crash course in all the classic theories (Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Mill, to name a few), but Mark doesn’t claim any academic or professional credentials in ethics. What he does claim to have is an open mind and an avid interest in examining ethical dilemmas that fall in that big gray area where principles compete against each other.

It’ll come as no surprise that Mark’s fiction often involves HAWKES_DISCOVERY_Fnlcharacters facing ethical quandaries. Be sure to check out the Jonas Hawke series of novels released over the past several years by Pen-L Publishing. The novels are set in a quiet fictional town in Vermont where doing the right thing isn’t always easy or obvious to the characters involved. You can learn more about the novels at Mark’s author website — markwillen.com.  You can read some of Mark’s short stories on the fiction page on this site.