PRESS RELEASE: VOC Names New Executive Director | Victims of Communism

Victims of Communism — Memorial Foundation

PRESS RELEASE: VOC Names New Executive Director

On anniversary of Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” Speech, says global events demonstrate more than ever need to educate realities of Communism

WASHINGTON D.C. – Dr. Lee Edwards, chairman of the board of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, today announced the appointment of Marion Smith as the organization’s new executive director, who will redouble the organization’s efforts to highlight the tens of millions who perished under Communist rule.

“I’m privileged to lead a bipartisan effort to commemorate the painful legacy of Communism and its millions of victims around the world,” said Smith. “I consider it a sacred responsibility to keep alive the memory of 100 million people who were killed by Communist regimes since 1917. Unfortunately, recent events in Ukraine – the reprise of Soviet-style rhetoric, and a rise of pro-Communist sentiments among segments of the population – have highlighted the difficulty of overcoming the legacy of Soviet communism. The work of our Foundation is needed more than ever.”

“On this day in 1946,” Smith said, “Winston Churchill delivered his Iron Curtain speech – a timeless warning about the dangers posed by totalitarian ideologies. Millions of Americans risked their lives and livelihood in defense of our freedoms against a Communist order. Our bipartisan effort will honor those sacrifices. We today and future generations must understand the horrors known by those who lived under Communist regimes, the roughly 1 billion people who continue to do so today, and those who fear Communism’s return in their own countries.”

“This year will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall,” Dr. Edwards said, “That monumental event changed millions of lives and yet the recent history of the West’s victory in the Cold War has been minimized, dismissed, or forgotten. So too is the unfortunate fact that so many still suffer under Marxist regimes. This makes the mission of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation more relevant than ever and it is why the board has chosen Marion Smith, a dynamic leader who brings to our organization new energy, vision, and dedication.

“Marion possesses an expert knowledge of U.S. diplomatic and military history. He has worked tirelessly to see that average citizens and foreign audiences understand the indispensable role that America has played in world politics,” added Dr. Edwards.

For more information or to schedule a press interview please contact Briggs Burton at or (202) 629-9500.