Marion Smith | Victims of Communism

Victims of Communism — Memorial Foundation

Marion Smith

Executive Director

Marion Smith is a civil-society leader, expert in international affairs and has been Executive Director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation since March 2014. As Executive Director, he provides strategic leadership for VOC and spearheads its educational initiatives.

In addition to his work at VOC, Smith is also founding president of the Common Sense Society, an international foundation that promotes civic engagement, entrepreneurship, and leadership virtues among young professionals in the United States and Europe.

Smith is a native of South Carolina, where his ancestors fought as both Patriots and Tories during the American War of Independence. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wofford College with a bachelor of arts degree in Government & History. He has studied in England, France, The Netherlands, and Hungary, where he received a masters’ degree in International Relations from Central European University. He is chairman of the National Civic Art Society and was previously a visiting fellow at the B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics at The Heritage Foundation.

Smith’s research focuses on the role of ideas in American foreign policy, U.S. diplomatic and military history, and on the future of transatlantic security cooperation.

His articles have appeared in various publications, including USA Today,, The Hill, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, National Review, and The Weekly Standard.

Publications by Marion Smith

The “Moral Stain” of Fidel Castro’s Legacy and His Apologists

In response to the death of Fidel Castro on Friday, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation’s Executive Director Marion Smith released the following statement: “Fidel Castro joins Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, and Pol Pot in the ranks of this past century’s greatest criminals, torturers, and murderers. His nearly sixty-year reign of terror ended Friday, […]

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The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) today released the first-of-its-kind Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes towards Socialism, surveying Americans’ attitudes toward socialism, communism, and related issues. The Report, informed by polling conducted by internationally recognized research and data firm YouGov, will be released on the eve of a VOC-sponsored China Summit, discussing the challenges posed by the world’s largest remaining Communist regime.

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On the Anniversary of Obama’s Concessions, Guillermo Fariñas Still Protests Castro Brutality  The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation expresses its support today for Guillermo Fariñas, a Cuban dissident who recently declared his intention to go on a hunger strike to protest the ongoing repression by the communist Cuban government, despite one year passing since the Obama administration embarked on […]

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Original Publication Date: May 24, 2016 May 24, 2016 ** Media Advisory** VIETNAMESE DISSIDENT RELEASED FROM PRISON Victims group releases statement on Father Nguyen Van Ly WASHINGTON D.C. – The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation issued the following statement today on the release of Vietnamese dissident Father Nguyen Van Ly. Executive Director Marion Smith said the following: “Along with his family and religious community, the Victims […]

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VOC Awards Uyghur Leader for China Human Rights Work

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 30, 2016 * * MEDIA ADVISORY * *  UYGHUR LEADER RECEIVES AWARD FOR ADVANCING FREEDOM IN COMMUNIST CHINA   Mr. Dolkun Isa of the World Uyghur Congress Recognized by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation WASHINGTON D.C. – Marion Smith, Executive Director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC), announced today […]

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Cuba’s ‘Forgotten 51’ Prisoners of Conscience

During their joint press conference on Monday, Presidents Obama and Castro took questions from journalists. When CNN’s Jim Acosta, himself the son of a Cuban immigrant, asked President Castro about Cuba’s political prisoners, Castro’s response was, “Give me a name or names, and if there are political prisoners, they will be released tonight.” The Victims of Communism […]

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The 2016 Duranty Awards

ANNOUNCING THE 2016 DURANTY AWARDS FOR HISTORICAL DISTORTIONS IN FILM Trumbo Sweeps Major Categories, Michael Moore To Get Lifetime Achievement Award For Historical Fiction WASHINGTON D.C. – In advance of this weekend’s Oscars, the leading organization for education about the Cold War and communism issued its first ever Duranty Awards—highlighting films, actors, actresses, and directors […]

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Let Freedom Ring Rally

#ChinaRightsNow Rally in DC On September 25, 2015, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation joined hundreds of protesters at a rally in front of the White House today calling on the Obama administration to press the Peoples’ Republic of China and its ruling Communist Party, to respect human rights in China while President Xi Jinping was visiting Washington. “It’s not […]

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Groups Rally During Xi’s Visit to Promote Human Rights

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SEPTEMBER 23, 2015 * * MEDIA ADVISORY * * Groups Rally During Xi’s Visit to Promote Human Rights Urge Obama to Defend Human Rights in China Instead of Toasting Xi with Champagne WASHINGTON D.C. – As President Obama prepares to honor Chinese President Xi Jinping at a star-studded State dinner, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation today […]

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U.S.-Cuba Democracy Young Leaders Group with David Talbot

Young Cuban Leaders Visit VOC Memorial

On September 16, 2015 a group of talented students and young professionals of the U.S. Cuba Democracy PAC visited the VOC Memorial and discussed avenues of engagement to ensure that democratic values and human rights are a cornerstone of U.S.-Cuba policy. David Talbot, Assistant Director of Development of VOC briefed the group about ways in which VOC seeks […]

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