Mark Desire


Mark Desire

Assistant Director, New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner

Mark Desire is an Assistant Director with the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner. He works in the Department of Forensic Biology, New York City’s DNA crime lab and the largest of its kind in North America. During his 24 years of employment, he has investigated thousands of criminal and missing persons cases. He is the manager of the World Trade Center DNA Identification Team, a unit dedicated to advancing the science and helping return loved ones to their families.

During mass fatalities, Mark is the Family Assistance Center Manager for New York City. Throughout the recent COVID operation, he was in charge of body recovery for the City, directing hundreds of staff and National Guard members.

Mark has been recruited by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and several foreign countries to assist in locating the missing and design protocol to further this ability. He also serves on the Missing Migrant Identification Task Force.

Mark was instrumental in creating New York City’s Missing Persons Day. This is a multiagency event to bring together family and friends of missing persons for the purposes of collecting information to help identify their loved ones.

Prior to employment with New York, Mark worked to develop biological warfare detection systems for the United States Army. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Rutgers University, a master’s degree in Molecular Biology, and his Juris Doctor.

Mark was Mayor of his hometown, High Bridge, New Jersey for 12 years. During this time, he successfully helped turn the Borough into a vibrant, family centered place to live, while being a destination for outdoor life and cultural tourism. This helped lead his county, one of 2,600 in the United States, to be ranked the number one safest place to raise children. Mark is also a professor and forensic advisor for the Program in Criminal Justice at Rutgers University.