Mark D. Siljander : biography
Mark Deli Siljander (born June 11, 1951) is a former Republican U.S. Representative and deputy United Nations ambassador from the state of Michigan. He was convicted of obstruction of justice and acting as an unregistered foreign agent related to his work for an Islamic charity with ties to international terrorism. Siljander pleaded guilty to the charges in Federal court on July 7, 2010.
Early life, education, and early career
Siljander was born in Chicago, Illinois, where he attended the public schools, having graduated in 1969 from Oak Park and River Forest High School. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in 1972 and a Master of Arts from Western Michigan in 1973. Siljander was awarded an honorary doctorate in humanities from Coral Ridge Baptist University, Jacksonville, Florida. He is widely traveled, and claims to have visited over 120 countries.
He was also awarded a Ph.D. in international businessGeorge Wythe College: from George Wythe College, Cedar City, Utah (accreditation pending),George Wythe College: where he was listed as a faculty member.
George Wythe College officials have since attempted to disclaim his doctoral degree:
Our investigation revealed that Siljander’s PhD in International Business was another illegitimate exception arranged by DeMille which never involved any coursework. Instead, Siljander’s file contains conclusive evidence that his degree was awarded for two improper sources of credit. First, Siljander was allowed to apply the same 56 hours of credit for which he had already been awarded his MA at Western Michigan University. Second, Siljander’s dissertation was only of a post facto written description of his startup business venture that relied heavily upon his previous service as a congressman, combined with a marketing packet which the business utilized. For this he received 30 hours of life-experience credit. There is no record of Siljander enrolling in, attending, or receiving grades for any classes.
Of particular interest is a letter on file from Siljander in 1994 lamenting the difficulty he had been experiencing while trying to earn a living as a former congressman without adequate credentials. In this letter, Siljander expressly suggested that he and DeMille could arrive at a creative solution with regard to these previously used credits in conjunction with life-experience credit in order to be awarded a PhD. He concluded by pitching his capacity to benefit to the school in the future." George Wythe University, October 12, 2012
He served as a trustee on Fabius Township Board in St. Joseph County, Michigan, from 1972–1976 and also worked as a real estate broker.
Siljander was appointed by President Reagan as an alternate representative to the United Nations General Assembly, serving from September 1987 to September 1988.
1992 congressional election
He was an unsuccessful candidate in 1992 for nomination to the 103rd Congress from Virginia. He stated then his message was, "not religious values as much as it’s common-sense American traditional values." He campaigned on a budget freeze, a ten percent flat tax and a line-item veto. In the Republican primary, Siljander came in second to Henry N. Butler, a law professor at George Mason University.
Leslie L. Byrne won the general election.
In 1994 Siljander joined the board of directors of Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian right legal fund. In 1997, Siljander joined the lobbying firm Advantage Associates, which then employed 12 former members of Congress. Other members of the firm include firm president Bill Sarpalius, Bill Alexander, Ron Coleman, Bill Grant, Robert P. Hanrahan, Jerry Huckaby, Jerry M. Patterson, Howard Wallace Pollock, Richard Ray, Richard T. Schulze, and Bill Zeliff. Siljander ended his ties with Advantage Associates prior to 2000.thehill.com: