Founder / CEO

Mark is world’s first honorary associate professor awarded for his work in Extreme Medicine by the University of Exeter Medical School and is the founding director of World Extreme Medicine and Across the Divide Expeditions and a Fellow of both the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Society of Arts.  He was voted by the prestigious New Yorked-based Explorers Club as The Explorers Club 50: Fifty People Changing the World the World Needs to Know About’.

A former special forces reserve soldier, a professional photographer, dogsled guide, remote boat handler and peripatetic explorer Mark has been involved with expeditions for over 30 years and has led and organised expeditions to all of the world’s continents, in desert and marine environments but also in polar regions, at altitude and has been involved in adventurous pursuits on all of the worlds five continents. Mark is also an award-winning photographer with images published in the Sunday Times, Telegraph, Rough Guides and National Geographic. He is also honorary aquanaut, an International Fellow of the famous Explorers Club of New York, a faculty member of the Space and Aviation Medicine course at the University of Texas Medical Board and Pacific University, Oregon.

HeroForge Interview with Mark Hannaford 

Across the Divide was the first commercial expedition organisation to take salaried medical professionals on all of its expeditions and events, to train them in expedition medicine, and provide a standardised medical kit. Realising that ATD medical staff were passionate about remote medicine and sharing their knowledge Mark, with the help of his inspiring medical team, established World Extreme Medicine (founded as ‘Expedition & Wilderness Medicine’).

Mark is the founder of the world’s largest subject matter conference the World Extreme Medicine Conference a gathering for inspiring medical minds to meet, share experiences and promote cross-disciplinary working. The gathering is dedicated to sharing and spreading best practice for the world’s medical professionals, willing to risk themselves to help others. The conference stimulates new thinking, extends professional relationships and shares new and more effective approaches to medical practice in challenging environments. The World Extreme Medicine Conference is organised as ‘Not for Profit’ activity by WEM.

He also founded, in cooperation with the University of Exeter Medical School the world’s first MSc programme in Extreme Medicine. The program’s hallmarks are the practical skills, knowledge, and understanding needed to perform at the highest possible level in the field of extreme medicine. Key features are the residential locations of the courses across the UK and environment-specific modules located in the mountain, jungle, desert, and polar regions. This is medicine at its best, crossing geographical and professional boundaries.

Through the activities of Across the Divide Expeditions Mark is proud to have helped in the facilitation of raising over £103/ $134 million for charity.