Mackenzie was born in Pocatello, Idaho and has lived in Lafayette, California since 1989. A graduate of Pasadena High School, California, he went East and graduated from Amherst College, Massachusetts. Returning West he earned a joint JD/MBA degree from the University of California, Berkeley. From 1971 until 2005 when his work in Afghanistan began requiring most of his time, he provided legal and business counsel to entrepreneurs. Active in his community he coached and managed several local sports teams, was President of Lafayette Little League, advised high school Mock Trial competitors and served the local Chamber of Commerce as a board member and its president.
After raising money to build a school in Afghanistan and observing first-hand how US involvement in the country had impacted its people, Mackenzie’s life was irrevocably altered. He founded Trust in Education in 2004. He discovered that “Education is the solution to almost everything.” Hence the name Trust in Education. Making quality education accessible to Afghan children, particularly Afghan women and girls has become his passion.