S. Mark Palmer was born in Te Puke, New Zealand, on February 11, 1956. He married Jacqueline Ann Wood in 1981. They are the parents of six children.
He received a bachelor of commerce degree in 1979 from the University of Auckland and an MBA in 1982 from Brigham Young University.
He has served in a number of Church callings, including full-time missionary in the New Zealand Wellington Mission, elders quorum president, high councilor, high priests group leader, counselor in a bishopric, bishop, counselor in a stake presidency, stake president, mission president and Area Seventy.
At the time of his call, Elder S. Mark Palmer had been serving as a member of the Sixth Quorum of the Seventy in the North America Southwest Area. He is currently serving as President of the Africa South Area.
He was the founder of SMP Ventures, a real estate development company, and has served as president since 1993. Prior to that, he was a managing director with the Trammell Crow Company.