Marilyn Stephens completed her 5-year tour of duty for the 2020 Census on December 31, 2021. On January 3, 2022, she returned to her work with the Data Dissemination and Training Branch in the Customer Liaison and Marketing Services Office in Census headquarters, located in Suitland, Maryland. However, Marilyn remains the primary outreach and data dissemination specialist for the State of Florida, where she resides.
In November 2016, Marilyn Stephens was promoted to Assistant Regional Census Manager for the 2020 Census for the Atlanta Region. In this capacity, she managed the community engagement and partnership program media team throughout the region. Also, she was the primary spokesperson and conducted more than 300 radio, television, and print interviews, during the 2020 Census cycle. Moreover, she met with and served as the agency’s liaison to the region’s 78 congressional representatives and 15 senatorial district offices. The Atlanta Region is responsible for census operations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Recently, she held the positions of Data Dissemination Specialist, Media Lead, and Congressional Liaison for the United States Census Bureau. Moreover, she serves as the liaison to the region’s seven Governor’s offices.
For the 2010 Census, she held the position of Assistant Regional Census Manager, the third level of supervision for the Atlanta Regional Census Center. In this capacity, she was responsible for a staff of more than 400: 5 program coordinators, 12 team leaders, more than 200 partnership specialists, 20 media specialists, 190 partnership assistants and clerical support staff.
During her twenty-three-year tenure with the Census Bureau, she has also worked in the Chicago Region; and held several positions: Partnership Coordinator; Program Manager of the Partnership and Data Services Program; Supervisory Survey Statistician; and Partnership Specialist.
Most indicative of Marilyn’s commitment to public service has been her involvement in the educational arena. During her career, she has successfully served as executive director of the Citizens Schools Committee, Chicago’s oldest non-profit educational advocacy organization; Commissioner on the Chicago Public Schools’ Monitoring Commission for Desegregation Implementation (under a Consent Decree from the Federal Court System); president of the Chicago Panel on School Policy; and co-chair of the Chicago City-Wide Coalition for School Reform.
In November 2003, she received the Bronze Medal Award, the highest meritorious honor given by the U.S. Census Bureau. She was also awarded a team Bronze Medal Award in 2010 for her management work on the 2010 Census. Furthermore, she was nominated twice for Federal Employee of the Year.
Other honors include, Census Bureau Director’s innovation award, one of Chicago’s top business and professional women, Federal Employee of the Year nominee (1999, 2001), Essence Magazine (one of the African American women behind Census 2000), and Research Executive of the Year from Target Market News, Inc.
Also, she is the current chairwoman of the South Florida Federal Executive Board. The Federal Executive Board system was the creation of President John F. Kennedy (reauthorization is granted by each subsequent President).
She is one of the most requested Census Bureau speakers. To date, she has facilitated more than 800 workshops and presentations across the country: HUD; USCIS; FBI; HHS; US Department of Transportation Civil Rights Symposium; NBC Universal, New York; BET Network, Inc.; Univision; Faircount Inc.; Denny’s Inc.; League of Women Voters; Wal-mart’s Diversity Summit (at their corporate headquarters in Arkansas); Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Epidemiological department (including lay staff and contractors); Media Insights and Leadership Conference (San Diego and Ft. Lauderdale); Operation PUSH Convention; Rainbow PUSH Automotive Summit; American Small Business Development Center Association; Target Market News MAXX Summit; Spike Lee, DDB; Aflac; National City Bank; 20th Century Fox’s Hispanic Summit; GMC TV; General Mills Corporation; Advertising Research Foundation; Southeast Florida Library Institute Network; Florida A&M University; Florida International University; Nova Southeastern University; Roosevelt University; University of Central Florida; University of Mississippi; Chicago State University; Small Business Resource Network of Florida; Eco Latino Media Group; Winn-Dixie Corporation; Bi-Lo Holdings, Inc.; Chrysler Corporation; Nissan North America Corporate Headquarters; Toyota USA, Inc.; Rotary Clubs of America (Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana); Florida Association of Counties; Florida League of Cities; Florida School Superintendents Association; Florida Supervisors of Elections, Inc.; North Carolina Tribal Unity Conference, and, The Hispanic Institute for Life and Leadership in Northeast Florida Inc.
The Miami, Florida native earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing.