Marie Johns, Deputy Administrator, Small Business Administration, is the proud mother of one son and grandmother of two, who has always found ways to weave her passion for education and mentorship into her professional life. Previously, she served as President of Verizon Washington, where she was instrumental in the effort to obtain a $10 million grant for the D.C. Public Schools to implement a school to careers reform initiative. After retiring from Verizon and starting her own small business, Johns remained an active civic leader. She was a member of several nonprofit boards, including Girl Scouts USA, the DC Department of Youth Rehabilitative Services, and the Women’s Advisory Board of the Girl Scouts of the National Capital area. Johns also served for 10 years as a trustee at Howard University and was the founding chair of the Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science.
After President Obama appointed her to her current post, Johns has been active mentoring junior members of the Administration at the SBA and other federal agencies or the White House, even making home cooked lunches, weekend barbeques and informal check-ins with her ever-growing flock of mentees. Johns’ outreach includes works with Start-Young with the Department of Commerce; the Young Entrepreneurship Series with the White House Business Council; and the Summit on Entrepreneurship for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) with the White House and the Department of Education.