Marrianne McMullen, Deputy Assistant Secretary for External Affairs

Marrianne McMullen

Marrianne McMullen is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for External Affairs, overseeing the Office of Communications with its media, digital and publications divisions, as well as the Office of Regional Operations, with 10 offices in cities across the United States.

In her capacity during the Obama Administration she has led Affordable Care Act outreach efforts to reach hundreds of thousands of low-income families across the country through three open enrollment periods. Other national efforts have included raising awareness of human trafficking, Hispanic outreach, and financial education. In communications, McMullen led the re-design of the agency’s 20,000+ website, launched a digital division, established branding for the agency and began more than a dozen social media channels. Internally she has spearheaded efforts to improve the agency’s internal communication and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of regional office operations.

Prior to joining ACF, Marrianne worked on school reform, both with the District of Columbia Public Schools, where she served as chief of staff for public engagement, and with the Service Employees International Union, where she served as senior aide to then SEIU President Andy Stern. She also anchored SEIU’s national work in environmental issues, representing SEIU at the United Nations Climate Talks in Poland in 2008.

In Illinois Marrianne served as public affairs director for both the Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees. There she led communications for numerous successful campaigns, including the Hospital Report Card Act, the child care worker organizing campaign, the statewide nursing home contract campaign, and the $1 an hour raise for people who work with people with developmental disabilities.

Marrianne’s journalism career included being an editor at Sojourner’s magazine, a reporter at the Palladium-Item in Richmond, Indiana, and the editor of The Dayton Voice, an alternative newsweekly in Ohio that she co-published with her husband, Jeff Epton. She holds a bachelor’s in journalism from West Virginia University and a master’s in communication from the University of Dayton.

Originally from Pittsburgh, Marrianne became a licensed foster parent at the age of 25 and fostered children for 12 years. Marrianne has two grown stepchildren, Nate Epton and Julie Epton, one son at home, Brendan Epton, and six grown foster children.

Last Reviewed: June 14, 2016
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