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In her current role as manager of operations and outreach for the University of Maryland School of Public Policy’s undergraduate program, Mary Lopez draws upon nearly two decades of experience in higher education to manage a broad portfolio combining program administration, marketing and communication, and partnership development.

Lopez has been with SPP since 2008 and most recently served as executive assistant to the dean. Over the years her duties included managing the dean’s calendar and front office operations, as well as the School’s faculty recruitment and APT (appointment, promotion and tenure) process. She also coordinated the event calendar for the School and served as part of the special events team. She came to SPP from American University, where she was director of marketing for the Washington Semester Program. At American she supervised a staff of four and managed program brand awareness, as well as recruitment and admissions.

Lopez is originally from New Orleans and, prior to relocating to the Washington area, she served as assistant director for university publications for the University of New Orleans (UNO) and editor of the University of New Orleans magazine. She helped found the University Chapter of the UNO International Alumni Association, which was comprised of alumni working on campus. In 2003 she was awarded the University’s Outstanding Staff Award for her service.

Earlier in her career Lopez worked in the UNO Chancellor’s Office, where she served as the assistant to the director of federal affairs/assistant to the chancellor. She formerly held marketing and media positions in the private sector.

She holds a MA in mass communication from UNO, as well as a BA in both political science and mass communication. She has a passion for public service, she is a two-time alumna of the Close Up Program, and she credits her interest in government and politics to her high school civics teacher who inspired her to be an active and informed citizen.