Marie Royce
CPP Magazine

We Are The World

Marie Royce Leads International Education And Exchange In The State Department

By Esther Chou Tanaka

Growing up in Pomona, Marie Royce (’84, marketing management and management human resources) read books and periodicals about the world and dreamed of visiting those international destinations.

In her new role as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, the Cal Poly Pomona alumna is living her dream. Not only is she traveling the world, she is providing students and leaders in the United States and internationally opportunities for education, scholarships and exchange. It’s a chance to inspire in others what she’s been passionate about her entire life — building partnerships, strengthening engagement and addressing complex problems.

Royce draws upon her academic and career experience from Fortune 500 companies, start-ups, nonprofits and education to lead the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). She was also a full-time faculty member in The Collins College of Hospitality Management and the College of Business Administration.

“Exchanges and alliances between people are aligned with the U.S. national security strategy,” says Royce, who was sworn into office in May. “When people are self-reliant and interconnected, it makes for a more peaceful world. That’s why we want more students to go to school overseas or have students come here. It’ll make those relations better and help with global security.”

As an undergraduate, Royce joined Rose Float and connected with students from different colleges and majors. For example, she helped bring in donations of whatever the engineering and decorations teams needed, from hydraulic equipment to Kodak film to flowers.

Her desire to serve her community began early, and she joined the campaign trail for candidates running for Pomona city mayor, school board and state assembly.

After college, Royce realized her dream of international travel. She was selected for an American Council of Young Political Leaders program through the State Department to visit Poland and Hungary. The nine-person delegation met with nongovernmental organizations and national leaders, including the mayor of Warsaw.

As the Assistant Secretary of State, Royce focuses on providing students and emerging leaders with opportunities for education and international exchange through scholarships, fellowships and exchange programs. Since 1961, the ECA has served over 1 million people globally, including 75 Nobel Laureates and nearly 450 current and former world leaders.

Throughout her career, Royce has strived to learn from others, grow from every opportunity and expand her network. Having a clear vision and written goals goes a long way, she says.

“If you want to be a manager, you should ask for a project to manage. Whatever it is, you have to ask,” she says. “When you have some experience, they’ll give you more authority, and you’ll learn a lot along the way.

“If you use those opportunities to learn, you can contribute more. You’ll be promoted if you make a greater contribution. A career isn’t just one thing. It is one of many things in your life. I don’t think there is a limit to what people can do.”


5 Things to Know About Marie Royce

  1. College of Business Administration Distinguished Alumna and Commencement speaker in 1994.

  2. Earned her MBA in international business from Georgetown University.

  3. At Pomona Catholic High School, she was class secretary and home room president.

  4. Throughout her career, she has worked to advance women, minorities and people from underrepresented groups.

  5. Married to Congressman Ed Royce (R-39th District).