Mary is a local advocate for the unhoused and low-income families in Fairfax County, as well as a dedicated promoter of STEM education and supporter of refugees. Born to an engineer father and an accountant mother, she grew up in Fairfax, Virginia with her brother and sister through her formative years. After graduating as the class salutatorian from high school in Haymarket, she returned to Fairfax to pursue her passion for systems engineering at George Mason University where she completed her bachelor's and master's degrees. With nearly a decade of experience working with cutting-edge technology in the space industry, coupled with several years of experience in security technology, such as biometrics and body cameras, she has established herself as a skilled and versatile engineer. Presently, she serves as a Principal Systems Engineer at SAIC, where she is responsible for designing the architecture of space systems.
As the State and Local Policy Director of Reston Strong, Mary played a critical role in raising awareness of the rising number of tent communities in recent years and advocated for effective policy solutions in Fairfax County. She also worked to build collaboration among housing advocates by engaging in joint efforts between Reston Strong, Cornerstones, and the Fairfax NAACP. In addition to policy work, Mary led various community projects for Reston Strong, including sponsoring prom dresses for South Lakes High School, distributing holiday meals for food-insecure elementary school students, delivering fresh baked goods to community partners, and organizing a peaceful demonstration for Black Lives Matter, which drew over 2,000 people.
Bold and proactive, Mary has demonstrated her willingness to roll up her sleeves and take independent action when she recognizes a need in her community. Inspired by her time on Battlefield High School's award-winning robotics team, she founded a STEM club at a local elementary school in 2022, where she imparted knowledge about robotics and helped ignite the students' interest in engineering and technology. After the fall of Afghanistan in 2021, Mary devoted herself to the task of resettling newly arrived families in Virginia by personally delivering needed goods and facilitating access to county services.